Sunday, February 22, 2009

Once More With Feeling

Rowan Wolf writes (22 February ), “Nationalize This!”, posted on TPM blog HERE:

"We(the world) have a big problem, Namely that the global economy is crumbling. That crumbling started, and was facilitated by, an ideology that markets (including financial markets) are self-regulating. It is a fundamental belief in laissez faire capitalism. However, the ideology combines with the ranking of corporations as fictive "individuals" and therefore that they should be protected from the intrusion of government in their affairs.

The former belief ties to Adam Smith's theory of the "invisible hand" of capitalism. In its contemporary iteration, this means that people (including the fictive ones) will function within their own self interest, and that self interest includes "regulating" themselves against long term harm.”

Comment
Adam Smith did not have a “theory of the invisible hand”.

See Lost Legacy posts passim.

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4 Comments:

Blogger C said...

ehhhrtt! Sorry buzzer calls 10 pinnochios on that one. Next the theory will be that global warming caused this event to happen.

1:10 am  
Blogger Gavin Kennedy said...

'C'

Sorry 'C' but your point escapes me.

7:11 am  
Blogger Andres said...

Poor Adam Smith. Along with homeowners and the unemployed, he's one of the top victims of the current crisis. In what is, in rigour, a theory of how economic cooperation works in an extended society, how that cooperation is moved by a propensity to exchange, and how the results of such cooperation depend on variables such as the extent of the division of labour, people inisit in seeing a theory of how the pursuit of private profit produces an optimal result for society. And injury has been deeper: where I live, a radio host referred to Adam Smith as "the inventor of capitalism"... Poor Adam Smith, but overall, poor listeners and poor readers...

1:06 pm  
Blogger Gavin Kennedy said...

Andres
Yes, modern narratives about Adam Smith are disappointing, particularly as most never seem to have read him, beyond well-worn quotations about quite different subjects to modern times.

2:57 pm  

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