100 Comments

  • Subhanu Khanal

    Adam Smith had a very narrow view of the world when he wrote his ideas. He failed to recognize that the wrath that he saw growing in England and Scotland was largely the product of deliberate colonial policies of the his government that assisted in plundering all the colonies back then. The weath and development that his nation enjoys now is very much a product of that government sponsored policy. Moreovr, what is interesting is the fact that the English might have applied this laisse fairer policies domestically but not once did they think of applying it in other nations. To the English mind, civilly was a virtue to be selectively applied. And he might have been the “father” of economics in the West but this statement seems to be undermine the contribution to economics by intellectuals from non western cultures, which can sadly distort history. For instance, in 321 B.C Kautilya wrote a book on economics called Arthasastra, which is Sanskrit for Economics read by Alexzander and his general like Selecus.
    Nonetheless, applied fairly And uniformly across all nations today, Smith’s idea could help address the issue of crony capitalism and help free the market from distorting forces for both sellers and buyers.

  • anonamous365

    Smith's observations are based on what free people would do…all these socialists dreams are based on what people would do at gunpoint.

  • Anton Bazarov

    It is quite telling that, at least according to this documentary, more students in China read Adam Smith than one does in America. The U.S. needs a wake-up call and this starts with a reformation of the education system. This is especially true for the universities, where Smith's works are now demonized while Marx has been sanctified. We need to realize again that only true fee markets (egalitarian capitalism) can create wealth, whereas central control communism, national socialism, crony (criminal) capitalism, and government backed monopolies mismanage, misallocate, and eventually destroy a nation's wealth. Going along with Smith's works on ethics, we also need to reassess our moral behavior to once again realign social prosperity with self-interest (if we cooperate to benefit individually, we benefit together), rather than the self-aggrandizing but ultimately inept SJW morality of today.

  • Clovis Rabello

    Before 1949 China was not socialist and was not prosperous. So why to tell that China was not prosperous because of socialism? This is not fair. This is corruption of history.

  • crazieeez

    Adam Smith published his work in 1776, 243 years ago, it is implemented by all developed nations, yet not one country ended homelessness for all. Not one country ended hunger for all. Not one country ended healthcare for all. Adam Smith is not to be praised but to be critical. Problems humans had like hunger, homelessness, and illness have existed since the birth of man and even today. There is nothing revolutionary nor great about Adam Smith. Another video putting him on a pedestal. We can do better and must.

  • Mark Baker

    All that money is tax people money stolen by congress living in DC.Not business mens lobbyist money.It America taxies being stolen from those living in DC.

  • Di Wang

    If you want to know Adam Smith, go somewhere else; if you don't know Adam Smith, go somewhere else; if you want to know China and free market, go somewhere else. The only valuable thing I learned is Sir Cowperthwaite who made Hong Kong a great economic power. Unfortunately HK is not as good as before 1997.

  • Golf Science Guru

    What had native son Adam Smith done for Great Britain? Why Great Britain fell from a first-tier economy to a second-tier economy, which may be in danger of falling into a third-tier economy? Would the British people thank Smith for their fall of their wealth of the British nation?

  • Golf Science Guru

    The video claims Adam Smith's book encouraged Jefferson and his cohorts to rebel against the English government, and thereby doomed Great Britain to eventually become a none-first-tier economy. With citizens like Smith, Great Britain doesn't need enemies.

  • Golf Science Guru

    There was another ship of Commodore Perry not mentioned, which forced trade upon Japan, which rulers were wised enough to know that Adam Smith free trade was bad for the type of culture Japan lived under, and perhaps the Japanese rulers might had known at that time that Smith type trading would had been even awful for the planet Earth. The wealth of nations may be very bad for the wealth of the planet Earth. If the wealth of nations increases to the extend of destroying the wealth of Earth, the destruction of the Earth will lead to the total destruction of the wealth of nations.

