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The Collectivistic Premise views economics from a new perspective, acknowledging the influence of art, philosophy, history, psychology, ethics, and other factors not often looked at and challenges the premises on which economic thought has been conventionally based. According to Adam Smith and many subsequent economists, self-interest is the only motive driving human beings in the economic sphere and, consequently, the only true guarantor of human productivity and wealth creation. Government regulation and ethical considerations are irrelevant and counterproductive in this regard, however high principled and noble their motivation. While this explanation may account for some aspects of economic behavior in the marketplace that can be labeled as “utilitarian” and “individualistic,” this book takes note of a new principle, the “collectivistic” premise, whether reflected in consumption, work, and trade, which has not received its merited attention. Human beings act not only out of self-serving motives but also out of communal ones so that the marketplace assumes a character and personality larger than its constituent parts. Far from being irrelevant, ethical, political, and communal considerations are central to comprehending its nature and function. The role of the emerging global economy and advances in technology provide even stronger incentives to examine in detail this neglected aspect of human motivation and conduct.

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