Friday, July 06, 2007

Call For Help to Locate an Alleged Statement by Adam Smith

'Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Personal Gratification' (posted in by Jason Miller, who writes:

While Jefferson penned the words, “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” in our Declaration of Independence, the notion actually evolved from Locke’s “life, liberty, and the pursuit of estate” and Adam Smith’s “life, liberty, and the pursuit of property.” Smith’s version even found its way into The Declaration of Colonial Rights, crafted by the First Continental Congress in 1774.”

The piece suggests that its author, Jason Miller, does not seem to be happy about America, the people who run it politically, or the people who run its businesses. Far be it for me to comment on another country, largely populated at its founding and through the 19th century with British connections.

Recently in the Best Western Hotel, Fairfax, Virginia, I read the names of the top 12 Union Generals and the top 12 Confederate Generals during the civil war, or the ‘war between the states’, and all but one of them on both sides had names suggesting they were ex-British stock, and of them the clear majority had names of Scottish origin….

Anyway, I would ask your indulgence to help locate the alleged quotation from Adam Smith (‘and Adam Smith’s “life, liberty, and the pursuit of property”).

I do not recognise it, but memory ain’t what it used to be (along with much else), so if anybody knows anything about it, please post a comment or drop me a note to gavin At negweb dOT com

Incidentally, I have invited anybody who would like a copy of my paper ‘Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand: from metaphor to myth’ (presented at the History of Economics Society annual meeting in June at GMU) and several have already done so.

Let me make it clear there is no charge for me sending to you an electronic copy, nor is there any danger of your email address, or anything else about you, being used for any purpose other than to send to you the paper (somebody last night asked what it would ‘cost’?), as Lost Legacy works strictly within the UK’s Data Protection Act.


Post a Comment

<< Home