chapter  2
24 Pages

Swift and Berkeley on economic development


Mutual subjection, doing good, and inalienable duties Swift’s sermons provide a window into his model of human action. Emanating from his Christianity, Swift’s approach combines aspects of normative and positive egalitarianism. The author of Mutual Subjection and Doing Good is no armchair Christian. His Christianity translates into social policy and makes demands on both the social reformer and those to be reformed. While accepting a role for hierarchy in determining how the talents, circumstances, and stations of people play out in this world, his normative egalitarianism places everyone – from the Prince down to the ‘meanest’ – on the same footing before God:

Christian wisdom is without partiality; it is not calculated for this or that nation or people, but the whole race of mankind: Not to the philosophical schemes which were narrow and confined, adapted to their peculiar towns, governments, or sects; but, in every nation, he that feareth God and worketh righteousness is accepted with him.