Stuart Chase

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Chase, Stuart


Born Mar. 8, 1888, in Somersworth, N.H. American economist.

Chase attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1907–08) and Harvard University (1910). He served as a consultant to various US government agencies from the 1920’s to the 1940’s. In 1925 he published The Tragedy of Waste, in which he cited an abundance of evidence regarding the plundering of productive forces under capitalism. Chase defends the erroneous theory of the possibility of reforming and improving capitalism. In Technocracy (1933), Chase maintained that the main role in this regard must be played by the technical intelligentsia. Chase was forced to acknowledge the underutilization of production capacities in the USA and the existence of a constant army of unemployed. However, he considers these phenomena to stem not from capitalist production relations but from human psychology and dominant ideas and concepts. Chase expressed these idealist views in The Tyranny of Words (1938). He was an active proponent of the bourgeois reformist theory of a mixed economy (seeMIXED ECONOMY, THEORY OF) in Goalsfor America (1942).

Chase considers government economic regulation to be the principal means of curing capitalism’s ills. In Chase’s opinion, the capitalist economy becomes mixed as a result of the combination of private enterprise with government regulation. In actuality, Chase’s “mixed economy” is nothing but an apology for statemonopoly capitalism. Declaring that the reduction of unemployment requires the expansion of personal consumption and of military production, Chase essentially justifies the militarization of the economy. Chase’s advocacy of broad public works programs (for example, construction of airports and important highways) serves the same goals.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The abstruse or technical words inserted in some provisions of the Constitution were what Stuart Chase described as the "weasel words in the jargon of lawyers." As Chase lamented, "there is no certainty, no surety, no omniscience in the language."
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However, the book does offer some very interesting analysis of important thinkers of the 1920s including the economist Stuart Chase, Sigmund Freud, and Lewis Mumford.
An analysis of the construction of arguments can be found in any university logic class and appears in various forms in the social sciences based on the work of Stuart Chase. Chase's writing and the publications of the Institute of Propaganda Analysis were an early attempt in the last century to prepare citizens to detect fallacious arguments in public policy issues.
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Among the other factual accounts of these people are Deserts on the March (1935), by Paul Sears; Rich Land, Poor Land (1936), by Stuart Chase; Factories in the Field (1939), by Carey McWilliams; and An American Exodus (1940), by Dorothea Lange and Paul Schuster Taylor.
Although these critics did not speak with one voice, they raised concerns about Hoover's unwillingness to reorganize society along fundamentally new lines (Stuart Chase); technological displacement (Alvin Hansen and Sumner Slichter); the plight of farmers and the problem of agricultural surplus in the 1920s (Rexford Tugwell); and Hoover's use of fiscal and monetary policy to control the business cycle (William Trufant Foster and Waddill Catchings).