Wednesday, October 29, 2008

On the corruption of our moral sentiments

"This disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich and the powerful, and to despise, or, at least, to neglect persons of poor and mean condition, though necessary both to establish and to maintain the distinction of ranks and the order of society, is, at the same time, the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments. That wealth and greatness are often regarded with the respect and admiration which are due only to wisdom and virtue; and that the contempt, of which vice and folly are the only proper objects, is often most unjustly bestowed upon poverty and weakness, has been the complaint of moralists in all ages." - Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments

2 comments:

Paul said...

Beautiful quote! Thank you for this find!

Hume's Ghost said...

Thank David Cay Johnston. It's in Free Lunch