Smith “. . . realised that social harmony would emerge naturally as human beings struggled to find ways to live and work with each other. Freedom and self-interest need not lead to chaos, but − as if guided by an ‘invisible hand’ − would produce order and concord. They would also bring about the most efficient possible use of resources. As free people struck bargains with others − solely in order to better their own condition − the nation’s land, capital, skills, knowledge, time, enterprise and inventiveness would be drawn automatically and inevitably to the ends and purposes that people valued most highly. Thus the maintenance of a prospering social order did not require the continued supervision of kings and ministers. It would grow organically as a product of human nature.” (Butler 2007: 27-8).The book is worth reading if you want to learn about the ideas and thinking of Adam Smith.
Monday, 2 March 2009
Adam Smith in a few words
For a recent paper I wanted a short overview of the basic insight of the thinking of Adam Smith when I came across the following from a book by Eamonn Butler: Adam Smith - A Primer, London: Institute of Economic Affairs, 2007: