All about Adam Smith’s Technology, and Liberty
27 Jul 2022

All about Adam Smith’s Technology, and Liberty

Post by drclixadmin

Adam Smith is often called the father of capitalism. It’s certainly certain that Smith saw the value in an economic system that Smith called natural liberty, in which people could make use of their talents and resources according to their own preferences in a market-based system. But a popular depiction of capitalism may lead one to believe that Smith was an individual who was not. Actually, Smith recognized the benefits of commercial society mostly due to its tendency to elevate the status of the less prosperous or the poor, whose earnings and standards of living rise in a flourishing, growing, rich, free and well-governed state. Smith’s concerns are ethical and humane, and he has the question of what system is able to benefit everyone without causing great injustice and concludes that the commercial system often fulfills these criteria well.

Smith’s praise of the commercial society is, however, combined with an awareness of ways in which it could go wrong and an awareness of the ways in which it could cause harm to those we believe that it can, in many instances, assist. One of the harms Smith was concerned about was the potential for the mental mutilation of the employee. This mental mutilation Smith claims happens most often when an individual is constrained to a small number of tasks, and their minds are focused only on only those things and nothing else. One who is so focussed on a specific task doesn’t have the opportunity to test his knowledge or test his creativity. According to Smith, he

… Naturally becomes unable to maintain the habit of mental exercise and is generally as ignorant and stupid as it is for a human being to be. The trance of his mind renders him not only incapable of enjoying or participating in any conversation rationally and of comprehending any kind, noble or tender feeling and thus incapable of making an informed opinion about all of the normal obligations of private life.

This is a major issue for Smith. This isn’t a problem solely because the person is boring to be around and is not a good citizen, or that they are not useful to defend the nation, although any of these may be true. The fact is that this mental alteration is a concern to Smith because it poses an affront to liberty itself.

Smith’s definition of liberty is very complex and nuanced. There is certainly an aspect of liberty that is characterized by the absence of government intervention in the free market activities of individuals, something Smith goes into detail in his most renowned publication, The Wealth of Nations. Smith is adamant about the aforementioned, such as the restrictive restrictions on freedom of mobility or licensure requirements that infringe on the right to liberty of the individual worker as well as those who may choose to employ the worker.

However, when you consider the Wealth of Nations together with his lesser-known Theory of Moral Sentiments, Smith also seems to be concerned about a kind of liberty that demands an increase in the capacities of an individual and not the mere absence of constraints. According to Samuel Fleischacker puts it in his The Third Concept of Liberty, Adam Smith conceived of meaningful individual liberty as a form of self-made judgment. This kind of judgment is not automatic, automatic, or embedded in our minds by default. Instead, it’s something that is developed socially, during times when we can make matters for ourselves and then make our choices available to others in the community to receive their approval or condemnation. A person who has been mentally damaged has some kind of handicap when exercising judgment. His opportunities for and capacity to make decisions freely and independently are limited.

Mental mutilation can be an attack on judgment and is a sign that this kind of mental mutilation could be a danger to liberty that we must be worried about. Maybe, however, this particular fear doesn’t affect all of us in our current lives and jobs. Most workers today do not work in highly specialized positions and are instead freed by the operation of machines to perform more general, physically demanding tasks. The work-life balance hasn’t always developed exactly as Smith could have thought it would (although it is important to keep in mind that a lot of this incredibly focused and potentially dangerous production is hidden from the view of those living here in America).

However, even if it is true that machines can’t constantly lock people into mental mutilation, however, that doesn’t suggest that Adam Smith’s concerns aren’t relevant. However, Smith gives us the sources to inquire what else mental mutilation could originate? What other machines, mechanisms, and the latest pieces of technology could be substituted for the worker’s own judgment or hinder their ability to develop and exercise their judgment?

One way these problems could occur is by substituting an automated judgment for that of free people. AI scientists have suggested that there’s a line of distinction between algorithmic advice and algorithms taking decisions on our behalf and that the current trend is moving from computer programming to the programming of people. When we disguise algorithmic judgments as our own decisions and allow them to be a source of comfort, we could fall into a state of numbness, not realizing the actual limitations of our personal choice, which places a limit on our capacity to exercise and improve our judgment and, consequently, the freedom we enjoy.

