Fools' Gold Blog Post on Adam Smith's Critique of the British East India Company's Competitiveness Strategy
Adam Smith was an arch-critic of the regime-hopping strategies of the exclusive stockholding corporations, the forerunners of today’s multinational corporations. The British East India Company, having been granted a Royal Charter in 1600, was supposed to be acting on behalf of the sovereign to meet the country’s commercial objectives. The free hand given to the Company would presumably be couched, in modern parlance, as a ‘competitive’ strategy for Britain. Here, though, I show how rude Smith was about these corporations’ strategies in the latest in the Fools' Gold series exploring the intellectual history of the modern ways that people talk about the ‘competitiveness’ of national economies.
Re-posted on April 30th 2015 on the Tax Justice Network website.