Herculean Power detail 1

William Petty (1623–1687), author of Political Arithmetick, father of demography and political economy and to that extent, the modern-Herculean social sciences, calculates a raison d’etat, for the very first time, thus: “the fertility of women in New England would compensate for losses in Ireland. Based on the assumption that ‘‘you value the people who have been destroyed in Ireland as Slaves and Negroes are usually rated, viz., at about £15 one with another; Men being sold for £25 and Children £5 each,’’ he estimated the financial losses of the [colonial] war in Ireland (1641–51) at £10,355,000.6. (Linebaugh and Rediker, 4-6) As the English enclosures reach into Ireland, Petty’s Down Survey maps the colonization of the commons by what the modern and Herculean humanities and social sciences have come to call culture and society.

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