By Leonidas Montes (auth.)

ISBN-10: 023050440X

ISBN-13: 9780230504400

ISBN-10: 1349511242

ISBN-13: 9781349511242

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Additional info for Adam Smith in Context: A Critical Reassessment of Some Central Components of His Thought

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Quoted in Hasek, 2002 [1925], p. 106) Yet the idea of shaping a Nationalökonomie in combination with a Staatswirthschaftslehre was part of a slow process of profound social, political and economic change in Germany during the nineteenth century (Tribe, 1988, pp. 175–6). Adam Smith played an important role in this process. 14 Another earlier source of the tradition leading to the German Historical School’s hostility towards British political economy is again Fichte, who in his Der Geschlossene Handelstaat.

Das Adam Smith Problem 23 writing has had more beneficial results than this will have’ (quoted in Hasek, 2002 [1925], p. 87). Another important political influence in Prussia, which also reflects the point I am trying to uncover, was Baron Karl vom Stein, who became first minister in 1807. He stated in private notes, probably during his exile in Austria, that: If a nation enjoys a fortunate government, which directs it to independence of action, and assures it freedom and property; if its geographic position is advantageous and it possesses in rivers and seas an easy connection with other developed nations; and if, finally, it has already gained a general fund of technological and commercial knowledge, its government can without fear leave it to free choice of occupation and undertakings, for it will choose the most suitable and profitable.

Thirty years later, in his classic and seminal ‘Adam Smith and Laissez Faire’, Jacob Viner (1892–1970), not only challenged the traditional view of Smith as a precursor of economic laissez faire, but also revived the inherent discrepancies between the TMS and the WN. Viner complains that the extensive revisions and additions to the TMS did not diminish ‘in any particular the points of conflict between the two books’, even allowing that ‘he was elderly and unwell’ (Viner, 1927, p. 217)41 when he revised it.

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Adam Smith in Context: A Critical Reassessment of Some Central Components of His Thought by Leonidas Montes (auth.)


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