To start with, I sincerely doubt that Smith, Mandeville, or Schumpeter would have changed any of their opinions when it comes to the economy and how it is run. They each had an individualistic view of the economy and how it works, much like I am sure each of us, the students, will have differing opinions of what this means economically speaking relative to the Tropical region of the South American continent.
Part of my reasoning for this is that I believe that the systems that we viewed in this book relate very closely to what can be seen in any evolved society economically. There are those who work for the betterment of their local areas in the sloth-like manner of trying to keep what they know will help their individual household, or tree in this case, in the best condition possible. There are those who, like the ants, have developed their individual niche in the sub-economy they are involved in. The ants would even reject the larger, defending ants when they were no longer necessary for the survival of the colony, but while they were needed they were subservient to their masters, much like our army and citizens are obedient to the laws and rules put in place by the government.
Taking this to another level from individual, the Tropical rainforests also had times where things didn’t always appear in the best of circumstances. Early on in the book there was mention of the trees that would fall and how they would be replaced at an alarming rate. Individuals such as the balsa tree would step up and take the place of immensely strong trees that had fallen and left gaps in their stead. How frequently do individuals take the place of their predecessors on a temporary basis as they do not have the individual strength to stay filling the gaps that presented themselves?
The last grouping I will mention here is the botfly parasite, then the acclaimed dung beetle. The botfly parasite that was presented in “Jerry’s Maggot” is significant in society too; I know this will probably be used against me by those who read this, but in our society there are those who seem to be little more than an infestation of our well-being. Even with them, as we allow them to grow at their own pace, they will emerge to a point they will be able to survive on their own, unluckily in the botfly case, it was right before death.
In all reality, each and every class, system, and organization can be viewed comparatively to the tropical systems on a microeconomic level as well as the macroeconomic level. Through reading this book I understand more that all the seemingly detrimental fluctuations present in the economy today are nothing more than the natural course of economies as a whole.
Now, as to dung beetle question, if I had to name a group that closely related to the dung beetles, I would have to say that would be college students. We take all the crap we have to from our teachers; many of us are involved in the dating process in the course of doing this; and quite frankly, it is a battle to simply get to that point.