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Showing posts from March, 2008

Adam Smith the populist

I can't recommend Michael Perelman's The Invention of Capitalism enough. It destroys the myth that classical economists were against government economic intervention and points out that in order for market capitalism to develop, state power was needed to force a largely self-sufficient society into selling their labor for wages. One thing I noticed while reading the book was a similarity between Smith's views and that of Ron Paul, or even Lou Dobbs. While Dobbs might not share the other two's market fundamentalism, they all have a divisive fetish for the "middle class." And beyond that, they proudly display a very basic understanding of the world. There are good and bad people. Some countries are bad, some aren't. The guy in the middle is always getting screwed, be it by the "illegal" Mexican immigrant or the "new world order." This line of thinking certainly divides the working class. It keeps us fighting each other and/or wasting tim…