Adam Smith Capitalism Essays

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[7] In regards to Smith’s critical stance towards established church, Voltaire’s Candide could have easily been his influential source.

However not all of the thinkers that he was influenced by he agreed entirely with. Rothschild illustrates that, even though Burke and Smith were on friendly terms, they had their differences.

Thus, the purpose of this essay is two-fold: First, and before I present what exactly made Smith’s political economy original, I want to credit all the ones that have influenced Smith and made it possible for him to stand on the shoulders of giants as Newton would say.

Then in the substantive part of the essay I will focus on the key concepts of political economy such as free trade, self-interest, and the invisible hand as well as the role of government in the economy and his argument against mercantilism and how Smith’s account of political economy still retains originality.

it is something that is not dependent on other people’s ideas, inventive or novel.[1] In order to determine what elements can be considered original in Adam Smith’s political economy, Smith’s sources of influence must be examined.

In his Principia, Newton claimed that if he has been able to see further, it was only because he stood on the shoulders of giants.[2]In that regard, we have to analyze the content of , from which Smith’s political economy is derived, accordingly and understand that there are two elements to Smith’s political economy.

[11] Despite the fact that there may not be any new idea, principle or method with Smith’s publication in 1776, the second part of the essay will shed some light on what elements in Smith’s political economy can be considered original.

If so many different thinkers have widely and extensively influenced Smith, what can there be left in terms of originality in his political economy?

For Smith it was the ‘annual produce of land and labor of the society.’[15] While under the mercantilist view, large hoarding of gold and silver was considered as a good policy, Smith recognized that wealth does not reside in money because it is just a medium of exchange.

His analysis concluded that specialization and productivity creates bigger output, and the process of the division of labor decreases prizes and makes goods more affordable for even the poorest people.


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