Victorian social critic and political economist John Ruskin was a trenchant critic of classical economic thinking and capitalism. For him, the purpose of the economy is to promote the health and happiness of human beings, including the support of dignified work and the maintenance of a healthy natural environment. His framework for economic justice and prescient ideas are attracting renewed attention from intellectual historians searching for humane alternatives to current economic models. Ruskin’s insights into the provenance of economics, the proper relation between people in the economic sphere, and the true nature of wealth suggest approaches to such current problems as income and wealth distribution, the excesses of capitalism, and the social and environmental costs of production from outside the conventional frame of capitalism versus some form of socialism.
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- 2020 Paris Paperfinal (pdf, 4.07 MB)