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Quotation of the Day…

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… is from page 315 of Dugald Stewart [2]’s 1793 “Account of the Life and Writings of Adam Smith, L.L.D. [3],” as this series of lectures appears at the end of Liberty Fund’s 1982 collection of Smith’s Essays on Philosophical Subjects [4] (a collection originally published by Cadell and Davies, in London, 1795); here Stewart summarizes a key insight that ran through Smith’s writings:

[T]he most effectual plan for advancing a people to greatness, is to maintain that order of things which nature has pointed out; by allowing every man, as long as he observes the rules of justice, to pursue his own interest in his own way, and to bring both his industry and his capital into the freest competion with those of his fellow-citizens. Every system of policy which endeavours, either by extraordinary encouragements to draw towards a particular species of industry a greater share of the capital of the society than what would naturally go to it, or, by extraordinary restraints, to force from a particular species of industry some share of the capital which would otherwise be employed in it, is, in reality, subversive of the great purpose which it means to promote.

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