Discourse on Political Economy (1755)
The word Economy or Oeconomy comes from οιχοVB6, house, and υσμοζ, law, and originally meant only the prudent and legitimate government of a house for the common good of the whole family. The meaning of this term has since been extended to the government of the great family, the state. In distinguishing these two meanings, the latter is called general or political economy, and the other domestic or private economy. It is the first only which is discussed in the present tract. . . .
I must here beg my readers to make another proper distinction between public economy, which is my topic and which I call government, and the supreme authority, which I call sovereignty; a distinction which consists in this: the one has legislative right, and in certain cases is obligatory on the whole body of the nation; while the other only has executive power, and is obligatory merely on individuals. . . .
Permit me to use for a moment a very common, and in some respects inaccurate, comparison, though it is proper enough to illustrate my meaning here.
The body politic, taken individually, may be considered like an organized living body, resembling that of a man. The sovereign power represents the head; the laws and customs are the brain, source of the nerves, and seat of the understanding, the will, and the senses, of which the judges and magistrates