We owe to capital the fact that the medical profession, for example, is now really useful to mankind, whereas formerly it was useful only to the charlatans who practiced it. It took accumulated money to provide the long training that medicine began to demand as it slowly lifted itself from the level of a sorry trade to that of a dignified art and science — money to keep the student while he studied and his teachers while they instructed him, and more money to pay for the expensive housing and materials that they needed. In the main, all that money came from private capitalists. But whether it came from private capitalists or from the common treasury, it was always capital, which is to say, it was always part of an accumulated surplus. It never could have been provided out of the hand-to-mouth income of a non-capitalistic society.

H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) American writer and journalist [Henry Lewis Mencken]
Baltimore Evening Sun (14 Jan 1935)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 2-May-16
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