Who Said It: Adam Smith or Karl Marx?

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Adam Smith is known as the father of capitalism. Karl Marx is the father of communism -- basically, the anti-Adam Smith. So why do some of their quotes sound so similar? So similar, in fact, that a certain Smith quote is often misattributed to Marx.

"Landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed."

This quote is all over the Internet as belonging to Marx, but it was Smith who actually made the statement in \"The Wealth of Nations.\" Marx later quoted Smith in his work \"Capital: A Critique of Political Economy.\"


"Anyone who knows anything of history knows that great social changes are impossible without feminine upheaval. Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex, the ugly ones included."

This is Marx.


"Sell a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man how to fish, you ruin a wonderful business opportunity."

Is Marx being sarcastic here? We can't tell.


"The end of labor is to gain leisure."

Aristotle. We like his thinking.


"With the greater part of rich people, the chief enjoyment of riches consists in the parade of riches."

Smith. Things haven't changed much in 250 years, have they?


"The only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain."

Geez, that Marx is kind of a downer, isn't he?


"No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable."

Very good point, Adam Smith.


"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned -- this is the sum of good government."

This is Thomas Jefferson. So would he have been on Marx's side? Or Smith's? We can't even tell anymore.


"Democracy is the road to socialism."

OK, OK. Some people say Obama's a socialist, but this is a bit extreme. Marx said this one.


"All money is a matter of belief."

This is Smith. If that's true, then we believe we'll have some more!


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!