Paine and Condorcet to Rebuild Solidarity? On the end of poverty? A historical discussion.
Keywords:Poverty, French Revolution, Paine, Robespierre, Condorcet
In his book La fin de la pauvreté? Un débat historique, Gareth Stedman Jones traces the origins of the project for a society without poverty. Seeking to delineate these origins, Stedman Jones establishes as a landmark the 1790s, in which political thinkers, like Thomas Paine and Condorcet, proposed the idea that all citizens should be protected from poverty. In this context, what seemed to be at stake was whether scientific and economic progress would really be able to extinguish poverty. In this article, Bosc Yannick analyzes and discusses some aspects of Steman’s book: he rejects the author’s interpretation that Paine and Condorcet had a similar political and economic agenda and argues that, in reality, Paine’s project is quite different from Condorcet’s and much closer to that of Robespierre.
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