Development of Economic Thought

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Development of Economic Thought


* Lowly work was reserved for slaves.

* No technological advances to increase work productivity.

* Majority of population was slaves.


Division of Labor

* Not because of productive superiority.

* People fulfill their roles according to their nature. This was “good”.

* A “Good” City-state must expand to provide required population, resources, and livestock to sustain quality existence.

* War was inevitable– The Guardian class was necessary.

* Guardians specialized in the arts of war according to the division of labor.

* Who guards against the guardians?

* The Guardians along with the Philosopher kings determine children’s occupation.

* A person’s life was controlled, directed, and watched to ensure they developed into their role.

Critique of Private Property

* Property creates possessive and selfish nature.

* Hierarchy of values

* The Soul- The pursuit of “good” and the right. Wisdom.

* The Body- Physical nature. Exercise, health, and beauty. Development of the human form.

* Material wealth-The accumulation of material objects.

* If Guardians are allowed property the worst in their nature would come out.

* Guardians would use their power to amass wealth, even from the citizens.

* Guardians should focus on “The Body” - Honor.

* A person’s desires are determined by the environment. Thus, guardians are not to have private property.

* Economy was planned.

* Prices, wages, and profit margins were all controlled.

* Trade limited to what the City-State could not produce itself.


* Man had an inherent nature. Environment would not change a person.

* Goal was to design institutions to create “Good”, given a person’s established nature.

* Common property leads to disagreement, resentment, and conflict.

* Private property was an incentive for individuals to better themselves.

* Wealthy...