Fashions in economic thinking are notoriously infectious and fickle. They run through communities with the speed of forest fires, often dying down as quickly as they arise. Since the end of the first World War there has been a long string of these crazes of which little now remains except derelict societies and neglected literature. It is difficult to recall now the vehemence of the propaganda in favour of rationalisation, technocracy or guild socialism, or the enthusiasm with which bands of zealots have found the real secrets of economic and social progress, now in the United States, now in Russia, in Sweden or in Switzerland. Even the obsession in Great Britain in 1946 for indiscriminate industrial re-equipment and vast capital investment has been almost forgotten.
KeywordsEconomic System Economic Progress Economic Organisation Economic Thinking Free Society
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- 1.Mr. Morrison, House of Commons, July 8, 1947, “The test of a modern economic policy is whether or not it keeps the economy running somewhere near full capacity”.Google Scholar
- 2.Mr. Morrison, Economic Planning (1946), p. 14: “In a few years’ time people looking back will be amazed to see … how little was understood of the part which planning could play in freeing employers and workers and farmers from the horrors of uncontrolled and unforeseen fluctuations”. Sir Oliver Franks, Central Planning and Control in War and Peace, p. 37 : “The Government must so present its policy and programmes that they are accepted as the right answer in the circumstances for a nation that will be master of its fate”.Google Scholar