Friday, June 29, 2007

Poor Literacy from Founders of New Adam Smith Foundation (Missouri)

So widespread and popular is the manufactured icon of Adam Smith’s name in the USA that all sorts of people use his name for one campaign issue or another.

Tom’ at ‘Corrente
spotted an investigative piece by Howard Beale in ‘Fired up!’ (Missouri):

'Blunt Allies Harris, Roe and Fee Agents Open 'Adam Smith' Front for Judge Bashing and Ballot Campaigns

Beale had noticed something calling itself the ‘Adam Smith Foundation’.

I know nothing of this organisation. Whatever else it is accused of, over which I have an open mind (the affairs of the good citizens of Missouri being none of my business as I don’t live and vote there), the authors of the Adam Smith Foundation’s manifesto are grammatically challenged, even by the usual weary complaints of English speakers on this side of the Atlantic:

"an organization committed to promoting conservative principals and individual liberties."

To which ‘Tom’ comments:

The funniest thing is the “suggested readings” link has one book, Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. Now is it even plausible that folks who don’t have the sophistication to understand the difference between “principles” and “principals” will be expected to both read and understand Adam Smith’s epochal work on economics? I think you and I know the answer to that question, don’t we?”

To which I comment: I concur.

If it was only grammar that the epigones got wrong, we would have less to complain about, but they usually get Adam Smith's ideas completely wrong too. No danger of that here, because if they are illiterate to this extent, they are no danger to Smith's ideas because they probably wouldn't understand them.


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