Industry and the State: a Conservative View


    THIS book is an interesting expression of the views held by what may be termed the left wing of the British Conservative Party. Opposed on one hand to laissez-faire as on the other to socialism, it seeks a via media between these conflicting extremes. The authors are convinced that an advance in the economic status of the wage-earning classes is the necessary corollary of their advance in political status, and they seek the means whereby the improvement may be effected. Their suggestions do not partake of novelty, but they are urged with some force and ardent conviction. For the planning of economic policy they would have an. Economic General Staff. Industrial Councils and Wage Boards would be created with increased powers; and co-partnership would be made an essential part of industrial organisation. The writers have read widely, and. there is throughout an air of attractive goodwill about their proposals. How far they are likely to attract attention is another matter. Much, for example, of the recent legislation they quote in support of their views is open to a different interpretation from what they place upon it. Their account of the characteristics of industrial ownership follows that of an American, Mr. Robert Brookings; but if they had considered the arguments of Prof. Henry Clay, they would have seen that most of the inferences they draw are quite misleading. Their insistence that there is an incompatibility between socialism and private property is contradicted by the work of Mr. and Mrs. Webb and Mr. R. H. Tawney; they do not seem to grasp the distinction made by most socialists of authority between property as use and property as control. But their book is doubtless meant to be no more than a tentative sketch; and as such it is an interesting expression of a significant tendency which is not unlikely to grow.

    Industry and the State: a Conservative View.



    John de V.







    By. Pp. viii + 269. (London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., 1927.) 6s. net.

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    Industry and the State: a Conservative View . Nature 120, 222 (1927) doi:10.1038/120222b0

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