Mercier de la Rivière de Saint-Médard, Paul Pierre

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mercier de la Rivière de Saint-Médard, Paul Pierre


(also Lemercier). Born in 1720 in Saumur; died in 1793 in Paris. French economist, theorist of the Physiocratic school.

From 1747 to 1758, Mercier was a counselor in the parlement of Paris. He was governor of Martinique between 1759 and 1764. Expressing the interests of the nascent bourgeoisie, Mercier advocated free competition and the abolition of all restraints on trade. He maintained that surplus value is created only in agriculture and results from the productive capacity of the land. At the same time Mercier, according to K. Marx, dimly suspected that “… surplus value, at least in manufacture … has something to do with the manufacturing workers them-selves” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch. , 2nd ed., vol. 26, part 1, pp. 37-38). Mercier became famous during his lifetime, and in 1767, Catherine II invited him to Russia as an adviser.


L’Ordre nature! et essentiel des sociétés politiques, vols. 1-2, London, 1767.
De L ’instruction publique. Paris, 1775.
L’lntérêt général de l’Etat, ou la Liberté du commerce des blés etc. Amsterdam-Paris, 1770.
Essais sur les maximes et loix fondamentales de la monarchic française ou Canevas d’un Code constitutionel Paris, 1789.
Palladium de la constitution politique, ou Régénération morale de la France. Paris [no date].


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.