Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Adam Smith

I was forced to read Adam Smith when I was in middle school or high school. I don't remember a thing of what I read, so when I stumbled on some quotes in a book I just finished about how our brain tries to predict future emotional states, I was amazed at how relevant it still all seems.

First, this: "...the desire of the conveniences and ornaments of building, dress, equipage, and household furniture, seems to have no limit or certain boundary."

A timely statement as we move into the consumer frenzy which is the holiday season.

Then, this: "The pleasures of wealth and greatness...strike the imagination as something grand and beautiful and noble, of which the attainment is well worth all the toil and anxiety which we are so apt to bestow upon it...It is this deception which rouses and keeps in continual motion the industry of mankind."

A grand deception which, 230 years later, we still cling to in almost desperation.




Anonymous said...

Congratulations, you just discovered the Invisible Hand

Aravis said...

We never read Adam Smith in school, so this is a first for me. They made us read things like Democracy in America, The Prince, etc. Perhaps this bears further examination because you're right; it's still relevant.