EXCERPTS/QUOTES(paraphrased); CSPAN Book tv, Interview on Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations" Book; Authors Samuel Fleischacker & Russell Robert:
"The invisible hand of the market", the term economists use to describe the self-regulating nature of the market place, is a metaphor first used by Adam Smith in "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" (1759).
The Wealth of Nations (1776): "By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an Invisible Hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of society more effectually that when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good." Adam Smith/The Wealth of Nations.
Adam Smith is a Scot moral philosopher and considered to be the world's First Economist. He is frequently mis-interpreted. Moral philosophy covers social scences, right and wrong, good and bad, what is human as opposed to natural philosophy,e.g., Newton.
What makes us happy is conversations with friends-sociability - morality essential to have friends - material goods not central to happiness. Praises free market wants poor people to have food-clothing-lodging (fcl).
(Highly recommend google CSPAN2 Book tv, Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations Interview of above authors. Had read "The Wealth of Nations"several times over the decades; however, have not read "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" - plan on doing so)/