Gold, Unemployment and Capitalism

Gold, Unemployment and Capitalism

Gold, Unemployment and Capitalism

Gold, Unemployment and Capitalism

Excerpt

A well established tradition dictates, I think, an apologetic attitude on the part of a writer who ventures to confine within the covers of a single book some of those scattered products of his pen which are presumed to owe their existence to is own passing intellectual interest or to the pressing importunities of the flying moment. I recognize, indeed, the difficulty of distinguishing, particularly in the case of one's own past writing, between the merely ephemeral and the presentation, though it may be in summary form, of a point of principle or an analysis of fact, which may still validly claim attention after a lapse of time, either because it is still relevant in the light of after events or because it throws light upon the general evolution of an author's thought. The following eighteen essays and papers, which have been selected out of a mass of material some two or three times as large, have at least this claim upon the reader's attention, that they deal with subjects which were not only important at the time at which they were written, but which have continued to be important, intellectually and politically, ever since. To some of the issues discussed the passage of time has added a significance and urgency which they did not originally possess. With one exception only, none of these papers is more than eight years old: the solitary exception--the first fruits of an interest in the problems of seventeenth century economic thought which the force of circumstances has prevented me from pursuing--deals with phases of thought more familiar than appears at first sight. For the wheel of thought has come full circle and the Mercantilist theories of employment which are examined in the earliest of these essays are but little removed intellectually from those which are the staple of political and economic debate to-day.

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