Civilizing the Economy A New Economics of Provision

Adam Smith’s view of slaves as property

Posted Dec 17, 2010 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, No Comments

To see my response to Thomas Wells and Bruce Elmslie’s reviews of the essay “Free Enterprise and the Economics of Slavery” in Real World Economic Review, see the current issue:

Response to Adam Gopnik’s essay “What Adam Smith really believed” in the Oct 18th New Yorker magazine

Posted Oct 23, 2010 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, 34 Comments

In his article on Adam Smith, Adam Gopnik leaves out a couple of important facts about the life of Adam Smith that provide clues to a very different story than the one Gopnik tells.   First of all, there is Adam Smith’s request that all his papers be burned after his death.  Everything.  And this was done.  Why such a request?   Was Smith hiding something?  It turns out he was:  something that has remained hidden from many admirers of Smith, including Gopnik.

Adam Smith’s silence

Posted May 21, 2010 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, 4 Comments

Calling Adam Smith’s treatment of slavery in CTE his “silence” about slavery is really a polite way of exposing his cover-up of the role of slavery in the creation of the wealth that he enjoyed.  I admit that at various times Smith did say things about slavery in his book on the causes of wealth, The Wealth of Nations, but not when he was writing about the causes of wealth.

Marvin T. Brown, Ph.D teaches business and organizational ethics at the University of San Francisco and Saybrook University in San Francisco.

This book is the culmination of 30 years of teaching and writing on business and society from a communicative perspective. Visit for more information.

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