Updated: October 28, 2003

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Whilst Comte was forced into exile to escape paying a hefty fine and serving a prison sentence for his violation of the censorship laws, Dunoyer also had to give up his career as an opposition journalist and seek an alternative occupation. The path he chose was strikingly similar to that chosen by Comte and even after they went their separate ways after 1820 their lives were very much in parallel. Whilst Comte was teaching law in Lausanne Dunoyer lectured on moral philosophy and industry in Paris. Later, they both held a variety of legal and political posts under the July Monarchy and, in the case of Dunoyer who survived into the Second Empire, also under Napoleon III. Both became disillusioned with political office and resigned or retired. Both were appointed members of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences when it was revived by Guizot during the July Monarchy and both continued to work on their magna opera. Yet, in addition to their scholarly activity, they both continued to write pamphlets on matters of current political concern. For a while in the early 1820s Dunoyer continued to be active in liberal political circles (which included La Fayette, the duc de Broglie and Auguste de Staël), writing pamphlets to the restricted electorate on the need for them to return liberal deputies to the Chamber[250] and agitating for the abolition of slavery. However, he was soon diverted from this activity by the opportunity to take up an academic career.

While Comte was working on his project on legislation and property (in which much thought was given to questions of class, the mode of production, and historical development), Dunoyer was at work on a slightly different task - the creation of a liberal theory of "industrialism" which was the name he gave to his theory of class and the evolution of different modes of production throughout history. After the closure of the daily paper, Le Censeur européen in June 1820, Dunoyer was most fortunate to be able to secure a teaching post at the Athénée Saint-Germain in Paris. In the winter of 1825 he gave a series of lectures on a topic he had been formulating ever since he had first come into contact with Jean-Baptiste Say's economic theories, namely the theory of industrialism. These lectures set down the basic framework of his class analysis which Dunoyer retained for the rest of his life and which was elaborated in increasing levels of detail in three important books published in 1825, 1830 and 1845.[251] It was appropriate that Dunoyer gave his lectures at the Athénée because it was at this institution that both Say and Constant previously had given their lectures on political economy and political thought respectively.[252] In his lectures Dunoyer presented a schema of economic evolution from one stage of production to another, each stage having a peculiar class structure and method of exploitation which depended upon the mode of production specific to that society. His analysis began with the state of savagery, then progressed through nomadism, slavery, the system of political privilege under feudalism and mercantilism under the old regime, what Dunoyer called the system of political "place-seeking" under the Revolution and the Napoleonic Empire, and which ended with the ultimate stage of industrialism. Although the content of Dunoyer's lectures mainly concerns the sociological structure of the emerging industrial society and the various historical forms it has assumed in its trajectory into the present, Dunoyer admits that the hidden agenda for his work is the much broader problem of the nature of individual liberty, neatly summed up in the motto appended to the title-page: "We can only become free by becoming industrious and moral." Another concern, as the full title of the book suggests, is the "morals" or political culture which arises from each different mode of production. Dunoyer believed that the mode of production which existed at any given time had a profound effect on the intellectual, religious, cultural and moral development of individuals and that much of human behaviour could be explained or understood by a close examination of the economic forces which were at work in every society. At least twenty years before Marx made a similar attempt it will become clear that liberal writers were exploring much the same territory, albeit with a vastly different purpose in mind.


Before discussing Dunoyer's liberal version of the theory of industrialism and the debate it engendered both within and without liberal circles, it is necessary to give a brief outline of the intellectual origins of his liberal theory of class and the evolution of society through stages, culminating in the pure liberal society of "industrialism." It should be noted that there were at least five schools of thought which contributed in some way to Comte's and Dunoyer's theory of class and industry, although the precise degree of influence is often difficult to gauge in some instances.[253] These schools of thought include the seventeenth century theorists of natural law Hugo Grotius and Samuel Pufendorf, the Physiocrats, the Scottish Enlightenment, the philosophes, and the Idéologues who bridged the gap between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Having been trained as lawyers in the early years of the nineteenth century Comte and Dunoyer no doubt read the works of Hugo Grotius and Samuel von Pufendorf on natural law. The scattered though quite numerous references to their work clearly indicates that the impact of Grotius and Pufendorf was one which lasted well beyond their years as law students. The influence of these seventeenth century philosophers on early nineteenth century French attitudes to legal theory, property rights, social and economic structure and evolution has yet to be determined. Comte and Dunoyer, in addition to their own legal training, may have indirectly come across the Grotian tradition either by reading the works of Condorcet or by their personal contact with radical liberals in the Condorcet camp. For example, one historian who has written on Condorcet believes that Grotius and Pufendorf influenced Condorcet's social theory, perhaps via Montesquieu, and provided him with grounds for rejecting the Hobbesian and Rousseauian tradition of natural jurisprudence.[254] More direct evidence of an influence of Grotius on Comte comes from occasional direct references to Grotius and other members of the school of natural law in his magnum opus, the Traité de législation, in which Comte explicitly mentions Wolff, Burlamanqui, Guillaume Pestel, and Grotius.[255] In part two of his magnum opus, the Traité de la propriété, Comte also directly cites Pufendorf and Blackstone in his discussion on the origin of property. Overall, Comte prefers the approach of Bentham to "les juriconsultes" in legislation but nevertheless his concept of natural law and property owes something to the Grotian tradition.[256] For Dunoyer, Pufendorf and the natural law theory of property and social development contributed to the elaboration of his grand theory of "industrialism" which will be discussed in more detail below. Dunoyer's contribution was to update and modernise the final stage of the traditional four stage theory of history from "commerce" to "industry" in order to make the theory more relevant to the changes which had occurred during the upheavals of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods.[257]

A more direct source of influence on Comte and Dunoyer's idea of class than the school of natural jurisprudence are the Physiocrats. There is a striking similarity between the industrialist distinction between the productive class of the "industrials" and the unproductive, exploitative class of the politically privileged and the Physiocratic notion of the productive and sterile classes. Quesnay and Mirabeau developed the view that agriculturalists comprised a "classe productive" whilst all other participants in the market economy (manufacturers, merchants, and all those making up the secondary and service sectors) comprised the "classe sterile".[258] If one replaced the word "industry" with "agriculture" Dunoyer's claim that "industry is the vital principle and ought to be the end of the activity of society"[259] could have been the slogan of the Physiocrats. Like the nineteenth-century liberal political economists the Physiocrats advocated minimal government interference in the economy, even coining the term "laissez-faire," and realised the central importance of the leading economic sector, agriculture, to the structure of government. They differed from the early nineteenth-century theorists of "industrialism" in two essential areas: their one-sided view of the importance of agriculture at the expense of the manufacturing and tertiary sectors, and their belief (perhaps tactical and understandable given the nature of ancien régime society) in enlightened despotism. In spite of the common ground between Comte and Dunoyer and the Physiocratic school on so many issues such as laissez-faire, the importance of the mode of production to political structure, class analysis (productive class versus the sterile class) neither Comte nor Dunoyer claimed them as intellectual forebears. The Physiocrats are notable for their absence in Dunoyer's essay on the history of the industrialist ideal. The most likely reason for this might be that Dunoyer's discovery of economics via the writings of Jean-Baptiste Say and perhaps Adam Smith who believed that economic science had moved beyond the limited horizons of Physiocracy. Under the influence of Jean-Baptiste Say's economic writings Comte and Dunoyer realised the importance and productivity of the new manufacturers, entrepreneurs, and technologists (engineers) yet their definition of the productive class has much in common with that of the Physiocrats. One might say that their view is merely an enlarged form of the Physiocratic notion only slightly modified to include manufacturers and members of the "service" class of intellectuals, professionals and engineers as members of the productive class. Some of the Physiocrats tried to apply their class theory to an analysis of French history in an attempt to understand the origins of the problems in the French economy. One of the more interesting attempts at a physiocratic interpretation of history is provided by G-F Letrosne who deals with the class nature of feudalism in a Dissertation sur la féodalité which appeared in 1779. Mackrell describes Letronse's three stage account of the history of feudalism beginning with its usefulness as a means of administration in an era when military service to the king was required. In the second stage feudalism became corrupted when fiefs took on a life of their own independent of the crown. In the third stage feudalism no longer served any political function but was merely a mechanism for economic exploitation of one class by another. Mackrell also discusses the writings of S.N.H. Linguet on the origins of class society in the conquest of agriculturalists by hunters.[260] There are aspects of this class analysis which are similar to that of Augustin Thierry's history of the middle ages and the third estate, which is very suggestive since Thierry was a collaborator on Le Censeur européen, for which he wrote a number of seminal articles on medieval French history.

A figure closer to Comte and Dunoyer's view of the productiveness of industry and the service industry is Turgot who challenged the physiocratic theory of the sterility of industry and commerce from within the physiocratic movement itself. He and his mentor Vincent de Gournay attacked the orthodox view of Quesnay and Mirabeau and argued that all endeavours which satisfied the needs of consumers were "productive," a view which is much closer to that of Say and his followers.[261] Turgot also contributed to the formation of the so-called "four stage theory" of social evolution which more than likely contributed to the development of Dunoyer's more elaborate six-stage theory culminating in "industrial" society.[262] Dunoyer's stages were savagery, nomadism, slavery, political privilege, place-seeking, and pure industrialism. Although there is an interesting similarity between the physiocratic notion of class and that of Comte and Dunoyer there is little direct evidence to link the two groups. It is possible that they might have absorbed some Physiocratic ideas indirectly through Say but this is difficult to establish. The Physiocrats were not rediscovered until some scholars associated with the Society of Political Economy, the Journal des Économistes and the publishing firm Guillaumin began to republish the works of Du Pont de Nemours, Turgot and others with lengthy introductions in the 1840s, a little late to have influenced Comte and Dunoyer. Nevertheless the similarities between the two schools are so great that one suspects some influence even if it is not yet possible to prove it directly.[263]

The Scottish Enlightenment is probably a more fruitful direction in which to look to find direct influences on Comte and Dunoyer's theory of class and the stage theory of history. Both referred to William Robertson's History of America (1777) for their knowledge of the social and economic structure of the North American Indians and the early European settlers in North and Central America. They also occasionally referred to his History of the Reign of the Emperor Charles V, with a view of the progress of society in Europe (1769) on more general matters dealing with the emergence of modern economic and political institutions. Other members of the Scottish Enlightenment they directly used in their works include Adam Ferguson, especially his Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767) and Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations (1776). What is perhaps more important than any single member of the Scottish Enlightenment is the general social, economic and historical perspective absorbed by reading the main works of the Scots. Scottish notions of "class" and the recognition of the significance of the newly emerging commercial or even industrial society were absorbed by Comte and Dunoyer in a general way without them having to cite any particular author as a source.[264] If a more direct link is required it may be provided by Benjamin Constant who spent some time in Scotland studying at the University of Edinburgh during 1783-4 before returning to France to make his enormous contribution to the development of liberal political and social theory in the late Imperial and early Restoration periods. Dunoyer and Comte both explicitly acknowledged their intellectual debt to Constant and it is possibly through reading him that they were introduced to the work of David Hume, Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson and William Robertson.[265]

Another important source of Comte and Dunoyer's theory of class and historical development is the Philosophe tradition and its carry-over into the Revolutionary and Imperial period - the school of thought known as Idéologie. It is quite possible that Diderot, Volny, Raynal and Condorcet, to mention only the most important, influenced Comte and Dunoyer. In particular Diderot and Raynal's work on slavery in the colonies; Volny's histories of the middle east, and Condorcet's optimistic picture of the future contributed to Comte's and Dunoyer's concept of historical change, their hostility to slavery and their view of the future liberal society.[266] In a negative sense so much of what Rousseau wrote and thought repelled Comte and Dunoyer and this means that he too is important as a source. Other philosophes who might have influenced Comte and Dunoyer include Barnave and Sieyès.[267] But it is Condorcet whose views require the closest attention for their possible impact on Comte and Dunoyer. Although Condorcet's theory of progress has a number of substantial differences with that of Dunoyer there are also a number of interesting convergences. The most important difference between the two is Condorcet's insistence that the motor of progress is mental or psychological, viz. the increasing capacity of the human mind to understand the world and in turn to improve it.[268] Thus the invention of printing is for Condorcet one of the great moments in the development of man's reason and freedom. This should be contrasted with Dunoyer's very different conception of historical progress which is thoroughly grounded in economics. For Dunoyer the motor of progress is the increasing capacity of humans to transform themselves and their world through economic production, through trade and industry. Once again the importance of the liberal political economy of Say should be noted in the transformation of Dunoyer's liberalism.

In spite of this fundamental difference in conception Dunoyer did seem to have a number of things in common with Condorcet and late eighteenth century liberal notions of progress and historical development. Perhaps most apparent is what Keith Michael Baker correctly calls the "rhapsodic picture of the future age."[269] Condorcet's "Tenth Epoch," when reason and liberty have achieved a state of near perfection, could be compared to the equally "rhapsodic" stage of "industrialism" in Dunoyer's theory. As will be shown in more detail below, Dunoyer's stage of industry was one where the purely voluntary activity of the free market has completely replaced the interventionism and regulation of the state, thus bringing to an end the power of any group to impose its class domination on others. In addition to sharing this "rhapsodic" view of historical development Condorcet and Dunoyer also share a class theory of history. Dunoyer closely tied his theory of the ruling or exploiting class to the particular stage of economic development a society had entered - thus slave owners were the ruling elite during the slave stage of economic development. Condorcet's class theory was less one of economic exploitation than political power made possible by the perpetuation of intellectual error. According to the theory elaborated in the "Esquisse" the credulity of "the dupes" was matched by the cunning of "the imposters" who used the power of "prejudice" to maintain their power. As an anti-clerical philosophe Condorcet naturally concentrated most attention on the class of the "priesthood" in earlier societies as the example par excellence of his conception of a ruling class.[270] As Keith Michael Baker ironically notes, Condorcet's conviction that the sacerdotal elite had engineered a conscious conspiracy to hinder the spread of enlightenment in order to maintain their "sinister interests" prevented him from turning his theory of class into a more general theory of history.

Condorcet was here on the verge of real (if crude) historical insight in suggesting an explanation of religious development and the growing power of the sacerdotal elite in terms of the gradual evolution of language systems... Condorcet was too concerned to insist upon the sinister interests of the sacerdotal elite to be satisfied with an explanation of the double-truth doctrine in such historicist terms. While he later took a grim pleasure in showing the priests caught in the trap of their own making - forgetting the truth behind their symbols and becoming the dupes of their own myths - he was never willing to relinquish the idea of the conscious conspiracy of the sacerdotal elite to pervert the truth in their own interests. He was never able to take the step that Saint-Simon unambiguously took when he reformulated the Tableau historique: that of viewing history as a natural sequence of social systems, each dominated by a particular intellectual elite and organised on the basis of an idea-system appropriately expressing the relative development of the human mind at a given moment of its progress. Here, as elsewhere, Condorcet's rabid anticlericalism remained a barrier to true historical understanding.[271]

Baker is correct to see Saint-Simon's stage theory of history as a continuation of Condorcet's theory of "intellectual elites" but he seems to be unaware of the use Dunoyer was to make of it. With the economic underpinning provided by Say Dunoyer was able to universalise Condorcet's idea of class, replacing the notion of political and religious domination with a more general idea of economic exploitation by one group of another.

The Idéologues too are important for providing the link between the eighteenth century Philosophes and the early nineteenth century liberals. I agree with Cheryl Welch's conclusion that "(i)n the Censeur européen (published from 1817 to 1819) and in separate works published in the 1820s, Dunoyer and Comte directly continued the ideas of the Idéologues."[272] We have already seen how important Jean-Baptiste Say was to the development of Comte and Dunoyer's economic ideas and Say was linked directly to the Idéologues through his participation in the journal La Décade. Destutt de Tracy is also important in this regard, furnishing another example of the linkages which bind the different generations of liberals in the Napoleonic and post-Napoleonic periods. Each group admired the work and activity of the other. Tracy apparently read the issues of Le Censeur européen with considerable interest and joined in the organised liberal protest at the time of Comte's and Dunoyer's imprisonment for violating the censorship laws in August 1817. Tracy even offered to post bail for their release from custody.[273] The "naive" admiration of Dunoyer for Tracy and Dunoyer's earnestness and humourlessness is documented by Stendhal and has been quoted in an earlier chapter.[274] What the editors of Le Censeur européen admired about the work of the Idéologues, most notably Say's Treatise on Political Economy and Destutt de Tracy's Commentary and Review of Montesquieu's Spirit of Laws (1811) (which was glowingly reviewed by Augustin Thierry in 1818), was that the laws of political economy and the evolution of society provided a non-revolutionary means to achieve liberal ends. This meant that it was no longer necessary for liberals to seize control of the state through revolution. The inexorable laws of the market would push governments of all political stripes towards deregulation and the fostering of "industry." Thierry believed (a belief certainly shared by Comte and Dunoyer at this time) that the great contribution of Say and Tracy was to show how this could be achieved - to provide a defence of "liberty without violence, as the specious doctrines of the past century led us to violence without liberty."[275] As Welch rightly concludes her section dealing with the impact of the Idéologies on later liberals like Comte and Dunoyer

... through the school of the Censeur, the theories of the Idéologues began to be fused with some of the new strands of historical thinking. Charles Comte looked at European history from the beginnings of the city of Rome to the nineteenth century as a gradual unfolding of the true principles of industry. Augustin Thierry also approached history with the preconceptions of an Idéologue, desiring to follow Daunou's advice on the study of history through "facts." Above all, he wanted to explore the struggle between idlers and workers - oppressors and oppressed - in its historical dimension. The theories of the Idéologues, then, helped to inform the militant economic liberalism that emerged in France in the 1820s.[276]


Comte and Dunoyer were very much part of the "militant economic liberalism" of the late 1810s and early 1820s, a liberalism which drew from numerous currents of late eighteenth and early nineteenth century thought as the above discussion indicates. The more immediate early nineteenth century influences on Comte and Dunoyer's theory of class and history, namely Jean-Baptiste Say, Benjamin Constant and François Montlosier,[277] have already been discussed in an earlier chapter. These and a number of other works were reviewed in their journal Le Censeur européen and, along with the important article by Dunoyer written some ten years after his initial discovery of Say, provide evidence of the sources of his theory of industrialism. In the 1827 article he explicitly acknowledged some intellectual debts but strangely avoided any mention of the contribution of Augustin Thierry. This is surprising because Thierry had been an editor and major contributor to Le Censeur européen after his split with Saint-Simon and had written path-breaking essays on an "industrialist" interpretation of history for Comte's and Dunoyer's magazine. Dunoyer must have been aware of Thierry's important essay "Des nations et de leurs rapports mutuels," one of the first explicit liberal accounts of an industrial interpretation of history.[278] Another author whose work Dunoyer might have mentioned as a source of his ideas but did not is Pierre-Louis Roederer.[279] Thus, any assessment of the origin of Comte's and Dunoyer's social theory must take into account the explicitly acknowledged intellectual debts, as well as others, who influenced Comte and Dunoyer but, for whatever reason, did not receive due recognition by them.

