chapter  76
8 Pages


At the threshold of the capitalistic era the conditions, prerequisite to the private constitution of economy, had matured to an extent never known before. It seemed as though all the historically transmitted methods of tutelage and restraint on economic freedom had been needlessly imposed. The traditional education of the burghers, which was to fit them for economic cooperation, seemed completed. The problem of unity in the social economy seemed to have found its solution for all civilized nations in the gradually unfolding germs of the powers of freedom. This was the soil from which presently sprang the classical theory of freedom. It was called forth in large part by the spread of large industries for whose success complete freedom of action was required in order that they might blaze new paths by which to carry to society the fruits of the latest conquests of the technical arts. But the superiority of the large industries turned into autocracy and despotism in their uncontrolled development. In a short time the equilibrium of the private constitution of economy was so disturbed that, in wide fields of the national economy, the doctrine of freedom ceased to apply.