chapter  5
11 Pages

Smith and the economy

In Chapters 3 and 4 we saw that counsel on trade was concerned with state strength and wealth, and that the intimate relationship between these two phenomena was placed at the centre of analytical attention. The counsellors who advised statesmen on these topics mobilized a limited set of arguments, and this set did not provide a conceptual basis for thinking of the economy as a domain separate from the state. Instead, activities such as trade and labour were construed in relation to state power via the connections between strength and wealth.