Saturday, January 19, 2008

Silly Saturday Stories About Adam Smith no 11

Dinesh D'Souza, reports on a debate he had with Michael Shermer (of whom I know not, but the debate is about Christianity and atheism, which you can read here) on News Bloggers (‘hard news,raw opinions, penetrating perspectives’):‘An Atheist Who Got Something Right’ (18 Jan)

"Like Darwin, Adam Smith understood human nature. Consequently he knew that no economic or social system could effectively eradicate selfishness from human nature. (When the atheist Communists tried to reform human nature, they found they could do it only by killing the human being.) Selfishness, like lust, seems to be part of the human condition. Capitalism seeks to civilize greed in much the same way that marriage seeks to civilize lust. In Smith's view, the market through the "invisible hand" of competition channels the powerful engine of human self-interest toward the material betterment of society. In a shrewd analogy, Shermer likens Smith's "invisible hand" of competition to Darwin's "survival of the fittest."

It’s not clear which is speaking: Dinesh D'Souza or Michael Shermer, but whichever it is, they are talking nonsense, in respect of their attribution to Adam Smith of the usual distortion about ‘an invisible hand’ of ‘competition’. For detailed exposition of why it’s nonsense scroll down through the Lost Legacy archives.


Post a Comment

<< Home