What the Social Classes Owe Each Other
What the Social Classes Owe to Each Other was first published in 1883, and it asks a crucially important question: does any class or interest group have the duty and burden of fighting the battles of life for any other class or of solving the social problems to the satisfaction of any other class or group?
Sumner saw that the assumption of group obligation was destined to be a driving force behind the rise of social management in the future. Capital owes labor, the rich owe the poor, producers owe consumers, one sex owes another, one race owes another, this country owes that country, and so on ad infinitum.
How right he was, how incredibly prescient, to see this coming.
William Graham Sumner (1840–1910) was a sociologist at Yale University, a historian of American banking, and great expositor of classical liberalism. Yes, this is the man often dismissed today as an outmoded “”social Darwinist”” — and this book shows why it is so important to the statists that his work is not given a fair hearing.
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