… is from page 601 of the 5th edition (2015) of Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics:
Although Adam Smith is today often regarded as a “conservative” figure, he in fact attacked many of the dominant ideas and interests of his own times. Moreover, the idea of a spontaneously self-equilibrating system – the market economy – first developed by the Physiocrats and later made part of the tradition of classical economics by Adam Smith, represented a radically new departure, not only in analysis of social causation but also in seeing a reduced role for political, intellectual, or other elites as guides or controllers of the masses.
DBx: Adam Smith’s An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations was first published on this date in 1776. In the 246 years since, there has appeared no more eloquent and powerful case against the interference by pretentious elites into the affairs of ordinary people.