The Wealth of Nations

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Classic founding economics tract, written by Adam Smith. Hugely influential, though rather simplistic when compared with our mixed, social-democratic, regulated, interconnected, global markets today.

Still, very popular with fundamental free market libertarian types.

It does succeed in solving one conundrum, which is how can anything of transcendent value for all arise out of the interactive meleé of thousands of self-serving, self interested merchants.

However simplistic in the broader sense, this is still an order of magnitude more sophisticated and useful than any theory which starts off, as many still do, with, “assuming we all pull together for the common good and people aren’t selfish...”