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Smith was also critical of the activities of The British East India Company. But with regards to economics it is necessary to understand that, prior to Smith and the Physiocrats, excepting perhaps Mandeville, the alternatives to what were being formulated by these emerging economists was, basically, divine providence. The single greatest accomplishment of these philosophers was to move the discussion into the secular realm.

Another consideration is that it was only because Smith was addressing an elite audience and taught elite students that he could be even as critical as he was. Shifting the whole discussion of morality onto secular grounds while creating a secular understanding of the economy was a very significant accomplishment. It is not shocking that he was not also a social revolutionary. Had he been that he would have not succeeded in accomplishing what he did. He was an educator at a time when only the elite got a formal education, even if some were scholarship students.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Dec 14th, 2010 at 01:18:59 PM EST
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