Adam Smith and Karl Marx are both respected in their views for creating a society in which it will allow for the greatest number of people to flourish under the conditions of their type of government. Adam Smith, a Scottish political economist philosopher born in 1723, had the goal of impeccable liberty for all individuals through the capitalistic approach, in which he argues that capitalism will not only create new wealth and the possibility for universal opulence and future happiness, but improves the moral fiber of an entire nation. While Karl Marx, born in 1818, believed in individual freedom for society and logically criticized capitalism giving reasons as to why it was it was an immoral and evil economic system that will ultimately be overthrown. Figuring out what kind of state will ensure the greatest freedom or liberty of individuals was their main philosophical problem. They differed in their views of human nature, the social decisions made in the society, the role of competition, and the effects of the division of labor on human beings. In Smith’s notion of human nature, Smith suggests that it is better to be rich than to be poor, but he focused on making a decent life possible for all. He felt that a market economy was best able to improve the standard of living of the vast majority of the population; that it would lead to what Smith called universal opulence. Smith also says that with the help of new manufacturing technologies, it allowed for more women and children to be employed. He says, “As wages moved upward and as the costs of production fell in agriculture and in the manufacture of basic necessities such as textiles for clothing, the standard of living rose. What had once been regarded as ‘luxuries’ came to be seen as mere ‘decencies’ what had been ‘decencies’ became ‘necessities’” (Muller, 57). Smith uses tea, a luxury beverage of the upper classes when the century began, was now a daily drink of road workers by midcentury. Items...
Bibliography: Berman, Marshall, All that is Solid Melts into Air, 1982.
Muller, Jerry, The Mind and the Market: Capitalism in Modern European Thought, 2002.
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