Adam Smith: Moral Philosopher

by Fong Sam

“How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it.”

— from The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith, the father of capitalism.

Says Leon Wieseltier at The New Republic:

“That is the least Galt-like, least Rand-like, least Ryan-like sentence ever written… If there is anything that Adam Smith stands for, it is the reconcilability of capitalism with fellow feeling, of market economics with social decency. But Ryan is a dismal student of Smith, because he likes his capitalism cruel.”

Read more from Wieseltier, His Grief, and Ours: Paul Ryan’s nasty ideal of self-reliance.