Saturday, April 21, 2007

Have a Look at a Mini-'Debate' on Pins and Things

Over at Stumbling and Mumbling, Chris Dillow’s post: ‘What the £20 note doesn’t say’ and Adam Smith’s take on the division of labour, on which I commented this week, has produced an exchange of posts among readers, some from a neo-Marxian persuasion, others from a Smithian perspective and a few assorted others (most, not mine, are semi- or fully-anonymous).

Never-the-less, the posts are readable and informative, and readers of Lost Legacy may benefit from reviewing the issue under debate:

was the division of labour, illustrated by the famous ‘pin factory’ in Wealth of Nations a political power play by capitalist owners to control the workers for their nefarious ends (a view articulated by Professor Stephen Marglin of Harvard University) or was it, as Adam Smith asserted, a method of increasing labour productivity to meet the demand for pins?

It’s worth a look for those interested in Adam Smith's work.


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