JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Summer 2012) their power and privilege in the first place. Life insurance, Sharon Murphy explains, would serve as ``a countervailing force against these dramatic societal changes'' (3). That is true. But insurance was itself a dramatic change: It was certainly not a force of reaction. Securitizing one's own life might seem to embody conservative ``middle-class'' values. In fact, it showed just how much early modern foundations of property and citizenship were now being turned upside down by the market as individuals assumed exclusive responsibility for their own security through profit-driven commercial agencies rather than the transcendent structures of household or common weal. Insurance accordingly remade individual lives into a fungible form of capital--``the best property a man has,'' as another industry promoter effused--and so became a means for the market's penetration into those regions of life hitherto protected from pecuniary scheming, as the double entendre of Murphy's title implies.4 By turning risk into a commodity, furthermore, protection from the dangers of the market became a market itself. Risk emerged as an investment, which consequently encouraged the creation of more risk, and then more insurance, in a perpetuum mobile of value swaps that define
Journal of the Early Republic – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: May 5, 2012
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera