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Adam Smith's modes of social organization

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In this paper, we analyze power in five modes of social organization, as can be found in Adam Smith's An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Specifically, we analyze Smith's presentations of pre-capital accumulation and private appropriation of land; feudalism; a system of perfect liberty; late eighteenth century England; and the American colonies, and examine how wealth power, monopoly power, employer power, and political power is manifested within each. We conclude, as does Smith, that modes of social organization can neither be found nor analyzed separately from power.

Keywords: Economics; Monopolies; Politics; Social Class; Society; Wealth

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-05-23

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