The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
So, there's a lot of good and very little bad with this book. Adam Smith, the same Adam Smith that practically every Capitalist apologist uses as his go-to man to prop up Capitalism also wrote a bonafide philosophy book that runs the entire gamut of morality, ethics, and how people mistake their perceptions of the good for what actually IS good.
This is ironic, considering how many ways the fundamental idea of Capitalism (and not the bastardized and totally gamed version we have now) is considered the Prime Ideal, ignoring the slippery slope of all the bad actors that have turned it into something that only vaguely resembles the observations Adam Smith once talked about. But this is also outside of the scope of this book.
THIS book is a heartfelt attempt to break down popular morality (now hundreds of years out of date) and analyze it against what is actually good.
His prose is fantastically clear and coherent and his assumptions are remarkably common sense. I found myself simply nodding along to every point and thinking about all the coming-of-age movies I saw as a kid and folding every connection together as if they had always belonged together.
This is a longish book and he makes a lot of points, mind you, but they can all be broken down pretty simply as be good to others, don't get caught up in SEEMING virtuous, but BE virtuous, and your collective society will be better off for it.
Again, NICELY ironic, modern capitalism. And don't forget to not put your thumb on the scales, weaponize debt, or obfuscate the living *uc* out of your business practices, especially when the ones who always pay the price are the ones least able to absorb the cost.
You know, the OPPOSITE of Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments.
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