QUICK BITS no. 22
Peter Isackson posts (15 July) in Fair Observer asks HERE
“Where Have All the Leaders Gone?”
“Nearly everyone perceives global capitalism as a well-organized system of control and no longer as the invisible hand promised by Adam Smith. This translates as a profound skepticism concerning the capacity of political parties to govern.”
Adam Smith “promised” no such thing. He used the metaphor of “an invisible hand” in reference to a merchant who invested locally because of his doubts about the honesty of foreign traders.
The metaphor of an “invisible hand” has nothing to do with how economies or how the market works.
It was about how the motives of an individual may cause him/her to an intentional action which also may have unintentional consequences.
There is no mention of ‘control’ or of ‘global capitalism’ - the word ‘capitalism’ and the phenomenon were unknown until 1854 (Smith died in 1790) -
Deepanshu Mohan posts (15 July) in Society HERE
“Economists Need To Stop Telling Us That We’re Selfish”
“The soaring instances of racial discrimination, adversities from global climate change, acts of terrorism, frequency in economic crises through speculative stock market crashes, debt, capital flight etc. all seem to bring out a common behavioural aspect that ties most of these recurring phenomena within/across nations today: a reflection of choices made by individuals in actions driven by a motivation to maximise their absolute self-interest while ignoring the consequences of such actions on the well-being of others.”