Updated: Aug 22, 2019
Some would say that “conflicting messages and competing voices” is just good old politics. Hence, it is the politics of economics that continues to make our world more divided and less understood. I believe the world would benefit greatly from more context to cultivate more compassion and increase our capacity to universally improve economic outcomes. So let's talk about context:
Opposing Solutions In Context
Adam Smith's views on capitalism came during a period of enlightenment, industrial development, and feudalism. Karl Marx views on communism came as a result of tremendous oppression of the proletarians and the peasants by the bourgeoisie.
Marxist-Lenin views on religion is interesting example competing voices. Karl Marx viewed religion as both a weapon of oppression and a source of hope, Vladimir Lenin and other party leaders believed that "Communism is incompatible with religious faith.”
Adam Smith's perspective on free trade was in response to "mercantilism," tariffs and overreaching government regulations. He was also fully aware of the dangers of exploitation created by the self-interest of people in power.
We don't live in a perfect world where everyone agrees on everything. Unfortunately, there will always be conflicting messages and competing voices. We love to engage in the sport of politics. Greater transparency is simply not enough. Harmony and civility can be best achieved with more context and reasonable checks and balances. Adam Smith's idea of an "invisible hand" is insufficient to control the exploitative nature and intentionally deceptive practice of bad actors and politicians.
Marx, K., & Engels, F. (n.d.). The Communist Manifesto. Retrieved July 18, 2019, from https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/
Smith, A. (n.d.). The Wealth of Nations. Retrieved July 18, 2019, from https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/smith-adam/works/wealth-of-nations/index.htm
Blenman, J. (2019, June 01). Adam Smith and "The Wealth of Nations". Retrieved July 18, 2019, from https://www.investopedia.com/updates/adam-smith-wealth-of-nations/