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Three Classical Economists on Trouble, Strife, and the 'Alienation' of Labour


  • G. C. Archibald


Three great classical economists, Adam Smith, John S. Mill, and Karl Marx, identified forms of "trouble" at work, troubles too serious to be called simply "job dissatisfaction" and many of which are still with us. Their identification and analysis have nothing to do with the labor theory of value. They are most conveniently divided into those that are technologically induced and those that are institutionally induced. Marx's main forms of "alienation," however, are induced by technology in conjunction with institutions. His remedies seem to be outside the feasible set. Mill's causes of "strife" were largely institutional and seem remediable. Smith's "trouble" was technologically induced.

Suggested Citation

  • G. C. Archibald, 1992. "Three Classical Economists on Trouble, Strife, and the 'Alienation' of Labour," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 25(1), pages 60-75, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:25:y:1992:i:1:p:60-75

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