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Capitalism: a six-part series
Episode 2: The Wealth of Nations: A New Gospel?
By Ilan Ziv
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Adam Smith published two books in his life. The Wealth of Nations is a global bestseller that has never been out of print, while The Theory of Moral Sentiments is largely forgotten.

This episode of CAPITALISM argues that disconnecting Smith the economist from Smith the moral philosopher has led to tragic distortions that have profoundly shaped our global economic system.

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Divided into easy-to-use sections on the division of labor, self-interest, and the tyranny of control, THE WEALTH OF NATIONS: A NEW GOSPEL lays bare the moral dilemma at the heart of The Wealth of Nations: the human cost of achieving a purely efficient free market system.

This episode convincingly argues that the intellectual foundations of current market economics are largely based on a misinterpretation of Smith's words. It argues that Smith did not favour a completely unregulated free market - in fact, he thought it would be disastrous - and that the underpinnings of contemporary capitalism lie instead in an ideology born in the 19th century, that privileges greed over other equally deep-seated human drives.

Featuring interviews with Noam Chomsky, economist Ha-Joon Chang, and Smith biographer Nicholas Phillipson, among others - as well as archival footage of free market luminaries such as Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman. View the complete list of storytellers.

  

53 minutes / color
Closed Captioned
Release: 2015
Copyright: 2014
Sale: $498

The CAPITALISM series consists of six (6) episodes on three (3) DVDs that are packaged and sold together as one unit.

Subject areas:
Business, Business Ethics, Business and Economics, Economics, Economic Sociology, Europe (West), Globalization, Historiography, History (World), Labor Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Political Theory, Politics, Sociology

Related Links:
The Storytellers of Capitalism
The Films of Ilan Ziv


Capitalism / Episode 2 / Clip

Related Titles:
Capitalism: An ambitious but accessible six-part series that looks at both the history of ideas and the social forces that have shaped the capitalist world.

Episode 1: Capitalism is much more complex than the vision Adam Smith laid out in The Wealth of Nations. Indeed, it predates Smith by centuries and is rooted in practices of colonialism and the slave trade.

Episode 3: The roots of today's global trade agreements lie in the work of stockbroker David Ricardo and demographer Thomas Malthus. Together, they would restructure society in the image of the market.

Episode 4: Have we gotten Marx wrong by focusing on the Communist Manifesto instead of on his critique of how capitalism works - a critique that is relevant and as penetrating as ever?

Episode 5: The ideological divide between the philosophies of John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Hayek has dominated economics for nearly a century. Is it time for the pendulum to swing back to Keynes? Or do we need a whole new approach that goes beyond this dualism?

Episode 6: An exploration of the life and work of Karl Polanyi, who sought to reintegrate society and economy. Could the commodification of labour and money ultimately be as disastrous as floods, drought and earthquakes?

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Last Updated September 25, 2015
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