Map of Oberwang

Map of Oberwang on Hodgskin published Popular Political Economy in 1827 based on his lectures at the London Mechanics Institute. In 1824-5, Hodgskin edited The Chemist in which he attacked the scientific establishment’s exclusion of the working classes from scientific knowledge and education. Hodgskin’s first book was an anarchistic critique of naval discipline (An Essay on Naval Discipline, 1813) which he experienced first-hand during the Napoleonic Wars. Following suit with a book on Germany (Travels in the North of Germany, 1820), Hodgskin then directed his attention to political economy with what is probably his most well-known work: Labor Defended Against the Claims of Capital (1825). It is here that he articulated his critique of capitalism which, together with Popular Political Economy (1827), was an important influence on Marx. Furthermore, the latter book has often been considered to be the first textbook of socialist economics. Hodgskin was certainly a radical and an anti-capitalist, but his views significantly diverge from those of the proto-socialists of the Chartist movement; he did not argue for a classless society and directed his critique at the specific practices of capitalist employment that gave rise to urban squalor. Map of Oberwang 2016.

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