There are two possible explanations for Dunoyer's neglect of Thierry. Perhaps it was a deliberate slight on the part of Dunoyer as Thierry was well known to him and had in fact collaborated in editing Le Censeur européen. Or perhaps Thierry's work was written too late to have had the same impact as Montlosier's book published in 1814. Nevertheless Thierry may well have been as important as Montlosier in providing Dunoyer with an historical perspective on the rise of the industrial class and its conflicts with the state. Eventually Thierry became one of the leading exponents of liberal class analysis in the study of history, especially in his multi-volume studies of the Norman Conquest, the English Revolution, and the rise of the Third Estate most of which originated as essays in Le Censeur européen. In Thierry's histories the productive "industrial" class is identified with the "third estate" and its gradual emergence in the twelfth century and its struggle for liberation from exploitation by the unproductive "feudal" class is the key event in modern European history. Thus Thierry's attempts to develop a liberal theory of class and history which appeared for the first time in Comte's and Dunoyer's journal must have had some influence on the development of their theory of class and history, although they did not acknowledge this openly.[280]

Whatever the exact influences on Dunoyer might have been, in his 1827 essay on the origins of his theory of industrialism he described the effect of his reading as a veritable personal intellectual "revolution." Having avidly absorbed a number of ideas from these diverse writers, Comte and Dunoyer proceeded to apply these ideas in a series of articles in Le Censeur européen. One historian has accurately described their journal as "un journal industrialiste," where the new theory was tested for its explanatory power against the political events of the late 1810s and as a theory of history in numerous speculative and interpretative articles dealing with French, British, and European history.[281] The issue which particularly concerned them was the very nature of liberalism itself and the strategy of the liberal opposition in the Restoration period. They asked themselves whether or not the liberal opposition had in fact a clear conception of what it was trying to achieve. The main aim of the liberals, under the influence of Constant, had been to create a version of British constitutional monarchism in France with Constant's Constitutional Charter of 1814 being the means to achieve this. This was good as far as it went, but Comte and Dunoyer now believed that political and constitutional reform was not enough to bring about the kind of liberal society they wanted. There were more powerful and important forces at work, such as the exploitation of one class by another, the class structure to which this exploitation gave rise, and the relationship between the mode of production and the political ideas and culture of a society, which traditional liberal theory did not fully appreciate. Unless liberalism could come to terms with these forces, it would be impossible to change French society in a lasting manner. What good would it be to change the constitution if the underlying mode of production (at the time of the late 1810s it was the stage of "political place-seeking" according to Dunoyer's theory of class) created a class structure and a political culture which was illiberal? No amount of mere paper reforms would alter this fact. Until there was a large class of "industrials," who were interested in limiting the power of the state and in ending the privileges of the political class of "place-seekers," and upon whom a new political culture could be based, there could be no permanent change in the nature of French politics and society. As Dunoyer reflected on the dilemma which he believed French liberalism faced in the early years of the Restoration:

These writers (himself and Comte) had been forced by the reaction of 1815 to suspend their publications. This violent interruption to their work, which lasted for a number of years, allowed them to examine at their leisure the direction they had taken up until that moment. They asked themselves whether the liberal opposition and their policy of constitutionalism had a well determined objective and, without denying that these efforts to establish certain (political) institutions had a high degree of utility, they (Comte and Dunoyer) were forced to admit that in general it didn't and even that (the members of the liberal opposition) did not ask themselves where society ought to be heading or for what general object society should be constituted.[282]

Thus, in the light of these serious deficiencies in liberal theory, Dunoyer and Comte came to the unhappy conclusion that liberalism, with its stress on constitutionalism and the outward form of political institutions, had very little idea of its ultimate aims, in what direction French society ought to be moving, how French society ought to be arranged in order to achieve this goal, and the powerful social structures and culture which lay in its path. After reading Benjamin Constant, François Montlosier and Jean-Baptiste Say, Comte and Dunoyer came to the conclusion that the liberal program was useless if it did not understand the political culture and class structure to which exploitation gave rise, both historically and at the present time. Only when the nature of the forces which were opposed to liberal reform were understood and when the present stage of economic evolution had been determined for its proximity to the final stage of "industrialism," could the chances for liberal reform be assessed. The task they set themselves was to develop the political implications of the theory of industrialism, as Dunoyer put it, to "an infinitely more scientific and elevated degree"[283] than anything hitherto expressed in the work of the three pioneers of industrialism. This was to be the guiding spirit of the new magazine, Le Censeur européen and which would continue over into their theoretical writings in the 1820s.

Comte, Dunoyer and Thierry began to develop the new liberal social theory in a series of important articles in Le Censeur européen.[284] In the second volume of their newly relaunched journal Comte began the task of writing a magisterial interpretation of European development from the ancient Greeks to post-revolutionary society in an article called "De l'organisation sociale considérée dans ses rapports avec les moyens de subsistence des peuples." [285] Comte began his essay with an obvious borrowing from Say. He distinguished between three different ways in which wealth could be acquired: either one could use the fruits of nature, one could steal from one's fellows, or one could produce one's own goods by industry. Comte then proceeded to analyse European development, using a modified four stage theory which had been used by Turgot and Millar in the previous century.[286] Unlike Marxian theories of societal development based upon a single mode of production, Comte readily admitted that a mixture of these three modes could exist side by side. What he did observe, and which was the prime aim of his work, was to identify the gradual transformation of the economy from various class dominated and unproductive societies to one where pure industry predominated. The main stages in this transformation from warrior and slave society to pure industrial society were warrior tribal societies, the ancient slave societies of Greece and Rome, feudalism which had existed up until the French Revolution, and the post-revolutionary "age of peace and industry." In all these societies bar the last, there existed a conflict between what he termed "la classe oisive et dévorante" and "la classe industrieuse." The precise nature of the productive work which the industrious class did is not important - whether agriculture, manufacturing or services. The vital aspect was that the products of their labour was coercively exploited by those who did not so labour. The following is only one of many examples one could select from Comte's essay to illustrate this interpretation of class conflict and exploitation:

It was natural that the Franks, who were incapable of existing other than by exploiting the industrious men which they had enslaved, despised those amongst themselves who turned to industrial activity. Those who abandoned the trade of pillage in order to become an industrious man renounced the state of barbarism and entered the state of civilisation. He abdicated his title of conqueror by joining the conquered class. This was called in the original French "déroger." On the other hand, a man was ennobled when he left the class of industrious or civilised men to enter the idle and parasitic class (dévorant) in other words the class of barbarians. A social organisation as vicious as the Frank's carries within itself the seed of its own destruction. As soon as men who do not belong to the dominant caste discover the secret of creating wealth by their own industry, and as soon as nobles have lost the power to get wealth other than by giving something of equal value in return, the former who are accustomed to order, to work and to economy increase constantly in numbers, whilst the latter group, not knowing how to produce anything and basing their glory on magnificent consumption, will be reduced in a short time to complete decadence.[287]

There are many surprising parallels between Comte's view and the Marxist idea of economic development of class societies through stages. There is the insight that the mode or modes of production had a decisive influence on culture and politics. One can also find the idea that contradictions within each mode of production leads to a crisis and the transformation of that mode of production into a mode closer to that of pure industry. This theory of class and conquest was taken up most notably by Augustin Thierry, and to a lesser extent by Guizot, in their histories of the Norman Conquest, the emergence of the Third Estate, and the rise of European civilisation.[288] Neither Thierry nor Guizot developed an economic theory to explain the forces at work in the historical evolution of European society, the absence of which made their work less compelling and powerful than Comte's and Dunoyer's, or even Marx's.

Dunoyer too made an early effort to develop the theory of industrialism in a handful of essays in Le Censeur européen. In one essay in which class analysis played a particularly important rôle, "De l'influence qu'exercent sur le gouvernement les salaires attachés à l'exercise des fonctions publiques," Dunoyer combined a public choice analysis of state employees with an historical analysis of the expansion of the state before, during and after the revolution, showing its seemingly inexorable rise under all manner of régimes.[289] Once again, class analysis was the guiding principle in his analysis and the experience of the revolution and Napoleon suggested a veritable war between the contending classes for control of the state.

It is impossible for a government to levy taxes and distribute large amounts of money without by that very process creating large numbers of enemies of its authority and those jealous of its power. The government creates large numbers of enemies because it becomes terribly onerous for those who pay the taxes. It creates many who are jealous of its power because it becomes extraordinarily profitable to those who receive the money from the state. The government thus creates a state of unavoidable hostility between those groups who eagerly covet the benefits which the state provides and the richer members of the public who try with all their power to avoid the burdens which are placed on them. In order to prevent any weakening of its power or to prevent power passing into someone else's hands, the government is forced to surround itself with spies, to fill the state's prisons with its political adversaries, to erect scaffolds for hanging, and to arm itself with a thousand instruments of oppression and terror.[290]

Scattered and partial statements like the above were quite common in articles by Comte and Dunoyer in Le Censeur européen but it would not be developed into a complete theory of industrialism and liberal class analysis until some years later. The first full-length treatment of their new social theory was Dunoyer's 1825 book L'industrie et la morale.


One of the key concepts in Dunoyer's theory of industrialism was the idea of economic evolution through stages, culminating in an optimistic or "rhapsodic" (to use Baker's rather deprecating term) vision of a pure "industrial" society in which all human relations were voluntary. All social and individual needs would be provided through the market and thus the state would either disappear entirely or be broken down into little more than radically decentralised "municipal" structures. Dunoyer's modification of the traditional eighteenth-century four stage theory of economic development is extremely interesting and worthy of detailed analysis. According to Dunoyer the economic stages through which European society had evolved were the following:

  1. savagery based upon hunting and gathering
  2. nomadic life based upon primitive herding
  3. slave society based upon slave labour in the household and in the fields
  4. the society of political privileges based upon rigid legal privileges beginning with feudalism and extending up to the mercantilism of the ancien regime during the pre-revolutionary period
  5. the system of political place-getting (under Revolution, the Napoleonic Empire and the Restoration) which was based upon fierce competition to secure government posts and other privileges
  6. and the final stage of industry (not yet achieved in Europe but whose possibilities were being demonstrated in the young United States of America) which was exclusively based upon production for the market.

The contribution made by Dunoyer was to introduce two new stages to add to the traditional four stages of hunting, pasturing, agriculture and commerce through which European society had passed. The fifth stage had been created by the destruction of feudalism and the ancien régime by the French Revolution. Occupations and political office were now open to all but society was dominated by an excessive desire to seek political office ("places" as Dunoyer called them). The sixth and final stage was that of "industrialism" - a stage where the potentialities of extensive manufacturing and the commercialisation of all avenues of life were recognised and in which politics would be virtually done away with. The first four stages of Dunoyer's theory of historical development will be discussed in the remainder of this chapter. The last two stages constituting Dunoyer's most original contribution to the development of a stage theory of history will be discussed in the following chapter, along with a discussion of the debate his work inspired and a comparison with the better known Saint-Simonian theory of industrialism.

i. The Stage of Savagery[291]

Dunoyer had a very bleak and unforgiving view of life in what he called "the first stage of social life,"[292] which no doubt reflects the bias of the sources he used[293] as well as the optimism with which he viewed the advent of industrial and "civilised" society. To Dunoyer, life in the "savage" state was violent, brutal, uncaring and short-sighted and he vigorously attacked those writers like the Abbé Raynal and Jean-Jacques Rousseau who had a more positive view of savage life. It was incredible to Dunoyer that writers like Rousseau, whom he called "the detractor of civilised life", had glorified the existence of the savage and denigrated the "civilised" life of urban living and industry. Much of the chapter on the savage life is an attack on those who sentimentalised a pre-industrial existence by emphasising the supposed high standard of living of tribes people compared to Frenchman of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Their idealisation of life in the savage state ignored the brutality, poverty and oppression which Dunoyer thought was endemic to "savagery."[294] Dunoyer disputed their claims that civilised and industrial life caused man's physical strength and moral state to degenerate; that living conditions and mortality rates had become steadily worse as civilisation progressed; and that in general savages were nobler, healthier, more vigorous, and freer than their modern counterparts. The only positive aspect of savagery Dunoyer could find was the absence of a state, but without the opportunities made possible by industry he could not imagine how one could take full advantage of this early form of anarchism.

The brutality, disregard for human life and oppression which Dunoyer thought existed in savage life was partly due to the economic fact that the struggle to survive was a difficult one. Simple hunting and gathering did not provide a guaranteed subsistence which made charity and tolerance towards other people possible. Another reason Dunoyer gave to account for the brutality of savage life was a moral weakness, the inability of savages to control their passions in their relations with other people, even their closest family members.[295] The result of this economic and moral pressure was that those who were physically weak (such as the sick, the old, the young and, of course, women) were likely to be very poorly treated by the tribe because they were a burden to its survival. Unwanted children and sick or elderly people might be abandoned to the elements, while women were universally exploited as beasts of burden by their husbands or fathers simply because they were unable to resist the physical strength of the males. In an interesting passage, Dunoyer discusses the position of women in savage society (the example he uses is Péron's description of aboriginal women in New South Wales), likening them to the slaves or the "working class" of this stage of economic development who did most of the useful work for the tribe and who were beaten for their trouble as well.[296] Dunoyer continues his attack on the condition of women in tribal society in a lengthy footnote, where he explicitly states that it is the violent submission of women to a form of slavery which is an important aspect of the class structure of the savage stage of economic development. It is worth quoting at length in order to appreciate the radical nature of Dunoyer's analysis of the class structure and the system of exploitation which exists even in the earliest stages of economic development.

Women are the slaves of the savage life. They form the working class (la classe ouvrière) of this state. They carry out almost all the useful labour. Everywhere where there is the beginnings of agriculture they are the ones who ordinarily work the land, sow the seed, harvest the grain, grind it, and cook it... The women dry the meat, prepare the skins, and collect the roots to dye them... In addition they go fishing for their husbands... When they travel about they carry the youngest children, the tools and all the mobile property... Everything they produce is the property of their husband... The women do not even have a share in the fruit of their labour...[297]

If within the tribe women provided the equivalent of a slave or working class for the benefit of the senior males, then outside the tribe other tribal groups provided an additional source of exploitation for subsistence as well as booty for the male warriors. Since at this stage of economic development cultivation of the soil was unknown, the tribe had to live from the fruits of hunting and gathering which, Dunoyer thought, was a most inadequate way of providing for the needs of the tribe. In times of need neighbouring tribes would be attacked and their food and other possessions pillaged and their members slaughtered in order that the attacking tribe might survive. Dunoyer believed that "savage" society was too primitive even for the existence of slavery, which at least spared the lives of those who were attacked in war, since tribal people had no concept of the economic importance of forced labour apart from their own women. Slavery or the forced economic use of another human being could only exist in a more economically developed state where there already existed the idea of working for another for wages or board.[298] Since the mode of production in the savage stage was not very productive, men were often forced to resort to violent means of acquiring the wealth they needed to survive. Thus, far from being a period of peace and well-being, Dunoyer thought the life of a savage was the least secure for life and property of any stage of human economic development.

In spite of his denunciation of savage life, Dunoyer believes that there were some admirable features of tribal society at the hunter-gatherer stage of production, even if they were only "elements" of a truly free and industrious life. If a tribe was not engaged in war or raiding parties against other tribes, it was most likely engaged in "peaceful and productive labour"[299] (or rather the women were so engaged), such as building a shelter, shaping some simple tools and furniture, cultivating a small area around the hut, and exchanging these things with others. These simple economic activities had a profound affect on the attitudes and behaviour of the individuals involved. To the extent that they engaged in these activities, the members of the tribe became more thoughtful and inventive, their passions became more moderate, the hardships of making a living became less, and the need to be violent to one's neighbours or one's own family became much less. In other words, life became more peaceful, productive and free as industrious activity replaced war and famine, and all these good moral virtues Dunoyer believed were the direct result of the mode of production, that is of production and trade.[300]

There is also Dunoyer's admiration for the spirit of independence shown by many savages. He believes their mode of production endows them with what he calls "an impatience of all artificial superiority and all unjust domination," a "passion for individual independence" and a "disposition to resist" unjust authority.[301] In places Dunoyer seems to view some aspects of savage life, especially in its peaceful, productive and fiercely independent aspects, as a type of "primitive anarchism." What authority is submitted to, such as a chief, is often voluntary in nature. Submission is voluntarily given to a widely respected chief who is skilled in warfare or leading the hunt undertaken in common or who is particularly wise in solving disputes. This is quite unlike the submission given to a mere individual who wishes to exert power over others for his own personal ends, such as a warrior chief or a priest. This latter kind of submission is rejected by the savage. Authority which is not voluntarily submitted to is strongly resented and the skill learnt in hunting and warfare can easily be used to resist an unwanted authority. Dunoyer was impressed with the resistance shown by some North American Indian tribes to the conquest by the Spanish, some choosing suicide rather than submit to the authority of the conqueror and give up their independence.[302] Similarly, Jean-Baptiste Say was also sympathetic to aspects of savage and nomadic life. For example, he sympathised with those who wished to escape the clutches of the states of Europe by fleeing to join the anarchistic Indians in North America. Say reasoned that, although such a refugee from the state would give up much of value which organised society had to offer, sometimes the price of living in a highly regulated and restrictive society was too high to pay.[303]

Dunoyer's view of the "savage" stage of economic development is important because he establishes the beginning of class domination by males in a combined process of subjection of women, as "beasts of burden" and a virtual "working class," and the violent subjection of other tribes by the warriors. Yet he also identifies the beginnings of productive, peaceful industrial activity, probably by women at first, but also including the non-warrior male members of the tribe. This productive activity begins to alter the political culture or "morals" of savage tribal society and initiates the long process of "civilisation" and humanisation of society which culminates in the pacifism and anarchism of industrialism.

ii. The Stage of Nomadism[304]

When it came to discussing the next stage of economic development, the subjects of Dunoyer's attack on defenders of nomadism were Montesquieu's De l'esprit des lois, Mably's Observations sur l'histoire de France, and Ferguson's History of Civil Society and the societies studied included the Tartars, the Bedouin Arabs and the ancient Germans. He accused them of making the same mistake as Rousseau and Raynal had made with the stage of savagery, namely believing nomadic society to be an essentially free society because nomads could exercise what Dunoyer dismissively described as "cette triste faculté de fuir."[305] Montesquieu, like Rousseau, argued that because nomads like the Tartars had a ready means of escape from would be oppressors they were in some sense free.

