One of Economics’ strongest exports was the economist Adam Smith.
In his book “The Wealth of Nations” Smith made the seemingly paradoxical claim that if people follow their own self interest, this will have the remarkable effect of increasing the overall benefit to society. This seemingly simple principle unfortunately took Adam Smith 1,260 pages to say. (Unfortunately very few economists have ever learnt the art of being concise.)
Adam Smith has become synonymous with free market economics. However, people often forget this Scottish intellectual
was primarily a professor of moral philosophy at Glasgow University.
At any rate this contradictory yet accurate argument about the free market remains the centre of all major debates in economics.
Is unbridled free-market Capitalism really the best economic system?
Even the most ardent free market economist cannot ignore the fact capitalism creates inequality and if you just look around this inequality is painfully evident. Thus many economists came along to challenge the free market ideologies of Adam Smith.
This takes us to our next great economist- Karl Marx