Justus Möser

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Justus Moser Justus-moeser 1.jpg
Justus Möser

Justus Möser (December 14, 1720, Osnabrück January 8, 1794, Osnabrück) was a German jurist and social theorist, best known for his innovative history of Osnabrück which stressed social and cultural themes.

Osnabrück Place in Lower Saxony, Germany

Osnabrück is a city in the federal state of Lower Saxony in north-west Germany. It is situated in a valley penned between the Wiehen Hills and the northern tip of the Teutoburg Forest. With a population of 168,145 Osnabrück is one of the four largest cities in Lower Saxony. The city is the centrepoint of the Osnabrück Land region as well as the District of Osnabrück.

Contents

Biography

Having studied law at the universities of Jena and Göttingen, he settled in his native town as a lawyer and was soon appointed advocatus patriae (state attorney) by his fellow citizens. From 1762 to 1768 he was justiciarius (chief justice) of the criminal court in Osnabrück, and in 1768 was made Geheimer Referendar (privy councillor of justice). For 20 years, he was the legal adviser of the lay Protestant bishop of Osnabrück, Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, a son of George III of the United Kingdom and of his Queen consort Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

Jurisprudence theoretical study of law, by philosophers and social scientists

Jurisprudence or legal theory is the theoretical study of law, principally by philosophers but, from the twentieth century, also by social scientists. Scholars of jurisprudence, also known as jurists or legal theorists, hope to obtain a deeper understanding of legal reasoning, legal systems, legal institutions, and the role of law in society.

University of Jena university located in Jena, Thuringia, Germany

Friedrich Schiller University Jena is a public research university located in Jena, Thuringia, Germany.

University of Göttingen university in the city of Göttingen, Germany

The University of Göttingen is a public research university in the city of Göttingen, Germany. Founded in 1734 by George II, King of Great Britain and Elector of Hanover, and starting classes in 1737, the Georgia Augusta was conceived to promote the ideals of the Enlightenment. It is the oldest university in the state of Lower Saxony and the largest in student enrollment, which stands at around 31,500.

In addition to being a statesman and administrator, Möser was also a publicist, historian, and social analyst. His history of Osnabrück (1768; 2nd ed. 1780; 3rd ed. 1819) was and remains highly regarded. In his Patriotische Phantasien (1775-1786; 2nd ed. by his daughter, IWJ von Voigts, 1804; new ed. by Reinhard Zöllner, 1871) he pleaded for a natural, organic development of the state in place of arbitrary laws imposed by the sovereign.

In his review of Justus Moser's economic views, Jerry Muller (1990) is careful to point out that Moser was likely a "precursor of modern conservatism" for his views on 18th Century capitalism would offend many a 21st Century conservative. Muller (1990) points out that "for Moser the expansion of the market was primarily a threat, ... in tandem, cameralism and capitalism threatened to erode the existing ... institutions which he so valued." Muller (1990) added more on this point: "New forms of capitalist economic organization ... have led to the disappearance of the link between ownership of property and civic responsibility. Men are so involved in acquisition ... that they no longer have time for political concerns and public life."

Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Characteristics central to capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system, and competitive markets. In a capitalist market economy, decision-making and investment are determined by every owner of wealth, property or production ability in financial and capital markets, whereas prices and the distribution of goods and services are mainly determined by competition in goods and services markets.

Cameralism was a German science of administration in the 18th and early 19th centuries that aimed at strong management of a centralized economy for mainly the state's benefit. The discipline in its most narrow definition concerned the management of the state's finances. According to David F. Lindenfeld, it was divided into three: public finance, Oeconomie and Polizei. Here Oeconomie did not mean exactly 'economics', nor Polizei 'public policy' in the modern senses.

Thus Jerry Muller (2002) argues that Möser's views on the economic and political aspects of society contrast sharply with those of his much more renowned contemporary, Adam Smith, and anticipate some of the ideas of the German Historical School and the social market economy. In some ways, Möser can be seen as the German counterpart to Edmund Burke. Knudson (1986) sees him as a man of the enlightenment who sought to understand the world around him. He only came to be seen as a man of the right after the French Revolution had pushed everything much further left.

Adam Smith 18th-century Scottish moral philosopher and political economist

Adam Smith was a Scottish economist, philosopher and author as well as a moral philosopher, a pioneer of political economy and a key figure during the Scottish Enlightenment, also known as ''The Father of Economics'' or ''The Father of Capitalism''. Smith wrote two classic works, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776). The latter, often abbreviated as The Wealth of Nations, is considered his magnum opus and the first modern work of economics. In his work, Adam Smith introduced his theory of absolute advantage.

The German Historical School of Jurisprudence is a 19th-century intellectual movement in the study of German law. With Romanticism as its background, it emphasized the historical limitations of the law. It stood in opposition to an earlier movement called Vernunftrecht.

The social market economy, also called Rhine capitalism, is a socioeconomic model combining a free market capitalist economic system alongside social policies that establish both fair competition within the market and a welfare state. It is sometimes classified as a coordinated market economy. The social market economy was originally promoted and implemented in West Germany by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer in 1949. Its origins can be traced to the interwar Freiburg school of economic thought.

Möser's Vermischte Schriften (1797–98, published by Nicolai with a biography) balances its insights into human nature with humour and witty sallies. He was also a poet of some repute, and in 1749 published a tragedy, Arminius. Möser also wrote short stories. [1] A statue of him by Drake was unveiled in Osnabrück in 1836.

Christoph Friedrich Nicolai German writer

Christoph Friedrich Nicolai was a German writer and bookseller.

Friedrich Drake German sculptor

Friedrich Drake was a German sculptor, best known for his huge memorial statues.

His collected works in 10 volumes, Sämtliche Werke, were published by B.R. Abeken, 1842-1844. They are online in German at the Internet Archive. Johann Goethe was interested in his writings and included information about him in his own autobiography. [2]

Notes

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