Observations of Man

07.14.20 11:01 AM

Comments and remarks on the writings of Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments

What is it about the rich and famous that makes their lives so interesting, so mesmerizing, so worth publicizing as dramas and tabloid articles and documentaries? 


Adam Smith argues that the nature of humankind is to associate the rich and powerful with that of being wise and virtuous. We are taught, after all, that honesty is the best policy, and that the world tends to pay what is owed, through either karma or other such means. Therefore, it must be that the rich and wealthy have done something virtuous or wise to have earned their position. Certainly, there may be a correlation, but Adam Smith challenges our perhaps naive belief that it is, in fact, causation. 

Supposing the causation, of course, would force the opposite premises to be true as well, which implies that poverty and infamy are the result of being unwise and disingenuous. It is hardly difficult to present examples of wise and virtuous impoverished peoples, nor is it difficult to find examples of contemptuous and shameful rich. 

Honesty may be the best policy in almost every situation, but that does not mean that those of whom have the best situations have enacted the best policies. Both Adam Smith, and I, would challenge you to look at whether you introspectively hold this misconception. Do your idols, those of whom you have modeled your life, your beliefs, your actions around, fit the true description of wise and virtuous, therefore deserving of your admiration? Or, have you erroneously conflated their status as rich and famous with that of acting wise and virtuous?


To be Continued........

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