Explore the virtues and vices of an economic and political system grounded on the principle of individual self-interest

Essay 2 Prompt
Adam Smith believed the division of labor, with all of its benefits, emerged from a certain propensity in human nature to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.
James Madison feared, As long as the connection subsists between [mans] reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on one another [which will lead to] a division of the society into different interests and parties. The latent causes of faction are sown in the nature of man. The most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property.
Write an essay (four to six pages in length) in which you explore the virtues and vices of an economic and political system grounded on the principle of individual self-interest. Do Adam Smith and Americas founders agree more than they disagree on the benefits of a society organized around individual self-interest? Pay particular attention to the ways in which Americas founders built political institutions designed to check the negative implications of individual self-interest.

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