The fisiocracia or fisiocratismo was a school of economic thought dating from the eighteenth century and was founded by François Quesnay, Turgot and Jacques Robert Anne Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours in France. This type of thinking was in charge of affirming that there was a natural law that could ensure the proper functioning of the economic system without the need for intervention by the state. His doctrine is summarized in the expression laissez faire .


What is physiocracy?

It is a school of economic thought from the 18th century that affirmed that there was a natural law that ensured the proper functioning of the economic system without having to obtain any type of help from the State and who considered that the laws of nature should be in everything moment in harmony with the laws of man or human laws .


The origin of the term physiocracy comes from the Greek and means ” government of nature “ , when the Physiocrats considered that human laws should be in harmony with the laws of nature, they considered that all the wealth that existed in the world came from the land and that of all the branches of commerce agriculture was the one that produced the most profit. The physiocracy is opposed to mercantilism and for them this type of policies that require the intervention of the state produce a decline in economic activity and in the prosperity of a country. The main objective of the physiocracy was theenrichment of the State, the strengthening above all of power and being able to carry out a head-on attack against commercialism . They supported the interests of the landowners and had abundant capital.

  • History of physiocracy
  • Characteristics of physiocracy
  • Principles of physiocracy
  • Representatives of the physiocracy

History of physiocracy

The physiocracy system began in the middle of the 18th century in France , it was formed during the period known as the Enlightenment and raised the revaluation of agriculture as a primary source to create many wealth. There were many thoughts on natural laws and how they could be fixed to different areas from natural sciences to theories of constitutional order. The Physiocrats were had a teacher known as Quesnay, a group of disciples such as La Riviere, Le Trosne, Dupont de Nemours, Baudeau, among others, who managed to take their ideals to many countries by making propagandaof your new ideas. The idea of ​​lowering prices during times of shortages served as a discouragement in production. Quesnay also suggested a system called the royal tithe , and in it, he proposed that the French tax code be simplified based on changes to the one-time taxes on marketing . This movement grew considerably during the Seven Years’ War. Agronomy and agriculture  were promoted and the exclusivism that the trade unions had was condemned.

Characteristics of physiocracy

Some of the main features are the following:

  • The industry does not form values, it only transforms them, so there is no regulation of this transformation process to add wealth to a community.
  • The only major branch to be taxed was agriculture.  The major financier of the physiocracy were the taxes that were granted to the lands.
  • Human society was governed only by natural laws and these could never be modified by the laws of the State.
  • Its main aspects were to enjoy the natural order of things, the benefits that property afforded , the right to work, and the right to freedom to pursue personal interests.
  • Wealth always responded to the natural order of things and it should never be subject to state control.
  • They considered merchants and artisans unproductive, because for them, wealth only came from farmers.
  • Physiocrats were always considered the fathers of the social sciences and were the first to use the scientific method to achieve research on the phenomena that affected society.

Principles of physiocracy

Among its main principles we can mention that the natural order was the most important thing for them, human activity should always be in harmony with nature. They were based on the principle known as laissez passer, which means letting pass through. Its primary emphasis was agriculture so one of its principles was to establish large taxes on landowners and landowners and there was an interrelation with the economy .
Farmers who were capitalists became key to the proper development of the French economy. Industries and workers grew economically while people engaged in agriculture declined considerably.

Representatives of the physiocracy

The main representatives of the physiocracy were: François Quesnay, Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours, Richard Chatillon, Pierre de Boisguilbert and John Law.

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