I can't tell if this is a genuine question or if you know the answer and are playing along in the thread. In any case, I'm sure there is someone who will be unfamiliar with Adam Smith, so I'll give a brief history. Adam Smith was a teacher in a Scottish University (I think Edinburgh or Glasgow) in the mid 1700s. He first gained notoriety in his time for his book "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" (which I haven't read and so can't comment on), and attracted students from around Europe to his University. Eventually, he was offered a position as a private tutor which paid substantially more than his University position. He followed this student to France, and found that the demands of this job were so light that he wrote a book to pass the time. The book was "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations," which was published in 1776. The book can basically be regarded as having started modern economics (though he wasn't alone or the first to write on the subject at the time). The book covers a wide variety of topics in economics and history though his primary "thesis" comes to this: when people pursue their own interests (as long as there is no theft or fraud and transactions are voluntary) they end up promoting the general interest; its as if they are lead by an "Invisible Hand" to do so. I won't attempt to give the reasoning behind the argument at all; an "abridged" argument would (probably) only cause more questions and turn this thread out of its original purpose. Smith also wrote on some other subjects, including a book on astronomy (which I also haven't read).