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Something has clicked

Something has just clicked in my head and economics has suddenly become fascinating.

So much of it revolves around this central question: is it possible to maximize the interests of a group while still preserving the rights of the individual?

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fraterseraphino
Apr. 10th, 2006 07:36 pm (UTC)
... And once the question transmutes into "how should one maximize the interests of a group while maximizing the rights of the individual", then your brain is in for a world of hurt. :-)

Being a classics sort of guy, I'd recommend a few brief articles on Wikipedia: Adam Smith, Classical Economics, and Milton Friedman. I'd be a little leery of approaching Karl Marx and Marxism without some foundation in macroeconomics (see Economics for an intro), because Marxism as a coherent theory fails to take into account the value of risk management--and not groking that means Marxism may leave you more befuddled than before.

(Short story: Marx berates the investor who builds a factory as parasites on the workers who work at the factory, because Marx's theory of value suggests that labor is the only source of value. The failure here is that risk (and managing risk) has value itself: the investor who invests in the factory risks losing his money, and so is "buying" risk in exchange for the potential reward of making money on his investment.)


I agree, though; economics as a lens to understand social interaction--and trying to answer the question "how can we maximize freedom and maximize the interests of the group" through that lens--is an endlessly fascinating topic full of rich detail.

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