It’s as easy as the easy availability of turn-by-turn navigation in the fingers of our hands. Rapid technological advancement has fundamentally altered how we perceive and navigate across the landscape that surrounds us. And there is evidence of permanent negative effects the use of these devices can cause. The threat to freedom that is caused by dependence on mobile phone navigation apps might be minor, but this type of automatic judgment that is multiplied with every point in our lives of work and leisure as well as our entertainment and even our work can cause concern.

Like Adam Smith, be careful to steer clear of radical optimism or alarmism. Certain have argued that our most feared concerns about the negative effects of algorithms, including radicalization or the formation of echo chambers with polarization, might have been exaggerated. However, as the predictive and predictive algorithms continue to be a part of our lives and become embedded into our daily decision-making, it is better to be aware of the extent to which our choices are influenced or even driven by machines that are out of our control in order to preserve the freedom we enjoy in the exercise of our own judgment.


Economic Liberalization Stammers in Latin America

Liberalization is being pushed to the side. Everywhere you go across Latin America, the left is the main force in the room or is in the process of doing the same in the event that Gustavo Petro wins the soon-to-be presidential elections for Colombia in the coming months and Lula da Silva (yes, Lula da Silva, Lula da Silva, the former corrupt president that ruled over the vast sphere of corruption and was imprisoned for a time) is elected during October’s elections in Brazil.

From Mexico From Mexico Chile, It is the traditional and not the social-democratic form of left in charge of steering the subcontinent from the direction of liberalization it embarked on in the last few years.

Many factors are responsible for this: the ending of the commodities boom about a year earlier (a fresh one’s on the way. However, that’s another story) and the devastating socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic, acceptance of centrist and center-right governments who opted to accept the legacy of the reforms to the market that took place in the 1990s, rather than move forward and also a certain flimsiness among younger generations who are more focused on entitlements and rights instead of saving, working and investing.

In Mexico, the country with the second-largest population and economy, Lopez Obrador is taking down his electoral process, which has been an essential element of the country’s democracy since 2000. He has also been nationalizing the industries (lithium particularly recently) and reverses the liberalization of the electricity and oil sectors. He is also unleashing a torrent of attacks on those who criticize him from the media as well as Congress (his group has announced criminal charges against lawmakers who opposed the state-sponsored electricity reforms in the last few days).

In Chile, on the opposite side of the region, an entirely constitutional amendment is currently being drafted, which is located from the left side of the country (the participants of the constitutional convention were elected at a time when Chile was going through a lot of political and social turmoil and the newly-elected Congress that reflects an empathetic perspective is equally divided between the right and left).

The special jurisdictions envisioned in the constitution will establish separate systems of justice for indigenous peoples. The nationalization, either in whole or in part of major industries, is under discussion, the division between the upper and lower chambers of Congress is being eliminated, and the list goes on.

It is in Peru, the country in which the Marxist leader was elected president with the backing of a political party that is closely linked with Cuba and Cuba, mining, which is one of the mainstays for the nation’s economic growth, has almost stopped because of anti-mining organizations who are either directly or indirectly supported from the administration. The president has also been pushing the idea of a new constitution, even knowing that the route he’s following to establish a constituent assembly is not legal.

Venezuela, along with its allies, attempted to undermine the democratic process in Colombia for a long time. It has been an ally against Chavismo and his allies, but Petro, Caracas’ close friend (he has been trying to keep an effective distance in recent times), is leading on the ballot. The victory will give the hard left one of its most significant successes within Latin America. If Lula was to prevail in Brazil, the country would be like he was in his prior administrations, a staunch fan of the radical left plan throughout Latin America while avoiding some of its most egregious excesses in the United States.

On a recent visit to Uruguay, I spoke to Uruguayan president Lacalle Pou who is one of the few leaders fighting for free markets, globalization, as well as the consolidation of democratic liberalism across the region. As I asked him whether he was at all frightened by the fact that his tiny country is one of the smallest minorities when he said he was smiling and said that we’d continue to act in the right way regardless of what other nations take up, yet it does make things more difficult. He was speaking of the reality that He is pushing The Southern Common Market, an emblem of protectionism that is now open for trade and commerce with other countries but is being stymied by several of his neighbors, including Argentina.