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Louis Blanc

Cooking the Books: Boo to Capitalism

Writing in the Times (3 July) mad marketeer Matt Ridley complained:

'”Capitalism” was a word largely invented by the opponents of commerce. The socialist Louis Blanc first used it in its modern sense in 1850, defining it as “the appropriation of capital by some to the exclusion of others.” (“Capitalist” had been used much earlier.) Marx and Engels then made it into a proper “boo” word. Ever since, the left has used “capitalism” to imply that all free-market commerce is run by big financiers, with massive investments, rather than merchants and entrepreneurs taking risks on behalf of consumers and driving down prices.'

Socialists Do Stand for Equality


The new draft Constitution now being considered in Russia lays it down that "to each according to the quality and quantity of his work" is a socialist principle. In the July SOCIALIST STANDARD that assertion was challenged on the ground that the principle is a capitalist one. As the question is an important one, and much confusion is likely to result from the Russian declaration, it was proposed to follow the matter up. In the meantime, the Daily Worker (July 4th) has departed from the general rule of the Communists of ignoring the S.P.G.B. by replying to the comment published in THE SOCIALIST STANDARD. While the Daily Worker’s observations are not well-informed, they will serve as an introduction. This is what the Daily Worker says: —

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