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The only major study and defense of Adam Smith-style liberalism in Australia, this 1887 work, a long-forgotten classic once again entering the spotlight, is, in the words of author BRUCE SMITH (1851-1937), an Australian lawyer and politician, “a protest against the growing tendency toward undue interference by the state, with individual liberty, private enterprise and the rights of property.” Now considered one of the great overlooked intellectuals of the Victorian era, Smith here advocates government withdrawal from social and economic issues, seeing the solution to the misery of the world not in “the iron hand of an act of parliament” but in humanitarianism. With the debate about the proper role of government continues today, this remains a powerful argument for laissez-faire policies.
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