An essay concerning the origins, nature, extent and morality of this
destructive force in free market economies.
Definitions. Paradoxes and omissions in Adam Smith’s original theory
permit – encourage – greed without restraint so that in a very large society over two centuries it has become an undemocratic force creating precipitous inequalities.
Divisions in this society now approach a kind of wealth apartheid, and our values are quite unlike Smith’s: this is an immensely wealthy society but it is not a humane society. Wealth and poverty are connected, in fact recent sociological theory shows our institutions routinely design inequality in, but this connection is largely avoided in texts and in the media, as is the notion that greed is a moral wrong.
Problems created by greed cannot be solved by technology. We are also distracted by already-outdated environmental rhetoric, arguments that scarcities and human suffering follow from abuse of our ecology. Rather, these scarcities are the result of what people do to people. This focus opens practical solutions…
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