Most economists, learned or otherwise, associate Adam Smith's economics with the workings of the invisible hand in markets - and presumed that the market economy is the best way an economy works. Whilst this may be true under special conditions, there are limitations to the market such as the existence of monopolies, the insufficiency of market size, and the failure of market signals. So the market economy is more than just supply meeting demand.
So, Adam Smith's greatness, to me, is not his views on the market, but his enlightened view that economics is not about the accumulation of wealth but the increased production and consumption of goods and services that results in an improvement in human wealth.
He argued against the focus of the policies of politicians on the accumulation of gold and foreign reserves (wealth) as such policies tend to create monopolies, trade restrictions, the underpayment of workers (his labour theory of value led to Marx's militancy), and general inflation who adversely affect the general public.
Instead, Adam Smith argued that the focus of policy should be on building the prerequisites for an improvement in human welfare where more consumption can be obtained using the same amount of resources simply through specialisation and exchange. It is not a question of price but economies of scale and exchange.
To improve human welfare given the resources we have, it is far better for individuals or societies to specialise in what they are good at rather than trying to do everything themselves. It is possible to do everything on one's own but it is far better for everybody to cooperate - each doing what they are good at, for otherwise, we will be wasting the opportunities to do things better for oneself and everybody else.
Who does what therefore depends on what one is good at, naturally or trained, and depending upon consumer needs the renumeration or return one gets. It is just a question of knowledge and training.
If this system can be made open and unbiased (through proper teaching and training), then it is possible to train people to do good for society and to think and formulate in the interest of society.
It therefore does not augur well for our economic future if we teach our young to be self-interested and restrictive in their generosity. They may be wealthy but we will pity for their selfishness.
We can be generous only if we are confident about ourselves and our environment.
China can grow on its own if its entrepreneurs and captains of industry can bring themselves to pay workers sufficiently so that they can live a better existence. Afterall, the whole purpose of production is for the consumption of the people - rather than just to export and accumulation foreign reserves who turn out to be the worthless papers of a silly government.
That's why we should always focus to specialise in order to do things better so that we can all have everything that we need - which means that we should strive to be ordinary and homogeneous so that others may also have what we have. Otherwise, we'll all live poor lives.