The Acquisitive Society

The Acquisitive Society This survey written by a distinguished social and economic historian examines the role of religion in the rise of capitalism Arguing that material acquisitiveness is morally wrong and a corrupt

  • Title: The Acquisitive Society
  • Author: R.H. Tawney
  • ISBN: 9780486436296
  • Page: 455
  • Format: Paperback
  • This 1926 survey, written by a distinguished social and economic historian, examines the role of religion in the rise of capitalism Arguing that material acquisitiveness is morally wrong and a corrupting social influence, the author draws upon his profound knowledge of labor and politics to show how concentrated wealth distorts economic policies Colorful but credible, thThis 1926 survey, written by a distinguished social and economic historian, examines the role of religion in the rise of capitalism Arguing that material acquisitiveness is morally wrong and a corrupting social influence, the author draws upon his profound knowledge of labor and politics to show how concentrated wealth distorts economic policies Colorful but credible, this study offers a timeless vision of alternative means toward a just economic, social, and intellectual order.

    One thought on “The Acquisitive Society”

    1. The central argument of The Acquisitive Society (1921) is that Britain is infested with a false philosophy that prizes material accumulation over civilised values. This is not merely a modern occurrence, but one that can be traced back to the 17th century, with the gradual displacement of a body of ethics from the economic realm that affirmed our essential humanity by limiting exploitation and preserving communal ties.Prior to the ascent of capitalism, economical activity was merely one compartm [...]

    2. The title alone simply foretold the society of instant-gratification accelerated by capitalism. Most quotable, nuanced critique of capitalism out there and it's without all the butchering communist getting in the way of seriously needed reflection on the currently unstoppable/irreversible pace of capitalism.

    3. Kind of dry and intellectual, but I think I was still able to grasp Tawney's point. Essentially, he's saying that money and property are means to an end, rather than ends in themselves. Society ought be organized on the basis of function, rather than on privilege.

    4. R. H. Tawney taught at the London School of Economics. He was the son of the Sanskrit scholar Charles Henry Tawney, who translated The Ocean of Story into English. He finds fault with incomes that are excessive or that result from little effort, and he proposes that workers should instead be paid according to the moral and social value of their work. In The Acquisitive Society (1920), he advocates a “functional society” that would compensate labor based on upon some “moral” assessment of [...]

    5. "[Society:] must regard economic interests as one element in life, not as whole of life. [:] It must so organize its industry that the instrumental character of economic activity is emphasized by its subordination to the social purpose for which it is carried on"."The Acquisitive Society" by R.H. Tawney is a great volume on that mainly proposes one thing: To subordinate economic activity to social purpose. In order to achieve this aim he wants society to (a) abolish all proprietary rights that [...]

    6. Es mucho más fácil oponerse al capitalismo con barricadas que elaborando un discurso contundente, pero sólo este último método puede ser tomado en serio y sentar bases perdurables. Tawney habla con propiedad -fue profesor de Historia Económica, no un simple agitador o activista- y plantea una crítica verdaderamente persuasiva sobre las deficiencias de un sistema económico dominado por individuos que no aportan a la producción pero exigen derechos (accionistas), o defienden la propiedad [...]

    7. Tawney is not the only 1920's economic writer who was not only dead right but from whom we do not seem to have learnt from. Beautifully written in the style of the day (I have an old yellow-paged fraying edition which adds something) I would recommend this to anyone who thinks that consumerism is a modern phenomenon. Not sure I would recommend it on Kindle though. It would seem like a museum piece whereas it is as relevant today as ever.

    8. A classic. Presents the case for basing our economy on a different distribution of property rights based on fulfilment of social obligations. Good food for thought.

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