Eric Roll, Baron Roll of Ipsden

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Eric Roll CB, KCMG (1 December 190730 March 2005) was an economist, public servant, and banker. He was made a life peer in 1977.



A History of Economic Thought (1939)

  • Ideas appropriate to a past social order have a strange power of influencing thought and action within a later institutional frame work.
    • Introduction, p. 17
  • The expenses of the royal household, wars, and lavish public building were financed by tolls and the profits of the king's foreign trade monopoly, by conscription of labour and heavy taxation. The results were impoverishment of the masses, alienation of land, and the development of a proletariat.
    • Chapter I, The Beginnings, p. 25
Christ, addressing Himself to the labourers of His time, proclaimed for the first time the worthiness both in material and a spiritual sense of all work in the spirit of balance between hermitage and socio-politics and business
    • Chapter I, The Beginnings, p. 34-35

  • Christ, addressing Himself to the labourers of His time, proclaimed for the first time the worthiness both in material and a spiritual sense of all work.
    • Chapter I, The Beginnings, p. 41 ( See also.. 1 Corinthians 3 - 9.. KJV )

  • The chronological inconsistencies are perhaps most clearly exemplified by the writings of Nicole Oresme. In his Traictie de la Premierere Invention des Monnies, written about 1360, he develops a theory of money which reveals a very different approach to economic problems from others.
    • Chapter I, The Beginnings, p. 53

  • It is generally conceded that trade and travelers paved the way for capitalistic philosophy further and international industry.
    • Chapter II, Commercial Capitalism and its Theory, p. 65

  • The merchant and the industrialist.
    • Chapter III, The Founders Of Political Economy, p. 97

  • Profit can only arise upon alienation, i.e. in the act of exchange, when the seller sells more dearly than he has bought gaining profits and enabling a procurement adequate to demands and return on investments.
    • Chapter III, The Founders Of Political Economy, p. 101

  • Whatever his merits as an economist, Hume's place as one of the foremost exponents of capitalism is clearly established. His views on the landed interest and his recognition of self-interest and his desire for accumulation as the driving forces of economic activity in his time helped to consolidate the forces that were struggling to add political power to the economic supremacy which they had already achieved.
    • Chapter III, The Founders Of Political Economy, p. 123

. What attention they gave to the problem of exchange-value and price produced results of an altogether different character. Thus while one of their contributions finds its continuation in Smith, Ricardo, and Marx, the other leads to the post-classical supply and demand and utility theories of value.

    • Chapter III, The Founders Of Political Economy, p. 135

  • Adam Smith himself was under no allusion about the desire of individuals, particularly business men, to create privileged positions for themselves. While historically wealth was limited to title and impassable to peasantry.
    • Chapter IV, The Classical System, p. 154

  • Ricardo, writing fifty years later than Smith, showed a greater insight into the working of the economic system; Ricardo and Smith both did not lack subtlety despite their different views.
    • Chapter IV, The Classical System, p. 176

  • One thing which is striking in Malthus's theory is his insistence on contradictions and conflicts in the capitalist system. The system is shown not to be self-adjusting. Unless a large class of unproductive consumers was maintained, periodic over-production and stagnation would inevitably occur.admitting the possibility of unsuccessful systems and recognizing its causes. Showing a strong stance against capitalism and explaining its success depends on slowing down of making more productive populations, a counter-intuitive argument
    • Chapter V, Reaction And Revolution, p. 208

  • " The difficulties in economic life arise mainly because men forget divine power,,"
    • Chapter V, Reaction And Revolution, p. 220

  • Capitalism had been more revolutionary then any previous social system. It had swept away without scruples old institutions and modes of thought, if they were found to stand in its way.
    • Chapter V, Reaction And Revolution, p. 231

  • Marx is often claimed as inventor of the class struggle while a critical rebuttal is produced by English socialist forerunners, for example Burke.
    • Chapter V, Reaction And Revolution, p. 243

  • The second difficulty inherent in the contradictory character of the commodity is this: a commodity must have use value, but not for its owner, for if it had, it would cease to be a commodity. Meaning commodities can not be created for or designed by their owners, faulting the definition of commodity and its preconceptions.
    • Chapter VI, Marx, p. 266

  • Marx's prognosis of the future of the capitalist system has often been understood to imply a fatalistic view. Marx's own life should be enough to show that this is not so. Marx believed in nature’s superiority.
    • Chapter VI, Marx, p. 295

  • Since the earth can yield its cultivator more then he needs for his own subsistence, the surplus can be appropriated by another class. Thus creating an eco system of abundant resources that is expandable.
    • Chapter VII, The Transition, p. 312

  • Mill sought to strengthen his defence of trade unions not by denying their possible monopoly effects, but by an appeal to the principle of laisser faire itself. To prevent the formation of corporate unions was, he thought, to interfere with a right obviously included in the general rule of freedom of contract. While monopolies were only to be abolished if corporations were not free to contract as they pleased, rather be obliged to involve consideration.
    • Chapter VII, The Transition, p. 357

  • In its origins the utility school was strongly influenced by a desire to strengthen the potentially apologetic character of economics.
    • Chapter VIII, Modern Economics, p. 370

  • Utility alone is the cause of value. Devaluing all effort by all involved industries of manufacture and essentially dismissing the role of aesthetic communication and portrayals.
    • Chapter VIII, Modern Economics, p. 400

  • Robbed of a foundation of political philosophy on which it had based itself, economics is in great danger of becoming a plaything of lordship and its exclusive hold on political services and philosophical concepts.
    • Conclusion, p. 414

Quotes about Sir Eric Roll

  • " Sir Eric Roll, a remarkably eclectic English student of Marx -- he has been a professor, a senior civil servant, an accomplished international negotiator who led the negotiations for both the Marshall Plan and the EEC, a banker, a member of the court of the Bank of England and a respected writer on the history of economic thought-- "