In the Media

The machines have turned us into a nation of shoplifters | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

PUBLISHED February 11, 2014

Remember when, in 17somethingorother, Napoleon described England as a nation of shopkeepers? Of course you don't, you didn't exist, and it any case he nicked the phrase from Adam Smith's 1776 magnum opus The Wealth of Nations, but the point is that the man was wrong. Unsurprising when you consider that Napoleon was wrong about lots of things, such as being really tall, invading Russia and speaking clearly on his deathbed so that those in the vicinity could make an accurate note of his comments for posterity, but in this case he was dreadfully, spectacularly wrong. Here's the hard truth: we are not a nation of shopkeepers, but a nation of shoplifters.

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