    After Perry forced Japan to open up to global trade, Japan was seduced to the industrial wealth of Western nations. Japan started to industrialized itself on a vast scale in order to equal the industrial achievements of the West, but Japan's home islands lacked abundant natural resources to support its industrialization efforts. Japan started to move into its neighboring countries to look for natural resources to support its westernization efforts. First, Japan moved into it close neighbor Korea, and then it continued to move into northern China. Japan continued to expand to the southern Pacific area for oil, and rubber in Indochina. The United States threatened not to sell oil to Japan, when the US did not accept the competition of Japan in taking over the rubber of Indochina. Japan hatched an insane plan to destroy the US Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, so that Japan could be freed to invade the southern Pacific countries for their natural resources to support Japan's industries. The attacked on US Pearl Harbor caused to US to join World War 2. The US, using its industrial might, successfully developed nuclear weapons that forced Japan to surrender, and which started the nuclear age. The proliferation of huge numbers of nuclear weapons during the Cold War for the first time threatened the total destruction of the planet Earth via "nuclear winters" and radiation. The peaceful use of large numbers of nuclear reactors also generated at lot of radioactive wastes, and threatened the accidental release of nuclear radiation for nuclear electric power plants.

    After WW2, the US reigned supreme in global economic expansion when most industrial countries in Europe, and Japan in the far east were devastated by WW2. The US stated to build on a vast scale limited-access-super-highways based on the German Autobaun, which US general, and president Ike saw in Germany during WW2. This resulted in US workers living in cities to migrate out to the suburbs, needing long automotive car driving to the cities to work, and back out to the suburbs after work. As the wealth of the US nation grew due to Adam Smith's free market principles, even the poor workers became rich enough to buy houses in the suburbs, so that the poor city workers too migrated in mass to the suburbs. As the suburbs close to the cities were more expansive, and the houses in the suburbs closer to the cities were already bought up the wealthier, the newly rich poor city workers had to migrate even further away from the cities to find affordable houses to buy. This resulted in even longer car commuting daily to work and back on super-highways by huge numbers of these suburbia workers. This high-energy lifestyle resulted in the rapid depletion of easy-to-extract domestic US oil reserves, so that the US had to import oil. The importing of oil, and the trading of oil, once again like with Japan, fostered oil-wars.

    But an even worse problem than oil-wars was the spread of the high-energy American lifestyle globally to other nations, promoted by Smith's free global trading. If every nation, or even just a lot of nations adopted the high-energy lifestyle of the US, there is not enough oil on Earth to support such wasteful high-energy US lifestyle globally. Another problem which is emerging is that high-energy use creates high amounts of byproducts of burning fossil fuels, which can cause excessive global warming, which if high enough may destroy Earth as we know it. The wealth of the planet Earth is once again threatened by a new problem: first nuclear winter, and now global warming. What's next Adam Smith?

  • Lucius Seneca

    I get paid on time, use the money to buy what I need – food I don't have to grow, a roof I didn't have to build, on walls that I didn't have to fashion out of mud brick. Much better than Hunter-Gatherer economies, which is what Venezuela has now, until Caracas runs out of pigeons.

  • Jian Li

    lobbying is a way of showing economics power. Like the house, if you are making money as an industry then you can help the economy right?

  • Jian Li

    Free market creates wealth but then in economy tariffs and taxes are part of the market as well. No tax means no government and no law.

  • Jian Li

    Marx glass half empty, smith glass half full. But capitalism is based on human history, just innovated from the past. Market is the key to liberalization of the economy. It gives people choice of goods. The key to market is choices.

  • Pipster

    Not many people have actually read Adam Smith. Not all those on the right who have been told to worship him. They may have heard of the first page of "Wealth of Nations" but not much else. Look at what Noam Chomsky or Michael Hudson say about him. They HAVE read him.

  • Ali Qobadian-Kalhor

    Of course Smthian ideas works best for a large economy china or United States , However for smaller economies means loosing their independence.

  • Deganawidah Ayenwatha

    Places that the commentator did not mention that tried the same economic experiment with Chicago-style capitalism
    Chile – led to economic disaster
    Haiti – Capitalism under Rene Preval, the economy did even worse under Chicago style Neoliberalism
    Philippines – under Marcos the "market economy" led to a growing income gap and ultimately revolution
    The Democratic Republic of Congo in 1990a – IMF and World Bank tried the "free market model" and led to contraction, disparity, and starvation
    Mexico – tried the free market model and it failed
    There are so many more examples under the IMF imposed 'free market' austerity that led to disaster like S American & Central American economies, countries. It is easy to cherry-pick an authoritarian example like China and the Soviet Union and then leave out Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore (higher % of govt in the economy than Venezuela), Canada etc etc…..

