Laissez-Faire | Awarded Project - PhMuseum

Laissez-Faire

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Volk\u2019s work takes its title from ideas that have been around since the eighteenth century. Laissez-faire capitalism has its roots in the political economist Adam Smith\u2019s doctrine that human economic behaviour was subject to an underlying natural order which would be corrupted by any form of regulation. Left to act in their own self-interest, Smith argued, individuals and groups would naturally choose the course that would also bring maximum prosperity and happiness to society as a whole. Like nature itself, laissez faire capitalism is imagined to be a self-regulating system.<\/p>","body_raw":"Imagine a life lived under the glow of artificial daylight, where reality is not experienced directly, but mediated through screens. Imagine a world so densely networked that all of the distinctions by which we have learned to make sense of time and place \u2013 interior and exterior, private and public, day and night \u2013 have collapsed into a single, neon- hued hallucination. Imagine the collective alienation of billions of conjoined subjects whose sole purpose is to act as vehicles for the exchange of commodities. This is the world described in Cristiano Volk\u2019s Laissez-Faire. It may sound like a dystopian future, but it is our present.\r\nThe crosshairs within which we might focus these observations, however, are historical ones. Volk\u2019s work takes its title from ideas that have been around since the eighteenth century. Laissez-faire capitalism has its roots in the political economist Adam Smith\u2019s doctrine that human economic behaviour was subject to an underlying natural order which would be corrupted by any form of regulation. Left to act in their own self-interest, Smith argued, individuals and groups would naturally choose the course that would also bring maximum prosperity and happiness to society as a whole. 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