Monday, March 24, 2008

Adam Smith- addressing YE's since 1776

Glenn Greenwald brought to light Adam Smith's most renowned achievement and its relevance today:

There really is no more toxic combination than the ability to urge war and simultaneously be shielded from all costs and consequences. Adam Smith put it perfectly in his 1776 An Inquiry into the Nature And Causes of the Wealth of Nations:

In great empires the people who live in the capital, and in the provinces remote from the scene of action, feel, many of them, scarce any inconveniency from the war; but enjoy, at their ease, the amusement of reading in the newspapers the exploits of their own fleets and armies. To them this amusement compensates the small difference between the taxes which they pay on account of the war, and those which they had been accustomed to pay in time of peace. They are commonly dissatisfied with the return of peace, which puts an end to their amusement, and to a thousand visionary hopes of conquest and national glory from a longer continuance of the war.


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