Saturday, March 13, 2010

James Otteson on Karl Marx v. Adam Smith

James Otteson conducts a lesson for students on Adam Smith and Karl Marx HERE

James Otteson's lecture/tutorial was at the 2010 FEE Home School Debate Tournament on "Karl Marx v. Adam Smith"

Follow the link and watch the video for a lively seminar for students.

It's not meant to be deep and authoritative and links explicit details of the experiences of Soviet socialism and the dreadful crimes against humanity practised in the former and current socialist/marxist states, a methodology with which I am not too comfortable intellectually. As a first pass it's OK, but the ideas of Marx and Engels are not linked directly to ideas as interpreted by people decades after the founders of Marxism had died, anymore than the ideas ascribed to 'Jesus' are represented by the pageantry and wealth of the main Christian Churches centuries later. However, that's a quibble.

Otteson's account of Smith's ideas is fair enough (except for the his nuanced mythology of the "invisible hand'!) and his listeners appear enthusiastic in response to his enthusiasm (always a necessary aspect of lecturing).

Jim Otteson is an original contributor to Adam Smith studies: see his Adam Smith’s Market Place of Life, 2002, Cambridge University press.

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