Fryderyk Skarbek

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Skarbek by Adolf Piwarski, 1837.

Fryderyk Florian Skarbek (15 February 1792 – 25 September 1866), a member of the Polish nobility, was an economist, novelist, historian, social activist, administrator, politician, and penologist who designed the Pawiak Prison of World War II ill fame.


  • The powers inherent in man are his intelligence and his physical capacity for work. Those which arise from the condition of society consist of the capacity to divide up labour and to distribute different jobs amongst different People ... and the power to exchange mutual services and the products which constitute these means. The motive which impels a man to give his services to another is self -interest- he requires a reward for the services rendered. The right of exclusive private property is indispensable to the establishment of exchange amongst men... Exchange and division of labour reciprocally condition each other.

National Household, 1820

  • Adam Smith, Say, and especially C. J. Kraus, one of the best teachers of Adam Smith’s theory, are my guides. The aim of my work is to present, in my own arrangement, their writings and thoughts clearly and plainly, together with some of my own observations.
    • Introduction: Cited in: Hiroshi Mizuta, A Critical Bibliography of Adam Smith, Routledge, 20116. p. 173.

Dictionary of political economy, 1818


Ch. Ganilh, Fr. Skarbek (tr.) Dykcyonarz ekonomii politycznej/ Dictionary of political economy. Translated from French into Polish by Skarbek, with his own comments.

  • [Adam Smith was] a higher above all genius (...) who had recognized some mistakes of the mercantile and physiocrats systems, put new principles of a theory called the industrial system, and directed minds for this road, on which they should necessarily advance
    • Introduction; Cited in: Stefan Zabieglik. "Adam Smith's political economy in Poland. Review of the problem." Argumenta Oeconomica, 2002, No 2 (13)
  • [The national economy is] a set of powers and ways used by a nation to keep and improve physical existence of its members... Moral good of a nation is a consequence of its education, and its physical good is a result of national economy.
    • p. 159, as cited in: Zabieglik (2002).

Quotes about Fryderyk Skarbek

  • As a foundation for his inquiries Skarbek took two principles: economic freedom and the private interest of an individual. From this position he criticized the feudal system of Polish economy, especially the serfdom of peasants. But he tried also to find some modifications of the liberal economy, to adapt it to the then Polish conditions.
    • Stefan Zabieglik. "Adam Smith's political economy in Poland. Reviev of the problem." Argumenta Oeconomica, 2002, No 2 (13)
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