Dr. Martin Hash Podcast

Politics & Philosophy by Dr. Martin D. Hash, Esq.

434 The Enlightenment


Adam Smith is the most famous defender of Capitalism. He predicted that people making decisions in their own self-interest act like an invisible hand guiding society to higher and better performance, benefiting all citizens; a rising tide lifts all boats mythology. One of Smith's contemporaries was his friend, Thomas Hobbes, who concluded that citizens must contract with a sovereign to solve public problems. This emergence of thought was contemporary with the ideas of personal liberty elucidated by John Locke. That unique time in the Eighteenth Century was called The Enlightenment because for whatever strange, coincidental reasons, the creators of modern liberal ideology emerged together.

Smith's proposed solutions to most problems is that individuals making their own choices for what is best for themselves will inevitably lead to an environment that is best for everyone. Hobbes' didn't disagree but he identified the situations where government would provide solutions that better served everyone. Both of these concepts were built on the framework of Locke who postulated a social contract that included the consent of the governed, and ideas that became part the American Constitution; the right to life, liberty and property. Upon the combined ideas of these three individuals, Jeffersonian America was constructed.


Categories | PRay TeLL, Dr. Hash


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