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How Did Enlightenment Ideas Influence Modern Economics

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====Adam Smith and the Enlightenment====
[[File: Colonisation_1754png.png|300px|thumbnail|left|Map Depicting the Mother Countries and Their Colony Possession Colonial Possessions during the Enlightenment]]
Adam Smith (1723-1790) synthesized and improved on many of David Hume economic theories to create an economic worldview that would influence global economics until the present. In Smith’s most famous work, <i>The Wealth of Nations</i>, and in his earlier yet no less important, <i>The Theory of Moral Sentiments</i>, he argued that economic freedom was intertwined with political freedom and that many societal benefits actually came from greed, which was a process he referred to as the “Invisible Hand.” Smith’s philosophy was extremely optimistic, as he argued people were inherently good and that economically driven men would seek to better themselves while simultaneously promoting the welfare of society. <ref> Coker, p. 140</ref> But what made Smith a revolutionary thinker was his strident opposition to the old economic order.
Although Smith, like Hume, was a pragmatist and knew that wars were inevitable and that more powerful countries often rule over the weak, he opposed colonialism just for the sake of it. Smith wrote much of his works during the decades leading up to and during the American Revolution, which he often cited as an example of the follies of colonialism. He argued that colonialism was extremely costly for many reasons, including the fact that the government subsidized companies carrying out the efforts were often inefficient and could rely on government bailouts. <ref> Muthu, p. 191</ref> Smith believed that it was pointless for the mother country to subsidize such affairs:
“If any of the provinces of the British empire cannot be made to contribute towards the support of the whole empire, it is surely time that Great Britain should free herself from the expense of defending those provinces in time or war, and of supporting any part of their civil or military establishments in time of peace, and endeavour to accommodate her future views and designs to the real mediocrity of her circumstances.” <ref> Smith, p. 740</ref>

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