Adam Smith, one of the greatest economists and philosopher. From 1723 to 1740, Adam Smith studied in Scotland, Glasgow, then Oxford. After 1750, Adam Smith served as a professor of logic and moral philosophy at the University of Glasgow and published the highly praised .
In 1773, the was almost complete, but Adam Smith spent three more years polishing it. After its publication in March 1776, the book aroused widespread public discussion, affecting not only Britain, but also Europe and America. Moreover, his words not only focus on economy, but also on moral and psychological aspects. Adam Smith proposed political theory which covers many aspects of capitalism. He holds that the origin of division of labor is due to natural differences in human abilities, self-interest is human nature, is the purpose of people to participate in economic activities, the benefits obtained depend on division of labor. The pursuit of wealth encourages people to work and meets the needs and interests of the society.
If people achieve specialization in various fields, social productivity will be greatly improved, and individual wealth will be increased, social prosperity will be promoted, and a balance between individual and collective interests will be achieved. Tol illustrate this, he cited the needle industry as an illustration. “If they work independently and don’t specialize in a particular business, then whoever they are, they can’t make twenty needles a day, maybe not even one. Not only can they not produce one in two hundred and forty percent of the quantity produced today by proper division of labor and cooperation, but they may not even produce one in four thousand eight percent of the quantity.” In addition, he raised ideas of consumer capitalism, way to treat rich and education consumers. He was not only a meticulous and profound economist, but also a scholar of philosophy and history.
Adams, by virtue of his two books, became a master of economic. The first book is the wealth of nations. This book is the theoretical foundation of market economy. The Wealth of Nations solves the problem of how to increase the total economic output. He believes that there are two ways: one is to increase the total economic output through social division of labor and improving work efficiency; the other is self-interest. Everyone chooses the best scheme to maximize his own interests. Self-interest is the driving force of economic operation, although there will be economic crises at intervals, but the economy has the ability to repair itself, the government should not intervene too much.
Self-interest is beneficial to a certain extent. If self-interest is excessive, there will be an expansion of desire. In addition, in his other book on sentiment and morality, he helped solve the problem of self-serving excessively, proposing that first altruism, then self-serving, to achieve a win-win situation. Altruism should lower its position, so that the partners feel that cooperation will have the hope of making money.
In short, Adams’s two book explores how to balance desires and social responsibilities.