Karl Marx And Adam Smith Essay

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Adam Smith, born in 1723, laid the foundation for classical economics in the eighteenth century and established a paradigm on how to tackle economic decisions on a micro and macro level. Smith’s Wealth of Nation’s outlined many of contemporary economics’ key concepts and laws that offered radical criticisms against the dominant economic thinking of the time, mercantilism. Karl Marx, born in 1818, bore witness to the technological innovations and social conditions that came along with the Industrial Revolution, rise of capitalism, and the growth of Europe’s oversea empires. Marx wrote Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, which sharply criticized Smith’s benevolent depictions of capitalism and the Industrial Revolution. Smith and Marx wrote from different vantage points in history but both offered insights into the changing worlds around them.
Smith outlines in the Wealth of Nations, that colonialism was economically beneficial to both colonial powers and the colonies. Smith writes that “The discovery of America….By opening a new and inexhaustible market to all the commodities of Europe…gave occasion to new divisions of labour and improvements of art, which, in the
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But because of the different time periods and locations that both men wrote from, they had different insights into the consequences and benefits that colonization and capitalism would bring to society. Adam Smith, in part because he didn’t fully experience the Industrial Revolution and rise of capitalism to its fullest extent focused on the efficiencies, increase in production and consumption, and advancements in technology. He caught only a glimpse of what would come at the pin factory, in terms of the mechanical treatment of workers. However, it was Marx, who witnessed and then grappled with the consequences of capitalism and industrialization that he came to criticize Smith’s
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