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Father of Political Economics & Enlightened
"There is no art which one
government sooner learns of another than that of draining money from
the pockets of the people." (Adam Smith)
Adam Smith was a Scottish philosopher and a political economist. He
is a major contributor to the modern perception of free market
economics. He is known primarily as the author of two treatises: theory
of Moral Sentiments (1759), and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of
the Wealth of Nations (1776). His work helped to build the foundation of
the modern academic discipline of free market economics and provided one
of the best-known intellectual rationales for free trade, capitalism,
Adam Smith's book entitled "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the
Wealth of Nations" also known as "The Wealth of Nations" is considered
by many as the philosophical basis of U.S. economy. Its main key points
are as follows
- Human society is subject to
immutable natural moral and physical laws.
If natural laws are left to work
freely, they would create the best possible society
Natural law = "law of labor." All
men should have the right to carry out activities to preserve their
Government should promote the
supreme value of individual liberty. The pursuit of self-interest is
ultimately beneficial for society as a whole. Enlightened
self-interest eventually becomes public interests
Government's only role should be to
promote the existence of natural law, and to enable its free
working. (Free Market)
- A Free market is a
customer-driven, democratic mechanism through which, by exercising
their free choices about purchase or sale prices, people would act
to regulate resources fairly.
The economic benefits of the
Division of Labor (Specialization) of individuals in production
International commerce importers and exporters is a source of wealth
for both buyers and sellers.
Adam Smith is not a proponent of "the law of the jungle" as an
approach to social organization. He recognized the nature's worst
tendencies of greed, corruption and abuse of power by some businessmen who
"…love to reap where they never sowed". He also supports some forms of
government intervention in public areas such as defense.
- Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments(1759)
- Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of
- Adam Smith, Essays on Philosophical Subjects(published posthumously
- Adam Smith, Lectures on Jurisprudence(published posthumously 1976)
- Adam Smith, Lectures on Rhetoric and Belle Letters
- James Buchan. The Authentic Adam Smith: His Life and Ideas (2006)
- Stephen Copley and Kathryn Sutherland, eds. Adam Smith's Wealth of
Nations: New Interdisciplinary Essays(1999)
- F. Glahe, ed. Adam Smith and the Wealth of nations: 1776-1976
bicentennial essays : 1776-1976 (1977)
- Knud Haakonssen. The Cambridge Companion to Adam Smith (2006)
- Samuel Hollander. Economics of Adam Smith(University of Toronto
- Muller, Jerry Z. Adam Smith in His Time and Ours: Designing the
Decent Society . Princeton Univ. Press (1999)
- Muller, Jerry Z. The Mind and the Market: Capitalism in Western
Thought. Anchor Books (2002)
- Frederick Rosen, Classical Utilitarianism from Hume to
Mill(Routledge Studies in Ethics & Moral Theory), 2003. ISBN 0415220947
- P. J. O'Rourke. On The Wealth of Nations (Books That Changed the
- Richard F. Teichgraeber. Free Trade and Moral Philosophy: Rethinking
the Sources of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations (1986)
- Cousin, John William (1910). Short Biographical Dictionary of
English Literature. London, J.M. Dent & sons; New York, E.P. Dutton.
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