Dunoyer rejected this interpretation of nomadic life for two reasons. Firstly, because it conflicted with his theory of what true liberty consisted. In his view liberty consisted in the ever increasing capacity to do more complex things, including in this case the capacity to come and go as one pleased.[306] Dunoyer's second reason for rejecting the traditional account of nomadic societies was that it fundamentally misunderstood the defining characteristic of nomadism which was not the "mobility" of nomads so much as their distinctive mode of production, namely pasturing.[307] Dunoyer believed that the greater economic surpluses available to nomadic people compared to "savages" meant that nomads were slightly "freer" than savages, although the greater wealth led them into the classic Malthusian trap of increasing population pressure on food supplies. Since herding required different skills than those needed by hunters, in particular less emphasis on stalking and killing prey, nomads were less warlike than savages, although they remained quite violent compared to the pacific industrials or those who produced exclusively for the market in a modern industrial society. Nomads also had a greater appreciation of other individuals as economically valuable entities and were, to use Dunoyer's expression, more "calculating" in their relations towards others. One aspect of this "calculating" economic attitude meant that the enslavement of others become conceivable. Curiously, Dunoyer believed this was an important stage on the road towards liberty and industry, primarily because he believed it resulted in a crucial amelioration in the conduct of war, replacing the massacre of those defeated in a conflict by their enslavement and use as forced labourers.[308] Although nomadic life provided a greater degree of freedom and wealth than savagery it was still dominated by a class of powerful warrior males, aided by a new class of priests, over a subject class made up of women, children and a few domestic slaves. The relationships between individuals in nomadic society remained "un tissu d'horrible violences."[309] Women in particular remain the backbone of the nomad economy, living "dans un profond état de dépendance et d'avilissement,"[310] where they are rigidly controlled in marriage and do most of the domestic work, thereby filling "the office of a slave," as Dunoyer put it.[311]

However, what distinguishes the pastoral or nomadic mode of production from all others, including surprisingly the highest stage of industrialism, is the relative ease with which a surplus can be acquired. Hunting and agriculture require considerable effort, whereas Dunoyer believes tending a flock or herd is less fatiguing (one assumes he had no personal experience of either hunting or shepherding). Unfortunately, nomadic society cannot long enjoy their easily produced surpluses before the Malthusian population trap is sprung upon them.[312] The pressure of population growth on the limited productive capacity of their herds forces the nomads to resort periodically to brigandage and the conquest of others to stave off famine and crisis. They form "entreprises guerrières"[313] of the excess population to raid or conquer their neighbours in order to survive. The economic and demographic need to hive off the excess population and raid or conquer others gives rise to a different but still potent form of the warlike spirit which affected the "morals" of the savage stage of economic development. Perhaps borrowing Benjamin Constant's expression, which he used to denounce Napoleon's militarisation of France and conquest of Europe, Dunoyer describes the morals of the nomadic society as dominated by "cet esprit de conquête et d'émigration"[314] which, along with the economic pressures of famine, push nomadic societies irresistibly towards "brigandage, war and invasions."[315] These waves of conquest and invasions continue until such time as there is no more land available or until a stronger neighbour is met who can resist the nomadic invaders. Along with Malthus, Dunoyer believes this underlying economic analysis of nomadic society adequately explains the barbarian invasion of the Roman Empire and the end of the period of Norman invasions during the eighth, ninth and tenth centuries. When faced with such a barrier to expansion nomadic tribes are either forced to inhabit peripheral barren desert or arctic areas or to gradually adopt more peaceful and productive pursuits such as agriculture. As long as they continue to follow a nomadic pastoral way of life the class structure and morals of a warrior society will always be present among them. Dunoyer concludes that "war is thus the inevitable consequence of the imperfect means of subsistance adopted by pasturing people."

iii. The Stage of Slavery[316]

We have already seen in a previous chapter the importance slavery played in the development of Comte's and Dunoyer's liberalism in particular and French political economy in general. Although Dunoyer did not take part directly in the debate about the economics of slave labour, he wrote about it at some length in Le Censeur européen and his books, and had considerable influence on the liberals who came after him.[317] For both Comte and Dunoyer slavery was important, both as the diametric opposite of what they were striving for in Restoration France and as an integral part of their social theory. In Dunoyer's case (as for Karl Marx) the slave mode of production provided the important link and foundation stone for the evolution of the modern industrial economy.

The transition from one mode of production to another was a slow and difficult process, as the historical example of the evolution from hunting wild animals and gathering fruit and vegetables, to the use of milk and meat from domesticated animals, to the harvesting of planted crops, showed. At each stage the mode of production determined the need of that society for slaves, the "guerrier sauvage" having no need of them, the "guerrier nomade" needing only enough to sell or to guard his flocks and perhaps tend his garden. However, once the stage of settled agriculture had been reached, the need for slaves by "agricultural warriors" was considerable, as the amount of labour required by the mode of production was much greater than in previous stages. Dunoyer believed that as long as the supply of captives from wars remained high there would always be a ready market for slaves in agricultural societies and that some individuals' wealth would be reckoned almost entirely in the number of slaves they had working the land.[318] The use of slaves for agricultural labour was a universal phenomenon and Dunoyer could not think of a society which had not made the transition from nomadism to agriculture without going through this stage. It was certainly the case in ancient Greece and Rome, which Dunoyer claimed had known no other mode of production, in contemporary Russia and Poland, as well as the colonies in America and the Caribbean.[319]

The degree of civilisation and liberty had been increased in the slave mode of production because of a number of factors, including the much greater productivity of agriculture over hunting and gathering and pasturing, the increase in the division of labour, and the reduction in violence and the destructiveness of war. The latter claim may sound surprising, but Dunoyer took the traditional view that savages and nomads took no prisoners and destroyed as much property as they could in war, whereas in slave societies property in the form of booty and captives was highly prized and kept for later enjoyment.[320] The greater surpluses made available by agriculture and the spoils of war were used to create a higher level of civilisation than had existed before. Monuments and public buildings were erected, the slave owning class had time to cultivate art, literature, and philosophy, and some of the surplus was ploughed back into production in order to improve its output.

As impressive as some aspects of Greek and Roman civilisation no doubt were, Dunoyer took great pains to argue against those who, like Rousseau in the Contrat Social, believed that the ancient world under slavery had reached a pinnacle of culture and political liberty.[321] Neither Comte nor Dunoyer could forget nor forgive that ancient society rested upon the exploitation of slave labour by a small class of owners and that any achievements of the Greek and Roman ruling élite had to be weighed against the fact that slave labour had made this possible.[322] His praise was reserved instead for the slave labourers of Rome who had built the monuments and public buildings and without whom the ancient economy would have ground to a halt. Several virulently anti-classical outbursts in this chapter reveals much about Dunoyer's attitudes towards the classical world, industry and the common people who carried out "industrial" activities. A typical passage which shows the strength of Dunoyer's venom towards the classical world is the following:

... it appears that it would be more appropriate to attribute glory to the slaves rather than to (Roman citizens). Did the Roman people build these numerous architectural monuments, these sewers, these roads, these aqueducts which are attributed to Roman civilisation? No. It was for the most part the captives, the slaves and not the Roman people. It was with the industry and capital of the conquered nations that the Romans carried out their magnificent works. Under the Empire, there was practically nothing truly useful which was not carried out by enslaved men. The law of Romulus had forbidden any industrial profession to a Roman citizen. The liberal arts were under the same proscription for a long time. It was the slaves who practised medicine. Grammar, rhetoric, philosophy were taught by slaves. Everything which belonged to true civilisation, everything which was able to escape (Roman) violence was relegated to beyond the pale (hors de l'état). Roman industry was war, its work was pillage and massacre. The monuments which it left behind were ruins, impoverishment and depopulation of the known world. Perhaps without the Romans we would probably not have had the debris of the Parthenon or the Colosseum, but who knows what the free and productive industry of the conquered nations who constructed these fabulous buildings would have left to posterity. There is every reason to believe that without these people (the Romans) western civilisation would have been better placed to defend itself against the barbarians when the errant hordes of northern Europe inflicted their terrible devastation on southern Europe. One could justly attribute to the brigandage of the Romans the long halt to the progress of the human species brought about by the other brigands.[323]

As an ardent admirer of "industry," it was not difficult for Dunoyer to point up the weaknesses of the ancient Roman economy. It lacked scientific knowledge and engineering skills, its agriculture was less productive than modern French methods, Roman buildings lacked glass windows, chimneys, there was no post office, printing and so on. Dunoyer's conclusion was that, for all the vaunted greatness of the ancient world, "the simplest inhabitant (bourgeois) of London or Paris" in the nineteenth century should be thankful for the benefits of "progress" such as science, technology, modern agriculture and the much higher standard of living these things made possible, which most Romans had entirely lacked.[324] Perhaps worse, in Dunoyer's view, was the continued practice of the wars of expansion and the concomitant capture of slaves which condemned the ancient world in his eyes, thus leading him to declare that the ancient Romans had less "true civilisation" and less "true liberty" than defenders of the classics would care to admit.[325]

War was certainly the sticking point in the development of Roman industry. It could not develop any further than it had because of the rôle war and the slave mode of production played in Roman society.[326] Economically, slavery was the mainstay of the ancient economy and this in turn depended upon "une guerre perpétuelle," in order to maintain the supply of labour, and the disdain the aristocratic class showed to all "professions industrielles." As Livy noted, in the 700 years between Numa and Augustus the gates of the temple of Janus had only been closed twice for peace. Socially, Rome was a militaristic society with a social structure of tribes, curies, and decuries which were based upon military models. Patronage and deference to military leaders resulted in a social form of military subordination, and the function of the censors was to maintain numbers in the army and respect for discipline and moral behaviour. Discipline in the military was so strict that a refusal to serve in the army (which any self-respecting industrial would do) resulted in the deprivation of one's possessions, a beating and possibly being sold into slavery.[327] The inevitable consequence of this social and economic dependence on war, military "morals" and slavery was a political constitution and institutions suited to warriors.

The desire to be militarily strong and the willingness to structure the legal, social and economic arrangements of Roman society to achieve this military strength made it impossible, in Dunoyer's opinion, for the Romans to be truly politically and economically free at the same time. "The more they wanted to be strong in order to dominate others, the less they were able to have liberty." The irony was that their desire to reduce others to servitude led the Romans to become subservient themselves to the regimentation and control, "the necessity of discipline" which a military state required to function effectively. In the name of war and the security of the empire, individual liberty, freedom of speech and property were often sacrificed. Thus the Romans in effect "enslaved themselves." It was no accident, Dunoyer believed, that the much touted Roman liberties ended in the tyranny of the absolute emperors.[328]

Dunoyer took issue with historians of Roman republicanism like as Montesquieu, who thought that many Roman institutions such as the agrarian laws, censorship and ostracism were essential aspects of republicanism per se. For Dunoyer, these had little to do with the theory or practice of republicanism, rather they were the natural and inevitable consequence of a warrior people attempting to forge institutions suitable for this way of life. Other writers such as Condorcet, Sismondi and Benjamin Constant interpreted these laws and institutions as the result of the Romans' ardent love for citizenship, for which they would readily sacrifice their own privacy and independence. Dunoyer rejected this line of argument as well. He could not accept that the Romans would suffer such restrictions on their liberty for the sake of being a republic or participating in the exercise of collective power. Once again, he maintained that these harsh laws were adhered to because they conformed to the needs of a warrior life. Civic discipline and the strong control of individuals was necessary to ensure discipline and success in the field. The only critic who fully appreciated the underlying militarism of Roman society and the effect this had on their institutions and culture was, not surpisingly, his colleague Charles Comte.[329]

Dunoyer next turns to the issue of luxury and its corrupting effect on Roman morals. The claim that "luxury" had damaging effects on a nation's morals was a powerful argument in the anti-industrialist campaign. The pursuit and enjoyment of luxury was claimed to detract from one's attention to civic duty, to encourage selfishness in both private and public life and to foster corruption. Bernard Mandeville's argument that the private pursuit of vice (of which luxury was only one) could have beneficial public benefits was unconvincing to those who saw something wrong in the possession of wealth itself, in particular the kind of wealth made possible by the industrial system.[330] Dunoyer turned this old debate on its head by arguing along two lines. Firstly, that the only truly moral society was an industrial one. In fact Dunoyer went so far as to argue that the degree to which a society accepted and practiced industrial values determined the degree to which it was moral, civilised, progressive, peaceful and free. The second line of argument was that the defenders of the argument that luxury was corrupting had made a fundamental error in not inquiring how that wealth or luxury had been acquired. Those who had acquired their wealth through peaceful trade or industriousness also acquired important moral virtues, such as thrift, hard work, the habit of offering one value for another, respect for others and so on. Dunoyer claimed that men only enjoy in moderation that wealth which has been acquired with honour, or in other words by peaceful and voluntary exchange. Those who acquired their wealth by war and pillage, like the Romans, naturally did not. The morals of the warrior were carried over into peace-time and wealth was enjoyed as a warrior would enjoy it, "shamefully." Thus Dunoyer argues for an intimate connection between the corrupting effects of wealth and the means by which it was acquired and dismisses the traditional debate about luxury as ill-conceived and somewhat beside the point.[331]

The class structure of slave society also came under Dunoyer's scrutiny. The aristocracy and the upper levels of the army ruthlessly exploited their position of power to control the distribution of war booty for their own benefit, whilst the vast bulk of the enlisted men and the nominally non-slave population, the proletariat, received scarcely enough to survive. Dunoyer argued that

... by submitting themselves to this harsh regime the bulk of the army drew practically no benefit . In this (system of) domination, as in all, the lower levels (les agens subalternes) only obtained a very small part of the wealth and authority. The booty from the conquered enemies was distributed like all taxes (contributions) levied on the people: the largest portions went to the generals of the army, to the consuls, the senate, the patricians. The people and the soldiers received scarcely enough to live on. One would have been justified in worrying that in enriching themselves in this manner they would have weakened this useful love of conquest and pillage on which depended the fortune of the upper classes (des classes élevées). Never has an aristocracy based its ascendancy on such a harsh, iniquitous and haughty basis as the Roman aristocracy.[332]

Social distinctions between noble and commoner were strong and marks of deference and respect were enforced. But the two greatest class differences lay between slave and non-slave, and land-owners and the propertyless "proletariat," who formed "deux classes d'ennemis."[333] Dunoyer maintained that class warfare always lay just beneath the surface of Roman society. The threats to social order came from both within and without, within from the threat of slave rebellions and food riots from the urban proletariat, and from without by the threat of non-Roman enemies. The former problem was kept within bounds by harsh laws and a system of legal terror to maintain the slaves in submission. The latter was solved by constant warfare, which had the added bonus of also providing booty which could be used to subsidise the grain needed to feed the urban proletariat. The urban proletariat was a special problem because it is this class which could have risen out of its poverty by means of "industry" if land ownership had been more equitable and if slave labour had not undercut them economically.[334] This was one of the great tragedies of Roman civilisation. In Dunoyer's view, the system based on war and slave labour prevented the emergence of industry and the progress in job opportunities and living standards which it would have brought to the poorest classes in the Roman Empire.

Although Dunoyer devotes most of his attention to slavery in the ancient world, primarily because he believes it is literally the classic case of a society dependent on slave labour, he also examines in less detail the modern slave societies in America and the Caribbean. The basic difference he finds is that the slave owners are not warriors with warrior "morals," but planters who are to some extent "entrepreneurs d'industrie" who therefore have some of the moral qualities of an industrial.[335] Although the American slave owners did not personally make war to get their slaves, and thus escaped the corrupting influence of war on their morals, they nevertheless still suffered from other sources of corruption, such as the exercise of arbitrary power over another human being, the refusal to permit the education or training of slaves for more skilled industrial jobs, the use of violence to control slave labour, and the persistence of anti-industrial attitudes among the planter class. "In sum, ignorance, incapacity, softness, luxury, iniquity, violence, this is what slavery naturally produces in populations who make it their (primary) resource."[336]

Dunoyer's overall assessment of slavery in the course of human history is that it was an improvement on what had gone before. He called it "une innovation heureuse" principally because it ended the practice of killing prisoners of war and, however indirectly, encouraged the development of industry.[337] Thanks to slavery, which Dunoyer maintained was an important and perhaps inevitable stage of development between the stage of nomadism and settled agriculture, men were given useful occupations and the long and slow process of accumulation of property could begin. Dunoyer was optimistic that once this process had begun it was inevitable that the worst aspects of slavery would gradually disappear and that both slave owners and slaves would learn the benefits of both working for their own reward. Whereas Comte rejected Storch's idea of a "half-way house" between slave and free labour, Dunoyer apparently sided with Storch in the matter of how best slavery could be brought to an end. Dunoyer argued that in the process of economic evolution from one mode of production to another, the granting of economic incentives to the slaves would be a small step on the way towards the eventual liberation of the entire society, first through serfdom, then citizens of free communes, then the third estate and finally a free society.

