Japan, the Invisible Hand, & the Wealth of Nations.

 Adam Smith uses the metaphor in Book IV, chapter II, paragraph IX of The Wealth of Nations,

“By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.” [1]

E1. National GDP 05-09

Similarly one can use the “invisible hand” analogy to identify a possible thread of action which can result in the greater good for society based on individual introspection, and action in the face of the earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan on March 11, 2011.

E2. National GDP Rankings, 2000 & 2011

The critical point on this path of redemption requires an implicit, but positive value association to be made between God and the individual. This is the tenuous root of the process. If a person can be pulled from the cliff of callousness, to the donation trough, to offer a prophylactic prayer in the middle of peril, to recognize his own mortality, or to simply see himself in the shoes of the unfortunate, then these individual actions which seek individual redemption can also be thought of as being led by an “invisible hand”. This hand, independent of race, class, or political affiliation is the true guiding force which will lead this country to fulfilling its’ brightest potential.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_hand


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