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The Acquisitive Society

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  60 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into pri ...more
Paperback, 204 pages
Published June 25th 2010 by Nabu Press (first published 1920)
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Gary Armstrong
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Riley Cox
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
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 its val
Leon M
Apr 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fromm, priority
"[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 tha
Marcelo Dalannays
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 privada p ...more
Jose Manic
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 13, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics, sociology
I read this in college.
Oct 24, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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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Richard Henry "R. H." Tawney (/ˈtɔːni/; 30 November 1880 – 16 January 1962) was an English economic historian, social critic, ethical socialist, Christian socialist, and an important proponent of adult education.

The Oxford Companion to British History (1997) explained that Tawney made a "significant impact" in all four of these "interrelated roles". A. L. Rowse goes further by insisting that "Tawn
More about R.H. Tawney...

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