Human Nature and the Social Order II
June 6, 2008
“The Wealth of Nations”
Adam Smith, the author of “The Wealth of Nations”, was a Scottish moral philosopher during the Industrial Revolution who was inspired by his surroundings to write about the field of economics. Being a man of intellect on various types of philosophical views, Smith was able to portray his passionate feelings about political thought through his well-written works. While publishing his book, Smith became known as the “father of modern economics”. He was given this honorary title due to his strong determination of trying to understand how human nature impacts the social order. Smith was able to use several types of rhetoric styles, such as particular word choices and language, in order to captivate the attention of various types of readers. By doing this, Smith aimed to not only connect his works to economists and writers but also to large bodies of government. Believing strongly in the Laissez-faire government encouraged Smith to conclude that self-interest was able to utilize the social framework of society. He used historical context to demonstrate how society has transformed from a futile system and into a model of capitalism. In “The Wealth of Nations”, Smith formulated the idea that market economics impacts the nature of social order through free trade, pursuit of self-interest, and division of labor; therefore, causing individuals to become unaware that they are not only impacting the free market through their personal ethics and economic actions, but also the society.
“The Wealth of Nations” is Adam Smith’s magnum opus (greatest work), which helps illustrate how society coordinates its economic affairs without losing its value. He begins to guide his audience into understanding how society has gained independence from its prehistoric obstacles, which later establishes a newer form of self-determination based on social interaction. Using the theme of historic evolution, Smith is able to portray his methodical thought on the essence of a commercial society within its division of feudal order. In book III, “Progress of Opulence”, Smith was able to convey how the cultivation of a country must be capable of advancing in order to increase the town’s subsistence. He believed that through the notion of self-interest, human beings take part of the concept the “Invisible Hand”. Smith used this metaphor to illustrate the idea that there was a higher level being. He believed that the “Invisible Hand” impelled an individual to strive for his own self-interest, which then would help contribute to the good of a society as a whole. By individuals having this natural inclination, it would not only help increase revenue for themselves, but also increase the total revenue of the society. Smith concluded in his analysis, that these individuals had no knowledge of recognizing that through their vanity, they were able to start a revolution on how society handles its economic affairs.
Throughout his book Smith was able to carry on the argument about the importance of time and how it affects the economic order. He assumed that by investing time into what we are called to do would help benefit our society by increasing our economic growth and social gain. Smith was able to explain how different stages of social development are able to cumulate the national growth of the nation. He professed that the notion of our economic wealth affects how our government manages certain duties. In this book, he argues that the government has three primary duties such as deference, justice and prioritization. Smith discusses how each individual in a society hopes to become connected with other human beings in order to form economic relationships. He continues speak on how our productivity and material capability, helps bring about natural inequality within the social order. Speaking about money, division of labor and profit of maximization, he is able to...