"Pitlessie Fair," 1804 oil on canvas by Scottish artist Sir David Wilkie who was inspired by Scottish folklore and cultural traditions celebrated in contemporary literature.
September 14, 2023| Member Event | East Lothian, Scotland

Capitalism According to Smith and Hume

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A Conversation with Niall Ferguson

Event Overview

Luminaries of the Scottish Enlightenment, Adam Smith and David Hume, led a revolutionary transformation in economic thought by challenging the reigning mercantilist belief in a fixed economic pie whereby all gains in prosperity necessarily come at the expense of other nations and people. Against this zero-sum mindset, they postulated a world where the rising tide lifts all boats. Competition was no longer understood to be predatory, rather as a beneficial means of efficiently allocating productive resources to maximize value creation. Cooperation, coordinated by firms competing within free markets to deliver the best services and products to customers free to choose between competing options, unleashed unprecedented levels of general prosperity. 

Join Common Sense Society (CSS) on September 14 at 1:30 P.M. for a private members event in conversation with the illustrious Scottish historian Niall Ferguson, economist Dr. Maria Pia Paganelli, and moderated by CSS president and C.E.O. Marion Smith. The discussion will include the revolutionary and historic importance of Smith and Hume’s thoughts, the unprecedented levels of peace and prosperity this new mindset produced, and the dangers posed by current collectivist economic thinking and policies. 

Kindly RSVP to Alex Pack at alex@commonsensesociety.org by September 7, 2023. 

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Carberry Tower Mansion House
Musselburgh EH21 8PY
East Lothian, Scotland, United Kingdom

Featured Speakers

A photo of Professor Niall Ferguson, Ph.D.

Professor Niall Ferguson, Ph.D.

Prof. Niall Ferguson is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and a senior fellow at Harvard University’s Center for European Studies, where he was the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History. He is also a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing, and the Diller-von Fustenburg Family Foundation Distinguished Scholar at the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. Ferguson is the author of twenty-two books, including Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe, which gives a historical and theoretical account of disasters, and Civilization: The West and the Rest, which traces the development of Eastern and Western culture and shows where they stand today. His 2015 biography of Henry Kissinger, Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist, won the Council on Foreign Relations’ Arthur Ross Prize. He is also an award-winning filmmaker, having won an international Emmy for his PBS series The Ascent of Money. His many other prizes include the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service (2010), the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2012), and the Ludwig Erhard Prize for Economic Journalism (2013).

A photo of Maria Pia Paganelli, Ph.D.

Maria Pia Paganelli, Ph.D.

Dr. Maria Pia Paganelli is a professor of economics at Trinity University. She is the author of The Routledge Guidebook to Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, and co-edited the Oxford Handbook on Adam Smith and Adam Smith and Rousseau. She formerly served as vice president of the History of Economics Society and the book review editor for the Journal of the History of Economic Thought. She is the current president of the International Adam Smith Society, and the president-elect of the History of Economics Society.

A photo of Marion Smith

Marion Smith

Mr. Marion Smith is president and C.E.O. of Common Sense Society, which he founded in 2009. CSS is an international network that promotes the principles of liberty, prosperity, and beauty. He is a director and former chairman of Washington, D.C.’s National Civic Art Society, a former visiting fellow in the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics at The Heritage Foundation, and the former executive director and C.E.O. of the congressionally authorized Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a bipartisan educational, research, and human rights nonprofit. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from South Carolina’s Wofford College and earned an M.A. from Central European University. His writings have been published in The Hill, Los Angeles Times, National Review, Politico, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. He is a regular guest on network and cable television channels, including ABC, NBC, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, and CSPAN.

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