Acquisitive Society Paperback – 1 Dec 1961
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About the Author
R. H. Tawney, the renowned English economist, was born in India in 1880. He studied at Balliol College, Oxford, taught at the universities of Glasgow and Oxford, and was professor of economic history at the University of London. In addition to his many writings, Tawney was active in the British Labour Party for over fifty years. He served on many public bodies and as economic advisor to the British government. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Prior to the ascent of capitalism, economical activity was merely one compartment of existence, with its operation regulated, albeit imperfectly, by an overriding moral consensus; the retreat of the Church and the Christian Casuistry, allowed the market to be magnified to generate a monomaniacal society in which all aspects of life are subjugated by economic concerns. This materialism results in an atomised society in which social duties are subsumed by individual rights; where human beings are reduced from the ends of ethical consideration to mere tools of accumulation; where private property is sanctified to ensure that it is preserved to benefit a narrow section of the population, and society is scarred by class resentment and division.
Tawney's solution is for the creation of a Functional Society, which is socialistic in all but name. This new society will be animated by the principle of social purpose, with all actions directed to the fulfilment of obligations to the community, rather than self aggrandisement. Although Tawney is primarily concerned to identify the broad philosophical contours of this society, he does offer practical prescriptions. First, the commanding heights of the economy should be brought into public ownership, with transport, arms production and energy deemed too important to be left to the market.Read more ›
Shaull (1996) argued in the introduction to Freire's book of that year, that
education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.
Though a little dated in its' language the book is highly relevant in its' issues. Highly recommend it to all concerned with the direction of their future.
"the admiration of society is directed towards
those who get,not towards those who give"
"there is no guarantee that gain bears any relation
to service or power to responsibility"
truths well borne out by the current privatisation of public services, where, too often, both public function and the payment of staff have stagnated to the advantage of the profits of the operating companies.
The book should be required reading for any student of economics, and although Towney's slightly laboured language and love of long sentences can be distracting, the book would also appeal to anyone who has acquired sufficient experience of life to recognise the failings of the status quo.
Read today, "The Acquisitive Society" is a reminder that the core values of Parliament have always been to protect political and corporate financial interests, regardless of the negative repercussions this has on society. Towney anticipates the renown comment of Thatcher that there is no society", and the profound effects the notion that "profit is the value by which all else must be judged" has on the psyche of a nation.