2015년 2월 2일 월요일

[an excerpt of A. Smith's] Theory of Moral Sentiments

1.
출처: Part IV: Of the Effect of Utility upon the Sentiment of Approbation Consisting of One Section, in The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith (1759)
자료: https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/smith-adam/works/moral/part04/part4.htm

( ... ) The produce of the soil maintains at all times nearly that number of inhabitants which it is capable of maintaining. The rich only select from the heap what is most precious and agreeable. They consume little more than the poor, and in spite of their natural selfishness and rapacity, though they mean only their own convieniency, though the sole end which they propose from the labours of all the thousands whom they employ, be the gratification of their own vain and insatiable desires, they divide with the poor the produce of all their improvements. They are led by an invisible hand to make nearly the same distribution of the necessaries of life, which would have been made, had the earth been divided into equal portions among all its inhabitants, and thus without intending it, without knowing it, advance the interest of the society, and afford means to the multiplication of the species. When Providence divided the earth among a few lordly masters, it neither forgot nor abandoned those who seemed to have been left out in the partition. These last too enjoy their share of all that it produces. In what constitutes the real happiness of human life, they are in no respect inferior to those who would seem so much above them. In ease of body and peace of mind, all the different ranks of life are nearly upon a level, and the beggar, who suns himself by the side of the highway, possesses that security which kings are fighting for.

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From some related books:

2. The Oxford Handbook of Adam Smith

※ 발췌 (excerpts):
Smith was adept at using theological dressing when composing his arguments[,] and several examples could be cited. ( ... ... ) He describes the 'great deception' that is 'imposed by nature' (not by God?) which motivates men to toil, unintentionally, on behalf of mankind, as summarized in one of his only two 'invisible hand' paragraphs in TMS and WN, adding: ' When Providence divided the earth among a few lordly masters, it neither forgot nor abandoned those who seemed to have been left out in the partition. These last too enjoy their share of all that it produces' at least up to necessaries of life (TMS IV.1 11: 185).

3. Adam Smith: Critical Assessments

※ 발췌 (excerpts):
The assumption of a divine plan operating through human nature in itself may imply a harmonious order, taking the rationality and beneficiences of nature for granted. There are certain passages in both works that lend a certain color to this view. One of the few economic generalization in the ^Moral Sentiments^ is that inequality of wealth is conductive to general welfare. ( ... ... )

4. The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy

※ 발췌 (excerpts):
[주석] 24. Adam Smith thought not: " When Providence divided the earth among a few lordly masters, it neither forgot nor abandoned those who seemed to have been left out in the partition. These last too enjoy their share of all that it produces. In what constitutes the real happiness of human life, they are in no respect inferior to those who would seem so much above them. In ease of body and peace of mind, all the different ranks of life are nearly upon a level, and the beggar, who suns himself by the side of the highway, possesses that security which kings are fighting for. " Adam Smith, ^The Theory of Moral Sentiments^ (1759; ...) part 4, chap. 1.

5. The Other Adam Smith: Popular Contention, Commercial Society, and the Birth ...

※ 발췌 (excerpts):
It is precisely in the context of the natural and political oeconomies or rather in the space between them that Smith's account of the invisible hand takes on its full significance: " Providence," which in his words "divided the earth among a few lordly masters ... neither forgot nor abandoned those who seemed to have been left out in the partition" (TMS 185). "Seemed" is crucial here: In appearance a few enjoy abundance, while the majority suffer deprivation. This apparent evil, however, is an illusion; in reality, the rich consume "little more than the poor" because the capacity of the proud and unfeeling landlord's "stomach bears no proportion to the immensity of his desires and will receive no more than that of the meanest peasant." (TMS 185) "In ease of body and peace of mind, all the different ranks of life are nearly upon a level."
Other evils, however, are undeniably real. The rich, as imagined by Smith, neither love their neighbor as themselves nor are they prompted by duty to attempt in however minimal a way to aid their fellow man. They are moved only by "natural selfishness and rapacity"; they seek "only their conveniency" and "the gratification of their own vain and insatiable desires" (TMS 184). Smith's text literally says that "in spite" of their selfishness and rapacity "they divide with the poor the produce of all their improvements," but he has in fact shown, in a muted version of Mandeville's argument, that it is because of their devotion to vain grandeur and the "oeconomy of greatness" that arises from their very vices that other receives their share of the fruits of the earth.  ( ... )
....

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