  • bjpcorp

    The poorest person can live a richer life than the wealthiest of them, capitalism defines poverty as a person's ability to consume their product. But we're not buying it anymore…

  • Deckie Deckie

    Where Adams failed…..never thought of an answer to the question…..Where do we stop?…..one can only use so many gitzmos….

  • Radek Hurt

    All this progress and wealth because of one man and one book. We live our lives through the GDP per capita and free markets. Massive wealth and over population is the result. This is same as if we celebrated Hitler's Mein Kampf which failed in reality but was close to succeed. We could have become one German nation and one market.

  • Algernon Friday

    The best American company, in the sense of helping America and the widest range of America's Citizens, is Walmart.

    Whole Foods is an upper end niche player.

  • Carlos Figueroa

    No such thing as a free market; even Smith made room for the State in the industrial economy as a why to protect property, contracts and the public good.

  • Frenchy Smith

    Everything on those ships will eventually turn into trash .How much trash can our planet withstand.

  • John Vincent

    As great and influential the thinking of Adam Smith was his moral foundation was based on the notion of “The Common Good” rather than Individualism. This left the door open for attack by the Left which persists to this day.

  • Anthony Kist

    unfortunately we now know that leaving it purely to market forces alone does not fix the inequality of wealth spread.

  • Sam K

    An entire hour documentary that lacked any criticism of the absolute failings of capitalism. No wonder people are so delusional about the virtues of this utterly broken system, and utter misunderstanding of socialism. Swallowed whole, you are going to choke.

  • Dulu

    Tuned in to learn about Adam Smith… stayed to learn about Maersk and freight shipping. Interesting stuff! Really amazed such a massive ship is crewed by so few people.

  • Joe Ferrara MD

    There's a English brand of ginger beer my son-in-law likes. On a search I found 4 bottles in the US for $24. In a local Brooklyn deli, buck-fifty a bottle.

  • ZombieCorp.

    Global economics is great but globalism, not so much. Global entities are becoming more powerful then countries, with no true identity or loyalty, they manipulate the world for agency and profit. Culture, community and country are being eroded by a one world order veiled by multiculturalism, diversity and open borders. Imperialism by a different name.

  • Indifferent John

    Land is wealth, everything else is a promise that as Smith iterates is at the mercy of free and fair law. Hence the Wealth of Nations is too utopian a concept to succeed – due to the baseness of the human condition. Today's global market is at the mercy of the same corruptions; of monopolies posing as ruling classes with rhetoric posing as ideals, just like it has done throughout the history of all human societies. Elites bemusing the people with false philosophies masquerading as political ideologies. China is not a free market, and its historical ideals are based upon a mono-ethnic premise of society; nor can the US/European market be, for they were forged by early modern elites in mercantilism, who wrote the system to be inaccessible for the masses. The worst spanner in the works is nationalism, a concept best understood via the study of global survey. Adam Smith's concepts are wonderful dreams, like those of Marx, Spielberg and Robin Hood, but the world will always be run by nepotists, I prefer to call them gangsters. Someone always suffers for the freedoms we afford. Christ gave us the best starting point in ethical economics when he told us to leave our families and accept the world as brothers and sisters, again a very unlikely concept. Yet without this central message of Christ every idea of the early modern western emancipation is flawed. So, without arguing for the existence of a supreme being, I do believe that Classical Antiquity holds the very flaws built into our modern system, and like the Roman Republicans of antiquity the worst has yet to come, yet their opponents – the disenfranchised of that society – may fair better under the future authoritarian patronage that is sure to come. Democracy was facilitated by slavery or servility, it facilitated oligarchies or descended into coup d'etats. Why did Cain slay Abel? For the same reasons the landed aristocracy entered upon monastical disputes post antiquity and in early modern history enclosed their farms. The division of labour is confinement wielded by the necessity for food and shelter.

  • Condenced Freedom

    When the information is put out in front of you, it becomes so mind boggling how far we’ve come in such a short time. That magnificent machine of a cargo boat is so fascinating in how calculated and perfect every piece of it fits together, I sit in my room and gawk at how cool everything around me is when you really think about all the details put into its design.

  • Khalid Nezami

    I used to be a socialist, but I found how better capitalism is, and Adam Smith appears to me the greatest economists in history, but I still appreciate Marx as well.

  • sajid hossain

    Then selfishness and greedyness started of western world…. Exploitation and fiat currency started, reserve currency mechanism and one world order started…. Many disadvantages overlooked.

