chapter  5
17 Pages

Between Reason and Historicity: Russian Academic Economics, 1800–1861

ByJoachim Zweynert

In Russia the development of theoretical economics was impeded by the fact that since the 1840s, academic economists were again and again drawn into ideological debates with opponents of the exchange economy and private property. The debate between socialists and Slavophiles brought many Russian liberal academic economists into a difficult situation. The Slavophiles wanted to prevent Russia from following the rationalist developmental path of Western Europe. Like many other classical economists, a German-Russian Classic, Christian von Schlzer developed a stages theory of economic development. When discussing monetary policy, Schlzer first argued that monetary expansion generally only had a short-term effect, if any at all. Schlzer's main economic work, Foundations of Governmental Economics or the Science of National Wealth, had been issued by the Ministry of Enlightenment for use in grammar schools. According to a famous dictum of a German opponent of historicism, the teachings of the older historical school were no more than a historical dressing over a classical dish.