Adam SmithAdam Smith, (1723-1790) Scottish philosopher and economist

Adam Smith Quote

“Every man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man or order of men.”

Adam SmithAdam Smith
~ Adam Smith

Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith, 1776

Ratings and Comments


Dave
  • Reply
Dave    1/30/09

A late great American, Andrew Meleshinski of Connecticut may have summed up Adam Smith with these 17 words: "Every person has the absolute right to do anything that is not a provable threat to others.".:

Anon
  • Reply
Anon    1/30/09

This is true for the criminal too because of the absoluteness of his right which is no different than the law obeyers right. Though his act may be outlaw it is his freedom to pursue his own interests his own way that can turn the law abiding potential criminal into one. The criminal for bad or good has the same right to choose to commit a crime as the law abider has the right to choose not to.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

The question is mine friends, what are the laws of justice? I think they have been violated quite severly lately on Wall Street, in Banking, in Communication, in Energy. All these guys doing their own things their own way. The only bright sign on the horizon is they got Blagojevich before he did anything. If only private industry worked as well as government did in that case.

jim k, austin

This quote is a perfect description of the free market, or free enterprise if you prefer. Comrad Waff uses the example of Blagojevich as government working which is laughable , what other choice did they have, pray tell. As to his reference to private industry, it works just fine when government gets out of the way.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

All my friends and I at the VFW call each other comrade. You forgot the "e" sad Jimmy! By the way are you also one of my comrades. Probably not since you misspelled it. So you have no problem with the private industry rip off artists.

Anon
  • Reply
Anon    1/30/09

The power that Wall Street, Banking, communications, energy or any other field where rights violations occur has, is an addiction. The wealth/power is the drug of choice and power usurped from our government and wealth from the citizenry through taxation is the supply. Government Commerce laws are the enablers and we the people are the suppliers forced to give up what they are addicted to: wealth and the power it brings.

Mike, Norwalk

Waffler, to answer your question, there is literally no law of justice. The term 'law of justice' is a catch-all phrase to describe all actions that are in harmony with the God of Nature. AND, you are absolutely right, such laws have been violated even though the acts were legally permissible. 'Law' is a defining term that describes that which is. The foundational law that was to form this Republic's jurisprudence was that of Nature's God - it being just with all other codes, ordinances regulations, rules, statutes, etc 'law' eventually succumbing to its manifest. Man's law, as includes compelled compliance, license, victimless crimes, larceny, often at odds with natural law, (as Waffler noted, legalized plunder of the innocent) needs come under justice so as to once again liberate the sovereign from his governmentally induced chains. Justice may be defined as adjudicating the harmonization of an actor with/to his/its rightful act. Justice associated to Natural Law includes theft as a violation. If one steals, justice demands reconciliation. Most societies would call it punishment. Justice merely seeks reconciliation with out emotion, or thought of punishment or blessing. Governmental crimes are no more exempt from the laws of justice than any act performed by a private actor. The above quote is not true when there is a government of men vs. a government of law (Natural Law). This nation has become bankrupt by violating this quote's essence and Natural Law.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

How dear Mike do we bring men into compliance with Natural Law. JFK said "On earth God's work must be done by man." Because of abuses by industry (polluting our streams, air and soil) by banking (you know what this is all about) and by bad food etc. man via government has had to step it. Natural Law does not work it seems with out an enforcer,

Mike, Norwalk

Waffler, again you make me smile. Might I say here DAAH! Natural Law not only includes physical laws (physics, gravity, etc.) but also unseen laws such as fiscal, nobility of life, larceny, etc. It is up to corporeal man to discover, through history and all other means available, what those Natural Laws are. Secondly, but equally important, societal man needs to unite in self governance with other sovereigns by defining and applying such Natural Law with codes, ordinances, regulations, rules, statutes, etc. The more accurate Natural Law's application by man, the greater the liberty and freedom. Applied Natural Law is a limitation on man's servants - the government. The more antithetical man's applications are to Natural Law, the greater the despotism and tyranny.

Mike, Norwalk

Also, We can not bring men into compliance. Staying with anon's sentiments above, criminals will do what criminals will do. Law abiding man has chosen to separate himself from criminals or those who's actions are not in harmony with Natural Law. Despotic alien governments have chosen to separate themselves from all those who choose not their specific brand of tyrannical prejudices.

E Archer, NYC

This is the basis of the Golden Rule. Mike's got it.