These slaves who originally only worked for the benefit of another will one day work for themselves. They are now weak but they will become strong. They are at the very beginning of life, enlightenment, wealth and power -it is only necessary to inspire them with the desire to take them and the masters themselves will one day feel the need to inspire them in this desire. Wishing to stimulate the activity (of their slaves) the masters will relax their chains a little. They will leave their slaves a part of the wealth which they will create. The slaves will be able to keep this meagre product which they will increase by work and saving, and one day the fruits (of their labour) slowly accumulated through their economy will overwhelm (étoufferont) (the fruits) of violence and usurpation. The slaves of antiquity, the men of industry will become no more than serfs in the middle ages, then they will become the freed men of the communes, then the third estate, then all of society. It is here, among the people maintained by slaves, in the very heart of slavery itself that really begins industrial life, the only life (as we will see in a moment) where men are able to give flight to their faculties, acquire good moral habits, prosper without doing themselves mutual harm, the only way of life, therefore, where they can become truly free.[338]

iv. The Stage of Political Privilege under Feudalism and Mercantilism[339]

The transition to the next stage of economic development came about with the military and economic collapse of the Roman Empire. Without wars of conquest to keep up the supply of cheap slaves, or in the case of the eighteenth and nineteenth century Caribbean planters, when the price of slaves went up, land owners were forced by economic necessity to treat their increasingly scarce slaves better.[340] Dunoyer is adamant that the reason for the improvement in the slave's condition is a result of ineluctable economic forces and not the benign influence of Christianity or the greater generosity of the Germanic invaders for example. The influence of Christianity was dismissed as a philosophy which could be used to justify any kind of iniquity and which had been used by slave owners and priests to justify slavery for centuries. Rather, in Dunoyer's view it was the change in political culture ("morale") brought about by industry which had "purified" Christianity of its barbaric practices and beliefs.[341]

The earliest period of the feudal stage was a form of "demi-servitude" in which some of the practices and burdens of slavery continued. However, as the slaves became more closely tied to the land and as more and more obligations were imposed on the land owner, eventually they became serfs rather than slaves and the form of exploitation was gradually lessened to a form of tribute or taxation. This amelioration process eventually brought an end to the slave mode of production and a new mode of production emerged in the twelfth century. Dunoyer calls this new mode of production the "régime of priviléges," by which he means the creation of an artificial hierarchy of orders, membership of which determined one's occupation and one's legal rights and duties. The crisis which brought about "this great revolution"[342] was the restlessness and confidence which a small increase in prosperity and security created in the "working classes" (classes laborieuses).[343] This greater confidence in themselves led the working classes to seek protection from their exploiters in civic, community and professional associations and unions. There is a striking similarity between Dunoyer's view of the transition from slavery to a limited form of freedom in the twelth century and that presented by Augustin Thierry in the Essai sur l'histoire de la formation et des progrès du Tiers État (1853). As was mentioned above, Thierry contributed important historical articles to Le Censeur européen on French history and it is quite likely that Thierry was an important influence in the formation of Dunoyer's ideas on the amelioration of slavery and the emergence of the third estate in the feudal period. Interestingly, Thierry also talks about "the slave who had reached a sort of half liberty" in his description of the transition from slave to free labour in this period, thus linking Dunoyer and Thierry to the Storch camp in the debate about the profitability of slave labour and the best means of bringing slavery to end.[344] The reaction of other classes to this positive and bold action on the part of the "working classes" was also to form themselves into corporations and associations. The warrior class reacted by forming the estate of the nobility, the church officials by forming the clergy, and the lawyers, justice officials and merchants formed the third estate.[345] Within these orders were also formed numerous smaller associations or corporations which gave this stage of economic development its distinctive characteristic, namely the "artificial" ("factice" i.e., state imposed) monopoly of occupations according to social class. Dunoyer considered that the creation of bodies with the monopoly of certain occupations resulted in "artificial hierarchies" riven by mutual dislike, rivalry and attempts to seek "odious privileges" and "unjust preferences" at the expense of others.[346] In the scramble for these legal monopolies (or what Dunoyer also called the "universal spirit of exclusion") the monarch saw a useful form of power and revenue in the sale of offices and rights of monopoly.

However, in spite of the considerable injustices and violations of natural rights which Dunoyer observed in this stage of economic development, he also detected a few positive aspects. In all his economic stages Dunoyer believed that each successive stage was more productive, closer to the industrial ideal, less brutal and oppressive, and ultimately freer than each of the previous modes of production. In "the stage of political privileges" for example, the ancient ruling class had become much less warlike and had began to develop their skills in new directions, whilst the ancient oppressed classes were now able to work for themselves and thus worked harder and were able to gain and keep some surplus. But the most important development of this stage was the creation in some numbers of what would become the industrial class properly called.[347] Unfortunately the full development of the industrial and productive capacities of society is impossible under a régime of privilege, because of several vital obstacles which must be reformed before the industrial system proper could be established. One of the very great weaknesses of the economic system of the pre-revolutionary period is the sheer economic waste and inefficiency of such political privileges and monopolies. For instance, the monopoly some groups had to exclude outsiders from employment in a particular occupation and to reserve it for one's sons led to the waste of capacities and skills in the population so excluded. Without the right of free entry into occupations which the free market made possible, there was a misallocation of talent and skill which seriously weakened the productivity of the economy.[348] Another important source of economic waste was the chronic underemployment of the lowest classes, caused by the closing off of many avenues of trade and industry by the monopoly corporations in order to restrict competition and thus push up the wages of those with privileged jobs. Dunoyer believed this was probably the main reason for the impoverishment of the mass of the working class. Even for those with access to a well-paid job, the political costs of getting and maintaining that job dissipated into unproductive areas the surpluses which that job created. One had to pay a hefty entry price to the state or the existing members of the corporation for the privilege of practicing that trade. There were high costs involved in the lengthy period of training or apprenticeship designed to exclude many applicants. And finally, one needed the support of the police powers of the state in order to prevent non-members of the exclusive corporation from practising the trade illicitly, and this support often cost much in terms of donations to the political powers as well the payment of taxes, loans and so on. In all, much needed capital and energy, which could have been used to expand production and thus employ more individuals, was frittered away in unproductive political activities which were essential for the maintenance of their privileges.[349]

A very serious structural weakness in this stage of economic development were the impediments to the development of science and technology. On the one hand, any inventions made outside the corporate monopoly were unlikely to be taken up, whilst those made by members of the corporation were often viewed as "innovations dangereuses" which would upset the status quo.[350] Generally, without freedom of speech and free trade the development of science and technology is badly curtailed. The church with its monopoly of education is hostile to science and technical training and does its best to prevent it, with harmful affects on the economy and people's standard of living. Dunoyer noted that the development of industry in the new factories occurred in small towns in the provinces, such as Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool, precisely because this was where the stifling influence of the guilds and corporations was weakest. The same was true for the city of Paris, where industrial expansion occurred in those parts of the city where the guilds could not exercise their monopolies.[351]

Not only did the régime of privileges harm the development of technology but also the improvement of morals. For the ruling class the most damaging privileges to their moral development were the ban on the nobility from pursuing industrial activities, the law of primogeniture which made it unnecessary for the eldest son to need to learn industrial skills, the law which protected landed property from confiscation by debtors thus enabling inefficient noble landowners to pass their debts onto subsequent generations, and the privileged access of the nobles to the crown which encouraged them to seek favours and monopolies and to waste their capital in the purchase of office and other monopolies. Dunoyer took issue with Montesquieu's claim that the nobility had traditionally refused to be involved in commerce and industry because these pursuits were contrary to the spirit of monarchy.

Montesquieu, who sees correctly on all things concerning the form of government, says that (the nobility) does not engage in commerce because it would be contrary to the spirit of monarchy. This is not the case. The nobility does not engage in commerce for the same reason as the Greeks, the Romans, the Germans and the Turks do not: because it is not in the spirit of military races, because it is repugnant to barbarism, because it weakens the penchant for war and love of domination. The reason for (the nobility's) morals lies in its origin...[352]

A better explanation for the reluctance of the nobility to engage in industrial activities lay in their origins as a military class who believed that peaceful trade and commerce would reduce their capacity to wage war and exercise domination over others. Since Dunoyer believed that there were only two ways in which one could acquired wealth, either by peaceful production and trade with one's fellows or by theft, war, taxation and legal monopoly, if one refused to engage in industry, as the European nobility did, then the only avenue for wealth making which was open to them was unjust confiscation and parasitism on the working classes. Also, since Dunoyer linked the "morals" of a class to its method of producing wealth, with productive industry leading to tolerance, peacefulness, cultivation of culture and science, and with theft and parasitism leading to the opposite, it is not surprising that he thought the "morals" of the ruling class in pre-revolutionary Europe to be severely lacking.[353]

The tragedy for Dunoyer was that not only did the restrictions of industry and political privileges have a corrupting effect on the ruling class of nobles, but it also penetrated deeply into the lower and middle classes. The most numerous lower class was degraded and corrupted by the lack of employment opportunities caused by the monopoly of occupations held by the guilds and corporations and the general inefficiencies of a restricted economy. The net result was that many were forced to beg, to attach themselves to the privileged and wealthy for what little they could get, and to fritter away their lives with the boredom of underemployment. As for the middle class their morals were corrupted because it was impossible for them to earn a living by purely industrial means. Because of the widespread nature of the system of legal privileges and monopolies all their economic activity was inevitably a mixture of the fruits of their own labour and peaceful exchange, and the illegitimate profits gained from legal monopolies, restrictions on free trade and other appeals to the state. In such a state of confusion, Dunoyer believed, it was impossible for the industrial middle class to develop the "morals" appropriate to a purely industrial class. The nature of their work thus created a mixture of aristocratic and industrial morals and clearly shows the moral ambiguity Dunoyer considered the industrial class suffered under when working in an aristocratic and privileged society.[354] Even in more enlightened and "industrial" societies such as Restoration France Dunoyer believed that the pervasiveness of political privileges tainted much voluntary economic activity which could only be "purified" by a policy of total laissez-faire and free trade.

Even in the most civilised countries of Europe what class of men does not profit , directly or indirectly, from some privilege, some monopoly, some unjust prohibition? Who can deny that violence contributes nothing to the revenue of their productively invested funds? That would only be possible in a society where nothing limited competition, and we are surely a long way away from such a state.[355]

As in the previous stage of slavery, in the stage of privilege a perpetual state of war existed between the classes. The most obvious conflict took place between those who were members of the corporations with a monopoly of certain occupations and those who were outside this privileged community. The latter resented the former for taking away what they considered their right to practice whatever occupation towards which their own skills and interests inclined them, resulting in what Dunoyer called "a veritable state of war, and of universal war."[356] Even within the system of orders and privileged corporations there was fierce conflict and rivalry over power, money, privilege and access to the crown. The class war within the privileged guilds, orders and corporations is not a war which leads to deaths, the spilling of blood and physical injury and the weapons used are not swords, muskets or cannons of traditional warfare. Instead the war is waged with weapons created by the state, such as the power of the police and the courts. Normally the desire of the lower orders for power and privilege is contained by the authority and strength of the higher orders, such as the nobility, the clergy and the superior courts. However, ambition being what it is, it is able to find "legal" avenues to pursue its quest for monopoly and the exclusion of competitors. For example, the guilds of the tailors and second-hand clothing dealers do "mutual violence" to each other in their legal challenges to each other's monopolies of trade, in what one might call a kind of union demarcation dispute.[357] If the legal challenge fails to achieve their purpose the lower guilds and corporations then appeal to the higher bodies of the state to outlaw their competitors entirely, in exchange for which they will gladly pay taxes, accept some onerous government regulation or other restriction on free trade which they will be able to recoup by passing the added costs onto the consumers of their goods. The final result of these appeals to the state for monopolies is to increase government interference and control in the economy and thus to decrease the overall amount of liberty.[358] Dunoyer is very concerned with the growth in authority of the central state as the final adjudicator of all these special interests. As the power with the final say in who gets what, it is able to play off the special interests against each other and all groups end up exploiting each other and, most importantly, becoming tributaries of the state.[359]

The group which benefits most from the system of privileges is not the lower orders, as we have already seen, but those at the very top. Although the "ordres supérieures" suffer to some extent from the privileges of the lower orders of the guilds and corporations, the benefits they in turn receive from their privileges far outweigh these costs. The profits from seigneurial rights, the exemption from taxation, honours and gifts from the court, and the monopoly of higher jobs in government mean that the nobility is most anxious to maintain the status quo for as long as possible in order to go on enjoying their privileges. For as long as the lower classes are obliged to remain in private occupations of industry and commerce, the nobility is assured of its continuing monopoly of government office and all the financial rewards which this brings.[360] Yet there is a sort of dialectic at work here, as Dunoyer observes, because the greater the power and privileges of the nobility the greater is the envy of the lower classes for the political power which makes this possible. The nobility, clergy and judiciary are therefore increasingly subject to "l'universelle animadversion" of the lower orders as they increase in wealth, confidence, and knowledge. This, of course, is the origin of the rivalry between the nobility and the clergy on the one hand, and the third estate on the other, on the eve of the French Revolution. What might appear on the surface to be order and stability actually hides "une profonde anarchie" in which, from the lowest to the highest order, no one is satisfied with their appointed place, where men are divided because they resent their "arbitrary" and "artificial" classification, where jealousies break out because one's well-being depends so much on political favour rather than on merit, and where the lower ranks despise the higher ranks because the latter have "the means to be unjust towards the lower ranks (subalternes)."[361]

The fourth stage of "political privilege" which emerged during the feudal and mercantilist periods came to an end with the French Revolution which smashed the social, economic, and political structures of the old regime. Dunoyer reacted to the very changed circumstances created by the Revolution and Napoleon's Empire by adding two new stages to complete the path of evolution of the modern world. A new fifth stage of "place-seeking" emerged during the Revolution as the scramble for political power by new social groups became intense. This stage continued in the immediate post-Napoleonic period as the restored monarch and his supporters sought to turn the clock back as much as possible to the accepted practices of the old regime. The stage of political "place-seeking" was to be followed sometime in the near future, Dunoyer hoped, by the sixth and final stage of "industrialism." The last two stages of Dunoyer's theory of history and its impact on his contemporaries is the subject of the next chapter.

v. The Stage of Place-seeking During and After the Revolution[362]

The Revolution of 1789 destroyed the system of privileges which had grown up under the ancien régime. It brought to an end to all distinctions based upon membership of an order or a guild, in other words all `artificial hierarchies," and thus the need to seek the support of the state in inter-corporate class conflict. Dunoyer greatly admired the Revolution for what it had achieved in destroying the ancien régime and was keen to defend it from its critics for being a social and political levelling process. The "great revolution" in Dunoyer's view, far from destroying what he called "natural inequalities,"[363] in fact made it possible for these inequalities to flourish by sweeping away the ancien régime and all the "artificial inequalities" which impeded industry. The true levellers in his view were the defenders of the system of political privilege of the ancien régime, who classified and forced vastly different individuals into guilds and other corporate associations regardless of their talents and interests. The aim of the revolution had been to destroy the system of privilege, "this absurd and compulsory equalisation," and to open up all occupations to anybody regardless of social class. In other words, Dunoyer considered the Revolution to be profoundly liberating.

It is against this absurd and compulsory equalisation that the revolution was directed. It smashed the oppression which kept the masses in their lowly position, and, without claiming to assign a rank to anyone, (the revolution) wanted each person to be able to become all that they legitimately could become, something they were never able to do under the law but would be able to do in reality. To achieve this, it was decided simply that no one could be constrained in the uncoercive (inoffensif) use of their natural faculties; that all legitimate professions, all (forms of ) work, all services would be opened to universal competition. This was the new order which the revolution proclaimed.[364]

The revolution had partly succeeded in this task of liberation and the degree of liberty and industrial expansion which the revolution made possible was considerable. Dunoyer believed that the progress which the abolition of corporations and political privileges made possible was "incalculable" and that the ending of a major source of violence and injustice was a considerable improvement for the average person.[365]

Thus the Revolution had created the legal and perhaps material conditions for a purely industrial society to emerge, but for the absence of one crucial factor which prevented it from occurring: the presence of the appropriate industrial political culture or "morals" among the people. True liberty existed "virtuellement" to allow the unlimited development of all human faculties, including the industrial faculties, the progress of morals, the growth of enlightenment and material well-being, and the end to all violence and political privilege. Unfortunately, this liberty did not emerge in reality because of the nearly universal "amour des places" or in other words the desire to seek fame and fortune through state appointments rather than through industry. This factor alone, thought Dunoyer, had turned the revolution sour and had prevented the industrial stage of society from appearing at this time.[366] The desire by so many to prefer public employment to that of private industry led to the corruption of the new order and its ultimate failure, as the forces of reaction were able to harness the public mania for government posts in order to ultimately undo the benefits of the Revolution. This was possible because the new class of political place-seekers were trying to emulate the behaviour of the nobility of the ancien régime in treating government posts as a source of personal betterment, as a "resource" to be exploited for profit and fame. Exploitation by political place-seeking, or "le vice politique" as Dunoyer termed it, was present when one had the personal disposition to live at taxpayers' expense, when one willingly accepted positions in the government without being sure of their social or economic usefulness, and when one accepted payment from the state for services which in the free market would not be needed or which would be supplied at much lower prices.[367] Dunoyer believed that this desire for political place-seeking was so widespread that it became the foundation for a new economic mode of production.[368]

The reasons for the public's desire for government posts were economic, social and political. Although the condition of the working classes had improved with the changes brought about by the Revolution, the economic and social position of the "classes gouvernantes" still remained incomparably better and it was this surer path to wealth that attracted many of those who previously been excluded from government service to seek jobs there.[369] It was obviously unjust that a particular social class or family reserved for itself the right to serve in the government and it was understandable, though perhaps an overreaction, for the newly liberated classes under the revolution to seek to replace the much despised old class in government service. The mistake they made, Dunoyer thought, was to ignore reason, which should have told them that the size and scope of government should be as small as possible, rather than to see it, as the new doctrine of democracy often portrayed it, as something which all had a right to participate in at the expense of others.[370] Unscrupulous politicians took advantage of this popular desire for government posts to amass power for themselves and to further the centralisation of state power. Dunoyer draws upon Alexander de Laborde's De l'esprit d'association (1818) to argue, much like Alexis de Tocqueville was to in L'Ancien régime et la Révolution in 1856, that the first of these centralising politicians was not Napoleon, as many believed, and that this practice had not stopped with the end of the Empire.[371] Tocqueville's argument was that the centralising tendency of French governments since the revolution had not been a direct result of the revolution, but had roots deep within French history. One of the purposes of L'Ancien régime et la Révolution was to show how little the revolution had in fact changed French politics. Thus, Dunoyer was making similar arguments about the process of political centralisation some thirty years before Tocqueville.[372] Even conservative liberal politicians of the Restoration period, such as Decazes and Guizot, argued that the enormous increase in the size and cost of the bureaucracy could be partly justified on the grounds that political equality demanded it.[373] Dunoyer scoffed at the suggestion that one could have an expanded and costly state and be free at the same time.[374]

