Riccardo Rosolino

With their own weapons. The immorality of the market, from monopolistic conspiracies to strategies of resistance (16th-17th centuries)

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In early modern Europe some catholic theologians and some jurists proposed that it was possible to neutralize one monopolistic conspiracy by using the force of another. The act of conspiring with the aim of altering the process of formation of the natural market price had a specific political meaning. Monopolies, considered both a crime and a sin, were used to describe the various ways of manipulating negotiation dynamics. However, a hypothesis was put forward suggesting that one could protect oneself against such conspiracies by forming another conspiracy. The moral foundations of these defensive actions were grounded on the political principle of a right to resist. This principle was transposed into a new field of action. The traces of this intellectual path lead down a market not only populated by menacing forces but also one capable of surviving its own destructive forces.


  • Markets
  • Conspiracies
  • Monopolies
  • Resistance
  • Althusius
  • Grotius
  • School of Salamanca


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