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Against the Current

  • Riccardo RosolinoEmail author
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Abstract

Although the world of law had adopted the idea that monopolies could cancel each other out, as conceived by the theologians, it gradually became more feeble and eventually disappeared. It was, after all, dually heterodox and certainly had no place in the physiocrats’ new image of the economic arena, in which the market itself would penalise those who perniciously pursued their own interests. This chapter demonstrates how original Smith’s reflections were compared to the current line of thought, setting a disenchanted pragmatism against optimistic convictions. It also aims to show how the old idea was formidably applied in Smith’s reasoning. The congenital weakness of the market laid it open to the partisan schemes of monopolist conspirators, but allowing such schemes to come up against a natural counterpart provided an excellent solution to one of the chief issues spawned by industrial capitalism.

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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human and Social ScienceUniversity of Naples—L’OrientaleNaplesItaly

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