RBESRQ
  • Reply
RBESRQ    1/31/09

Please Mike explain "Natural Law" Your explanation, though quite interesting, does not fully answer Wafflers question. If man is to abide by Natural Law to have freedom and Liberty who is responsible the the accountability of mans actions according to Natural Law? And, is Natural Law common and basic to all or just those that have the code? Any oversight of natural law must be by its very nature subjective unless there is an organized body and if that is the case then you are back to square one. In the end the only true law is Self and if you look to self all will be found. God or is self in this case and you are its master otherwise there is no self and no god. Mike, when you say 'The more accurate Natural Law's application by man, the greater the liberty and freedom" are you referring to Self or some abstract code, if the later, then how is man to apply Natural Law without knowledge of it? I am still mystified as to how this 'natural law is shared or disseminated? Please continue this thread I found it fascinating. Have a nice day, Robert.

Ken, Allyn, WA

The laws of physics are common to all as are the laws of economics. Morality in its entirety can be thought of as a question of economy, i.e. what is most productive for the individual. It is not moral to murder not only because it ends an individual's productive life, but it also creates uncertainty about whether anyone's productive life is safe if the murderer is allowed to go free. By productive life, by the way, I mean more than money. Everyone has the potential to be valuable to someone else beyond the monetary issue. Because it is in everyone's interest to bring the murderer to justice to reduce the uncertainty of their own safety, it is also each individual's duty to bring the murderer to justice. Uncertainty of future payoff decreases current value. By protecting your right to life, I protect my own life and economic interest. Individuals acting in their own self-interest protect everyone else from injustice. If you look at the timeless laws such as you should not kill, steal, commit adultery, covet you neighbors belongings, etc., they all create uncertainty in life, in family, and in the home. Because they create uncertainty, they decrease the value of everyone's life. In essence they steal a portion of someone else's valuable life. These age old laws are the codification of natural law.

Mike, Norwalk

Natural Law is subjective, common and basic to all. Parts of Natural Law are best iterated by religion; for example: God is no respecter of persons: (Acts 10:34) Love is what God is, lovingly is what He does - His acts are loving. (no one is loved more or less; not black/white, free/slave, man/woman, homosexual/heterosexual, rich/poor, American/Mexican, etc - we are the family of Man. The concept is literal if Christian, abstract if atheist - in any case, no less real or binding) Recognizing an absolute historical realization, de jure American jurisprudence is then based on each man being created equal, that all are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these (a short list) are Life, Liberty, property in alodium, and the pursuit of Happiness. When said God of Nature's law is transgressed or broken, subjective application displays less liberty and freedom. By example: the loss of life's nobility is recognized in class deprivation, i.e. it is most visible in second class status citizens (prejudice, legal or otherwise, against race, economic status, religions, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, etc.) The whole of society suffers as the subject of prejudice suffers - liberty and freedom declines. The subjective application of fiscal law is often easier to see. By way of example: If you spend more than you have, you go bankrupt. Also, "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." (Margaret Thatcher) Now that Russia has eliminated, and China drastically reduced their income tax, their economies are expanding exponentially. The Ten Commandments are broken down legally into 2 jurisdictions. Those commandments that address innocent 3rd parties (murder & larceny) are to be addressed by public scrutiny. And, those that remain of a personal, religious, or intellectual status are to remain private without public scrutiny. Thus, that which is common to all is binding on all. Implementation by natural law protects those that abide the law, and those the break the law have no such protection of the law. God said "thou shalt not kill" <(Hebrew ratsach, meaning murder). Such is to broad for application so the Individual sovereign unites with other sovereigns, recognizing the historical relevance of the Natural Law, and passes statutes defining 1st degree murder, 2nd degree, man slaughter, etc. to fit most precisely their society. When that law is broken, unitedly, sovereigns serve as agents of justice to reconcile law's breach. Compelled compliance, license, victimless crimes, and larceny are all contrary to Natural Law and when made the norm by despots and ignorant patrons, the society will eventually collapse. Robert, does that help?

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

I take a simpler approach to the term "Natural" Law. Natural Law operates whether or not we have words to describe or explain it. Things fell to earth long before man coined the word gravity. But the Natural Law Mike speaks of in the social sphere seems to need to be propagandized taught and learned. I am just not so sure that it is Natural at all. Kennedy's quote I think is closer to the truth that the works of "good" must be done by man by enacting laws such as Moses did with Gods help or vice versa when He handed down the Commandments. If the tenets espoused in the Commandments are natural why do we have to be taught them and then teach them to our kids.

