Ap European History Frq: Karl Marx vs. Adam Smith

Topics: Marxism, Karl Marx, Capitalism Pages: 3 (863 words) Published: March 30, 2013
“Adam Smith’s enormous authority resides, in the end, in the same property that we discover in Marx: not in any ideology, but in an effort to see the bottom of things. In both cases their greatness rests on an unflinching confrontation with the human condition as they could best make out.” Assess the above quote. What ideas did both men draw upon in order to formulate their ideas? What were their conclusions? Why were their conclusions so different? To what extent were they correct? Adam Smith and Karl Marx were considered to be amongst the best or if not the best economic theorists the world has ever seen. Despite seeming to be polar opposites, both Smith and Marx are fundamentally similar. Both are looking to see what makes the entire system run, and what the basis of economy truly is. They both have their flaws, yet they were both correct. Their idea was to formulate something that would run the basis of economy. Both have different ideas, both have different agendas. Marx and Smith had different thoughts and drawing different conclusion on how things should be run, and yet to a certain extent both of them are correct. Both men drew their ideas upon very different sources. Adam Smith was a child of the Enlightenment; therefore he must’ve drawn some Enlightenment ideas. In 1751 Adam Smith met Scottish philosopher David Hume, who was a major Enlightenment thinker. It is safe to assume that Smith learned many things from Hume, who was ten years his senior. Some also argued that Smith came up with the idea to write “Wealth of Nations” on his own, with little or no influence of others. Marx, on the other hand, was greatly influenced by the ideas of others. Georg Hegel's dialectics inspired Marx greatly. Generally, the idea was that conflict between two opposing forces would produce a synthesis which was generally more acceptable to both sides. Hegel saw this phenomenon in nature and everywhere, and it was the basis of class conflict in Marx's writings. Conflict...
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