Albert Hirschman is an important social theorist, generally classified as evident in Hirschman’s book, The Passions and the Interests (). The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism Before its. Triumph. Albert O. Hirschman. Princeton: Princeton University Press, , pp. x, . ALBERT O. HIRSCHMAN, The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism Before its Triumph. Pp. vii, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton.

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What was “lust for wealth” in Machiavelli’s day has become “rational self-interest” since Adam Smith. Written inin my mind it raises interesting questions about the future of the developing world, especially China, and for America as the economic future of the Middle Class continues to be threatened.

Very good summary of the intellectual currents that lead from the early Christian view that the pursuit of money is less than virtuous, to the view that pursuit of self-interest in the form of commerce is beneficial to human freedom by its necessary restraint on the power of the state. And it is fortunate for men to be in a situation in which, though their passions may prompt them to be wicked, they have nevertheless an interest in not being so.

Albert O. Hirschman

As with Social Darwinism, evolutionary psychology makes it tempting to explain away irrational behavior and its consequences as hopelessly endemic, only to be tempered by appealing to other innate drives. It reads incredibly quick and compellingly for the slbert of information and insight it contains. This is what he means “accept some benign human proclivities at the expense of some malignant ones”. The second describes the basic arguments made by conservatives perversity, futility and jeopardy in The Rhetoric of Reaction Capitalist activities came into favor among the intellectual elite “not because the money-making activities were approved in themselves, but because they were thought to have a most beneficial side effect: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States.

But that was probably never the point either. Dec 24, Yognik rated it liked it. AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. To that end, he says that Tawney’s and Marx’s theories about the rise of capitalism are to black-and-white, and he tacitly and modestly replaces a nuanced historical study of the actual rise of capitalism. Lists with This Book. So although discourse concerning the merits of Capitalism has changed form in recent decades, it was once the case that the adoption of Capitalism was motivated by the positive effects it would have on the character of a state’s citizens.


So although discourse concerning the merits of Capitalism has changed form in recent decades, This is an immensely fascinating book. In this context, the pursuit of wealth is transformed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries into the pursuit of material interest.

Aug 11, Paul Bard rated it liked it. Feb 06, Brian rated it liked it Shelves: Nevertheless, with the decline of feudalism and the rise of absolutist monarchies, the great concern of thinkers like Hobbes is the rising power of the state and the passions that lead monarchs and their states into ruinous external and civil wars. For that reason, it is important to revisit them, in order to “raise the level of our debate.

Would you like to tell us about a lower price? Customers who bought this item also bought. Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Political Arguments for Capitalism before Its Triumph. Hirschman here offers a new interpretation for the rise of capitalism, one that emphasizes the continuities between old and new, in contrast to the assumption of a sharp break that is a common feature of both Marxian and Weberian thinking. East Xnd Designer Men’s Fashion.

I ths recomend it to anyone looking to understand the theoretical basis for capitalistic society. According to Hirschman biographer Jeremy Adelman, the book reflected Hirschman’s political moderation, a challenge to reductive accounts of human nature by economists as a “utility-maximizing machine” as well as Marxian or communitarian “nostalgia for a world that was lost to consumer avarice. Feb 17, Radwa rated it really liked it Shelves: I was having trouble really caring about pwssions Enlightenment thinkers many of them a bit obscure said about capitalism, but then this book got a lot more interesting alberrt the second half of the last chapter, where Hirschman both alberh the discussion a bit more historical context and also explains why it is useful to think about from a contemporary perspective.

This is an immensely yhe book. Of course, before the dawn of capitalism, the pursuit of economic interests is considered one hischman the worst passions; avarice is a foe of the Platonic conception of Reason and the Christian view of the Truth.

Albert O. Hirschman: The Passions and the Interests

The International Who’s Who Hirschman traces this line of argument through Steuart, Smith, Quesnay, and so forth. Political Arguments for Capitalism Before Its Triumph” is an essay as insightful and thought-provoking as it is elegant. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. To ask other readers questions about The Passions and the Interestsplease sign up.


Really interesting and different history of capitalism. Hirschman is indeed an economist “of the people”. Much of his work attempted to explain why 3rd world nations were unable to achieve satisfactory economic development.

Albert O. Hirschman: The Passions and the Interests – Waggish

Accelerator effect Administered prices Barriers to entry Bounded rationality Conspicuous consumption Conspicuous leisure Conventional wisdom Countervailing power Effective competition Herfindahl index Hiding hand principle Hirschman cycle Instrumentalism Kuznets cycles Market concentration Market power Market structure Penalty of taking the lead Satisficing Shortage economy Structure—conduct—performance paradigm Technostructure Theory of two-level planning Veblen hte Veblenian dichotomy.

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His ibterests work was in political economy and there he advanced two simple but intellectually powerful schemata. To portray this lengthy ideological change as an endogenous process, Hirschman draws on the writings of a large number of thinkers, including Montesquieu, Sir James Steuart, and Adam Smith.

A concise history of the idea of capitalism, Hirschman provides a compelling counter-argument to Weber’s Protestant Ethic. Hirschman noted that words including “vice” and “passion” gave way to “such bland terms” as “advantage” and “interest.

The New York Times. Buy the selected items together This item: The Passions and the Interests is Hirschman’s examination of 17th and 18th century European thought, particularly as it related to the anticipated political, social, and economic effects of people acting in accordance with their material interests.

It was fascinating to see how economics evolved from seeing ‘passions and interests’ as the worst side of human beings, which should always be kept in check; to using the passion of greed and self-interest as a force which triumphs other ‘harmful’ passions and thus helps people to live ‘good’ lives.

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