Mike, Norwalk

Waffler, first of all, the terms Law of Nature and of Nature's God don't necessarily equate to your use of natural. Secondly, are you asking why we teach our children about issues such as lying, larceny, murder, etc.(each having their own sub-section with in the Law of Nature)? I would think that would be self explanatory. Nature's God gave freedom, liberty, and choice. That is what the whole 'tree of knowledge of good and evil' was all about, so man could choose for himself. If there was nothing to learn or choose from, and everything was mandated, such as by the god state of socialism, collectivism, etc. then there would be no freemen with choice to progress or otherwise, there would only be despot masters with slaves, helots, or etc.

RBESRQ
  • Reply
    RBESRQ    2/2/09

    Mike, thank you for your response - very interesting. Sorry for the late reply. First, you say ‘natural law is subjective and ‘parts of natural law’ are best iterated by religion. And, then you go on to say ‘subjective application displays less liberty and freedom’ – now I am confused as you started by saying that natural law is subjective. If God (it!) is love and it’s acts loving it sure has a peculiar way of expressing itself. Secondly, you still really haven’t explained the literal concept that Christians found acceptable and what Atheists find in the abstract. I do believe that we SHOULD be born equal as you expressed but this is not by some divine power this is by us (the human race) to enforce. Unfortunately around the world this ‘created equal’ is definitely not the case – how can you say to a child born with Aids and whose parents have been slaughtered, who has no food or clean water, whose life expectancy is only years away, that the child is born equal – you are born into circumstances, all else is conjecture and hypothesis. How do we know when ‘God of Nature’s law is transgressed or broken’ if ‘Natural law subjective’? I am very impressed with your holistic view of your religion and that alone is most commendable (a rare commodity with most religions). I believe that liberty and freedom suffers from an individual lack of being intimate with Self and consequently this is reflected by society but its origin is Self. Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, and Oligarchies are all invented by human’s and that does not cr and they are not the cause we like to thinks it is their fault there are problems and What made America great is that Europe moved to America – not so for the native Indians who were practically wiped out (genocide). Russia and China don’t need a tax base when they steel from the land and make slaves of its people – If a country has no industry and relies on imports and credit to survive (such as America) you need a healthy tax just to keep things greased. What’s amazing is all this talk about taxes when many American companies and individuals don’t pay any. The wealthy and unscrupulous are able to circumvent the tax system because they can afford too. I don’t know why I got onto tax commentary it has taken me away from the subject at hand. And as for the Ten Commandments (I presume you mean Moses?) Well, that is best left alone – sorry Mike you lost me here. “The Ten Commandments are broken down legally into 2 jurisdictions. Those commandments that address innocent 3rd parties (murder & larceny) are to be addressed by public scrutiny. And, those that remain of a personal, religious, or intellectual status are to remain private without public scrutiny. Thus, that which is common to all is binding on all.” I find the interpretation of natural law protecting those who abide the law incredibly convoluted – it is very simple; those who govern on behalf of the people are responsible for the lawful society in which it governs. It has nothing to do with God, Natural law, or the Ten Commandments. Most of the Ten Commandments were stolen from other beliefs and writings. “Thou shall not kill” is exactly that – If God or Leviticus wanted to provide degrees they would have. Mike, I agree re; your list of laws that are broken though they are done so contrary to Self - the only mandate of any consideration is the one of Self. Our argument could last days, but suffice to say, I believe your heart is in the right place and after all that is what’s important.

    Mike, Norwalk

    Robert, kinda point by point. As noble heirs of the Divine, we are all born equal. To your point, from man's perspective, all are born as a faculty of birth with equal rights at law, - it is up to corporeal man to support equality - all life is noble. You're exactly right, man's law, more often than not breaks the law of nature, by your examples (aids, brutality, rich, etc.). Eternally, even the children with aids are equal at the law, not necessarily anywhere else, but at the law. Life here is but a dot on eternity's scale. Only circumstances with the results thereof, man made or otherwise, are conjecture and hypothesis. The God of Nature■s law is transgressed or broken when a third party's rights are breeched. The concepts, he who forgets history is doomed to relive it; or, doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result is a definition of insanity, also expresses the results of the law of nature. Justice, on a corporeal scale, may take hundreds if not thousands of years but eventually will express the law of nature's edicts. The economic ism's you refer to are inventions of man and as they reflect law will define their success or failure. We know that socialism is more than just an economic system that is based on larceny; and, capitalism only works when kept within the bounds of law, etc. Genocide was wrong then and now and if nothing else, the communist Obama's election may show a movement from that lawless mentality. The only reason the US needs a tax base is to give value to its fiat larceny / slavery of choice (that is also contrary to the law of nature and will eventually lead to the most horrific death and mayhem this orb has ever known). I whole heartedly agree with you that it all comes down to self. It is self governance, united with others, acting without violating others rights, is all important (as is in accordance with the law of nature).

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