Adam Smith was born 300 years ago, in 1723. To celebrate, Professor Klein will, firstly, to set Adam Smith’s outlook into a grand narrative about Western civilization. Smith himself provides a sort of narrative, from the fall of the western Roman empire. Smith died in 1790. Klein will bring the narrative forward to 2023, highlighting Tocquevillian concerns about centripetal tendency towards the governmentalization of social affairs, emblematized today by the WEF’s anti-liberal “The Great Reset.” Second, Klein will ask: Did Smith foresee such dangers? Klein will argue that Smith was deeply opposed to the governmentalization of social affairs and the allure of centricity. Smith’s ideas offer powerful resources to combat modern tendencies toward centricity and governmentalization.


Daniel Klein is professor of economics and JIN Chair at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, where he leads a program in Adam Smith. He is the author of Smithian Morals.

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