The Condition of Political Virtue: Co-operative Individualism and Civil Association

  • Graham A. MacDonald


This chapter summarizes Ruskin’s thought and the way in which an account of Christian virtue informs that thought and his political outlook. Recognized to adhere to a conservative British tradition favourable to mixed government, episcopacy and legally constituted class relations, his reform advocacy favoured the cultivation of a kind of individualism steeped in an older legal ‘respect for the person’, shaped by co-operative working and social relationships. This condition is at odds with the ego-driven ethics required by many modern commercial practices and related institutions. Such virtuosic and ‘possessive’ individualism is contrasted with the modest qualities of enjoyment which fall to the well-habituated individual content with work and place.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham A. MacDonald
    • 1
  1. 1.ParksvilleCanada

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