The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Ricardian Socialists

  • Andrea Ginzburg
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_1868

Abstract

The name ‘Ricardian Socialists’ was given currency by H.S. Foxwell. Introducing the English translation of a work by the Austrian jurist Anton Menger in 1899, he complained that ‘the important work’ of the Ricardian Socialists had been almost wholly ignored ‘until the last few years’. Since that time the name has traditionally been used to refer to certain authors in England, especially between 1820 and 1830, and to a lesser extent in the decade following, who claimed that the workers had a right to the entire product of their labour. Starting from their observation of a contradiction, they developed a critique of existing distribution (with implications for development potentialities). On the one hand, it was admitted that labour was the sole source of value. On the other hand, they observed that much of the product of labour – that part which exceeds the ‘necessary consumption’ of the labourer – is taken, in the form of rent, profit and taxes, by the owning classes who contribute nothing to production.

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Ginzburg
    • 1
  1. 1.