Adam Smith told tyrants—especially enslavers—that your levity, brutality, and baseness justly expose you to contempt. You control people, take their things, and restrict their liberty, rather than leaving them to act peaceably of their own accord, to pursue their own interests their own way. You shall not escape the contempt that your behavior so richly earns you.

Daniel B. Klein is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and Professor of Economics at George Mason University.
American HistoryCivil Liberties and Human RightsCivil RightsCulture and SocietyLaw and LibertyRace Issues
Other Independent Review articles by Daniel B. Klein
Spring 2023 Instilling Duties above Instilling Rights: Two Features of Adam Smith’s Talk of Justice and Liberty
Summer 2020 Adam Smith’s Rebuke of the Slave Trade, 1759
Winter 2017/18 The Joys of Yiddish and Economics
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