Það er agalegt hvernig frjálshyggjuliðið hefur eignað sér Adam Smith. Smith var þroskaður og skynsamur pólítískur hugsuður sem ætti enga samleið með þeim væri hann uppi í dag.
Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.
No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable. It is but equity, besides, that they who feed, clothe and lodge the whole body of the people should have such a share of the produce of their own labor as to be themselves tolerably well fed, clothed and lodged.
It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
- Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations
This disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich and the powerful, and to despise, or, at least, to neglect persons of poor and mean condition, though necessary both to establish and to maintain the distinction of ranks and the order of society, is, at the same time, the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments. That wealth and greatness are often regarded with the respect and admiration which are due only to wisdom and virtue; and that the contempt, of which vice and folly are the only proper objects, is often more unjustly bestowed upon poverty and weakness, has been the complaint of moralists in all ages.
- Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments
Noam Chomsky er einn af þeim sem hefur bent á mýtur hægrimanna um Smith. Hann orðar þetta ágætlega:
I didn’t do any research at all on Smith. I just read him. There’s no research. Just read it. He’s pre-capitalist, a figure of the Enlightenment. What we would call capitalism he despised. People read snippets of Adam Smith, the few phrases they teach in school. Everybody reads the first paragraph of The Wealth of Nations where he talks about how wonderful the division of labor is. But not many people get to the point hundreds of pages later, where he says that division of labor will destroy human beings and turn people into creatures as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human being to be. And therefore in any civilized society the government is going to have to take some measures to prevent division of labor from proceeding to its limits.
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