The Beggar Fits Differently Into Smith 's And Marx 's Accounts Of Capitalist Production

1525 Words Nov 6th, 2016 7 Pages
The beggar fits differently into Smith’s and Marx’s accounts of capitalist production due to dissimilar understandings of human nature. To begin with, according to Smith, our human nature is self-interest. It is the fundamental axiom that powers what Smith calls the “division of labor”. Smith explains that self-interest creates and initiates trade amongst people, which in turn develops into the idea of the division of labor and efficient production. For Smith, the trading of goods and services occurs before the division of labor because as he writes, “In that original state of things…the whole produce of labor belongs to the labor” (Smith, 73). Essentially, people satisfy their own needs through their own means. However, people do not originally benefit from the production of other laborers since society is inherently individualistic in nature. People learn to survive through their own means and according to their individual instincts. Trade amongst individuals eventually developed as various producers began to offer attractive goods and services that could satisfy an array of interests. However, Smith stresses that the exchange of goods and services is not driven by the “benevolence of others”, but rather self-interest (Smith, 15).
Additionally, Smith also states that the beggar does not solely benefit from the benevolence of others through charity, but rather he or she also utilizes their self-interest for survival. As Smith states, “Nobody but a beggar chooses to…

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