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Type: Conference paper
Title: Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson and the division of labour
Author: Hill, L.
Citation: Proceedings of the Australasian Political Studies Association Conference, University of Adelaide, 29 September - 1 October 2004 : pp. www 1-39
Part of: Proceedings of the Australasian Political Studies Association Conference 2004
Publisher: APSA
Publisher Place:
Issue Date: 2004
Conference Name: Australasian Political Studies Association Conference (2004 : Adelaide, South Australia)
Abstract: Although some scholars have attempted to cast Adam Smith as a thinker deeply interested in politics and focused upon the importance of the role of legislators in human affairs, this paper suggests that Smith’s project is basically an exercise in anti-politics. Though he did, of course, reserve some limited functions for government in order to solve a number of otherwise intractable problems of collective action, on the whole, Smith regarded politicians and legislators as factious, interfering, self-interested and generally knavish; more likely to disrupt the system of natural liberty (and therefore the prosperity and harmony of the polity) than aid it. Though Smith did express strong political opinions on a number of specific issues (for example, the separation of church and state; the management of Scottish affairs; American independence and the use of standing armies) this paper suggests that readings of Smith as positively political are exaggerated.
RMID: 0020042272
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Appears in Collections:Politics publications

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