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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 113 of Alexander Cairncross’s 1976 essay “The Market and the State,” which is chapter 4 in the 1976 collection The Market and the State: Essays in Honour of Adam Smith (Thomas Wilson and Andrew S. Skinner, eds.) (link added):

What he [Adam Smith] reacted against were the ideas he dismissed as ‘mercantilist’ which took for granted the need to make use of political power in order to achieve economic ends.

Adam Smith rejected the naive myth that beneficial social order, which is unquestionably the result of human action, must therefore be the result of human design.  In short, Smith showed that creationism is as naive a theory of human society as it is of the cosmos.


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