The Wealth Of Nations: Self-Interest

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Yes, a society comprised of people motivated primarily by self-interest can and -- hypothetically -- should thrive, because self-interest stimulates economic activity. Historically, preeminent civilizations have revolved around a preeminent economy. Take, for example, the Roman Empire and the United States (circa 1950). These societies dominated global output, by means of their free market economies; wherein, self-interest accelerated wealth accumulation and GDP growth. Within the United States especially, capitalist ideology steers societal progression, and at the core of capitalist ideology lies self-interest. At the micro and macro level, self-interest correlates to prosperity. In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith defends free markets

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