The Doux Commerce Thesis

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Comparing and contrasting the Doux-Commerce thesis with the Feudal shackle thesis firstly entails a definition of theses two theories so that a foundation of similarity may be laid. The Doux commerce thesis or the word Doux-commerce defined, can be understood as soft or passive relations that are fostered through Commerce-Commerce in this theory acts as a polisher of barbaric ways. (Montesquieu).This thesis is based on a good moral environment created by capitalism where society and the market will flourish. The Feudal-shackle thesis is a more critical or inverted view of the Doux commerce thesis. The Feudal Shackle thesis is defined where a Capitalist society does exist but due to a weak and feeble penetration, the remnants of a prior social order are left behind. Hirsch (2005, 125) concurs, "A number of societies that have been penetrated by Capitalism are criticized and considered to be in trouble because this penetration has been too partial, timid and halfhearted, with substantial elements of the previous social order being left intact. These elements are referred to variously as feudal overhang, shackles, (or) remnants…"

The Feudal shackles thesis is a critical Marxist view of the Doux commerce thesis as it believes the market has failed to rid society of feudal institutions and attitudes and these act as shackles on a market economy. Hirsch (2005, 126) refers when he says, "Similarly, the feudal shackles thesis is adumbrated in Marx when he writes in the preface of Capital that in comparison to England the Germans suffer not only from all the modern woes of capitalist expansion, but from a long series of inherited affliction, resulting from the persistence of antiquated modes of production that have outlived their usefulness, with their sequel of adverse social and political relations." The Doux commerce thesis rather propounds the unifying and progressive effects of commerce that allow society to behave in a manner which leads to an improvement in...
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