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Social Opulence and Private RestraintThe Consumer in British Socialist Thought Since 1800$
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Noel Thompson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199646012

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646012.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 September 2021

On the Cusp of Abundance

On the Cusp of Abundance

(p.11) 1 On the Cusp of Abundance
Social Opulence and Private Restraint

Noel Thompson

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the discussion of the consumer and consumption by socialist writers in the early part of the nineteenth century. Specifically it discusses how they responded to the emerging possibility of an expanded and diversified consumption and the opportunities and challenges which that presented for their conception of a future socialist society. In this context the chapter reviews their discussion of material abundance, their notions of what constituted natural and unnatural wants, the contemporary ethics of buying and selling, the character of consumption within the new moral world of their imagined co-operative communities, the extent to which such communities would need to educate and mould desire and the virtues of marrying private restraint with social opulence.

Keywords:   socialism, abundance, desire, consumer, consumption, needs, social opulence, private restraint

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