I had just gone to bed one night and my brain started spinning (as always) and I just had to get back up again and pick this book out of the bookshelf. Adam Smith’s ‘The Wealth of Nations.’ I had some half-quotes playing in my head, and I just had to read them again. I love this stuff so much! It makes me laugh and it fuels me with energy. I really hope it blesses you! Really! -feel my sharp eyes and listen, I’m not having a laugh with you! Lots of people let this pass them by with a laugh knowing that it was written in the 1770’s. But I am telling you, if you get this under your skin you walk away stronger. If you understand it and act it you will be progressive and responsible and people will say: “I didn’t think they made’em this way any more!” It’s needed more than ever, so wipe the laugh off and only laugh again when freedom tickles your chest from within! Then laugh, fearlessly and lovingly! And if freedom tickles you from the inside when you read this: raise up for you are called to responsibility! We’ll all die. What will you do first?
Political economy, considered as a branch of the science of a statesman or legislator, proposes two distinct objects: first, to provide a plentiful revenue or subsistence for the people, or more properly to enable them to provide such a revenue or subsistence for themselves; and secondly, to supply the state or commonwealth with a revenue sufficient for the public services. It proposes to enrich both the people and the sovereign. (ISBN: 978-0-679-40654-1, pp. 374)
Every man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man, or order of men. The sovereign is completely discharged from a duty, in the attempting to perform which he must always be exposed to innumerable delusions, and for the proper performance of which no human wisdom or knowledge could ever be sufficient; the duty of superintending the industry of private people, and of directing towards the employments most suitable to the interest of society. According to the system of natural liberty, the sovereign has only three duties to attend to; three duties of great importance, indeed, but plain and intelligible to common understandings: first, the duty of protecting the society from the violence and invasion of other independent societies; secondly, the duty of protecting, as far as possible, every member of the society from the injustice or oppression of every other member of it, or the duty of establishing an exact administration of justice; and, thirdly, the duty of erecting and maintaining certain public works and certain public institutions which it can never be for the interest of any individual, or small number of individuals, to erect and maintain because the profit could never repay the expense to any individual or small number of individuals, though it may frequently do much more than repay it to a great society. (ISBN: 978-0-679-40654-1, pp. 620)
And thus starts and ends Adam Smith’s 4th book in his famous work ‘The Wealth of Nations.’
To those who wonder; when Mr. Smith says the sovereign is “completely discharged” from the duty of “superintending” the industries, he is not advocating a laissez-faire attitude á la extreme liberalism, then he would not consider the marked-corrective function of taxes in other parts of his work; nor would he advocate free and compulsory primary education at the state’s expense 230 years ago! If you see Smith trough the googles of Marx, Smith is made to look like the devil. If you look at Marx through the googles of Smith, Marx makes little applicable sense and appears rather paranoid! “Money will try to keep you down (or up, accordingly)!” he would say. No Baby, it is not that simple I say! You stand up and take responsibility and utilize the diversity of society to create an extremely creative, balanced and responsible breeding ground for activities that “proposes to enrich both the people and the sovereign.” Not just the sovereign, Charles the 1st! Not just the people, Marx (though I don’t agree that’s what you do! And where diverse business activities should be your progressive source of new income, a uniform grey mass with no new initiatives will slack behind!), for it is like General Douglas MacArthur said: “The lack of skill in the officer directly endangers the lives of followers and comrades, as well as his own… An army without trained leaders is a contradiction in terms.” (ISBN: 0-13-147021-3, pp.150) A people without a sovereign or whatever he would translate to in other systems, is an economic danger to itself! And further: “Training distinguishes an army from an armed mob.” (ISBN: 0-13-147021-3, pp.152) A people that holds its leaders accountable for irrelevant details before actions has been taken in the modern media age, like a mob of share-holders in a stock-exchange traded company, are as faithless an self-destructive as a soldier who tries to argue with his commander on an order on the frontline under fire. You vote! You respect the honourable outcome that represents us all! Then you believe! That is the essence of parliamentarian indirect democracy. And any captain who believes himself a general is as stupid as a politician who thinks himself a King! Respect your culture, respect your Royals, respect your constitution! For from your distinctness you gain value in the marked-place and (only) through the transparency of your society, trade and prosperity can grow. If you find yourself in such a society, think yourself blessed and you are wise!
Freedom. Heritage. Love. Future. Greatness. Responsibility.
Freedom tickles inside the chest by the words of Adam Smith and I love it!
…and at last I went to bed.