Law and the Invisible Hand (Paperback)
A contemporary interpretation of Adam Smith's work on jurisprudence, revealing Smith's belief that progress emerges from cooperation and a commitment to justice. In Smith's theory, the tension between self-interest and the interests of others is mediated by law, so that the common interest of the community can be promoted. Moreover, Smith informs us that successful societies do at least three things well. They promote the common interest, advance justice through the rule of law, and they facilitate our natural desire to truck, barter, and exchange. In this process, law functions as an invisible force that holds society together and keeps it operating smoothly and productively. Law enhances social cooperation, facilitates trade, and extends the market. In these ways, law functions like Adam Smith's invisible hand, guiding and facilitating the progress of humankind.