The evangelical roots of economics


Said1
#1
SNIP...
Quote:


When evangelical Christianity first grew into a powerful movement, between 1800 and 1850, studies of wealth and trade were called “political economy.” The two books at the center of this new learning were Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (1776) and David Ricardo’s Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (1817). This was the period of the industrial transformation of Britain, a time of rapid urban growth and rapidly fluctuating markets. These books offered explanations of how societies become wealthy and how they can stay that way. They made the accelerated pace of urban life and industrial workshops seem understandable as part of a program that modern history would follow. But by the 1820s, a number of Smith’s and Ricardo’s ideas had become difficult for the growing merchant and investor class to accept. For Smith, the pursuit of wealth was a grotesque personal error, a misunderstanding of human happiness. In his first book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), Smith argued that the acquisition of money brings no good in itself; it seems attractive only because of the mistaken belief that fine possessions draw the admiration of others. Smith welcomed acquisitiveness only because he concluded—in a proposition carried through to Wealth of Nations—that this pursuit of “baubles and trinkets” would ultimately enrich society as a whole. As the wealthy bought gold pickle forks and paid servants to herd their pet peacocks, the servants and...

Quote has been trimmed
Read it all from beginning to end here: Let there be markets: The evangelical roots of economicsā€”By Gordon Bigelow (Harper's Magazine) (external - login to view)
Last edited by Said1; Dec 23rd, 2008 at 06:51 PM..
 
Kreskin
#2
Sounds interesting. I'll have to have a closer look when I get some time.
 
Liberalman
#3
Churches should pay taxes instead of being freeloaders and let them contribute to sociaties ills like rest of the busineses.

The sooner the churches pay their fair share the better it will be
 
Cliffy
#4
The sooner the churches pay their fair share the better it will be

Yes, and make it retro-active to about 1960!
 
Said1
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by KreskinView Post

Sounds interesting. I'll have to have a closer look when I get some time.

LOL. It\s a long one.
 
darkbeaver
#6
Looks like a very good read. I got sixty pages to do tonight, maybe I'll do this first ,it looks better.
 
darkbeaver
#7
Now I have to download the rest of it, and I know I'm going to be pissed off later on because it's definately too short. Is there a book? I didn't notice. You got fine literary taste, I rekon. It organized a somewhat scrambled period for me, at least with respect to what made the adoption of such a hideous anti-social mechanism possible.
Anyway thanks for the hot stuff. I'v been wanting to read Hard Times again for months mostly because I remember enjoying it certainly not because I understood it well or remember much of it.

Anyway thanks for the hot stuff.
 
darkbeaver
#8
Oh great, I don't have a ****ing perscription I can't have the next six pages tonight. I hate you Said1. there is a book though, I live in Hootersville, it will take months to order through Coles, they are illiterate .
 
Said1
#9
HO, HO, hold on there. You read the entire article. The pages at the end are the pages and images as they appear in the magazine.
 
darkbeaver
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by Said1View Post

HO, HO, hold on there. You read the entire article. The pages at the end are the pages and images as they appear in the magazine.

OH. That was the entire arctickle? Anyhow I liked the subject material and the guy is a very good writer.

"What is entirely missing from the economic view of modern life is an understanding of the social world. This was precisely the diagnosis made five years ago by a group of French graduate students in economics, who published their dissent in an open letter that soon made minor headlines around the world. In the letter the students declared that the economic theory taught in their courses was hopelessly out of touch, absorbed in its own private model of reality. They wrote:
We wish to escape from imaginary worlds! Most of us have chosen to study economics so as to acquire a deep understanding of the economic phenomena with which the citizens of today are confronted. But the teaching that is offered . . . does not generally answer this expectation. . . . [T]his gap in the teaching, this disregard for concrete realities, poses an enormous problem for those who would like to render themselves useful to economic and social actors.
The discipline of economics was ill, the letter claimed, pathologically distant from the problems of real markets and real people. "


In my opinion that same condition exists accross the whole of western social fabric.


"What is entirely missing from the economic view of modern life is an understanding of the social world.

Those who assembled the machine and have maintained it have the highest understanding of the social world, that's exactly why it's not reflected in the operation of the western social order.
 
darkbeaver
#11

Fifty bucks, in paperback, sounds like a job for Shoplift Man.
 
Said1
#12
I could swear Weber and the Calvinists were mentioned in that article. Anyway, Weber is my idol. He makes Marx and his economic bases look like a mere ametuer.
Last edited by Said1; Dec 26th, 2008 at 03:01 PM..
 

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