Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What I've Been Reading

So the recent trip to Vegas for APEE and tonight's Penguins playoff game have allowed me to get through most of Hirschman's The Passions and the Interests. I was debating using it as supplementary reading for my Micro Principles class in the fall but I think I'll pass, though it would be a solid book for a history/moral foundations of capitalism class.

The following is the epigraph (translated) and sums it up nicely:

And it is fortunate for men to be in a situation in which, though their passions may prompt them to be wicked, they have nevertheless an interest in not being so.

I'm drawn to the idea of the interplay between economic interests and political interests; oftentimes we think of the latter harming the former, but this book explores the interaction going the other direction. It's a hidden virtue of capitalism that seems to have been lost, as the author argues, around the time of Adam Smith.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

It is a fantastic book, though I think he misreads Smith.