Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations in 1776, at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The book was the result of twenty years of observation of human action and identification of the mechanisms and processes that lead to economic efficiency and to our well-being.
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The book was written at a time when guilds had not yet completely disappeared, even though it was already known that the guild system was a brake on innovation and freedom of trade, that guilds were a limitation of economic freedom. This is precisely why Smith wrote:
Meetings of people in the same trade ought not to be facilitated, people of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some