One of the differences between the class system of the ancien régime and that created by political place-seeking was that the class of beneficiaries had become much more unified and concentrated around one institution. In the ancien régime the privileged orders, guilds and corporations were scattered and often competed against each other. In the new stage which followed the revolution these scattered bodies had been destroyed and replaced by a more centralised state, "une administration gigantesque," which was now the sole dispensary of privileges.[375] Entirely new areas of public control and administration had become available for those who were ambitious for careers in the state public service. With some horror Dunoyer lists the areas of expanded state activity which he considered had infiltrated every part of life since the revolution and Napoleon's empire:

(Political) power has gradually expanded its sphere to the same extent as ambition (les passions ambitieuses) has drawn more men towards power. It has multiplied not only employment but also administration. It is difficult to count the number of public enterprises (régies) which have been created in order to open up markets for the ever increasing multitude of zealous and of course disinterested men who wish to devote themselves to the public interest: public enterprises in tobacco, salt, gambling, theatres, schools, commerce, manufacturing, etc. Little by little it has extended its action to everything. It has interfered in all (forms of) work with the pretension of regulating and guiding them. One no longer finds on one's journey the syndics of the corporations but the agents of authorities. In the fields, in the woods, in the mines, on the highways, at the frontiers of the state, at the outskirts of the towns, at the heart of all the professions, at the entry point of all careers, one comes across them everywhere. The prime effect of the "passion for places" has been to multiply them beyond all measure: this passion has driven the central authority to an unlimited development.[376]

One indicator of the increase in the size of government and its scope of activities was the size of the budget between 1802 and the early 1820s.[377] Dunoyer concluded from these figures that the same impulse to seek government jobs existed under Napoleon as it did under the restored monarchy, thus confirming in his mind the view that it was the result of the underlying mode of production rather than a result of the outward form of the political structure or constitution. He concluded that, at a time when the costs of government should have been falling as the benefits of peace and industry spread, the increase in costs of government could only be due to several related factors such as the desire (as Dunoyer phrased it "au penchant dépravé") for more people to work for the state, the stupidity of the remaining taxpayers to continue funding their parasitic compatriots, the capacity of the old corrupt government to take advantage of the confusion following the defeat of Napoleon, and finally the present corrupt morals which allowed some of the practices of the ancien régime to return.[378] The parallel increase in national debt was another mechanism by which to measure the results of political place-seeking. Dunoyer thought that debt financing was a particularly evil method of increasing the spoils of office for the new political ruling class. He thought one political effect of increased government expenditure and debt was the corruption of many important institutions. The more the state became a milking cow for the political class, the more it became despotic, and therefore the more it engaged in electoral fraud, and imposed restrictions on the freedom of parliament, censorship, the weakening of jury trials, and other institutions which attempted to place some limit on the power of the state.[379]

One can't help seeing in this observation the reason for Comte's and Dunoyer's search for a more fundamental explanation for the difficulties of establishing constitutional limits on the power of the restored Bourbon monarchy in the early years of the Restoration. The reason why the very liberal provisions of the Charter of 1814 and the constitution which evolved from it did little to actually create a liberal society in the years after 1815 lay in the underlying mode of production which carried over from the last years of the Empire. The industrial class was too weak and the class of political "place-seekers" too strong to permit a winding back of state privileges and a freeing of the economy to take place. The policies of the Restored monarchy against certain political freedoms, such as freedom of speech and trial by jury, and any broader economic freedoms are now seen as the inevitable consequence of the consolidation of a new mode of production based upon political place-seeking by the classes liberated by the revolution and the continuation of some of the practices of the ancien régime. It is not surprising that the liberal constitutionalism of Constant was inadequate to oppose this phenomenon. Before the power of the class of political "place-seekers" could be challenged, its structure, origins, and political culture (or morals) had to be explored and understood.

The morals to which the mode of production of the political "place-seekers" gives rise are, from Dunoyer's liberal perspective, to be regretted. At the highest level of government the prevailing spirit is one of "sollicitation" for power and position. Throughout the political hierarchy, from the restricted number of privileged voters to their elected deputies and even senators, the prevailing spirit is that of a political "client" who owes allegiance to powerful faction leaders in the government. One side of the coin is ambition for office and power, the other side is servility towards those with power.[380] Dunoyer compared the behaviour of government officials in the system of place-seeking with that of the royal courts of the ancien régime. In the competition for a restricted number of places, those who behaved most like the courtiers of a previous century, those who could best play the game of intrigue and flatter or lie to their ministerial superiors would be most successful.[381] Naturally, the "spirit of ambition" for political office is not conducive to the cultivation of industrial morals. It destroys the spirit of invention, enterprise, activity, emulation, courage and patience, all of which are values prized by the "spirit of industry." A considerable danger, Dunoyer thought, lay in seeing talented men abandoning industry for the more lucrative area of government jobs. The loss of these men to the government led to three problems for the economy. Firstly, skills and intelligence which might have been used to make French industry more competitive were syphoned off into non-productive government work. Secondly, in order to pay their salaries, taxes have to be raised or the level of debt increased, both of which place an added burden on the economy. Thirdly, and perhaps more importantly, these same men were employed to control and restrict industry, further adding to the problems of industry and hampering its growth and development.[382] A similar problem existed with capital which could be invested either in productive private industry or invested in government loans and bonds. Once more, the latter course leads to a double loss to the economy. Productive capital is not only lost to industry but is used by the state to increase its control and regulation of it.[383]

The society of place-seeking was not without its class conflict, its "intestine" or "homicidal struggle"[384] When it began in earnest during the Empire, when place-seeking had become a "veritable national industry," the struggle for position and power led to a "war for (political) places," with well-defined parties jostling for the spoils of government. Since even the bitterest political enemies share the same desire to use their position for their own betterment, the effect on the taxpaying public is to unite them against the political class in order to defend their property from further abuse. If they can find allies in industry or commerce who are not part of the scramble for government posts, they will unite in common cause with these groups as well, thus dividing the nation into two clearly defined classes - those who benefit from government jobs or favours and those who do not. Dunoyer was quite clear on the inevitability of the division of society into two competing classes with opposing interests as the following remarks indicate:

... and thus we have the war for government positions. The inevitable effect of this shameful vice which I denounce (especially when it has become widespread as I hypothesise) is to give rise to parties which bitterly dispute amongst themselves over (political) power. And since each of these parties only seek (power) in order to exercise it for profit, another effect of the same passion is to make the public equally discontented with all the parties which seize power and to incline (the public) to make common cause with all those who do not have (power) against all those who do possess it.[385]

Historically, another feature of this régime was to seek additional sources of exploitation above and beyond the domestic taxpayers of France. The struggle for places was so fierce during the Empire that Dunoyer believed it gave rise to Napoleon's wars of conquest throughout Europe. Everywhere he went Napoleon established states with huge opportunities for place-seekers to find employment at the expense of the indigenous people. For Dunoyer, the internal and external manifestation of exploitation under Napoleon was inextricably linked to the underlying mode of production. The logic of place-seeking was both internal and external domination.

Finally, the passions for government positions can still further increase the area of discord to which it gives rise and from intestine struggle comes external war. The mother of despotic governments, (the passion for places) also gives rise to conquering governments. This is what derailed our revolution from its purpose, which has caused a war for liberty and independence to degenerate into wars of invasion, which has furnished Napoleon with instruments for the conquest and despoiling of Europe, just as it furnished him (instruments) for pillaging and enslaving France. All it requires is that in each country he increases the number of ambitious men far above the number of government positions. This gives each government which goes along with him a powerful interest in extending its domination, thus becoming a very active cause of dissension and war among the people (of Europe).[386]

The situation in France when Dunoyer was writing L'industrie et la morale (1825) was a crucial turning point in the history of industrialism. Either it could return to the régime of privileges, in which political control and economic exploitation would once more be the exclusive preserve of a single social class, or it could move on to the next and ultimate stage of the régime of industry, in which class exploitation would cease and the state would become a true public good ("travail public"), controlled by all men at a very reasonable price to taxpayers. Since as early as 1815, but especially since 1820, Dunoyer argued that the path taken by France had been the former. The Restoration did not attempt to cut government spending, reduce the budget and cut the size of the public service to the level it was before the Revolution, but instead took steps to ensure that the government was once again "the exclusive and unchangeable property of the classes which had previously held power."[387] Signs of their success were the oppressive measures taken in 1820 to restrict civic rights which had been granted under the Charter and the way in which the large landed nobility were able to exploit the treasury to the tune of F300 million, or F60 for every F1 they paid into the treasury.[388]

In spite of the prospect of a return to some form of régime of privilege under the Restoration, Dunoyer had not completely lost hope that the second path could still be taken by France even at this late stage, but in most respects he was merely clutching at straws. He thought there were encouraging signs that the changes brought about by the Restoration might actually improve the prospects for industry. One of these was the closing off of government jobs to the middle class, who were thereby forced to seek alternative employment in industry. It was also possible that their disillusionment with government jobs might lead them to rediscover the nobility of industrial labour, a possibility which Dunoyer accurately described as a revolution in morals after twenty five years of corruption under the régime of political place-seeking.[389] He thought he could see some tangible change in the attitudes and behaviour of the new political class towards the development of industry which, when combined with their disillusionment with power, would lead them to become champions of the industrial system. Furthermore, the prospects of the counter-revolution being able to defeat the revolution were slim since Dunoyer confidently asserted that the revolution and its benefits were "inherent in human nature," which no change of government could alter.[390] The underlying forces which were all heading towards industrialism were "invincable," he thought, and this meant that in spite of its intentions the counter-revolution would be forced to tolerate and eventually encourage the development of industry.[391] Industry was becoming stronger each day, the policy prescriptions of political economy were rapidly establishing themselves as a new orthodoxy, the existence of the United States of America and the new republics of South America, the willingness of the British government to adopt liberal economic reforms, and the persistence of expectations ignited by the revolution, were all reasons for Dunoyer's rather excessive and misplaced optimism about the prospects of the régime of industry in the near future.

vi. The Stage of Industry or Industrialism[392]

Dunoyer defined the economic stage of industry as follows:

... a state where the right (of enriching oneself by the exercise of political domination) would be the privilege of no one, where neither a few men nor many men would be able to make their fortune by pillaging the rest of the population, where work (travail) would be the common means of enrichment (ressource) and government a public work (travail public), which the community would award (like all work of this nature) to men of its choice for a reasonable and publicly debated cost.[393]

The main characteristics of the régime of industry become clear from this passage: it is a society in which all must work by peaceful production and exchange, where there is no ruling class who exploit the labour of others, where government provides a small number of public services such as protection of personal liberty and property at minimal cost to the taxpayers, and where the government is freely chosen by election. Since Dunoyer readily admits that productive industrial activity has taken place in all societies from the state of savagery onwards, what makes an entire society "industrial" is the absence of an exploiting ruling class and the adoption by the productive "industrial" class of appropriate "industrial" values or morals. To the extent that a society has an organised class which lives by exploiting the labour of others and to the extent that the industrious classes are kept in a condition of dependence, to that extent the society is feudal, despotic, or in some other way unfree.[394] A similar situation exists with Dunoyer's definition of an "industrious or industrial people." All societies must have an industrious class to some extent in order to produce the surpluses upon which the ruling class live. After all, a parasite cannot live independently of the host's body. But an entire people become "industrious" only when they have won a political victory over their erstwhile rulers, either by forcing them to give up their unproductive ways and to "dissolve themselves" into the working classes (a highly unlikely prospect) or by acquiring a political ascendancy over them, thus rendering them powerless to continue exploiting others.[395]

According to Dunoyer there were a number of countries which were poised ready to enter the industrial stage of society in the near future or which had already reached it. They were Scotland, the new republics of South America following the revolutions of 1820 and the United States of America. Dunoyer became quite excited about the beneficent effects industry had had or was about to have in Scotland in the late eighteenth century and the newly independent South American republics. Scotland in the mid-eighteenth century had been a semi-barbarous nation, but in less than eighty years had become one of the most advanced industrial nations. This showed, Dunoyer thought, what might happen when pillaging and murder had come to an end as it had done in 1745. He was also confident about the prospects of the Latin American nations, which after independence had cut taxes, removed restrictions on the economy and reduced the number of government posts. The result confirmed Dunoyer's faith in what industrial values could achieved and he described the progress of these nations as "progrès si singulier, si hors de proportion avec ce qu'on voit dans d'autres quartiers du globe."[396] He was less sanguine about the prospects for Europe, which he believed would require a miracle to break away from its anti-industrial traditions. The country which most closely approached Dunoyer's ideal of a truly industrial society was the United States of America, which he considered "of all the countries of the world this is the one which most closely approaches the mode of production (existence) of which I speak."[397] Dunoyer argued that the United States was a society founded on industry and which had organised its social, political and legal institutions around this fact.[398] The American government was suitably small, ill-paying and relatively inactive, thus making it undesirable to place-seekers wanting to make their fortunes and their career in it. Within American society the "spirit of domination" was so weak that it seemed likely that the Americans had been able to break the cycle of domination and class exploitation which had dogged human history for millenia. What was lacking, in Dunoyer's view, to make the United States the perfect industrial society was an explicitly recognised and publicly acknowledged set of industrial morals. It seemed that the material conditions in America had somehow run ahead of the public morals and the public did not therefore understand the reasons for their freedom, prosperity and absence of class domination. Dunoyer noted some oddly anti-industrial behaviour, such as the legislators in the state of Georgia turning to the authority of the ancient Greeks and Romans to justify slavery; taking the name of the Capitol building and the institution of the Senate from ancient Rome; the teaching of young men the Greek and Latin languages; and the adulation of a military hero such as Washington instead of a purely civil hero such as Benjamin Franklin. All of this suggested to him that the pernicious influence of the militaristic and tyrannical ancient world was still potent even in the most industrial nation the world had yet seen and that the United States still had some way to go before its morals matched its industrial economy.[399] Even if the United States had not yet reached the stage of pure industrialism, Dunoyer was certain that he knew what such a society would look like. He knew that it would allow for the maximum of individual liberty and the unlimited development of all human faculties (not just the monetary or economic ones), that it was the only society in which science and technology could be developed to their greatest extent, and that it would allow for the first time the emergence of a set of values in which peace, tolerance, hard work and respect for others would be predominant. Concerning class conflict, Dunoyer believed that internally and externally industrial society was essentially peaceful and that only in such a society could inter-class and international conflict be eliminated for good. All this was possible because, for the first time in human history since the formation of the state, the aggression of the state would be eliminated forever by the drastic curtailment of its functions and perhaps even by its ultimate elimination altogether.

A result of the drastic reduction or even elimination of the powers of the state would be he abolition of class conflict. This would be achieved by two means. Firstly, there is the dismantling of the system of political power and privilege which makes exploitation possible in the first place. Without a state to enforce tariffs and trade restrictions or grant monopoly rights to favoured manufacturers or to provide lucrative jobs for the political place-seekers, there is no more institutional violence and therefore no ruling class which needs this violence to maintain its position of power.[400] The second means is the assumption common to nineteenth century economic liberals, that in the absence of political privilege there exists a harmony of interests between individuals in the free market.[401] In other words, the belief that there is no antagonism inherent in the nature of market relations between such actors as employer and employee, shop owner and customer and so on. The liberal theory of the harmony of interests is vital for the success of Dunoyer's concept of industrialism. Without it one of the corner stones of the industrial system, the absence of class conflict, is missing. Thus it was important for Dunoyer to challenge the view expressed by writers as diverse as de Bonald, Montaigne, Rousseau and contemporary conservative journalists that market relations were inherently antagonistic.[402] In one respect only did Dunoyer agree with those who, like Bonald, argued that commerce was just another form of warfare between states. In the mercantilist system which existed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and which in part still persisted into the nineteenth century, it was very true that a situation very close to war often existed between trade rivals such as France and England. But, Dunoyer insisted, this was due to the coercion and violence of the system of economic privileges which lay at the heart of mercantilism, than with the nature of trade itself.[403] The opposition of interests between contemporary English and French cotton spinners, for example, was the result of the political support and protection which the less skilled and less efficient French cotton spinners were able to get. The interests of the mass of the French consumers were definitely not in opposition with the English producers, who could supply them with cheaper cotton products than their French compatriots. The "unjust favours" which the French producers got made them just as much an "enemy" of their own people as of the English producers. The solution to this clash of interests was for the French to open completely their borders to free trade, to compete head on with the English and, if they found they could not do so, then they were obliged to learn English techniques of production by studying in England or working for English factories in France. The final result would be the reduction of political tensions, an increase in the level of skill of French workers, and the greatest possible diffusion of high technology to the benefit of all.[404]

To Dunoyer the idea of the necessary opposition of individual interests was an important component in the ancien régime and monarchist justification for the division of society into orders and corporations, the basis for this being that only such rigid institutions could prevent these inevitable conflicts from causing too much damage to society.[405] Dunoyer was particularly scathing about the monarchists' claim that only a system of privilege and state created hierarchy, from which they benefited enormously financially and socially, could bring peace to opposed social and economic groups. As we have seen above, it is this system of privileges and hierarchy which Dunoyer believed was the source of so much conflict under the ancien régime and so, not surprisingly, Dunoyer dismissed the arguments of the monarchists as the self-interested special pleading of a declining ruling class threatened with the loss of its old privileges.[406]

A group of theorists from whom Dunoyer might have hoped to find support in the debate about the "harmony of interests" in the free market was the liberal school of constitutionalism of the Restoration period. Although they shared his view that individual interests are not necessarily opposed in the free market, their solution to the problem of class exploitation and political privilege was much less radical than Dunoyer's. Whereas he welcomed the revolutions in America, which eliminated much of the ancien régime in one blow, the other liberals preferred the much slower constitutionalist and evolutionist approach to reform, as for example Benjamin Constant did in his efforts to write a liberal constitution in the last moments of the Empire and the early days of the Restoration. Dunoyer dismissed the liberals' fascination with fine-tuning the form of government in an effort to "neutralise" the conflict between the politically privileged and the industrialist working classes as mere political "alchemy." Dunoyer believed that these "constitutional" liberals did not push their distrust of political power and privilege far enough.

