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Utilitarianism, economy and moral

30 Jul

The idea that it was consumerism and the production of goods in modernity that led humanity to a wave of accumulation of goods or capital is not entirely true, the fact that this was done as a way of feeding a capital-based society is rather one part of the matter, the other is what is thought of as life and happiness.
This current as an ethical doctrine that argues that goods promote happiness is not the one that arises from the beginning, liberalism defends usury and capitalization at first, the novels by Honoré de Balzac, which even Marx liked to read, show this anatomy of society liberalism of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, utilitarianism later matured with the idea that goods lead to greater happiness, notably with Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) and John Stuart Mill (1806-1873).
In Balzac’s novels the figures of Father Goriot, named in the Human Comedy organized by the Brazilian Paulo Rónai, received in the Portuguese edition the name of Uncle Goriot, is a novel that two ungrateful daughters take everything from their father after leaving him (they were not even on their deathbed) they spend their goods on true liberalism in Paris in 1819, the period of the restoration of the French Bourbon monarchy.
Father Gouriot says on his deathbed: “Ah, my friend, do not marry, have no children! you give them life and they give you death, ”as they see their daughters spend their accumulated possessions. It is not unique to this period, as in King Lear also we note that two daughters also abandon their father because of his throne and only one will follow faithful to their father, and the Shakespeare period to remember is around the year 1605.
Utilitarianism is thus a current born in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that influenced the idea that more goods is more happiness, from this the idea that more development must also be a greater social production of goods, not forgetting that this is only an aspect of happiness.
Mill was a member of the British Parliament in 1865, and defended individual rights, including petitioning to extend the vote to women, so this defense is initially the defense of a liberal right.
Even the studies of political economy were done by Mill, who was an economist, having studied Adam Smith, David Ricardo, the physiocrats and mercantilism, and is not, therefore, an exclusivity of Marx, which is in some way aligned with Mill’s thinking, essentially in the aspect of economicism and utilitarianism, they lack the human aspect.
Interestingly, Stuart Mill defends the distribution of wealth, he writes verbatim: “The distribution of wealth, therefore, depends on the laws and customs of society,” which is in volume 2 of its Principles of Political Economy (1983).
Julia Markovits (Cornell University) presents video an introduction to the moral theory of utilitarismo:

 

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