Calling Adam Smith’s treatment of slavery in CTE his “silence” about slavery is really a polite way of exposing his cover-up of the role of slavery in the creation of the wealth that he enjoyed. I admit that at various times Smith did say things about slavery in his book on the causes of wealth, The Wealth of Nations, but not when he was writing about the causes of wealth.
If you want to prove capitalism works, you might think back to 18th century Glasgow. That’s where Adam Smith was when he created the theory of market capitalism – he looked around, saw open markets, saw competition, saw the industriousness and prosperity that resulted, and correctly concluded that a system of free markets based on competition benefits everyone.
Everyone, that is, except the slaves.
Because what Smith’s famous example leaves out is the fact that Scotland’s prosperity was the result not just of free markets, but of slaves in the Americas producing tobacco that could be shipped to Scotland for processing. Without the slaves, the system wouldn’t have worked. To read more click here