Are there any reasons why Smith's model of capitalism might not be a successful argument in favor of the free-market system?  

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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The Reverend Adam Smith was a Presbyterian minister who developed his economic theories within a frame work of Scottish “moderate” economic, politic, moral, and religious thought. Somewhat influenced by the clockmaker notion of God found in deism (though he himself was not a deist), Smith saw the economy of nations as a manifestation of providential design. Thus, for Smith, the “free market” was governed by the Invisible Hand of divine providence which ensured that it would contribute to moral good. This argument can only be used if one feels that interference in the free market interferes with God’s plan. An atheist, or a Christian who does not believe in particular providence, cannot legitimately assume that a free market is guided by a benign unseen force, and thus would be concerned about the immediate evidence that the freedom of the market can increase inequality and harm the poorest and most defenceless members of a society (widows, orphans, children, the disabled, etc.)

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