econ 80a lecture 7

econ 80a lecture 7 - HIRSCHMAN-THE PASSIONS AND THE...

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HIRSCHMAN--- THE PASSIONS AND THE INTERESTS Opening comment (p. 9) to the effect that how could such a crass activity like money making become such a noble calling ???? a la Keynes We shall be able to afford to dare to assess the money-motive at its true value. The love of money as a possession--as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life--will be recognized for what it is, a disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease. All kinds of social customs and economic practices, affecting the distribution of wealth and of economic rewards and penalties, which we now maintain at all costs, however, distasteful and unjust they may be in themselves, because they are tremendously useful in promoting the accumulation of capital, we shall then be free, at last, to discard. "At the beginning of the principal section of his famous essay, Max Weber asked: Now, how could an activity, which was at best ethically tolerated, turn into a calling in the sense of Benjamin Franklin? In other words: How did commercial, banking, and similar money-making pursuits become honorable at some point in the modern age after having stood condemned or despised as greed, love of lucre, and avarice for centuries past?" -----In the opening passages Hirschman discusses the rise of "anti heroic" virtues (14 th 16 th century preoccupation---seen as forms of self preservation, self love, and consequently as frantic escape from real self-knowledge---such "virtues" were demeaning and foolish---) Hirschman mentions Hobbs, Racine, and Cervantes in this regard -----In the process, there developed a spirit against "moralizing" and a concomitant interest in "state craft" e.g., a la Machiavelli, arguing that we should "see man as he really is " and thus attacking philosophers who saw men as they wanted them to be ---rather, lets offer practical advice to the Prince ----So too was there a waning of the recognition of "religious" precepts . BUT---WITHOUT MORALS AND OR RELIGION, WHAT FORCE(S) COULD BE CALLED UPON TO RESTRAIN AGGRESSIVE HUMAN BEHAVIOR??? TWO
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1. Coercion and repression---(St. Augustine/Calvin mentioned---) that is, society needs a strong and powerful leader ..but what happens if the sovereign fails???? I.E., who will control the state????
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