37) Adam Smith Misled Us

About Adam Smith

The Core Falsehood of Capitalist Economics.  How Adam Smith simply ignored the awkward fact that real wealth exists without markets.  And that markets often bring profit while destroying real material wealth.

Why Profit is a Bad Guide to Wealth Creation.  The fatal flaw in Adam Smith’s arguments.  He muddles the idea of Profit and Productiveness, claiming without evidence that nothing can increase real wealth unless it makes a commercial profit.

How National Economies Really Grow.  The alternative system of Friedrich List, who recognised that real economics depends on nation-states.

Adam Smith and the New Right.  How their ideas are indeed quite similar.  Both assume that an elite should control society.  And like his modern admirers, Smith had a way of excluding ‘off-message facts’. Pretended not to know about unfree Scottish labour in The Wealth of Nations, but had mentioned it in the public lectures the book developed from.

Adam Smith’s Friends and the birth of Conspiracy Theory.  His connections to several influential individuals, including James Watt and John Robison.
Robison believed in a conspiracy of Freemasons behind the French Revolution.
He had nothing to say about Jews, but the notion later evolved into anti-Semitic fantasies like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Relevant to Smith’s Ideology of Capitalism

The Mixed Economy Won the Cold War.  How the West was tricked into mistrusting its highly successful Mixed Economy system.  How the Baby Boomers were sold ‘Imaginary Capitalism’ as the answer to their dreams of Freedom.  How it failed overall, but allowed the rich to gain a lot more than their fair share. How the Soviet Union made vast economic gains under Stalin.  And was doing OK up until the 1970s.

Coleridge and the end of Christian economics.  How a man who was a philosopher as well as poet had a plausible alternative to the Adam Smith vision.  And how he noticed the Trade Cycle, maybe the first person to do so.

William Petty on Real Capitalism.  How a half-forgotten English writer gave a much more authentic description than the later work of Adam Smith.
How he foresaw that Britain becoming a country mostly devoted to industry and commerce, with agriculture marginalised.
How he was in favour of tax as a means to greater general wealth, and accepted the necessary role of the state.

Economics is About People, Not Money.  Looking at the social context in which Britain industrialised.  Suggesting that Marx and others were mistaken in just looking at the capitalist element in it.  And that in Adam Smith’s time, the British state was expanding faster than the economy was, part of a successful mix.

Why Capitalist ‘Managerial Science’ is Highly Collectivist.  Looking at a noted book called ‘Creating We”, created by business for business.  And implicitly contradicting official economics, which supposes detached individualism.

Arkwright – How Money Conquered Work.   It has no single beginning, but Richard Arkwright was a major contributor to a system in which a few people controlled the work of many.  He was hard-working and clever, but also a man who stole other people’s ideas.  A man who turned the work of many into wealth for just himself.

Is Capitalism Our True Heritage?  Arguing that Britain is not and never has been an entirely capitalist society.  Other values were always used to curb it, to get a successful system.

Advertisements