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- This article is about the economist and religious leader. If you can think of some other Adam Smith, create Adam Smith (disambiguation)
Adam Smith was a Scottish economist and seer, worshiped today by the practitioners of Voodoo economics. His doctrine of invisible body-parts and their intervention in business transactions was influential throughout modern history and is widely believed even today.
Adam Smith was the son of a blind watchmaker from Fife. From watching his father work he learned first-hand how watches can be made slowly and painfully by many stages of trial and error, finally resulting in something the customer can't really complain about. Then the process starts all over again with the next watch. After doing quite well in school, he decided that he really didn't have a clue what he wanted to do with his life.
edit Tour of Asia
The young Adam Smith was the inventor of the Gap Year, when he realised that he could spend twelve months wandering around Asia before starting his degree at Glasgow University and no-one would care. The experience allowed him to begin cultivating his aura of age and great wisdom, helped in part by growing a beard while he was there, because he'd forgotten to pack his razor.
He also encountered Buddhist monks in Tibet and for the first time was exposed to a non-Christian religion. They didn't seem to speak much English, but they were definitely cooler than monks in the west.
edit Return to Scotland
As the inventor of the gap year, Adam Smith was one of the first people to return home having "found himself" in Asia (he could have stayed at home and found himself in Scotland, he just never looked there). After passing his Early Capitalism class, which wasn't very tough because no-one had written the textbook yet, he appreciated the importance of making loads of money. Influenced by his experiences in Tibet, he decided that the easiest way to make money was to be "the founder of mine own religion".
His first religion, founded while still a student, was Buddhist Mercantilism, which inexplicably never really caught on. After a few other attempts at his own doctrine based on dimly remembered religious teachings from his travels, most notably Taoist laissez-faire, he abandoned Asian religions and invented the doctrine which would be remembered for centuries: Voodoo economics.
edit And Works
edit The Invisible Body Parts
His first work, known in full as A Dissertation on the Theory of Moral Sentiments and of the Prinicples of Practical and Quotidian Ethics in Accordance with the Principle of the Substance of the Invisible Body Parts, revealed to the public for the first time the true nature of the reality around us, and the revolutionary moral system based on that starting revelation.
The revelation was this: behind every action people take, seemingly of their own free will, there are in fact ghost-like invisible body parts, giving a kick here, a gentle nudge there, moving things around on your table when you're not looking. The effects range from large to small, but they are all finely calculated by some cosmic intelligence to create the world we live in.
However, this was the end of an era of false profits, and it was hard to convince people of this truth.
edit The Wealth of Nations
Adam Smith turned to the "big picture" of political economy (known at that time as Econony with the Truth) in his magnum opus, snappily titled A Treatise Concerning the Motions of the Invisible Body Parts of Gigantic Proportions and the Wealth of Nations. In this realm, truly gigantic invisible body parts roam across the earth, guiding the fortunes of nations and the course of history.
Of these, the most feared are the Invisible Hand and its minion, the Invisible Opposable Thumb. Politicians and generals are powerless in its wake, because the Hand prefers to act through the Marketplace where its approval or disapproval of individuals great or small is shown. If the Hand is pleased, business will be good. If business is not so good, it is a sign that the Hand disapproves, or worse.
The Hand can be kind and benevolant, but sometimes it can be cruel and arbitrary. It may demand sacrifices from the people, which may seem strange or even counterproductive, but they are necessary, and those who trust in the Hand's omniscience know that all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.
The Wealth of Nations at first sold poorly. But once the implications of the doctrine were realised by the Church, the latest heresy was denounced from the pulpit every week and the book burnings began. Sales soared. For the first time in publishing history, Adam Smith had become rich through sales of a long, boring book that no-one ever read all the way through.
Smith was clear as to the meaning of all this: the Hand intended him for greatness.
- The invisible finger, the natural outgrowth of the Adam Smith invisible hand, is useful for giving people the finger without them realising what you really think of them.
- Further high priests of his religion, such as Milton Friedman and Frederic Bastiat, have refined the dogma to broaden appeal. These efforts have been largely successful in garnering many devout converts, like Ronald Reagan and Scrooge MacDuck.