Adam Smith Today

Iain McLean

in Adam Smith, Radical and Egalitarian

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780748623525
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672110 | DOI:
Adam Smith Today

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This chapter explains that Adam Smith was in favour of liberty, of equality and of fraternity. It evaluates the uncanny similarities between the ideas of Adam Smith and those of Gordon Brown. Smith's attitude to international trade was highly controversial. His economic and social liberalism are then discussed. His radical egalitarianism derives from his acceptance of half the heritage of Andrew Melvill combined with his contempt for the other half. He also acknowledged that fraternity has a down side. Unlike the Adam Smith Institute, the (John) Smith Institute does not fill its website with quotations from Adam Smith, since that is not its purpose. Smith was quite cynical about politics. There is a particular affinity between Smith's and Brown's views on international trade and poverty. Taking Smith's work as a whole, it is thought that he can only be classed as an egalitarian and left-wing philosopher.

Keywords: Adam Smith; liberty; equality; fraternity; Gordon Brown; economic liberalism; social liberalism; radical egalitarianism; international trade; poverty

Chapter.  13168 words. 

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