(the liberals) do not argue that there are in society many unjust claims and many men who wish to gain fortunes by bad means, but they think that a clever organisation of power could neutralise all these vices and make things function as if they did not exist.[407]

The problem with the liberal constitutionalists was that they were prepared to accept unjust and immoral means of acquiring wealth, even in an institutional form, for the sake of order and for what Dunoyer called a superficial form of social peace. Dunoyer parted company with them in his insistence that peace and an end to class conflict was only possible with the complete removal of all institutionalised injustice, whether slavery, feudalism, the tariffs and other controls of the mercantilist system, or the scramble for positions in the government and the state bureaucracy.

Elsewhere the alchemists have been greatly mocked. Couldn't one also mock a little those political philosophers (politiques) who claim to be able to establish peace by creating a (particular) form of government? Have the alchemists offered a more insoluble problem than the political philosophers? Is it more difficult to turn base metal into gold than to attempt to make (by I know not what arrangements) peace out of slavery, out of privilege or out of any other iniquitous method of enriching oneself?[408]

Dunoyer laid much of the blame for the weakness of a liberalism which concentrated so much of its attention on legal, constitutional and political matters, and which ignored the more fundamental issues of power, class rule and the economy, at the feet of Montesquieu. He believed that Montesquieu's theory of the division and balance of political powers had distracted attention away from the underlying economic reasons for peace and prosperity. It was a serious error, he thought, to attribute English freedom to the separation of power between the crown and the legislature ("by whatever artifices") when the real reason was the economic system and the absence of violence in the means of production.[409] Dunoyer admitted that the arrangement of political power was important but denied that it was of primary importance. Rather what was of primary importance in determining the degree of liberty and the amount of class conflict in any given society, as Dunoyer had argued throughout L'industrie et la morale, was the means of production and the class structure which emerged at each stage of the evolution of society.[410] So long as slavery, political privilege and monopoly existed, along with the political culture which these abuses produced, there was no possibility for lasting peace between the classes, no matter what political form the government took, or how liberal the constitution might be. Only in a society where each individual lived off the fruits of their own labour in a completely laissez-faire economy, Dunoyer asserted, could a true harmony of interests exist.

In a long passage Dunoyer summarised his views on the harmony of interests in a purely industrial society. It was his opinion that only when every individual produced and traded their goods and services in a free market could the solution to the problem of political privilege, class conflict and exploitation be achieved. What is notable for its absence in this quotation is any discussion of constitutional freedoms, the balance of power between branches of the government, or the extent of the franchise. These classical problems of the constitutional liberals are irrelevant to Dunoyer and his "socially informed" liberalism, in which class structure, exploitation and mode of production hold the key to peace and freedom.[411]

To take full advantage of the benefits which the industrial system has to offer in greater productivity and prosperity, individuals will need to form a variety of voluntary associations to achieve their ends. Whereas in earlier modes of production men formed associations in order to make war or go on raiding parties, in the industrial mode of production there will be much greater need as well as greater opportunity to form private associations to achieve common goals. However, the object will no longer be war or war booty but peaceful production in such areas of activity as agriculture, construction, manufacturing, canal building, insurance and so on. Another similarity with earlier modes of production is that there will be a degree of ranking in industrial associations with large numbers of participants, with a leader, rank and file workers, and "officers" such as engineers and accountants.[412] Whatever the structural similarities might be with warrior bands or medieval guilds and corporations, the new industrial mode of production requires a quite different method of operation for its associations. Associations in previous modes of production sought to oppress their fellows, to restrict competition, to seize a monopoly of government posts, to get subsidies and other benefits from taxpayers' money. Under the régime of industry, Dunoyer argued, association would have as its purpose voluntary cooperation in order to transform physical resources into products for sale, not to deprive others of their property. It would help individuals to protect their liberty and property and would not be a cause of aggression against others. In all, industrial associations, Dunoyer optimistically believed, would add to the strength, prosperity and unity of the entire world.[413]

Having discussed how important associations are for the achievement of a diverse array of economic and social ends, Dunoyer turns to an analysis of associations of a purely political nature. And as happened on several occasions in the history of nineteenth century liberalism, extreme anti-statism and faith in the cooperative free market were pushed into a form of liberal anarchism along the lines developed later by Gustave de Molinari, Thomas Hodgskin and Herbert Spencer. Dunoyer concluded that the associations created for specific political purposes would gradually give up their monopolistic and coercive attributes and assume the structure and behaviour of private market associations. Like any other corporation or voluntary association, government associations would have to sell their products on a voluntary basis to customers who could not be coerced into purchasing the product. Their special powers of coercively taxing their customers to cover costs and their monopoly powers, which prevented customers seeking an alternative supply of the good or service, would no longer exist as all associations in the industrial era would be competitive. The state in the industrial mode of production would be nothing more than a voluntary association like any other, "a commercial company"[414] or "an industrial enterprise"[415] like thousands of others, but charged by the public only with the responsibility of maintaining peace and order. It would not be aggressive, it would not be the private preserve of a particular social class. Those who were in its employ could not behave like political masters. They could not exercise domination over others and could not use taxes as a form of private tribute.[416] Dunoyer had already hinted at this idea in an essay in Le Censeur européen. In this essay Dunoyer argued that the ultimate industrial state would be at most a nightwatchman state and at best non-existant:

Man's concern is not with government; he should look on government as no more than a very secondary thing - we might almost say a very minor thing. His goal is industry, labour and the production of everything needed for his happiness. In a well-ordered state, the government must only be an adjunct of production, an agency charged by the producers, who pay for it, with protecting their persons and their goods while they work. In a well-ordered state, the largest number of persons must work, and the smallest number must govern. The work of perfection would be reached if all the world worked and no one governed.[417]

In other words, although the commercial company would be charged with maintaining public order, it would have exactly the same rights which every other citizen or private voluntary association has. It would only have the right to act against criminals who had committed acts against private property and public order. The life, liberty and property of citizens who have not acted in a criminal manner towards their fellows must not ever be interfered with by the officers of the company. In other words, Dunoyer believes that the public does not cede any of its rights concerning its liberty or property to the company in exchange for protection. It makes no compact with the state, as the Lockean tradition would have it, to give up some of its rights for public security.[418] The industrial state would behave differently to other states in previous modes of production in that it would no longer be an avenue for the ambitious to pursue a career. Strict controls on any increase in taxes or in the number of personnel would be placed upon it by a public jealous of its liberties. Only the barest minimum of money and man-power would be granted to the state to carry out its very limited functions and even this nominal amount of capital would be regretted. Resources would be reluctantly diverted from productive industrial use because of the unfortunate necessity to protect life and property from attack by those few unscrupulous individuals who lacked productive employment or who maintained pre-industrial morals. Much like Herbert Spencer, Dunoyer expected that as industrial morals became more widespread and as the prosperity of the industrial mode of production became increasingly apparent to all, then even this modest size of the state could be further decreased.[419]

Concerning the possibilities of gradually reducing the size, scope, and cost of government as societies industrialised, Dunoyer took issue with the conservative Friedrich Gentz who argued the very opposite, that the costs of government would necessarily rise as civilisation progressed.[420] Dunoyer's confident prediction about the future costs of the government could be compared to the early works of Herbert Spencer, who predicted the elimination of the state on much the same grounds as Dunoyer did. Spencer believed the world was evolving from "militant" to "industrial" forms of organisation in which there would be little for the state to do, apart from protect property rights. He even granted that individuals had the "right to ignore the state" if they themselves were law-abiding. However, as he got older and the prospects for "industrial" society became worse, Spencer gave up his liberal anarchist beliefs and admitted that a long "transitional" stage, during which the state was necessary, was required.[421] Although there are striking similarities between Dunoyer's theory of industrialism and Spencer's idea of a militant and industrial types of societies, there is no evidence that Spencer was aware of Dunoyer's work. It appears that Dunoyer came to the anarchist position as a result of his belief in the harmony of economic interests and his liberal theory of class and history.

The same forces which were acting to reduce the need for the state in domestic matters were at work in the relations between states. As more people gradually turned to industrial activities, the impulses to wage war against other nations (such as the desire of monarchs to seize neighbouring territory, or to create exclusive trading zones for privileged domestic producers) would also gradually disappear. Each nation would come to realise that its own best interests would be served by having prosperous and civilised neighbours with whom one could trade and visit. The military forces of an industrial state would be used solely for defence and even then only with considerable regret and reluctance. As with the costs of internal policing, the costs of defence are regretted because it drains off capital which could be used to increase production. Even in a just, defensive war the industrial state would be most reluctant to use its military forces as it would realise how disastrous the consequences of any war are. The "passion of industrious people for peace" would be so strong that they could not wait for the moment when industrial values had spread sufficiently for them to disarm completely, to abandon all their armed fortresses, to cut military spending, and to see all resources entirely directed to productive industrial activity.[422] Once again it was the United States which Dunoyer used to show what was in store for European nations that took the path towards an industrial society. Internally its economic system resulted in an absence of a ruling class and externally it posed no threat to other nations by invasion or the conquest of colonies. Each state's militia and armed forces were subordinated to the federal government with the purely industrial purpose of self defence. The only reservation Dunoyer had about the size and cost of the American military was that it was still higher than it would be if European nations too were industrial. The major reason why the United States did not altogether abolish its military was the threat posed by aggressive European states, who still clung to pre-industrial modes of behaviour. In fact, he thought that it was only because of the threat posed by "the dominating spirit of the governments of Europe" that the American states felt the need to form a federation and have a national defence force in the first place. Dunoyer confidently predicted that as soon as the major European nations entered the industrial stage of economic evolution America would no longer be forced to maintain even this low level of defence spending and could therefore introduce the necessary cuts in military spending, which would make it a truly pacifist and industrial nation.[423]

What then can we conclude about Dunoyer's attitude concerning the role of the state in the future industrial society? There are three possibilities all of which he advocated at various places in L'Industrie et la morale - the liberal anarchist position where the state gradually withers away to the point where only voluntary private associations of free individuals existed; a more liberal constitutionalist position of a severely limited state whose only functions would be the protection of individual liberty and property by the police and armed forces; and a position part way between free market anarchism and limited government where nation states are broken up and the world is "municipalised" into small communities based upon economic and cultural ties.

Occasionally Dunoyer seems to go as far as Molinari was to in 1849 with his startling proposal to view the defence and police functions of the state as just another business venture which would charge for its services to individual customers.[424] His use of the description of the state as only "a commercial company" or "an industrial enterprise" seems to support this interpretation but, like Spencer, he offers no detailed plan as to how commercial associations could provide the essential functions of law and order and national defence without collapsing into chaos. On the other hand, there are times when Dunoyer appears more conventional in his advocacy of a strictly limited state, limited to protecting individuals and their property from the aggression of others. If Dunoyer is a defender of the limited state he is so reluctantly, because he is aware of the state's inner momentum to always expand its sphere of operation, to increase the burden of its taxes and charges, to increase the number of those who are employed by it, and to favour certain individuals and even entire industries with special legal and economic privileges. What little power and funding Dunoyer might grant the state is done so very reluctantly and very cautiously.

Perhaps a more accurate interpretation of Dunoyer's theory of the rôle of the state in a future industrial society lies somewhere between these two views. While not a consistent liberal anarchist, as say Molinari, he also should not be seen as just another defender of the traditional "night-watchman" state which, though small, still had a monopoly of political power in a given geographical area. Dunoyer's solution to the problem of the state was to so radically decentralise its power that the entire world would be literally "municipalised." He was so convinced of the benefits of small-scale voluntary associations and the evils of political society that he thought that industry would gradually dissolve most large-scale political associations in a process which would result in what one might call the "municipalisation of the world." What Dunoyer meant by municipalisation was the gradual break up of the nation state into more logical economic units which were united cooperatively by cultural and economic exchanges. He thought there was no logical reason why ten, twenty or thirty million people should be forced to associate within the boundaries of a nation state. Rather, Dunoyer predicted that borders would gradually become invisible and towns and cities hitherto separated by artificial barriers would form their own economic and cultural units voluntarily. This vision of a decentralised industrial world more closely approximated the communitarian anarchism of Gustave de Molinari in his later writings, once he had abandoned his more extreme free market anarchism of private police and defence companies. Molinari later modified his views, under the double pressure of isolation and criticism by his liberal colleagues, to a position in which competition would not be between private companies within a city or town for protection services, but between proprietary communities competing for citizens.[425]

Dunoyer explained in a lengthy footnote towards the end of chapter nine of L'Industrie et la morale that his model nation, the United States of America, had been forced into a large-scale political union because of the threat posed by the "dominating spirit" of the various European governments. Without the external threat of hostile European states the United States of America, he thought, would have more naturally evolved into a less structured and centralised political system, more in keeping with his own hopes for a future purely industrial society, rather than a clumsy federation. It is worth quoting this lengthy footnote in full since it provides the best summary of Dunoyer's "industrial" political theory - a society so much under the influence of the market that there is no role for the nation state at all. All public goods would be provided by "industrial enterprises" or small-scale "municipal" governments which would act much like their private counterparts. Borders would dissolve much like that envisaged for the internal borders of the European Community after January 1, 1993.

There are absolutely no forces at work in the industrial system which require such vast associations of people. There are no enterprises which require the union of ten, twenty or thirty million people. It is the spirit of domination which has created these monstrous aggregations or which has made them necessary. It is the spirit of industry which will dissolve them - one of its last, greatest and most salutary effects will be the "municipalisation of the world." Under the influence of industry people will begin to govern themselves more naturally. One will no longer see twenty different groups, foreign to each other, sometimes scattered to the four corners of the globe, often separated more by language and customs than by distance, united under the same political domination. People will draw closer together, will form associations among themselves according to what they really have in common and according to their true interests. Thus these people, once formed out of more homogeneous elements, will be infinitely less antagonistic towards each other. No longer having to fear each other, no longer tending to isolate themselves, they will no longer be drawn so strongly towards their political centres and be so violently repelled from their borderlands. Their frontiers will cease to be dotted with fortresses. They will no longer be bordered by a double or triple line of customs officials and soldiers. Some interests will continue still to unite the members of the same association of people - a community of an especially similar language or closely shared customs, or regions which are habituated to drawing their ideas, laws, fashion, and behaviour from the adjacent capital cities. But the shared interests of these groups will continue to distinguish them from other groups without being a source of enmity. One day, in each country, the time will arrive when the inhabitants closest to the frontiers will have more communication with their foreign neighbours than with their further removed compatriots. Thus there will occur a continual fusion of the inhabitants of one country with those of other countries. Each individual will employ their capital and labour wherever they might see the best means of increasing it. In this way, the same economic practices (arts) will be adopted with equal success among all people; the same ideas will circulate in all countries; differences in customs and language will tend in the long run to disappear. At the same time, a multitude of localities will acquire greater importance and will feel much less need to be closely tied to their capital cities. They will become in their turn administrative centres (chef-lieux). Centres of activity will be multiplied. Finally, even the largest countries will reach a point where they will be able to present to the world a single people, composed of an infinite number of uniform associations (aggregations), among which will be established without confusion and without violence the most complicated relations. At the same time, these relations will be the easiest, the most peaceful and the most profitable (imaginable).[426]

Using the experience of the United States as an historical case study and his theory of industrialism as a guide for the future evolution of modern society, Dunoyer endeavoured to predict what his ideal industrial society of the future might be like. Since the "spirit of domination" had created vaste nation states or "agrégations monstreuses," the spirit of industry would inevitably break them down into smaller communities in a process of "municipalisation" of the entire world. Associations among people would now follow the "natural" inclination encouraged by language, religion, shared political values, or trade and armed frontiers would dissolve as individuals moved about the globe trading with each other. Without the need to enforce trading monopolies and protect privileged political classes, there would no longer be any need for customs officials or soldiers. Capital, goods and people would then be free to travel wherever they wanted. By a process of the fusion of people brought together by the free market and a process of the break up of the centralised nation state, the world would now approach the ideal of myriads of trading communities bound together only by economic self-interest and culture and no longer by military, political or religious compulsion.


The most obvious innovations Dunoyer introduced into the debate about the evolution of society through stages are in two main areas. Firstly, he altered the determining features of the third and fourth stages by focusing less on the economic means of production and more on the means of economic exploitation. Thus Dunoyer introduced a political dimension to what had been previously primarily an economic category. The first two stages of savagery and nomadism, being "pre-political," were very similar to traditional accounts. The changed occurred with the emergence of settled agriculture. The new productive possibilities of agriculture also permitted new possibilities of regular exploitation of those engaged in more regular productive activity. The result was the creation of slave societies where slavery was used in both the personal households and in the fields for the benefit of the new class of slave owning lords. In the work of both Comte and Dunoyer slavery and the class structure of slave societies were to play a very large role because it was the beginning of modern forms of regular exploitation, giving rise to political structures which permitted the slave-owning elite to maintain a position of privilege over the mass of productive individuals who were engaged in "industrial" activity. The more recent stages through which society evolved were seen as variations on the system of exploitation first established in slave society and which continued to hamper the economic development of nations in the revolutionary and post-revolutionary world. Similar changes of emphasis were made to the fourth stage of economic development. Instead of categorising it as the stage of "commerce" as members of the Scottish and French enlightenment had done, Dunoyer continued to recognise the important role of agriculture and trade in agricultural products but insisted that the economic system had been "high jacked" by a complex system of state regulation of the economy and political privilege beginning in the feudal period and continuing up to the eve of the French Revolution. What made Dunoyer's stage theory different from what had gone before was the interaction between the stage of economic development and the political structures of exploitation which benefited one class at the expense of the many. To focus on "agriculture" or "commerce" without taking into account the class structures and the means of economic exploitation to which these forms of production gave rise was to misunderstand the motor of history as it had evolved over the last two thousand odd years.

