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Political Economy and Unemployment

Nature volume 130, page 393 (10 September 1932) | Download Citation



THE confusion which exists in many minds between creative science and mechanical science is apt to obscure the contribution which creative science makes towards the solution of the unemployment problem, a contribution which, under modern conditions, is the more important because so many of the new industries, which fundamental scientific discoveries have created, minister to the increasing leisure needs of mankind. The escape of output from limitations of human effort, resulting from power production, has economic consequences which are already so far-reaching that, in the physical sphere, creative science can do little more than mitigate the severity of unemployment, and Mr. H. R. Leech, of 10 Dale Street, Runcorn, has rightly directed our attention to the necessity for original and creative research in that most uncreative of sciences—political economy. It is only as political economy and all the related so-called human sciences are placed on a firm scientific foundation, and as scientific methods are rigorously applied to the analysis of the problems of distribution of leisure and goods with which we are confronted in the age of incredible abundance which science has given us, that we can expect to solve an unemployment problem of the present magnitude. When impartial solutions have been mapped out by scientific methods, there will still remain for scientific workers and others the moral responsibility of seeing that those solutions are applied, and that the profusion with which science has now endowed mankind is no longer permitted to exist side by side with such widespread unemployment, poverty, and distress.

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