Strachey, John

Strachey, John


Born Oct. 21, 1901, in Guildford; died July 15, 1963. in London. English economist and state figure. One of the leading theorists of Labourism and Democratic Socialism.

Strachey was educated at Oxford. From 1946 to 1950 he was minister of food and in 1950–51 was the secretary of state for war. Strachey was a proponent of theories of J. M. Keynes, which he adapted to the reformist Labour Party program. He spoke out against the economic doctrine of Karl Marx.

Strachey contrasted the traditional eclecticism and empiricism of English bourgeois economists to the method of dialectical materialism, and the oligopoly theory to Lenin’s theory about imperialism. He maintained that under the conditions of modern capitalism the laws of surplus value and capitalist accumulation were defunct. According to Strachey, in corporations a semicollective accumulation takes place and the pursuit of profit has disappeared. He proposed a number of reforms to transform capitalism into a society of general prosperity. He put forth the idea that decolonization was a peaceful and voluntary act on the part of the imperialists. He reduced imperialism to an expansionist policy, divorcing it from economics.


The Coming Struggle for Power. London, 1933.
The Menace of Fascism. London, 1933.
The Nature of Capitalist Crisis. N.Y., 1935.
The Theory and Practice of Socialism. London, 1936.
Contemporary Capitalism. London, 1956.
The End of Empire. London, 1959.
On the Prevention of War. London, 1962.


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Past recipients of the biography prize include Lytton Strachey, John Buchan, Lady Antonia Fraser and Quentin Bell.