Ernest Benn (Ernest Benn)

Ernest Benn

Ernest Benn was born in Oxted, Surrey. He attended the Central Foundation Boys’ School As a civil servant in the Ministry of Munitions and Reconstruction during the First World War he came to believe in the benefits of state intervention in the economy. In the mid-1920s, however, he changed his mind and adopted “the principles of undiluted laissez-faire”. From his conversion to classical liberalism in the mid-1920s until his death in 1954 Benn published over twenty books and an equivalent amount of pamphlets propagating his ideas. His The Confessions of a Capitalist was originally published in 1925 and was still in print twenty years later after selling a quarter of a million copies. In it he rejected the labour theory of value and argued that wealth is a by-product of exchange. Ernest Benn was also a member of the Reform Club and a founder of what would become the Society for Individual Freedom.



  • June, 25, 1875
  • United Kingdom
  • Oxted, Surrey


  • January, 01, 1954
  • United Kingdom
  • Oxted, Surrey


  • Cremated

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