Zoon Politikon I

No human being can be abstracted from politics, despite of we like to say that we pass of it, we are Zoon Politikon, that however ugly it may sound,  defines us very well. We are social animals and politics is everything that happens in cities, the “polis” of the Greeks.  Another thing is that we make a virtue from a defect, ,with the oft-repeated “I’m going to mine”, as happened to Adam Smith, who had no high regard from its congeners, in fact he was convinced that the vast majority of us are a bunch of selfish bastards, perhaps due to the adage  “thinks the thief  that everyone is of his condition.” (this proverb, has rhyme in spanish). This guy clearly did not consider that  the circumstances are really what set the behaviors, not the people, in fact, no matter how powerful somebody feels, we always have little control over our own situation, Schopenhauer who was a pessimist, said “Man is pure contingency.”

What is clear is that we are not “homo aeconomicus “, as they would like employers, have a hard time admitting that the fact is that man does many things without reason, without a plan, not always responds to economic stimuli, and also science shows that it is good that this is so. To try to change this fact, exists the propaganda, a useful tool in skilled hands.

The book  “an investigation into the causes of the Wealth of Nations” published in 1776, is apparently the first serious study that analyzes and tries to explain, sometimes justifying the unjustifiable, market trends and business, until recently it was considered the cornerstone of economics as a science although only reflects a vision of  the economic times of that historical epoch.

It was producing a profound change in a Europe convulsed by the rise of science, medicine, mechanization and industrialization, which brought an uncontrolled explosion of population,  mainly around production centers, while the impoverished monarchy tried spend its last cartridges in order to save their privileges facing a powerful oligarchy emerging  apparently organized in secret societies (more than 600 were counted) and so the states were depleted in wars for territorial or economical conflicts, a situation in which speculators took the greatest benefits. Above the old capitalism, called mercantilism,  the philosophy of Adam Smith wins, who was none other than that of the French Physiocrats as Turgot, who as minister of economy of Louis XVI repeatedly tried unsuccessfully to cut resources to the monarchy, the nobility and the Church,  not at all willing to be stripped without further. The French Revolution finally end up with this situation, truly the end of the eighteenth century was a turning point between one form of domination and other not very different. These are times where in the orphanages, very oversized,  children were sold  to enterprises as labor.

Adam Smith basing himself on the premise that everyone, at all times, is a motherfucker selfish, eliminating in that way in the algebra of his equations, certain constants such as good will, love, fraternity and many other virtues that dignify the human being and which do not enter into his calculations. He pretended, shamelessly, that nature of businesses requires complete freedom of action for its proper functioning, flatly rejecting any intervention by the state, or whatever, a system in imitation of the natural world itself, where The big fish eats the small, a brutal ecosystem where there are predators, although they are humans and dams, also humans. I thought that we invented civilization as specie, in order to face the inclement natural environment, you see, how asshole.

To avoid any moral or political obstacle, the old mercantilist capitalism,  impregnated of nationalism and “Christianity”, gave way to French rationalism and economic liberalism, which built the materialism, the doctrine that will dominate the second half of the eighteenth and the first of XIX, dividing itself later in the current financial capitalism, Marxism and anarchism.

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