What makes Division of Labor possible?


Of the Principle which gives occasion to the Division of Labour

Division of labor is the result of human propensity to barter and exchange.


... division of labour, …is not originally the effect of any human wisdom, …. It is the necessary, though very slow and gradual consequence of a certain propensity in human nature which has in view no such extensive utility; the propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another.

Human society requires cooperation. It can be achieved not just by good will, but more likely by egoistic incentives to gain.


 In almost every other race of animals each individual, when it is grown up to maturity, is entirely independent, … But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and show them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. …

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.

Division of labor is facilitated if the person is sure that he cam easily exchange products of his labor for other products he needs.


 …..  the certainty of being able to exchange all that surplus part of the produce of his own labour, which is over and above his own consumption, for such parts of the produce of other men's labour as he may have occasion for, encourages every man to apply himself to a particular occupation, and to cultivate and bring to perfection whatever talent or genius he may possess for that particular species of business.















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