Monday, December 14, 2015


I didn't realize that R.H.Tawney was a Christian Socialist until I started reading The Acquisitive Society (1921).  Here's what he wrote about the Free Market Fairy:
During the greater part of the nineteenth century the significance of the opposition between the two principles of individual rights and social functions was masked by the doctrine of the inevitable harmony between private interests and public good. Competition, it was argued, was an effective substitute for honesty. To-day that subsidiary doctrine has fallen to pieces under criticism; few now would profess adherence to the compound of economic optimism and moral bankruptcy which led a nineteenth century economist to say: "Greed is held in check by greed, and the desire for gain sets limits to itself." The disposition to regard individual rights as the center and pivot of society is still, however, the most powerful element in political thought and the practical foundation of industrial organization.

No comments: