Tawney’s socialism wears well because it is humanistic, which in the first place means it eschews historicism. Though Tawney was a historian and believed a sense of history essential to socialist politics, he saw socialism as a matter not of the movement of history but of the will of men.
He complained in “The New Leviathan” that not only conservatives and individualists, but collectivists too, envisaged society as an organism or a machine. The organism or machine was...
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