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Economics arranges its topics as Big, Medium, and Small. Mr Big is the Industrial Revolution: How did it happen, and when? Whence did it spread, and at what rate? What were the costs and benefits? The literature is vast and the answers are numerous. But it organizes around a fundamental phenomenon: from about 1800, economic growth began an upward climb that in fifty years captured the world's purse and that in another half century had increased the wealth of industrial nations many times. Intoxication with this achievement is expressed in museums of science and industry and on websites featuring the Paris Exhibition of 1889 and the Chicago Exhibition of 1893.
The article describes a course entitled “Biosocial Approaches to Political Theory,” which is currently being taught at Griffith University. Course orientation, pedagogy, assessment strategy, teaching aids, and course bibliography are described. The humanities milieu of the course produced collegial friction whose management by the instructor is discussed. The legitimacy dispute arising from the friction led to a public controversy in the national media. The politics of that dispute are analyzed.
The Wealth of Nations does not recognize the fact of industrial production, and its analysis of price does not account for the fundamental feature of industrial markets, falling price per output unit based on exponential growth obtained by technological applications. Smith's laissez-faire doctrine contains distinctive value postulates intended to promulgate an egalitarian agrarian capitalism in the spirit of physiocracy. Criticisms of Smith by Alexander Hamilton, J.-B. Say, Andrew Ure, and Friedrich List are instanced to support the present interpretation.