"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary." - The Wealth of Nations
I included the rest of the quote because I felt it was taken out of context. The abridged version is frequently noted as proof that Adam Smith supports anti-trust legislation.: —This unsigned comment is by 126.96.36.199 (talk • contribs) .
- Please include more quotes from a larger variety of sources, such as the very important but oft forgot The Theory of Moral Sentiments. —This unsigned comment is by 188.8.131.52 (talk • contribs) .
The following (possibly apocryphal) quotation has been floating around the internet, and it's not part of WoN or ToMS, so if anyone can confirm or deny its validity, it may be worth noting on the main page: “Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.”
The earliest reference I found was from isbn:1566195292, which has a copyright of 1968. My guess is that it's valid, but I haven't found a more authoritative or specific reference.--Wcoole (talk) 22:41, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
Needs to be added as a completely unsourced quote. Definitely not anything that appears in his major works and does not make any sense as consistent with his other statements about virtue. A real quote expressing this idea is CS Lewis in God In The Dock: a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under of robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber barons cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some points be satiated; but those who torment us for their own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. -- Jbgfour (talk) 03:44, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
Looking up ISBN 1566195292 shows that it is 20,000 Quips & Quotes by Evan Esar (1968). The quote appears on p. 844 but has no attribution. It appears to me that the citation given by Wcoole is completely spurious. --Hughh (talk) 20:57, 5 June 2017 (UTC)