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Context : OnEconomics

Quora Answer : Why is the world digging the dead ones like Karl Marx instead of realizing their own faults in their economic systems?

Nov 22, 2014

People tend to look back at the thinkers who got into the game early.

AdamSmith and KarlMarx are two of the early modern thinkers about economics. And they represent two fairly broad opposing views.

Smith represents the "optimistic" view : that markets self-organize towards stability, and bring everyone greater wealth. Marx represents the "pessimistic" view, that markets self-organize towards unsustainable concentrations of wealth and power, leading to wide-spread misery and social instability.

Neither Smith nor Marx was necessarily the first person in history to have these particular intuitions. But they were some of the earliest to codify and explain them in popular books. So it's natural for us to look back at them as the "founders" of these schools of thought.

When more modern writers come along and say the same thing, we tend to think of them as successors to the earlier thinkers, even though they are also adding new ideas of their own.

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