  • Eugene Anderson

    When you steal Americas technology its pretty easy to move ahead quickly. They forgot to tell you about all the retraining camps going on.

  • zola mo

    Free markets and global trade create more prosperity-in the beginning, but will inherently move the world into a Globalism/monetarism slave system that encompasses the world's population. Capitalism is great in the beginning, then monopolies emerge and the few control the many and keep them poor.

  • Justice Champion

    The USA & most European colonies were is built on stolen land & slavery!!!! Get real!!!…Anybody can make money from slave labor! Adam Smith was a slave owner & WHOLE FOODS profits from the use of prisoners in the U.S.A.

  • Justice Champion

    Caucasians talking about morality is like a serial killer talking about a "Community Watch" program…Laughable…

  • lexxon11

    I love Capitalism, however there are no contradictory views…too pro capitalism. There are outliers in capitalism.i.e McDonald's

  • Richard Fettes

    Excellent video Johan, I enjoyed it very much but ZombieCorp is right "Global economics is great but globalism not so much."

  • Splag Yetsi

    “Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.”
    ― Adam Smith

  • Johnny West

    All that prosperity can be destroyed by Black Africans. Black Africans destroy their surroundings and the economy of every place they exist. Add that to your Economic Studies.

  • Enlightened Exceptionalism

    As they embrace and understand Smith – our own universities and current generation are not only ignorant of our founding principles, but violently villainize these principles. This should be shown in every school. It is disgraceful that our education system intentionally avoids these teachings – and worse – teach socialist and communist ideologies – going backwards. Wake up America!

  • Enlightened Exceptionalism

    As they embrace and understand Smith – our own universities and current generation are not only ignorant of our founding principles, but violently villainize these principles. This should be shown in every school. It is disgraceful that our education system intentionally avoids these teachings – and worse – teach socialist and communist ideologies – going backwards. Wake up America!

  • Enlightened Exceptionalism

    As they embrace and understand Smith – our own universities and current generation are not only ignorant of our founding principles, but violently villainize these principles. This should be shown in every school. It is disgraceful that our education system intentionally avoids these teachings – and worse – teach socialist and communist ideologies – going backwards. Wake up America!

  • timothy lines

    the trickle down in America is where we are at today.blue eyed and LAST RORN,ronadl r Reagan and ted kennedy [ALSO A LAST BORN]a 2 party shake down. add some far right religion,a tad if left for backup and a jew here a jew there and theocracy kicked in big time.with the reds/repubs in the lead and south park[not a southern state]explains how fun is made from some evil shit,

  • ZZ Stop

    Very glad to see this video address cronyism.  Everyone who hates capitalism actually hates cronyism — only they don't know any better because they are lead to believe these are one and the same.

  • Shawn Hubbard

    It would be great if the “Free Market Capitalism” taught at the University of Chicago, could influence the Chicago City Government! And the State of Illinois too – that would be revolutionary!

  • Shawn Hubbard

    CO2 and greenhouses, and their “gases” are good for living plants – CO2 is necessary for life as we know it. More CO2 = more food, more shade. Imagine how much water is in all the vegetation of the world! Today CO2 comprises less than 1/4 of 1% of our atmosphere!

  • carlindelco

    at around 38:34 the term " economic democracy" YES i came to that term my self as a way of confusing the leftest … the right needs to start using euphemisms that use in part THEIR language

  • Bryan Tittle

    " I just wanted to come here and learn the best system and then return to China "
    Does that sound dubious to anybody else?
    They're fucking spies and want to crush the West.
    Wake up…China is evil…!!!

  • Bob Ford

    Spread wealth,,to all who will embrace it. Spread poverty to all who will embrace Government control. We have wisely chosen the former.

  • MrManifolder

    Social democracy is the only stable form of capitalism. All others eventually lead to runaway inequality, regulatory capture, legalized bribery, revolving-door politics, and societal instability. Effective competition can only occur with an unbiased, effective, and stern referee (govt). Otherwise, the leading firms will seek to press their advantage in the political arena until they obtain monopoly or cartel status and rob the state of resources until effective governance is no longer possible.

  • None One

    I want to be The Next of Adam Smith. He is my favorite idealist in Econimics. If it collaborates in English Literature. What will they to be ? Amazing absolutely, isn't it ?

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