Every day we hear about the evils of modern capitalism, from bent markets to corruption, inequality and the encouragement of selfishness. And more than anyone else, these evils are attributed to Adam Smith. Yet Smith was the very opposite of these things in his personal life. And his ideas, far from spawning the excesses of capitalism, show us how to understand and combat them.
Our present world faces huge challenges, including how to generate and sustain economic growth, how to deal with problems of globalization and escalating inequality, and how to create moral understanding across different communities of history, interest and belief. To understand and address these problems today, we need to return to the Scottish Enlightenment, and to Adam Smith.
Jesse Norman MP studied at Oxford, before completing a Masters and PhD in Philosophy at University College London. Before entering politics, he ran an educational project in Communist Eastern Europe and was a Director at Barclays. He has also been an Honorary Fellow at UCL, a Governor of the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, and a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. His previous books include a celebrated study of Edmund Burke.
This event was held in partnership with Edinburgh University Business School.