Ruskin had a profound sense of social duty and was a fierce opponent of selfishness and injustice. He believed that an ideal social order involved fair wages, help for the sick or poor, free education for all, and much else that has become familiar today. He observed that aggressive materialism corrupted the natural, social motivations of labour, impoverishing everyone - even the most avaricious. Ruskin tried many experiments in ways to aid people’s lives, with projects from road-building to co-operative retail. Whilst individual projects failed, many of his prescriptions have come to pass. Back...

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