Thursday, August 21, 2014


The Real Story Behind the Invisible Hand
LSE public lecture: Date: Thursday 30 October 2014; Time: 6.30-8pm;  Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building.  Speaker: Russell Roberts
Adam Smith gave the world the metaphor of the invisible hand, the most famous metaphor of economics. But he only used the phrase three times in his writings. And none of the uses reflect what the phrase has come to mean today--a justification of laissez-faire capitalism. Yet Smith is indeed a key figure in the idea of emergent order--order that is the result of human action but not human design. Ironically, his richest explanation of that concept may be found in his little-known masterpiece, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. His application there is not to our economic system, but to the very idea of civilization and culture. This talk explores Smith's concept of emergent order and its relevance for our conduct today and its potential to let all of us help to make the world a better place.
Russell Roberts (@EconTalker), author of How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life, is a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and the host of EconTalk, a weekly hour-long award-winning podcast. Previously, he was a professor of economics at George Mason University and founding director of the Center for Experiential Learning at the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University.
Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEASmith
This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries see LSE Events FAQ or contact us at 0207 955 6043. 
Media queries: please contact the Press Office if you would like to request a press seat or have a media query about this event, email Please note that press seats are usually allocated at least 24 hours before each event.
At last! Slowly but surely the truth about the myth of the “invisible Hand” in modern economics is being presented, albeit not yet, within mainstream economics, but certainly now in some of the upstream flows of ideas into that large ocean of  ideas that make up the modern, orthodox  consensus.
I know of Russel Roberts entirely from my long-standing subscription to ECONLOG (Library of Economics and LIberty) HERE  Russel’s Blog carries running commentary on economic ideas, which are usually interesting because they debate modern themes and ideas about them.  
I have not noted Russel’s interest in the ‘invisible hand’ controvesy before but very pleased to see he has now moved into it.   Unfortunately travel for me just now is not feasible from Edinburgh to the LSE in London.  I would have loved to attend and hear what he has to say - and, as interesting, his audience' reactions.  From the above ‘abstract’ , Russel and I would agree on the subject and I am encouraged that he is taking his ideas to an important citidel of ‘IH idolitary’.   Would that he could do so in US academe too, where ‘IH disease’ is rampant both across academe and in wider US public use.

If you can get to the lecture, follow the links above for tickets: or call 0207 955 6043.


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