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Industrial is a term that is no longer up-to-date: it was used to describe entrepreneurs in industrial production who act actively and in processes beyond their own company (and thus beyond their own direct economic advantage) - often for an entire branch of industry or an economy as a whole participate in the formation of opinions and their political implementation. This participation can be exercised within committees or interest groups as well as on the basis of personal relationships.
In colloquial terms , however, the term industrialist was also often applied in general to successful entrepreneurs, mostly in the sense of an augmentative or an ennobling . This unspecific use goes back to the coining of the term at the time of industrialization in the 19th century. Typically, companies were family-owned at this time, and the manufacturer was at the same time the operational manager and owner or co-owner, while industrialists in the narrower sense were or are predominantly employed managers . In the scientific field, this generalizing and thus confusing use of terms is avoided.
The noun industrialist comes from the French, from the book Catéchisme des industriels (Catechism of the industrialists) by the early socialist Henri de Saint-Simon , published in 1823 . It penetrated the German-speaking area from 1830 through the mediation of Heinrich Heine and Ludwig Börne .
Saint-Simon begins his Catéchisme with the question: “Qu'est-ce qu'un industriel?” ( What is an industrialist? ) And an answer to it in the form of a definition . It reads: “Un industriel est un homme qui travaille à produire ou à mettre à la portée des membres différentes de la société, un ou plusieurs moyens de satisfaire leurs besoins ou leur goûts physiques ...” In the early translation (1855) of Lorenz von Stein , who made a significant contribution to conveying the term into German: "An industrialist is a person who works to generate or make accessible the means for satisfying needs or physical enjoyments." At Saint-Simon all productive workers belonged to the class of industrialists ( classe des industriels ), including farmers, artisans, workers, entrepreneurs ( fabricants ), merchants, and even artists and scientists. At Heine and Börne, this essentially refers to all commercial workers.
- ^ Cf. Friedrich Maurer, Heinz Rupp: Deutsche Wortgeschichte II . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1974, p. 498.