Compare And Contrast Adam Smith And Karl Marx

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Adam Smith and Karl Marx are undoubtedly two of the finest economic minds of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries respectively. Karl Marx was a revolutionary political philosopher and believed that those with means would invariably use their power to exploit the working class beneath them, and viewed communism and revolutions as an eventuality brought about by this rift between rich and poor. Adam Smith posited that individuals should own the means of production and reinvest said capital for the betterment of society, a system that he believed would allow equal opportunity for gaining wealth. Both men had big ideas pertaining to what is known as classical economics (with Marx even drawing inspiration from Smith); but while Smith is one…show more content…
He postulated that a free market economy was entirely natural and was consistent with human nature as each person has a drive to improve their own lives. Each man pursuing his own interests and competing would make society better by guaranteeing a fair price for goods and services while also spurring constant economic innovation to keep pace with growth. In Smith 's mind, competition was responsible for keeping the prices of goods and services low because if a person was unhappy with a business they could simply choose to patronize another establishment. Unequal distribution of power was viewed as an imperfection in Smith 's ideal system so he left government intervention as an option if the inequality became detrimental to the free market. This theory, known as the 'invisible hand ' was, to Smith, the ideal system for the flourishing of a society because it allowed for capitalism with minimal intervention from the government. Smith saw the functions of society and the economy as outcomes of individuals, he put a great premium on the actions of individuals acting purely out of self interest as the catalyst for economic success and the well being of society. Smith 's individualistic view was summed up in his most popular work The Wealth of Nations. He wrote, “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we…show more content…
Both men wrote in terms of both the present and future, and made predictions about the outcomes of their respective theories and free market economies. Smith saw a future where the individual pursuit of wealth and happiness reigned supreme, whereas Marx saw the capitalist system as a cycle of exploitation of the working class that would end in violent
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