Dunoyer's second innovation was to increase the number of stages through which society evolved from four to six. In doing this Dunoyer took into account the fundamental changes brought about by the impact of the French and the Industrial Revolutions. The stage of "political place-seeking" was created in order to account for the rise of the modern nation state with its vastly increased bureaucracy and war-making powers. Dunoyer believed that the modern bureaucratic state created an entirely new means of redistributing wealth by means of taxation, requisitioning labour and resources, and regulation of the economy, and also gave rise to a new class of individuals who benefited from this redistribution, typified by the new elites who rose to prominence under Napoleon. Likewise the stage of industry was created in recognition of the fact that agriculture and commerce, while still powerful economic forces, had been surpassed by the new possibilities opened up by the industrial revolution for dramatic increases in individual wealth. Whereas earlier advocates of the four stage theory generally believed that societies had already entered the final "commercial" stage Dunoyer believed that the industrial stage still lay somewhere in the future. The only possible exception was the United States of America which came closest of all the modern states to being an "industrial" one. Although it had a minimal state apparatus, minimal national army, and an open economy Dunoyer still believed it lacked the political culture (morals) fully appropriate to an industrial society. After the Latin American revolutions of 1820 had further weakened the power of the conservative European powers in the American hemisphere Dunoyer was optimistic, even "rhapsodic" about the possibilities of industrialism taking root first in America and then in Europe. To turn John Locke's dictum on its head, Dunoyer believed that "In the end all the World will be America."

A brief comparison of Dunoyer's views with a selection of pre-nineteenth century authors with whom Dunoyer was probably most familiar will show more clearly his innovations. Hugo Grotius' The Law of War and Peace (1625), as Ronald Meek has noted, is of `special significance" in the development of the stage theory because of the discussion of the gradual and successive emergence of more complex forms of private property and the connection between different forms of property and the species of "industry" which existed.[427] However, Grotius did not see the connection between the mode of production (or subsistence) and the institutions and culture of society as a whole. Nor did he see the connection between the mode of production and the forms of class exploitation which it made possible. Whereas Adam Smith in the Lectures on Jurisprudence (1766) stressed the dependence of property and the form of civil government ("property and civil government very much depend on one another")[428] Dunoyer placed his stress slightly differently, thus revealing the concerns of a liberal living in the post-revolutionary and post-Napoleonic period. He noted the dependence of property and the form of class exploitation in each stage of economic development, which in many cases was related to the form of government but which need not be identical.

Pufendorf in The Law of Nature and Nations (1672) continued to develop Grotius' great insight that things "passed into proprietorship" gradually and successively and strongly suggested (but did not state in so many words) that the progression was from the stage of hunting and fishing, to herding, and then to agriculture. One of the great contributions Pufendorf made, and one which Dunoyer was to adopt, was the idea that the desire to satisfy economic needs provided the spur to trade and thus enter into voluntary associations with others. Cooperation (or sociability) was necessary for economic advancement and could take place outside the coercive structure of the formally organised political community. As Istvan Hont has observed:

Having thus established, or re-established, the concept of society as an organisational form independent of the civitas, Pufendorf was now in a position to offer a coherent explanation of the central category of his jurisprudence, socialitas, sociability. He had no desire to argue, as against Hobbes, that the consequences of man's paradoxical nature needed no regulation through a system of obligations. But these `plain' obligations now had their own separate foundation in men's sociability, rather than in state power founded upon contract.[429]

Hont's remarks also suggest another area in which Dunoyer's analysis was original. Although he shared Pufendorf's faith in the inherent sociability of humans through commerce and thus independent of the political community, Dunoyer went much further in his divorce of the political from the economic. The emergence of the state and organised politics was for Dunoyer an interference in the natural sociability of man. State power led to slavery, political privilege and class rule. His answer was to radically de-politicise society (or to "municipalise" it in his terminology) in order to allow the sociability of industry (i.e. the free market) to tie mankind together in networks of voluntary association for mutual benefit. Like Pufendorf, but going far beyond his formulation of the outcome, Dunoyer recognised what Hont has described as

the craving for refinement and a more commodious life demanded ever further increasing extensions of the system... Society based on the mechanisms of sociability depended on the extension of the market. The introduction of money and foreign trade followed logically and inevitably... With the introduction of foreign trade... commercial sociability was perfectly capable of creating `society' without its agents uniting under `the same Government and Constitution.'[430]

It is interesting to compare Hont's suggestive analysis of Pufendorf with the sentiments expressed by Dunoyer on the nature of co-operation or sociability in the industrial stage which I quoted above. Whereas Pufendorf suggested an alternative to the civitas to explain the rise of modern society, Dunoyer wanted to dispense with the civitas altogether in keeping with his radical liberal anti-statism.

A comparison of Dunoyer and Rousseau shows up very clearly a number of significant differences between the optimistic liberal theory of social evolution and what one might call the pessimistic anti-liberal theory initiated by Rousseau. Although Rousseau cannot claim to be a advocate of a true four stage theory, many of his observations in the Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (1755) assume a theory of social evolution which can be contrasted with Dunoyer's. The most striking difference in the two theories is of course the location of the "golden age." For the pessimistic Rousseau it was the age of barbarism (or savagery as Dunoyer termed it) which was "the happiest epoch and the most lasting"[431] before the "fatal accidents" of the division of labour and the cultivation of agriculture introduced inequality, private property, the necessity to work, slavery, and misery. Rousseau then came to his famous conclusion that all subsequent "progress" has been in vain:

The more we reflect on it, the more we realise that this state was the least subject to revolutions, and the best for man; and that man can have left it only as the result of some fatal accident, which, for the common good, ought never to have happened. The example of savages, who have almost always been found at this point of development, appears to confirm that the human race was made to remain there always; to confirm that this state was the true youth of the world, and that all subsequent progress has been so many steps in appearance towards the improvement of mankind, but so many steps in reality towards the decrepitude of the species.[432]

A more contrasting view of economic progress to Dunoyer's could scarcely be bettered. It was to counter such positive and romantic accounts of the "true youth of the world" that Dunoyer took such pains to describe the brutality and oppressiveness of the "savage" stage of life, especially towards the women whom he described starkly as "the slaves of the savage life," a group for whom the anti-feminist Rousseau never showed much concern. As the above discussion of Dunoyer's theory shows, the discovery of the "fatal accidents" of the division of labour and the cultivation of agriculture did introduce inequality, private property, and the necessity to work, but with consequences different to those lamented by Rousseau. The slavery and misery which Rousseau identified exclusively with economic progress came about, according to Dunoyer, through the independent and parallel development of coercion and political privilege which protected exploitation for some through the power of the state. Once freed from state protected exploitation (whether slavery, feudalism, or mercantilism) the productive class of "industrials" would then be free to enjoy the peace and prosperity of the free market and thus fulfil the promise of Dunoyer's golden age of the future - "industrialism."

Surprisingly, given their diametrically opposed views about economic development, there are some areas where Dunoyer is in agreement with Rousseau, most notably concerning the exploiting power of the state. They share a concern about what Rousseau called "the violence of powerful men and the oppression of the weak" but differ in their understanding of the source of this power and exploitation.[433] According to Rousseau and most anti-liberals who came after him, "weakness or strength go by the names of poverty or riches" with the natural conclusion that the mere possession of property bestows exploitative power on the owner.[434] In contrast, for Dunoyer it was not the ownership of property per se which was the source of exploitation but access to political power and privilege by some property owners. In some passages Rousseau seems to lean towards Dunoyer's radical liberal interpretation with its focus on violence rather than on ownership, such as in the following passage:

I hear it constantly repeated that the stronger will oppress the weak, but I would like someone to explain to me what is meant by the word `oppression.' Does it mean some men dominating with violence, and others groaning in slavish submission to their whims? Such is precisely what I observe among us...[435]

Elsewhere Rousseau also adopts the radical liberal dichotomy between force (or usurpation) and industry in the acquisition of property[436] and a theory of the origin of the state (or body politic) which Dunoyer would share. According to Rousseau, it was a conspiracy of a group of large property owners which led to the formation of "nascent government" with the aim of protecting or even expanding their property and power. Those with access to the state would make it "useful" to their needs and "injurious" to the mass of the people who would pay the taxes and suffer the burdens of oppressive legislation.[437] Dunoyer would no doubt have agreed with Rousseau's concluding balance sheet of oppressions suffered by those subject to the state. But, whereas Rousseau saw all the advantages on the side of the state of nature and decried the continuing advance of economic development, Dunoyer saw the solution lying in the dismantling of the state and the liberation of the forces of industry:

However, these details alone would provide the material for a substantial work, in which the advantages and disadvantages of any government would be weighed in relation to the rights of the state of nature, and where one would strip all the different masks behind which inequality has hidden itself up to the present time and may do so in centuries to come, according to the nature of governments and the revolutions which time will necessarily produce in them. One would see oppression increase continually without the oppressed ever being able to know where it would end, not what legitimate means remained for them to halt it. One would see the rights of citizens and the freedom of nations extinguished little by little, and the protests of the weak treated as seditious noises. One would see politics confer on a mercenary section of the people the honour of defending the common cause; one would see arising from this the necessity of taxation, and the disheartened farmer quitting his fields even in peacetime, abandoning his plough to buckle on the sword One would see the defenders of the fatherland become sooner or later its enemies, holding forever a drawn dagger over their fellow citizens, soldiers who in time would be heard to say to the oppressors of their country: "If you command me to sink my sword into my brother's breast, or in my father's throat, or even in the womb of my pregnant wife, I shall do it all, despite my repugnance, with my own right hand.(Lucan)"[438]

The fundamental difference between Rousseau and Dunoyer lies in their different explanation for the cause of exploitation and human misery. Rousseau blamed all on the invention of private property and the progress of industry. Dunoyer believed that only the spread of private property and the development of industry to its fullest extent could bring an end to poverty, political privilege and misery. These two mutually incompatible answers would echo throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in the clash between the socialist heirs of the Rousseauian tradition and classical liberalism of which Dunoyer was a part.

A final point of comparison needs to be made between Dunoyer and the views of Adam Smith (and later Benjamin Constant) on the evolution of society. Strange as it may seem in the case of Smith, one of the founders of classical liberal political economy, the main difference between Dunoyer and Smith and Constant is the former's focus on the mode of production and the form of economic exploitation and the latter pair's focus on the structure of government. A number of commentators have noted the fact that Smith did not develop his four stage theory in his famous volume dealing with economics (The Wealth of Nations) but in his earlier volume dealing with the science of politics (Lectures on Jurisprudence). Smith seems to be interested in the stage theory of history only in so far as it would help him explain and account for what his colleague William Leechman described as "the origin of government, and compare the different forms of it."[439] Associated with Smith's interest in civil government is a corresponding interest in property, rights to which Smith sees as an "acquired right" which was dependent upon the prior formation of civil government. In this sense Constant follows Smith quite closely. Both argue that property is not a fundamental natural right which exists prior to the formation of government but a socially created right as the following statement by Constant suggests:

Many of those who have defended property by abstract reasoning seem to me to have fallen into grave error. They have presented property as something mysterious, as anterior to society, or independent of it. None of these assertions is true. Property is not anterior to society because without association, which guarantees property, it would only be the right of the first occupier. In other words, the right of force, i.e. a right which is not a right. Property is not at all independent of society because a social state - indeed a very miserable one - can be conceived of without property whereas one cannot imagine property without a social state. Property exists by means of society...[440]

Winch surmises that the reason for Smith's treatment of the relationship between the origin of civil government and property in the context of a discussion of the four stage theory is to undermine the Lockean theory of voluntary contract and tacit consent and to affirm a duty of obligation to obey the sovereign power of the British monarchy.[441] If Smith could prove that government

arose, not as some writers imagine from any consent of agreement of a number of persons to submit themselves to such or such regulations, but from the natural progress which men make in society[442]

and if he could associate the emergence and protection of property to this same "naturally" evolved government then he could better weaken the Lockean inspired right to resist unjust political authority.

Dunoyer's purpose was quite different to Smith's. By providing his detailed account of the economic evolution of society Dunoyer wanted to show how private property and market relations existed prior to the emergence of the state and, following on from this, how the state evolved out of the organised exploitation by a privilege elite of a productive working class. Far from evolving "naturally" (i.e. non-coercively) in order to better guarantee property rights the state according to Dunoyer was the greatest violator of property rights and the source of political privilege and exploitation. Whereas Smith's sceptical Whiggism inclined him to favour the "civilised monarchies" which had been made more favourable to liberty through the "polishing" effect of commerce, Dunoyer's post-revolutionary radical liberalism inclined him to see the state in general and the so-called "civilised monarchies" in particular as the enemy of liberty and industry. Like his colleague on Le Censeur européen, Augustin Thierry, Dunoyer believed that history showed the struggle of the class of the industrials (the communes or the tiers état) to be free of various forms of centralised state control. Furthermore, as the French Revolution and Napoleon's Empire showed incontrovertibly, the monarchies were far from becoming more "civilised" but were in fact becoming more of a threat to the industrial class with their increased powers of economic regulation and military conscription. This was a view only partially shared by Constant who could see the grave threat to liberty and industry posed by the conqueror and usurper Napoleon but who could not see the great difficulty (perhaps impossibility) in getting a restored monarchy to "civilise itself" by means of a Charter or a constitution. For a brief period following the 1830 revolution Comte and Dunoyer believed that Louis Philippe might become the head of such a monarchy but they resigned not long after in disgust at the traditional corruption and self-promotion which were part of all states in the stage of political "place-seeking." The age of industrialism still appeared to be a very long way off.


When Dunoyer's book appeared in 1825 it sparked off a heated debate amongst liberals and Saint-Simonians, a debate which included the novelist Stendhal who satirised claims that the industrial class were worthier than other classes,[443] Benjamin Constant who critically reviewed Dunoyer's book,[444] and Saint-Simonians from journals such as La Globe and Le Producteur who disputed the claims of the liberal interpreters of industrialism.[445] Dunoyer's 1827 essay on the origins of industrialist theory needs to seen in the light of this debate and criticism. The debate over the intellectual origins of "industrialism" which Dunoyer began, unfortunately has not shed much light on the problem.[446] A careful analysis of the debate is required in order to separate the various threads, since quite different theories were described by the participants to the original debate as "industrial." The basic issue which was not always clearly seen by the participants was over ends and means - the Saint-Simonians identifying industrialism with the ultimate end of rule by an élite industrial class broadly defined, whilst the liberals Comte and Dunoyer understood industrialism in a very different sense. The latter viewed industrialism as the result of a process of radically depoliticised economic activity by the productive industrial class. The actual end would be the social and economic predominance of the industrial class, but not rule by them in the political sense. In fact, as discussed earlier in this chapter, Dunoyer's picture of an industrial future had no room for a state at all, as all public functions had either been privatised and provided on the free market or devolved into small municipalities which had almost no political power. Yet in spite of the differences which Dunoyer claimed separated the Saint-Simonians from the radical liberals over the theory of industrialism and the industrial theory of history, there were in fact quite striking congruencies which have been noted repeatedly by historians. As Shirley Gruner observes, the theory of industrialism appeared "almost simultaneously" in 1817 from two separate loci: the journal, Le Censeur européen, edited by Comte and Dunoyer, and the more explicitly named journal L'Industrie edited by Augustin Thierry and Saint-Simon.[447] Both journals were published by the same house in Paris and Thierry was soon to defect from the ranks of Saint-Simon to join the more sedate and scholarly editors of Le Censeur européen. Gruner concludes that the similarity in thinking between the Comte/Dunoyer camp and the Thierry/Saint-Simon camp is a reflection of their common reading (Say's Treatise on Political Economy, Montlosier's De la monarchie française, and Constant's De l'esprit de conquête) undertaken when both groups had to endure a period of "enforced leisure" due to the censors closure of Le Censeur and Saint-Simon's loss of his job as librarian of the Arsenal.[448]

Initially the two groups pursued roughly similar views which were to diverge only later after 1820. In Saint-Simon's journal L'Industrie Thierry published a path-breaking essay "Des Nations" in which he presented a rough draft of the liberal theory of class and economic development which has been closely examined in this dissertation on Comte and Dunoyer.[449] Like Constant, Thierry divided history into two epochs, one dominated by war and militarism, the other dominated by the liberation of the productive class. Constant located the dividing point between the two epochs at the defeat of Napoleon. The more historically-minded Thierry placed it in the twelth century with the enfranchisement of the communes, thus revealing the interest in French medieval history which was to dominate the rest of his academic life. Crucial to this historical interpretation, also taken up by Comte in a number of articles in Le Censeur européen, is the clash of two opposed classes throughout history: the productive industrial class and the parasitic class of exploiters who dominated the state. Thierry was able to pursue these themes in the pages of Le Censeur européen when he left Saint-Simon in late 1817. The reasons for him leaving Saint-Simon are unclear - possibly due to the claustrophobia induced by being Saint-Simon's "adopted son" (also later experienced by Auguste Comte), possibly because he perceived Comte's and Dunoyer's journal to be a more financially secure and more scholarly organ in which to develop an industrial theory of history. Ideological differences seem not to have played a part in the "divorce."

