Do You Know Who Adam Smith Is?

All Three Jeopardy Contestants Didn’t! Yep….they were Stumped, not a peep from any of them.

I wonder if they would have been able to answer a question that was related to Marx. I hear the name Marx a lot, but seldom Smith. Smith is an important philosopher for America's economic system.

Ben Franklin met with Adam Smith and his book An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, that was published in1776.

A selfish person unknowingly benefits society because, when he earns an income on his labor in a competitive market, he produces something of value. Smith calls this the invisible hand.

In his book, Smith conducted a thorough systematic and comprehensive analysis on the best way for a nation to prosper.

The results is what we fight for – “the invisible hand” that allows each individual to have the freedom to take care of themselves. In other words, a selfish person unknowingly benefits society because, when he earns an income on his labor in a competitive market, he produces something of value. Smith called this the invisible hand.

Charity, while a virtuous act, cannot alone provide the essentials for living. Self-interest is the mechanism that can remedy this shortcoming. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest

The free market will work until the government steps in and picks winners and losers.
The free market will work until the government steps in and picks winners and losers. | Source
Source
Illustration from JOI
Illustration from JOI | Source

JOI

My art history background inspired me to put these ideals in an illustrative form. In medieval days when the literacy rate was low the church got across their message through paintings of bible scenes; called history paintings. These paintings help convey complex ideals and stories about religious, mythological or historical past. Governments have also used this technique, not only in paintings but in posters, to indoctrinate the masses by using only their ideology. This book doesn’t do that. Both ideals are presented so the reader can draw their own conclusions.

Take the quiz below based on Journal of Ideas a small book illustrating the main concepts of Adam Smith, David Ricardo and Karl Marx. Are you able to tell the difference between Smith and Marx’s ideology? What is Hegel’s end of history all about? And Ricardo’s theory of rent might surprise you. It still makes sense today.

Marx versus Smith

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