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Adam Smith

Geburtstag: 5. Juni 1723
Todesdatum: 17. Juli 1790

Adam Smith [smɪθ], FRSA war ein schottischer Moralphilosoph, Aufklärer und gilt als Begründer der klassischen Nationalökonomie und der Freien Marktwirtschaft.

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„Was man Zuneigung nennt, ist in Wirklichkeit nichts andres als Sympathie der Gewohnheit.“ Theorie der moralischen Empfindungen

„Es ist nicht die Wohltätigkeit des Metzgers, des Brauers oder des Bäckers, die uns unser Abendessen erwarten lässt, sondern dass sie nach ihrem eigenen Vorteil trachten.“ The Wealth of Nations, Book I


„Keine Gesellschaft kann gedeihen und glücklich sein, in der der weitaus größte Teil ihrer Mitglieder arm und elend ist.“ The Wealth of Nations, Book I

„Für wie selbstsüchtig man den Menschen auch halten mag, es gibt nachweislich einige Grundlagen seines Wesens, die dazu führen, dass er sich für das Schicksal anderer interessiert, deren Glück ihm notwendig erscheint, obwohl er nichts davon hat außer dem Vergnügen, es zu sehen.“ Die Theorie der ethischen Gefühle

„Ein Mensch, der sich kein Eigenthum erwerben kann, hat kein anderes Interesse, als so viel zu essen und so wenig zu arbeiten, als möglich.“ Untersuchungen über die Natur und die Ursachen des Nationalreichthums. Aus dem Englischen der vierten Ausgabe neu übersetzt. Zweyter Band. Breslau 1794. S. 206 books. google

„Keine Kunst lernt eine Regierung schneller als die, Geld aus den Taschen der Leute zu ziehen.“ The Wealth of Nations, Book V

„The great source of both the misery and disorders of human life, seems to arise from over-rating the difference between one permanent situation and another. Avarice over-rates the difference between poverty and riches: ambition, that between a private and a public station: vain-glory, that between obscurity and extensive reputation. The person under the influence of any of those extravagant passions, is not only miserable in his actual situation, but is often disposed to disturb the peace of society, in order to arrive at that which he so foolishly admires. The slightest observation, however, might satisfy him, that, in all the ordinary situations of human life, a well-disposed mind may be equally calm, equally cheerful, and equally contented. Some of those situations may, no doubt, deserve to be preferred to others: but none of them can deserve to be pursued with that passionate ardour which drives us to violate the rules either of prudence or of justice; or to corrupt the future tranquillity of our minds, either by shame from the remembrance of our own folly, or by remorse from the horror of our own injustice.“ The Theory of Moral Sentiments

„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.“


„Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.“ The Wealth of Nations

„The first thing you have to know is yourself. A man who knows himself can step outside himself and watch his own reactions like an observer.“ The Money Game

„It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages“ An Inquiry into the Nature & Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Vol 1

„Never complain of that of which it is at all times in your power to rid yourself.“ The Theory Of Moral Sentiments


„The man whose whole life is spent in performing a few simple operations, of which the effects are perhaps always the same, or very nearly the same, has no occasion to exert his understanding or to exercise his invention in finding out expedients for removing difficulties which never occur. He naturally loses, therefore, the habit of such exertion, and generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become.“ The Wealth of Nations

„No society can surely be flourishing and happy of which by far the greater part of the numbers are poor and miserable.“

„In regards to the price of commodities, the rise of wages operates as simple interest does, the rise of profit operates like compound interest.

Our merchants and masters complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price and lessening the sale of goods. They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They complain only of those of other people.“
The Wealth of Nations

„Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.“

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