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134, Oncken, 2000 [1898], p. 103). For a recent history and analysis of the Verein für Sozialpolitik, see Hagemann (2001). Bruno Hildebrand projected a second volume about the future that, unfortunately, never appeared. , p. 23 But his project was more ambitious, as he attempted to overcome the ‘rationalistic Enlightenment’ of which Adam Smith (like Rousseau, according to Hildebrand) was a representative, restoring political economy as a historical discipline. Hildebrand not only pointed out the materialism of the Smithsche Schule, with its emphasis on the atomistic nature of human beings, but also criticised self-interest and egoism as the central features of Smith’s economic system.

1985) investigate the 12 years Smith spent at the customs service concluding that he took it seriously, and not simply as a sinecure. They also show that there is no evidence to defend the thesis that Smith would have promoted any de-regulatory policies. Some ‘Additions and Corrections’ (approximately 24 000 words) to the WN were added to the third edition in 1784, but for the fourth and subsequent editions, Smith acknowledges in the Preface ‘no alterations of any kind’. Das Adam Smith Problem 19 revisions and extensive additions.

37), and in many cases in opposition to the laissez faire favoured by the British economic hegemony, to develop the appropriate commercial policies for successful industrialisation. The 1840s, just after the Zollverein and the railway expansion,19 can be seen as witnessing the industrialising ‘take-off’ of the German states, which was essentially carried out relying upon an agricultural revolution. Then, once Germany had attained, after unification, an increasing level of economic growth, 18 19 Schumpeter (1994 [1954], p.

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