Stuart Chase


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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.

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