It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.
Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations
(1937), Book 1, Chapter 2
Two neighbors may agree to drain a meadow, which they possess in common; because ’tis easy for them to know each others mind; and each must perceive, that the immediate consequence of his failing in his part, is the abandoning of the whole project. But ’tis very difficult and indeed impossible, that a thousand persons shou’d agree in any such action; it being difficult for them to concert so complicated a design, and still more difficult for them to execute it
David Hume, Treatise on Human Nature (1964), ...