Shaw on Sidgwick

From ‘On the history of Fabian economics‘:

As late as 1888 Henry Sidgwick, a follower of Mill, rose indignantly at the meeting of the British Association in Bath, to which I had just read the paper on The Transition to Social-Democracy, which was subsequently published; as one of the Fabian Essays, and declared that I had advocated nationalisation of land; that nationalisation of land was a crime; and that he would not take part in a discussion of a criminal proposal. With that he left the platform, all the more impressively as his apparently mild and judicial temperament made the incident so unexpected that his friends who had not actually witnessed it were with difficulty persuaded that it had really happened.

Hat-tip, NK.

4 thoughts on “Shaw on Sidgwick”

  1. Here’s another one, this time from H L Hyndman (

    in the question of employers’ liability for injury done to their workmen, the State again comes in, and it is acknowledged on all hands by the middle class economists, whom we Socialists oppose, that this is beneficial to the community. (No, no.) I say yes. I say it is acknowledged by Professor Thorold Rogers, if that gentleman will look at his writings. It is acknowledged by Mr. Henry Sidgwick in his last book – let him look at his writings. It is acknowledged by Henry Fawcett, of whom I will have something to say directly. It is acknowledged by Mr. Walker, the American – by all the leading middle class economists of the present day. (“Herbert Spencer.”) He is not an economist, to start with; and no one ever contended he was before this gentleman in the hall. (Oh, oh.) You may say oh but it is so.

  2. How curious. A useful reminder to those of us who do history of the unreliability of personal reminiscences. (I wonder if we have a third party’s account? I’m generally not inclined to trust GBS on this, as on much else — but one never knows.)

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