Working paper Open Access
Classical economists, with the possible exception of Malthus, were sure that the human being was able to create on earth an idyllic utopia based on the idea that the acceleration of economic activity would lead to material abundance and equilibrium, and not one could imagine that this acceleration pushed to the extreme, can have such a heavy environmental impact. The concepts developed and defended by the classics have had the effect, of introducing at a paroxysmic point the competition between economic agents by developing at an unprecedented rate production and especially productivity. The market mechanism, which has become Smith's "invisible hand", regulates supply and demand, self-interest leading to a steady improvement in well-being and the general interest. Free competition and competitiveness are at the center of the prevailing economic theory of the century.