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To What Extent Did Adam Smith Offer A Critique Of Free Market Capitalism - Essay Example

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To what extent did Adam Smith offer a critique of free market capitalism? Introduction about Adam Smith’s Theory: Adam Smith's belief that competition, the market's invisible hand, would lead to proper pricing played a large role in his economic policy recommendations…
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To What Extent Did Adam Smith Offer A Critique Of Free Market Capitalism
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Download file to see previous pages Capitalists, in particular, supported Smith's policies and often twisted his words to justify mistreatment of workers. They suggested that child labor laws, maximum working hours, and factory health codes constituted a violation of their rights and Smith's golden rule. Similar attempts by factory owners to use Smith's teaching in order to further their own ends continued well into the twentieth century. Historical Framework of Adam Smith’s Theory: The image of the nation state as we know it in the present day has started a long time ago in Europe when individual countries started to think of their legitimacy and control over the political and economical lives of the people (Hindle). During the seventeenth century, the most dominant theory is that which describe the role of the state as a legitimate authority that governs all the aspects of the people's lives. During that period, many thinkers and politicians started to think of the state as the governing body and the ruler as the highest authority that should have all the power in his hands to control his country (Hindle). One of the great advocates of this theory of the role of the state is Machiavelli, who sees the rule as the ultimate power and the state as the highest governing authority. In addition, other theories that describe the role of the state looks at it as an organizer of people's lives with minimum amounts of interference in the political and economic lives. This led to the existence of liberal democratic societies in many places of the world, especially in most of the European countries (Sidgwick). One of the main characteristics of this theory of the role of the state is the emergence of some trends such as industrialization, capitalism, and mercantilism. Such new trends have left important impacts on the role of the state in people's lives. For example, the period during which the role of the state started to be minimized has been characterized by the domination of markets over state policies, climaxed in the initiation of the concept of laissez-faire, as popularized by Adam Smith (Sidgwick). Political economy for most of the twentieth century has defined a particular field of study - the relationship between the state and the economy. As defined by Karl Marx, political economy is a branch of science concerned with the production of commodities and the accumulation of wealth' ("Political Economy"). This involved both different visions of its ideal institutional form as well as theoretical and empirical analysis of agencies and structures, and debates on the principles and substance of public policy. It was accordingly marked by fierce ideological, methodological and theoretical disputes. The different schools of political economy were sharply divided by their methods of analysis and by their ideological preferences. The rival camps agreed, however, that the main concern of political economy was the relationship between the public and the private spheres, although they disagreed about the nature of that relationship. In the public sphere, the arena of politics, the dominant institution was defined as the nation-state, while in the private sphere, the arena of economics, the dominant institution was defined as the national market. On this basis a further set of distinctions between the national and the international, and between the developed and the developing world, were constructed ("Studies in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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