Rival Views of Market Society

Albert O. Hirschman, Author, A. O. Hirschman, Author Viking Books $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-670-81319-3
Even as capitalism continually adapts, it undermines itself because its habits of relentless calculation and self-interest destroy the moral basis of society. This view, from a professor emeritus at Princeton's Institute of Advanced Study, typifies the questioning spirit of an economist/social philosopher whose scholarly essays go against the grain of much current academic thinking. Hirschman opposes the belief that ""big push'' industrialization is necessary to transform developing countries; he advocates the art of the possible, suggesting that unbalanced growth should be tolerated. One essay contrasts ``voice'' (a customer complains) with ``exit'' (a customer goes elsewhere), then applies these concepts to public services, city/suburb migration, divorce and adolescent rebellion. Criticizing the ``rational actor'' approach that glorifies the self-interested consumer, Hirschman argues that the quest for justice, community, love and salvation must be reckoned in the calculus of gain and loss.(November 12)
Reviewed on: 10/28/1986
Release date: 11/01/1986
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-674-77303-5
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