The Simplified Wealth of Nations of Adam Smith, Book 5, Chapter 1d: Government Expenses -- Expenses on Justice

Chapter 1d, Part 2: Expenses on Justice

44The second duty of the sovereign is to protect every member of society from the injustice or oppression of every other member.

45 A nation of hunters has: Men who have no property can only injure one another in their persons or reputations.   46"Civil government supposes a certain subordination."   47 Four causes naturally introduce subordination.  
  1. 48 The superiority of personal qualifications made up of:
  • A man who can force two weak men to obey him through bodily strength is a very strong man
  • The qualifications of the body can give little authority unless supported by the qualifications of the mind.
  • Mental qualifications
  • The qualifications of the mind can alone give a very great authority.
  • They are invisible qualities, always disputable, and generally disputed.
  • No society has ever settled the rules of precedency of rank and subordination according to those invisible qualities.
  • They have settled it according to something more plain and palpable.
    1. 49 The superiority of age.
    1. 50 The superiority of fortune.

    The first period of society is the period of hunters.

    The second period of society is the period of shepherds.

  • Authority and subordination are most perfectly established in this period.
    1. 51 The superiority of birth.
      52 The distinction of birth is subsequent to the inequality of fortune.   53 The distinction of birth always takes place among nations of shepherds.   54 Birth and fortune are the two circumstances which principally set one man above another.

    Next: Chapter 1e: Fees on Justice