Journal of Libertarian Studies

Adam Smith, Justice, and the System of Natural Liberty

The Journal of Libertarian Studies

Murray Rothbard dismisses Adam Smith’s contribution to economics as “dubious,” and he lists many specific Smithian lapses. For instance, Smith abandons the subjective theory of value, and maintains that only material commodities constitute production or value; he has “no conception of the entrepreneur or of the function of entrepreneurship”; he excuses collective bargaining, implicitly justifying union cartels; and he even provides part of the foundation for Karl Marx’s confused labor theory of value.

But in defense of Smith, the author of the Wealth of Nations did show, on occasion, that he was willing and able to follow his laissez-faire principles to their logical conclusion.

Volume 13, Number 1 (1997)


Anderson, Gary M. "Adam Smith, Justice, and the System of Natural Liberty." Journal of Libertarian Studies 13, No. 1 (1997): 1–20.

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