chapter  9
27 Pages

Self-Management and the Hope for Moral Emancipation: Charles Gide's Social Economy

The World Exhibition of 1889 saw the opening of the Eiffe1 Tower at Paris in the midst of an economic crisis characterized by falling steel prices and problems of overproduction. The previous year had seen a further large project-the Panama Canal-which had been financed through the issuing of state bonds. The Panama Canal company continued into bankruptcy, and the engineer, A. G. Eiffel, was also involved in this. But in the year 1889, which celebrated the tOO-year jubilee of liberty, equality and fraternity, the Panama Scandal with its unpleasant antiSemitic tone had not yet exploded. French industry was pleased with the encouragement provided by the large orders. It was in the shadow of the World Exhibition that the third annual conference of cooperative businesses was held. As at the first conference at Lyon in 1886, it was Charles Gide (1847-1932), professor of political economy, who gave the welcoming address.