When Adam Smith first published The Wealth of Nations in 1776, I highly doubt he would have foreseen the current climate of a global imperialist system propagated solely for the interests of what we can describe as the Capitalist Class.
By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Smith
Within the historical context of Smith’s time, corporate charters were controlled by the state, somewhat similar to current no bid contracts granted various industries who service government projects of varying degrees. However, in Smith’s time, the state had complete control over these corporate charters, such as the the British Empire’s East India Company, which served as a sort of trading company gaining much profit from Opium among other resources to be exploited by British Colonialism. Just for a reference, Colonialism has manifested into modern Imperialism to a large extent, though that will be explained in greater detail further down the road.
Smith felt the government control of capital and business hindered the free flow of capital, thus slowing economic — or capital — growth. Smith believed the free flow of capital would ultimately lead to greater opportunities for all people to share in the wealth of this free flowing capital. This theme of capitalism without government restriction, or Laissez-faire capitalism, is the backbone of the modern libertarian movement. It’s understandable the sentiment of Smith given the historical context of state, or in Smith’s case, Monarchistic control over capital markets. Unlike what we now consider Communism, this state control of capital did not result in equal distribution of wealth, but rather the wealth being hoarded by the Monarchy. continue reading…