Karl Balodis

Balodis, Karl


(Ballod). Bora June 20,1864, on the Bilis-tini estate, Riga District; died Jan. 13, 1931, in Riga. Latvian economist.

Balodis attended the University of Iur’ev (Tartu) (1884–87) and studied theology, natural science, and geography. From 1893 to 1895 he was a pastor in the Urals (in the city of Zlatoust); then he left for Germany and studied problems of national economy and statistics. In 1905 he became a professor at the University of Berlin. During World War I (1914–18) Balodis was a consultant to the German Ministry of War, on whose instructions he developed a system of food ration cards. In 1919 he returned to Latvia and worked as a professor at the University of Riga (he taught political economy, applied economics, and economic geography). Balodis worked in statistics and demography.

In 1898, under the pseudonym Atlantikus, Balodis published the book The State of the Future in Germany (2nd German ed., 1919; in Russian translation, A Look at the State of the Future, 1906; and The State of the Future, 1920, with an afterword by N. L. Meshcheriakov). In The State of the Future, Balodis attempted to prove with statistics that it was possible to create a socialist society in Germany by peaceful means, without a revolution. In works on Latvia’s economy Balodis criticized capitalism from petit bourgeois viewpoints.