The good of society is here taken to be attained with the maximization of the “annual revenue” which is “always precisely equal to the exchangeable value of the whole annual produce of its industry, or rather is precisely the same thing with that exchangeable value” (p. 484). Today this would be termed the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The good of society is thus seen to have a quantitative measure residing in the total monetary value of the annual produce of a nation’s industries and it is only with regard to this quantitatively maximized general good as a sum of commodity values, and against the foil of the ‘visible hand’ of government interference, that the phrase “invisible hand” is to be understood. In later liberal economic theory, however, ...

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