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Equality and the British LeftA Study in Progressive Political Thought, 1900-64$
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Ben Jackson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780719073069

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719073069.001.0001

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From each according to their ability

From each according to their ability

(p.38) 2 From each according to their ability
Equality and the British Left

Ben Jackson

Manchester University Press

This chapter establishes that progressives of the early twentieth century based their ideas about social justice on a strong principle of economic reciprocity, and a firm conviction that market rewards took no account of the social character of economic production. The British Left saw economic prosperity as the product of the collective efforts of the whole community rather than as the result of the heroic dynamism of isolated wealth-creators. Although progressives therefore thought that it was fair to make income conditional on some form of social contribution, they did not believe that income should be proportionate to the market value of that contribution.

Keywords:   progressives, social justice, economic production, economic reciprocity, British Left, prosperity, social contribution

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