Determining the etymological origin of the term physiocracy is the first thing we should do. Specifically, we can establish that it is a word that comes from Greek, as it is made up of three components of that language: the word "physis", which is equivalent to "nature"; the noun "kratos", which can be translated as "power"; and the suffix "-ia", which is synonymous with "action or quality".
He economic system which attributes the origin of the wealth to nature it is known as physiocracy . This school of thought arose in France during the century XVIII , with exponents like Francois Quesnay , Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours and Anne Robert Jacques Turgot , among others.
The latter was a French economist, one of the creators of the aforementioned doctrine, who carried out the "Six decrees of Turgot", in which he advocated the elimination of guilds, the abolition of privileges as well as the recognition of that any man had the right to work, without imposing any type of clipper.
In addition to all of the above, we would have to underline that, from a historical point of view, it is considered that the figures that promoted and defended the physiocracy were really the parents of those known as social sciences. And it is that they turned to science to be able to analyze and explain each and every one of the components of the society in which they lived.
According to physiocrats, economic systems should be governed by their own natural laws , without intervention of government . His system, therefore, was based on the French concept of laissez faire ("Let do" ), which promotes the free market and the null participation of the State in economic decisions.
The physiocracy, therefore, opposed the mercantilism , promoter of an active State that will fix protectionist measures. For the physiocrats, this type of policies that involved state intervention in various stages of the production and distribution of goods generated a decrease in economic activity and prosperity in general. To demonstrate this they took as examples the monopolies that dominated certain sectors of the economy and the strengthening of a parasitic bourgeois class.
Just as mercantilism argues that the basis of wealth is the accumulation of precious metals from international trade, for the physiocracy wealth is generated by the farming . The physiocratic theorists claim that the farmer is the only individual whose work produces more than the salary he receives.
Just as there were many characters who praised and were in favor of the physiocracy, there were also others who rejected it fully. This would be the case, for example, of the American economist and politician Alexander Hamilton (1755 - 1804). He, who considers himself one of the founders of the United States, expressed himself totally against the ideas that the doctrine held regarding land and taxes.
Criticisms of the physiocracy contradicted that the mercantile and artisanal classes were unproductive and claimed that no land tax should be applied.