Its interesting that he is always described as "the father of economics". The metaphor of "father" is used a great deal in public life; "father of the house", "father of the nation"," city fathers", founding fathers". Is this because, as the American thinker George Lakoff suggests, its too complex to explain something like the beginnings of a nation, or the story of econ mics so we use a metaphor we understand, a family metaphor.
I think that there is something in this idea. The trouble is, as Lakoff shows, if our idea of family is one where there is a strict, authoritarian father who sets the rules and imposes harsh discipline for those who break the rules so that's how we will see how society should be, whereas if we see family as a place of nurturing parents where caring for others is how we care for ourselves, so we will want society to have the same values.
Politics and economics are human constructs so must be about values. Making sure we know how are values are shaped is as important as know how to speak of them. And we need know that how we speak of them is not the way in which they are being shaped.