Adam Smith the moral philosopher
Many people have dragged the idea of the free market, and even the good name of Adam Smith through the mud recently. It is trendy to say that capitalism does not work fully.
The life of Adam Smith
In a nutshell, Adam Smith’s lived a life of virtue and intellectual pursuit. Perhaps a Deist and at least a man of ethics and a man of the enlightenment, Smith tried to explain why some people are rich and others are poor. He wanted to explain the reason for poverty, and suffering caused by material lack.
His books contained nothing about greed or materialism. Adam Smith’s works do not praise the virtue of selfish like Ann Rand’s books. Smith is very different than Rand but the two get lumped together.
Rather the works of Smith is about the role of work is in our society. Work is about adding value to others. Our work is our service to other people. Smith’s work was not about greed, but rather it was simply a discourse on the causes of wealth and poverty, and a prescription to alleviate suffering caused by lack, written between the lines.
Adam Smith’s recommendations
Adam Smith believed, when everyone acts on their own enlightened self interest, society as a whole benefits. Everyone gets more pie. When government has more control people will suffer more and get poor. People should work to contribute to others and they will reap rewards themselves as will society.
This means poverty can be alleviate for society in aggregate when people realizes that each person has the ability to contribute to society. He believed men are good in nature. Read more about this on Adam Smith and work
I live in Eastern Europe and I see what government does to people. My recommendation is if you are feeling sorry for others and want to help them, read the books of Adam Smith. If you feel bad about your personal economic situation in life, read Adam Smith. Contained in his books was nothing about greed or malice, only goodness towards humanity.