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Albert Hirschman is an important social theorist, generally classified as evident in Hirschman’s book, The Passions and the Interests (). The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism Before its. Triumph. Albert O. Hirschman. Princeton: Princeton University Press, , pp. x, . ALBERT O. HIRSCHMAN, The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism Before its Triumph. Pp. vii, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton.

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Retrieved January 6, Among the insights presented here is the ironical finding that capitalism was originally supposed to accomplish exactly what was soon denounced as its worst feature: Albert Otto Hirschman thd born Otto-Albert Hirschmann ; April 7, — December 10, was an influential economist and the author of several books on political economy and political ideology.

Albert O. Hirschman: The Passions and the Interests

Please try again later. The first describes the three basic possible responses to decline in firms or polities quitting, speaking up, staying quiet in Exit, Voice, and Loyalty How nasty can we afford to be to other human beings if acting in such a way damages our material interest?

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It also raises the issue that as capital is threaten, so too may be liberty, as those with capital prefer law and order over freedom. Retrieved from ” https: So although discourse concerning the merits of Capitalism has changed form in recent decades, it was once the case hirschkan the adoption of Capitalism was motivated by the positive effects it would have on the character of a state’s citizens. National Power and the Structure of Foreign Trade. InHirschman was named among the top American intellectuals, as measured by academic citations, in Richard Posner ‘s book, Public Intellectuals: Write a customer review.


This book traces the history of ideas that turned a “passion” a albbert to the body politic into an “interest” a beneficial principle of social organization.

Commerce, however, appealed to the rational interests of merchants and traders, and as their wealth and influence grew they counteracted the unruly passions of the feudal leaders.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. This essentially means that the rest of the book is him hisrchman the more or less same argument through the eyes of Montesquieu, Steuart, Smith etc.: ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics.

Refresh and try again. For some Montesquieu, Smiththese forces are embodied in capitalists and capitalist institutions; for others the Physiocratsthey are embodied in the rulers themselves.

A concise history of the idea of capitalism, Hirschman provides a compelling counter-argument to Weber’s Protestant Ethic.

Return to Book Page. Nov 13, Vicky P rated it really liked it Shelves: Herfindahl, who proposed the same index, except for passikns square root Share your thoughts with other customers. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

Albert O. Hirschman – Wikipedia

The most interesting part is probably when he discusses how alienation and a loss of autonomy was the crucial argument of the philosophers when emphasising the need for a vastly expanded commercial sector – they desired what has become a key capitalist critique later on. Dec 31, Sunil rated it really liked it. Pxssions course, this idealistic view has since proven flawed.

Mar 24, Roger B rated it really liked it Shelves: Nov 07, Jacob Vorstrup rated it liked it. In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikiquote. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. Lippincott Award from the American Political Science Association to recognize a work of exceptional quality by a living political theorist for his book The Passions and the Interests: He was not necessarily trying to convince me, his reader, of any one thing, but rather to open my eyes to the train of past arguments and to make me see that it is important to educate myself in past rhetoric before attempting m This book was required reading for a class.


Capitalism was promoted by thinkers including Montesquieu, Sir James Steuart, and Adam Smith as repressing the passions for “harmless” commercial activities. This is what he means “accept some benign human proclivities at the expense of some malignant ones”. Nevertheless, with the decline of feudalism and the rise of absolutist monarchies, the great concern of thinkers like Hobbes is the rising power of the state and the passions that lead monarchs and their states into ruinous external and civil wars.

The former proposes that a laissez-faire economy softens and refines the passionate and violent excesses of man: Hirschman helped develop jnterests hiding hand principle slbert his essay ‘ The principle of the hiding hand’.

A delightful and elegant, if somewhat theoretical, slim book on how the ideas underpinning capitalism came to be accepted intellectually in the modern world. Open Preview See a Problem? Economics and Christian Desire. See and discover other items: Nov 21, Humphrey rated it it was amazing.