FOREWORD: COOPERATIVE CAPITALISM - COMPETITION - SOLIDARITY

Towards a model of cooperative capitalism combining competition with solidarity

This Foreword is from the book celebrating the tenth anniversary of Concurrences entitled "A quoi sert la concurrence?"/"Why Antitrust?". The book will soon be available on Concurrences website and from Amazon. A dedicated website - aquoisertlaconcurrence.org - presents the authors and a selection of their contributions. Article translated by Martyn Back for Concurrences.

In 1791, the Constituent Assembly, convened in the salle du Manège at the Tuileries Palace, adopted the décrets d’Allarde and the loi Le Chapelier. By doing this, they acknowledged freedom of trade and industry as a founding principle of French law, banning corporations so that anyone could freely exercise a profession. At that time, in a country barely emerging from the society of the Ancien Régime, the notion of competition was emancipatory in its scope: the intention was to put an end to inherited monopolies and restrictions to the exercise of professions, replacing them with a contractual relationship between employer and employee. It involved giving concrete form to the principle of freedom laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The great moderniser Turgot had

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