Only later, in the new journal which Saint-Simon established after the failure of L'Industrie (1816-1818), in the less liberal sounding L'Organisateur (1819-1820), did an ever widening fissure emerge to separate the liberal from the Saint-Simonian theories of industrialism. Following the assassination of the duc de Berry in 1820 both Comte and Dunoyer, and Saint-Simon, suffered at the hands of the police and censors. Comte's and Dunoyer's journal was closed down yet again, whilst Saint-Simon was put on trial for publishing his famous parable which ridiculed the unproductivity of the ruling elite of restored aristocrats and the monarchy, thereby suggesting to the hyper-imaginative authorities that Saint-Simon must have been "one of the moral instigators of the crime" as Manuel cuttingly puts it.[450] At this stage he was still a liberal and had much in common with Comte and Dunoyer.[451] In the "political parable" Saint-Simon poses the quite revolutionary question, what would happen if France suddenly lost three thousand of its best scientists, artists, artisans, bankers and so on? His answer is economic chaos and collapse, "the nation would become a lifeless corpse." On the other hand, if France lost thirty thousand from the royal family, cabinet officials, ministers, marshals, clergy, noble landowners and so on, "it would not result in any political harm to the state."[452] This was certainly a sentiment Comte, Dunoyer and Thierry shared then and in their later writings. For example, in his lengthy analysis of slavery in the Traité de législation (1826) Comte asked much the same question about the economic consequences of the sudden removal of the entire class of slave owners. In Comte's view, paralleling Saint-Simon's in 1820, the entire class of slave owners were a parasitic class whose miraculous disappearance would leave the total industrial capacity of the world untouched. As Charles posed the problem in 1826 in very Saint-Simonian terms:

For example, if by some catastrophe the race of masters were to suddenly disappear from a country in which slavery is practised, no branch of labour would be suspended, and no wealth whose loss one would lament would disappear. Labour would take a direction much more useful to the human race. Periods of rest would be better managed, whilst the labour (of the slaves) would gain an energy and direction much greater than the loss due to the reduction in the work day.[453]

However, after Saint-Simon's trial in 1820 Gruner argues that he became increasingly anti-liberal and pro-Bourbon.[454] Gouhier reminds us that Saint-Simon himself regarded his greatest contribution to social thought to be a rediscovery of the conservative truths established by Bonald, de Maistre, and La Mennais and a synthesis of industrial insights and this conservative "système."[455] In their newly established journal Saint-Simon and Auguste Comte pursued two avenues of thought which separated their theory from the radical liberal one. Firstly, as Gruner argues, Saint-Simon introduced an "ideological" element to the essentially social and economic basis which industrialism had established up until that point. Saint-Simon is justly notorious for his eclecticism and it is clear that in the early 1820s he returned to some ideas of his rationalist Idéologue past to add to the theory of industrialism. Most importantly he argued (if that is the right word to describe his writings) that the evolution of the means of production from one epoch to the next depended upon a corresponding evolution (or revolution) in ideas in the Church, in science, and in the communes or commons. In this aspect his idea of social evolution is more like Condorcet's conception of intellectual progress through the overcoming of intellectual error[456] and a forerunner of Auguste Comte's idea of "organic," "critical" and "positivist" eras than the economically based industrial theory of history developed by Comte, Dunoyer, and Thierry.

The second area of divergence concerns the role of the intellectual elite in this revolutionary process. In Dunoyer's theory there is scarcely any mention of intellectuals other than those who ally themselves to the state in order to justify the political privileges of the current ruling elite. They play very much a back seat role to the more powerful economic forces of history which determine the relative balance of powers between the productive industrial class and the ruling elite. Saint-Simon, Auguste Comte, and the assorted group of Saint-Simonians and Positivists who followed after them had a much more exalted role for the intellectual, religious, scientific, financial, and industrial elite. They were to intervene actively in the process of history in order to guide the directionless, industrial masses. They were to "seize control" of the state in order to hasten the slow evolution of history, to act as a "vanguard" (to use an anachronistic term) in the name of the industrial masses in the struggle against the intellectual, political, economic and social old order. Dunoyer was aware of this source of divergence between the two schools of industrialist thought. Two years after the appearance of L'industrie et la morale Dunoyer published a scathing attack on the Saint-Simonian theorists of industry in a vain effort to distinguish his and Comte's liberal and almost anarchistic theory from the technocratic Saint-Simonian doctrine. In the "Sketch of the doctrines to which one has given the name `industrialism,' that is to say the doctrines which base society on `industry,'"[457] to give his essay its full pedantic title, Dunoyer discusses what he considers to be the basic difference between the two different forms of industrialism. Fundamentally, the liberal theory was based upon industrialism as a mode of production with a liberal legal and political system designed to protect individual rights to property and liberty, whilst the Saint-Simonian form of industrialism sought the rise of three new classes (scientists, artists and industrialists) to the highest level of political control. These new classes would replace the traditional ruling elites and run industrial society from the top down, in other words a form of industrialism without any liberal underpinning. As a liberal, Dunoyer rejected this new form of class rule which would be just as hostile to freedom of speech and laissez-faire as the traditional elites of the feudal period and the ancien régime had been. Saint-Simon was correct to see the importance of the new industrial and intellectual classes but he made the mistake, Dunoyer argued, of wanting to replace the personnel of the old ruling elite with this new group, rather than wanting to abolish class rule altogether as Comte and Dunoyer sought.

Dunoyer was by no means hostile to technology and the educated elite who would one day transform the economy by apply their technological knowledge to engineering and scientific problems. Dunoyer believed that the highest level of freedom would be reached when the level of technology and economic production is such that it permits the unlimited development of all faculties. In order to reach the highest level of productivity industry requires the most enlightened, the most skilled, and the most intelligent managers, researchers and workers that it is possible to have. Thus Dunoyer believes the industrial system will encourage the development of these skills and will want them spread as broadly as possible, there being no need for "victims" or "dominateurs et ses satellites" in industrialism.[458] The needs of industrial society mean that there must be a close collaboration between science and technology in order that the discoveries of science can be made available to industry and thus passed on to the public in the form of new goods and cheaper industrial processes. Technological improvements over the past hundred years or so had made it possible to extend the division of labour almost indefinitely and thus dramatically increase production for the benefit of the mass of the people. Therefore engineers had to have the same respect as pure scientists, and the traditional practice of viewing science as a kind of genteel hobby with no practical use, should be replaced with the attitude that science was a "a serious activity (travail) of men who live quite steadily from the conquest of nature and who search diligently to learn nature's laws in order to apply them to the service of humanity."[459]

Where Dunoyer differed from the Saint-Simonians and Positivists on the matter of the role of technologists and technology in creating an industrial society lay in their access to the state. As radical liberals Comte and Dunoyer believed that industrial innovation by technologists should be organised voluntarily by the market. Saint-Simon and the Positivists who came to dominate French industrial life during the Second Empire preferred a state directed approach to industrial innovation. Planning by the enlightened banking and technological elite would take place in a government bureaucracy which would then "encourage" or "direct" industry to adopt its plans. Like his counterparts during the 1848 Revolution Saint-Simon adopted Talleyrand's notion of society as one large national workshop[460] which could be organised "rationally" without regard to the demands of market prices or the preferences of individual property owners. Thus after 1820 Saint-Simon's views gradually drifted away from the liberal camp and drew closer to the conservatives like de Bonald who advocated the merits of a "constituted" vs an "unconstituted" society produced by the free market. As Friedrich von Hayek has argued economic planners like Saint-Simon see social organisation as a technocratic or engineering problem which can be solved by the coming to power of suitably enlightened and informed individuals. John Stuart Mill met Saint-Simon in 1821 at the house of Jean-Baptiste Say and after a brief flirtation with Saint-Simonism and Positivism came to criticise the Saint-Simonians for their "inordinate demand for `unity' and `systematisation'" and for their un-liberal "frenzy for regulation."[461] The classical liberal tradition (which includes Comte and Dunoyer) sees social organisation as a economic problem of scarce resources being put to their most efficient use, determined by the signals of freely determined prices. Since Saint-Simon did not appreciate the economic problem of scarcity he could see no reason why a new technocratic elite could not plan and organise a better society from their bureaux.


Charles Dunoyer, like Comte, continued to be active in politics in spite of his "retirement" from journalism and beginning an academic career at the Athénée. Dunoyer involved himself in liberal electoral politics in the early 1820s by writing a number of pamphlets addressed to electors and written in the vain hope of swinging them more towards the liberal position.[462] Not having been forced into exile like Comte, Dunoyer was able to remain in Paris throughout the 1820s and to continue his ties with important members of the liberal opposition such as Lafayette, the Duc de Broglie and Auguste de Staël. In fact his association was quite explicit as he and Comte were members of a liberal political group known as "la Société des sciences morales et politiques," which they had joined in February 1826. The group took its lead from the ideas of Benjamin Constant and included among its members Barrot, Mérilhou, Mauguin, the duc de Broglie, Auguste de Staël and Guizot. The society was the forerunner of a more influential group, the society "Aide-toi et le Ciel t'aidera" which was to be instrumental in the 1830 Revolution. Leonard Liggio has described quite accurately Charles Dunoyer's importance to the liberal movement of the Restoration as an ideological leader, strategist and gadfly of the régime with his numerous trials over censorship:

Dunoyer's political role during the Restoration can best be described as that of ideological leadership and of strategist and adviser, rather than political leadership per se, despite the prominence he achieved from his several political trials in the courts and his well-publicised political imprisonments... But, the center of Dunoyer's intellectual contribution was the continuity and organization of the ideas, especially Industrialisme, which had been conceived and developed in the Censeur and the Censeur européen.[463]

Just as Comte had struggled to have the two parts of his magnum opus published together but was thwarted by the outbreak of the 1830 revolution, political events also interrupted Dunoyer's publishing plans. In the years between first giving his lectures in 1825 and 1830 he had expanded his "science of society" into a book nearly twice as long as L'industrie at la morale. By the time the revolution broke out Dunoyer had copies of a new work printed, a Nouveau traité d'économie sociale, but they had not yet been distributed to the bookshops and were sitting in his publisher's warehouse. Having been named prefect under the new régime, Dunoyer postponed the publication of his work, perhaps thinking, like Comte, that it was somehow inappropriate for a serving state official to publish a work of theory. Or perhaps it was out of fear that an academic work would not be taken seriously by the reviewers if it was seen to be written by someone with partisan interests. Whatever the reason may be, Dunoyer did not allow his publisher to release the book and sometime later a fire swept through the warehouse destroying almost all copies of the Nouveau traité.[464] Only a handful survived, probably copies given to the author by the publisher for private distribution to friends and members of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences.[465] The complete and final version of his work, the magnum opus De la liberté du travail, did not appear for another fifteen years.


Dunoyer expanded his analysis of industrialism in L'Industrie et la morale (1825) from one 500 page volume with eleven chapters to two 500 page volumes with 19 chapters. The first volume of the Nouveau traité (1830) was largely a reprint of the earlier book with a new chapter on a new stage of economic development devoted to serfdom. The second volume contained new material which extended his analysis to include much more detail on the nature of the productive classes which made an industrial society possible, the different sectors of an industrial economy (commerce, manufacturing, agriculture), the impact of industry on the physical and moral capacities of individuals, and the productive role of education in creating the preconditions for an industrial society. In a revealing introduction Dunoyer explained his reasons for adding the new material. It seems he wanted to counter the argument that the transition to an industrial society was purely a political problem which required a change in the form of government in order to be effected. Dunoyer continued to argue that government regulation of the economy and the system of patronage and privilege which it dispensed were severe impediments to the creation of a free market, industrial society. However, he wanted to show that the reform of the government was a necessary but not sufficient condition for this to occur. Dunoyer now believed that ordinary individuals were also to blame for impeding the creation of an industrial society through their "moral" deficiencies such as the persistence of antiquated beliefs and political habits.[466] Dunoyer's new interest in the problem of "human capital" (the productive expenditure on the technical training of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs as well as the education of ordinary people so they could understand the beneficial operations of the market and to appreciate the need to respect individual property) is explained by this realisation. It now seemed that a precondition for an industrial society was an intellectual and moral revolution to act in parallel with an economic and political revolution. An important conclusion which Dunoyer drew from this approach was that a revolution from above could not reform society unless the mass of society voluntarily consented to adopt the new industrial values and institutions. With some irony Dunoyer perhaps unknowingly presages his own disillusionment with working for the more liberal July Monarchy after the Revolution of 1830 in the following passage:

... in politics, reforms can only take place when the thoughts of the publicist have become the common thought of the public, or at least of a very considerable section of the public. Until this situation has been reached one can only make rather weak attempts (at reform). It is possible that a well-meaning government (pouvoir) might undertake to introduce reforms but it would not make any lasting changes. It is also possible that reform might be attempted without this power by a (political) party which overturns the government and replaces it. But the happiest insurrection would not have any more effect than the most well-meaning concessions. Reform will only be established in the long term to the degree that it passes into the ideas and habits of the majority.[467]

The "publicist" like Dunoyer would thus need to play a role alongside the forces of history and economic change by explaining the significance of what was happening. Just as "industry" in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries "liberated the communes from the encroachments of the royal power" Dunoyer believed that industry in the present would "sooner or later" deliver the French people from "the most concentrated despotism of the courts and the domination of the capital cities."[468]

Dunoyer also made a number of refinements to his analysis of the stage of industrialism which he thought the Spaniards in the coastal towns and the business and enlightened classes of Greece were beginning to achieve alongside the Americans and the French commercial and manufacturing towns. He still continued to define industry as the economic stage

where one no longer sees masters or slaves, the privileged or the solicitors (of privilege), where there is only work (travail) and exchanges, and where the government itself is only a (form of ) labour done by a small part of society in the name of and for the benefit of all of society.[469]

With the minor change of adding the stage of serfdom (servage) Dunoyer still believed in the transition "in their natural order" (as he put it) from one "mode of existence" to another: savagery, nomadism, settled agriculture with slavery, medieval serfdom, the regime of privilege, the system of "place-seeking," and industrialism. In a series of new chapters Dunoyer wanted to explore the industrial stage in much more detail, especially the groups which made up the productive and "useful" class of "industrials." The problem was to define exactly who made productive (i.e. useful) contributions to society.[470] After reviewing the contributions of the liberal political economists Smith, de Tracy, Sismondi, Malthus and James Mill, Dunoyer is unhappy with their assessment of who is productive and useful. Dunoyer again acknowledges Say's path breaking contribution in his discussion of the entrepreneur and the production of "immaterial" goods and for the first time recognises the Russian economist Henri Storch as an important contributor to the debate. The conclusion Dunoyer reaches is that where once in the 18th century it was a mistake to label the trader or the manufacturer as unproductive, so too it was incorrect to label the magistrate or the professor in the 19th century as unproductive.[471] In "the real industrial society" Dunoyer was confident that the productive contributions of all would be recognised, including especially "all professions, from the lowliest artisan to the highest magistrate."[472] In an only partly legible hand-written note in his signed copy of the Nouveau traité Charles Comte expressed his agreement with Dunoyer's enlargement of the productive class to include what we would call the service sector of judges, lawyers, and teachers.[473]

Another of the changes Dunoyer made in his expanded treatment of industrialism was to make much clearer and more explicit the distinction between productive and unproductive labour done by the same individual or economic actor in different circumstances, a distinction which was implied in the 1825 work but whose implications for liberal class analysis were not spelled out. He asks the pertinent question, are "professionals" or other members of the industrial class productive "whatever use henceforth they might make of their skills."[474] He then cites a number of examples, some of which are drawn from the Greek War of Independence fought during the 1820s and which was supported by many French liberals, of the capitalist who lends money to an "unjust enterprise" such as funding a "guerre inique," the shipbuilder who rents his armed ships to take troops to Chios to exterminate the inhabitants, the Genoan merchants in Constantinople who betray their Turkish hosts, or the peasant who uses his plough blade to murder.[475] To remove these actions from the rubric of "productive and useful" Dunoyer argues that truly productive and industrial activity must be both useful and conducted in a non-coercive fashion. Thus, a capitalist lending money to fund an enterprise may or may not be productive and useful depending on the circumstances. The action is an "industrial" one if it results in a factory selling goods wanted by consumers without the use of force or fraud. The action is not "industrial" if the money is used to fund agressive military action where property or liberty is transgressed against. Therefore there are, according to Dunoyer, two different types of "industrial" whose actions are contradictory and mutually exclusive - the "man of industry" and the "chevalier of industry." The actions of each on the surface might be seen to be productive, but in reality they give rise to very different relations to the state and quite different class interests:

A factory owner is a "man of industry" when he employs his intelligence to improve his workshops or his machines, and a "chevalier of industry" when he uses his talent to obtain from the (political) authorities an exemption from the competition which he fears and the power to force consumers to buy from him at a high price what they could buy elsewhere more cheaply.[476]

He makes a similar distinction with the actions of state officials. When the legislator, the prince or the magistrate protect individual liberty and private property they are "industrials of the first order," however when they use their political power to use force for their own benefit or even commit crimes of their own, they are "malefactors of the purest kind,"[477] "hommes d'exaction," "agents of tyranny (and) destroyers of utility."[478] Dunoyer here seems to be suggesting a way in which the possibilities opened up by changes in property ownership brought about by the French Revolution, by expanded world trade and by the industrial revolution might be subverted away from the creation of a truly industrial society towards a new regime of "exploitation" (spoliatrices).[479] Once again, it seems Dunoyer was unwittingly establishing the foundations for a radical liberal critique of the soon to be created July Monarchy with its privileges for favoured members of the bourgeoisie. I will conclude this section with a long and interesting quote in which Dunoyer uses the class analysis he originally developed to expose the inequities of slavery, privilege and political "place-seeking" to the new stage of industry as it was emerging in 1830:

In short, the factory owner, the banker, the judge, the soldier, men of all the professions, can be men of industry since they are able to direct their abilities to activities which are very useful, very productive, and very suited to increasing the faculties of such or such a race. But if the soldier puts his sword in the service of despotism, if the judge sells his conscience to it, if the banker lends it his money, if the factory owner buys unjust privileges from it, it is clear that they ought to be given another name. Likewise, one cannot call a "man of industry" the man from Nantes who engages in the black slave trade, or the man from Tripoli who trades in whites, or the munitions manufacturer (armateur) who rents his ships to the murderers of the Greeks, or the imperial officer who assists them with his sword, or the money trader who offers his services to all solvent tyrannies, or the man of state who deals (traffiques) with his advisers. In whatever manner one participates in a harmful action, one is not a "man of industry" if one takes part. I am not saying that there is always virtue in producing. What I do say is that crime is never productive. I say that as a result of a bad action there is destruction or displacement of wealth but never an increase in the world's total wealth. In one word I say that brigandage, by whatever instruments it employs or whatever way it uses them, ought always to be distinguished very carefully from industry.[480]