Wealth of Nations Excerpt

Dublin Core

Title

Wealth of Nations Excerpt

Subject

Economics

Description

Adam Smith describes an economic system designed such that individual greed and selfish passions are leveraged to do societal good. He intends to phase out the mercantilist system that was dominant at the time.

Creator

Adam Smith

Source

Project Gutenberg https://www.gutenberg.org/files/38194/38194-h/38194-h.htm#BOOK_I

Publisher

W. Strahan and T. Cadell

Date

1776

Contributor

Michael Einhorn

Relation

The Theory of Moral Sentiments

Format

Ebook

Language

English

Type

Economics and Philosophy book

Identifier

Adam Smith Wealth of Nations

Text Item Type Metadata

Text

As every individual, therefore, endeavours as much as he can, both to employ his capital in the support of domestic industry, and so to direct that industry that its produce may be of the greatest value; every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain; and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest, he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good. It is an affectation, indeed, not very common among merchants, and very few words need be employed in dissuading them from it.

Original Format

Book

Citation

Adam Smith, “Wealth of Nations Excerpt,” Enlightenmens, accessed August 15, 2022, http://enlightenmens.lmc.gatech.edu/items/show/364.

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