: : : A friend of mine produced a theory of society recently; it consisted of a society in which the workers owned the means of production and ploughed the profits of their enterprise back into the welfare of the *local* community in which they lived; and that resources should not be owned by someone remote and detached from the community in which they have an effect.
: : : Any environmental and social costs involved in the manufacture of a product should be fully internalized into the cost of production; as such, the price of oil should represent fully the environmental damage it does when burnt.
: : : In addition, the worker should ideally be involved in the ownership of the company he or she works for as a way of maximising efficiency of production.
: : : The whole emphasis was on small communities and fair trade, even to the point of active resistance of monopolies; which were dangerous because they would have a disproportionate influence on market prices.
: : : Any comments on this, Frenchy?
: : The consumer would have to pay for the inefficiencies of such a scheme. I may be wrong, but it sounds like your friend is advocating for a return to the days of the guilds. It also sounds a bit like monastical life where the monks produced everything they needed, sold the excess, and used whatever profits they obtained to improve their lands.
: : They unintentionally bacame wealthy.
: : But I have a question for you. You mention the dangerous influence of monopolies on the market place. 1. What monopolies are you referring to? 2. What dangerous influences are you talking about? 3. If these small communities feel that active resistance is fair in opposing business', do they also think it is fair for business' to actively oppose them?
: I'm afraid I led you a little dance, Frenchy.
: What I was passing off as my friend's ideas were, in fact, taken straight out of An Inquiry Into The Nature And Causes of the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith.
: (rephrased slightly for the purposes of a) readability and b) not making it too obvious that it was written in the 1770s.)
: (for example:
"He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention."
: (Wealth of Nations, Book 4, Chapter 2)
: Smith is quite unequivocal in his words; a monopoly can have an unfair effect on the markets; which is why competition is important in his theory and why they should be curtailed.
: Your reaction is ...interesting ;)
: : : : Huxley, I feel, tells us that it's done w/ the adroit use of words and their meanings; "War is Peace", etc.
: : : Actually, that's George Orwell in 1984.
: : Duh.
: You were saying?
: (There's an evil little bit of fun to be had in getting a fanatic capitalist to apply the boot to old Adam...)
DoH! Another great man whose book I haven't read. Geez, now you guys know that not only haven't I ever read Marx, I've also never read Adam Smith.
So, tell me, does Adam Smith not believe that countries ought to trade w/ each other (comparative advantage and all that), or that each community ought to be self-supporting? That's what this sentence sounds like; "By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security;..."
When you say 'monopoly', are you including governments powerful enough to engage in social engineering?
How would Adam Smith answer the following; 1. What monopolies are you referring to? 2. What dangerous influences are you talking about? 3. If these small communities feel that active resistance is fair in opposing business', do they also think it is fair for business' to actively oppose them?