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2.1: A History of Modern Political Economy

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    The history of modern political economy traces back to the works of Adam Smith and Dave Ricardo, who writing in the 18th and 19th Century outlined a model which was broadly supportive of the developments of economic markets and free trade, and was based upon a labor theory of value, which suggested that the value of the goods and commodities produced is directly related to the amount of labor which goes into making that product. Smith and Ricardo’s work was taken up in the mid 19th century by Karl Marx who in 1867 published Capital: Critique of Political Economy, which functioned as a critique of the emergent political economy of capitalism during the industrial revolution. Marx’s major contentions are worth exploring here, as his work remains a foundation for studies of PE, and the basic concepts and categories he proposed are still commonly employed within media studies today, almost 150 years after he devised them.


    Adapted text from Media & Society: Critical Approaches, used under a CC BY NC-SA 4.0 International license

    2.1: A History of Modern Political Economy is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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