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4.5 out of 5 stars24
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on 13 December 2001
Smith is much under-estimated both amongst philosophers of money (economists) and philosophers of social life (moralists).
And it is true, as the reader from Melbourne says, that the book requires a great deal of dedication in places. At times Smith repeats the same point three, four even five times in short succession, always in the same carefuyl but ponderous prose. yet elsewhere, surprisingly, there are flashes of wit and humanity, alongside the great methodical reasoning and argument that make a philosophical work powerful.
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on 4 March 2016
As relevant now as it was when first written.
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on 1 July 2016
Perfect, thank you. No Issues to report
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on 31 December 2015
A must for students of political economy
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on 26 November 2001
Adam Smith like Marx sees changes in the economic system as a logical, inevitable sequence of events. For example the power of the landed aristocracy declined as a consequence of the increasing importance of the towns. Good government was a result of this decline as people that had worked on the estates in conditions close to slavery moved to cities where they had considerable freedom. The difference between Marx and Smith is that Smith considered all of these changes leading to steady improvements whereas Marx considered the results of capitalism and industrialisation and urbanisation disastrous. Marx lived about one hundred years later than Smith. The system had not produced wealth for all as Smith foresaw. Smith believed that if governments would refrain from interfering in the economy prosperity would increase for all. Marx considered that a revolution whereby the capitalist class would be eliminated and private property is abolished a necessary consequence of the exploitation of the workers. Smith believed the opposite in that private property was the main driving force for progress. Their analysis of the historical development looking at it now shows many serious mistakes. However many more of the ideas of Adam Smith are still valid in hindsight than those of Marx. Somewhat surprising both being persons with interest in morality do not ascribe any importance to that subject. Both are imprisoned by the concept that "mechanical" or systemic changes in society can explain changes in the economic system. Many economists to day still fall in the same trap. They do not believe that moral standards can play an important role in the development of economic system. They therefore typically reject new developments such as "socially responsible investing ". Like "Capital" of Marx, the "Wealth of Nations" presents many interesting facts about for example the near slavery conditions in the large agricultural estates throughout Europe. This information is a good antidote to the romantics that believe conditions in the countryside in the past were very pleasant. The Wealth of Nations is lucidly written and shows quite clearly the dependence of wealthy creation on essential but minimal government regulation
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on 19 October 2015
cheap and complete
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on 5 March 2016
Nice item
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on 19 May 2015
Good read
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on 17 February 2016
Good
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on 31 October 2014
Good
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