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ESSAY 4 – MODERN ECONOMIC SOCIAL THEORIES UTILITARIANISM and ECONOMIC LIBERALISM
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ESSAY 4 – MODERN ECONOMIC SOCIAL
UTILITARIANISM and ECONOMIC LIBERALISM
Required Readings: Jeremy Bentham, Curtis vol 2. p 117-119
Required Reading: Ursula Leguin’s “the ones who walk away from Omelas.”
On Bentham’s principles of utilitarianism
Capitalism and Adam Smith
Readings: Adam Smith – in Curtis vol 2, p. 108-116
Adam Smith – summary:
History of Capitalism (Adam Smith)
Smith, Ideas that changed the world: full documentary
Chomsky on Adam Smith
Smith ideas of non-intervention and the Irish Potato famine: a critical perspective
KARL MARX: MODERNITY AND CAPITALISM
The life and times of Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels. The dialectic of history, the
master-slave relation, class struggle, alienated labor, dialectical materialism, the self
destruction of capitalism, the withering away of the state.
Required Readings: All of Karl Marx in Section 6 of Curtis vol2, p 155-180.
Basic introduction to Marx:
Marx, basic concepts:
Crisis and Openings: Introduction to Marxism – Richard D Wolff (a solid and
entertaining lecture on Morx in contemporary context – strongly recommended)
1hour and 30 minutes
The Difference Between Socialism, Communism, and Marxism Explained by a Marxist
Richard Wolf again on capitalism, technology and the solution to unemployment.
8-10 pages, APA format,
Prompt for essay 4:
1. Based on the required readings, show your comprehension of
Jeremy Bentham’s basic principles of Utilitarianism? SShow you
read Ursula’s Leguin’s short story “The ones who leave Omelas”
and how it is a critique of utilitarianism.
2. Based on the required readings, show your comprehension of the
main ideas of Adam Smith with regard the free market as the
basis for an all-encompassing social theory? Show that you
understand the video on Smith’s theory of non-intervention in the
market and its effect on the Irish Potato famine. What does this
show about the problems of free market capitalism?
3. Based on the required readings, show your comprehension of the
main ideas of Karl Marx’s theory of scientific socialism and his
criticism of capitalism? What is his theory of the social classes,
class consciousness, the inevitable monopolization of capital
(wealth), alienated labor, wage slavery, and the inevitability of the
collapse of capitalism? What were Marx’s contributions to the
early 20 th century labor movement? What is meant by a classless
society? With technology, could a classless society someday be
4. What are the essential differences between capitalism and
socialism? How might the best ideas of capitalism and socialism