E. Belfort Bax, The Maximum, Justice, 16th September 1911, p.6. (letter)
Transcribed by Ted Crawford.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
Dear Comrade, – “Tattler” last week, in his excellent reply to his correspondent from Romford disposing of the latter’s legal fallacy, suggests the fixing of a maximum as the only immediately feasible solution of a rapid rise in prices of the last few years. One would have thought that recent events would have brought home to every clear-sighted person that the sole immediate way out of the present situation “while the grass grows” – viz., the grass of Socialism – is the one suggested. A drastic law of maximum, hitting retailers, wholesalers, and middlemen alike, could not fail to relieve the situation, and restore reasonable prices. The working classes of some of the Northern towns of France have, I believe, within the last few days, made disorderly attempts at fixing a maximum, and enforcing it, themselves.
The way in which some of our comrades (not to speak of outsiders) “shy” at the notion of a maximum price, as I said once before, can only be explained by the obstinate survival in their minds of the superstitions of the old individualist Manchester School, for which, of course, any interference with the freedom of buying and selling (even to statutes for preventing adulteration-frauds) was a species of blasphemy against the holy “laws” of their political economy.
Last updated on 16.9.2004