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The economics of oriental utopia.The case of Jonathan Swift

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  • G. De Vylder

Abstract

The article argues that Jonathan Swift’s classic satirical narrative Gulliver’s Travels, which was first published in 1726, was part of a first generation of Orientalist works in Western Europe. It also argues that Swift used his orientalist approach to confer an economic message. Using the then existing image of a stable and rich East, he criticized the socio-economic abuses in 18th century. England. However, he also revealed his realism by ridiculing the Eastern utopian societies and ultimately blaming the psychology of man himself for all economic misfortunes of mankind, regardless of the economic system implemented.

Suggested Citation

  • G. De Vylder, 2008. "The economics of oriental utopia.The case of Jonathan Swift," Review of Business and Economic Literature, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Review of Business and Economic Literature, vol. 0(1), pages 93-111.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:revbec:20080105
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    File URL: http://feb.kuleuven.be/rebel/jaargangen/2001-2010/2008/RBE%202008-1/2008-1%20-%20De%20Vylder.pdf
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