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Old 08-09-2019, 09:53 AM
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Kobal2 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 18,530
Originally Posted by Hellestal View Post
I have personally found it to be especially helpful when I want to talk about a book, to first open its cover and carefully read the contents before I started talking about it. But I suppose there are other philosophies on this matter.

To say that this is incorrect is an understatement. This is directly contrary to the content of Adam Smith's books. Not slightly, but 180 degrees opposite of what he actually, and repeatedly, says. The fallacies of foibles of man are not a digression, not a side point, not a brief footnote, but rather a special point of emphasis that is continually returned to. This is true in both of his books.
You misunderstand my point in your haste to mock.
Adams, I'm reasonably sure, never explicitly lays out a recommended scheme or system in Wealth (that being said I may be wrong on this, for one thing I never did read it in its entirety, just the bits with all the pictures, for another what I did read was millions of years ago) which is why I called him an "observer of commerce". He contented himself with laying out "this is how things work in the world at present and how these systems interact as I understand them", and notes that the foibles of man sometimes converge with actual good outcomes even if that's wholly unintended. As your last quote notes however, the foibles of man are just as apt to fuck it all up.
A system that produces good results by accident but sometimes causes the minor continental genocide or enormous political upheaval is not a system that works, by my admittedly idiosynchratic acception of the word. If my operating system ran as I wanted it to 75% of the time but made my computer explode the other 25%, I would not describe that piece of software as "working".

Which is why the folks who came later, claiming that laissez faire everywhere all the time is clearly the best possible thing to do because The Market will somehow fix everything because idiots are guided by an invisible hand and capital is totally meritocratic you guys are, well, misguided shall we say. The Magic Market would only lead to a majority of (or even exclusively) positive outcomes for all involved if actors were led by what Adams qualifies as "wisdom and virtue" rather than "worship of wealth". Because you don't write entire books first describind then shitting on people's inadequacies at length if you don't implicitly set out to correct them, or at least edumacate them. S'called subtext, that is.

Better now ? Not too monosyllabic for you ?

Last edited by Kobal2; 08-09-2019 at 09:53 AM.