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The Essential Hirschman$
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Albert O. Hirschman and Jeremy Adelman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691159904

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691159904.001.0001

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Against Parsimony

Against Parsimony

Three Easy Ways of Complicating Some Categories of Economic Discourse

(p.248) Against Parsimony
The Essential Hirschman

Albert O. Hirschman

Princeton University Press

This chapter takes up several critiques on the early nineteenth-century social and economic order—capitalism—and their interrelations. First, the chapter shows the close relationship and direct contradiction between an early argument in favor of market society and a subsequent principal critique of capitalism. Next, the chapter points to the contradictions between this critique and another diagnosis of the ills from which much of modern capitalist society is said to suffer. And finally the tables are turned on this second critique by yet another set of ideas. In all three cases, the chapter reveals an almost total lack of communication between the conflicting theses.

Keywords:   market society, capitalism, modern capitalist society, doux-commerce thesis, self-destruction thesis, feudal-shackles thesis

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