The Theory of Economic Policy
‘LAISSEZ-FAIRE has never been preached as an absolute dogma by any English economist.’12 Though few, if any, historians of economic thought can be found to disagree with this view, the tendency of the more widely read commentators in the interwar years was to establish a broad identity between the Classical School and the propagation of laissez-faire doctrine. Alexander Gray, for example, described Adam Smith as — the great apostle of laissez-faire’13 and Charles Rist similarly spoke of ‘the laissez-faire doctrine preached by the school of Adam Smith’14 (though he made clear the limits which Smith set to the application of the doctrine).
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