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J. A. Hobson and the Machinery Question

  • Daniel C. S. Wilson

The effects of industrialization on British life were the subject of a broad and intelligible set of debates during the early nineteenth century, often described as the “machinery question.” This question, concerning what today is called “technology,” was framed to include its effects on the whole of human life—an approach rarely seen by the late nineteenth century, a period marked instead by disciplinary specialization. An exception to this trend can be found in the work of the social critic and heterodox economist J. A. Hobson (1858–1940), better known for his critique of imperialism. From the 1890s, Hobson reopened the machinery question by offering an ethical analysis of mechanization which was both holistic and sustained. In addition to proposing this new lens for viewing Hobson, this article explores the challenges—as well as the opportunities—facing those returning to the machinery question more generally.

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1 For a sense of the local responses as well as an anthropological perspective, see Hélène Mulholland, “Opening ceremony was a Trojan horse for socialist values,” Guardian, 29 July 2012,; James Kirkup, “Olympics Opening Ceremony was ‘Honouring Socialism’ Says Shock Jock Rush Limbaugh,” Daily Telegraph, 31 July 2012,; Lauren Collins, “Danny Boyle Wins the Gold,” New Yorker, 27 July 2012,

2 Among the few mainstream commentators to have devoted energy to the issue are iconoclastic figures such as Raymond Williams and Humphrey Jennings; see, for example, their respective works, Culture & Society, 1780–1950 (London, 1958), and Pandaemonium, 1660–1886: The Coming of the Machine, as Seen by Contemporary Observers (London, 1987). There continues to be a lively debate between economic historians over the causes—as well as the existence—of the Industrial Revolution, but there is even less engagement with these questions among nonspecialists today than there was during the twentieth century.

3 Berg, Maxine, The Machinery Question and the Making of Political Economy, 1815–1848 (Cambridge, 1980), 23.

4 Examples of the rhetoric of “inevitable” technical progress hardly need enumerating while, conversely, it is difficult to produce a single example of any society since the nineteenth century deciding democratically or otherwise to forego a new technique of any sort.

5 Notwithstanding J. S. Mill's aspiration to unite these two impulses in a reformed political economy, this “schism,” identified by Donald Winch as a stereotype, persists in textbook accounts of British culture and is entrenched by the seemingly impermeable disciplinary wall between cultural histories on the one hand and histories of economics on the other. For the exception that proves the rule see Winch, Riches and Poverty: An Intellectual History of Political Economy in Britain, 1750–1834 (Cambridge, 1996), 6, 416–22.

6 Notwithstanding the earlier Franco-German origins of the concept of an industrial revolution.

7 Marx, Leo, The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America (New York, 1964); Nye, David, America As Second Creation: Technology and Narratives of New Beginnings (Cambridge, MA, 2003); Noble, David, The Religion of Technology (New York, 1997). The tradition can be traced back at least as far as Thorstein Veblen who arguably coined the term “technology” in its current form around 1900 (and who was also a correspondent of Hobson's). See Schatzberg, Erik, “Technik Comes to America,” Technology and Culture 47, no. 3 (2006): 486512.

8 While clearly not to blame for this trend, works such as Ritvo, Harriet, The Dawn of Green: Manchester, Thirlmere, and Modern Environmentalism (Chicago, 2009), indicate the framework within which the impact of industry has tended to be situated in modern British studies. Scholars tracing Victorian literary responses to machinery, on the other hand, have understandably focused on a particular canon, beginning with Carlyle and Dickens, rather than the more programmatic responses to be found in social thought. See Sussman, Herbert L., Victorians and the Machine: The Literary Response to Technology (Cambridge, MA, 1968); and, most recently, Ketabgian, Tamara, The Lives of Machines: The Industrial Imaginary in Victorian Literature and Culture (Ann Arbor, MI, 2011).

9 Geddes, Patrick, “Review of Hobson's Freethought in the Social Sciences,” Sociological Review 18, no. 3 (1926): 256–57.

10 Brailsford, H. N., The Life Work of J. A. Hobson (Oxford, 1948), 3.

11 Keynes, John Maynard, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (Basingstoke, 2007), 364–65; Ratcliffe, S. K. and Ratcliffe, K. M., “J. A. Hobson, 1858–1940,” Monthly Record 63, no. 7 (1958): 67; Mummery, A. F. and Hobson, J. A., The Physiology of Industry: Being an Exposure of Certain Fallacies in Existing Theories of Economics (London, 1889).

12 Preface to the French edition, Lenin, V. I., L'impérialisme, dernière étape du capitalisme (Paris, 1923); Hobson, J. A., Imperialism: A Study (London, 1902).

13 Two of several examples include Eatwell, John, Milgate, Murray, and Newman, Peter, eds., The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics (London, 1987); and Arestis, Philip and Sawyer, Malcolm C., eds., A Biographical Dictionary of Dissenting Economists (Cheltenham, 2000).

14 Hobson, J. A., Confessions of an Economic Heretic: The Autobiography of J. A. Hobson, ed. Freeden, Michael (Hassocks, 1976).

15 The source of these machinations was most likely the economist H. S. Foxwell. See Winch, Donald, “‘A Composition of Successive Heresies’: The Case of J. A. Hobson,” in Wealth and Life: Essays on the Intellectual History of Political Economy in Britain, 1848–1914, ed. Winch, Donald (Cambridge, 2009), 297332; and also, Kadish, Alon, “Hobson and the Extension Movement,” in Reappraising J. A. Hobson: Humanism and Welfare, ed. Freeden, Michael (London, 1990), 137–67.

16 Cole, G. D. H., “Review of Hobson's Confessions of an Economic Heretic,” Political Quarterly 9, no. 3 (1938): 439–41.

17 For Hobson's scathing views on academia, written during the year under discussion below, see Hobson, J. A., “The Academic Spirit in Education,” Contemporary Review 63 (February 1893): 236–47.

18 Freeden, Michael, The New Liberalism: An Ideology of Social Reform (Oxford, 1978); Collini, Stefan, Liberalism and Sociology: L. T. Hobhouse and Political Argument in England, 1880–1914 (Cambridge, 1979); Clarke, P. F., Liberals and Social Democrats (Cambridge, 1978).

19 Burrow, John, The Crisis of Reason: European Thought, 1848–1914 (New Haven, CT, 2000), xiv.

20 For an eloquent account of Hobson's anti-imperialism and “visionary” anticipation of British liberal-social politics, see Freeden, Michael, “J. A. Hobson as a New Liberal Theorist: Some Aspects of His Social Thought Until 1914,” Journal of the History of Ideas 34, no. 3 (1973): 421–43.

21 Even today the question of technology is seldom construed in explicitly political terms outside of a group of critics working within the traditions of science studies or history and philosophy of science—a group of critics who form a minority even within these disciplines. For two examples, see the work of Langdon Winner or, reflexively, Dominique Pestre, “La Politique des Science Studies,” La Revue des Livres 1 (September 2011): 5861.

22 The same applies to Peter Cain's 2002 study of Hobson, which is the only work I have found to mention Hobson's 1893 article about machinery (discussed below), but which does so with respect to its arguments about underconsumption and trust formation, noting Hobson's interest in machinery, but not commenting on it. Cain, Peter, Hobson and Imperialism: Radicalism, New Liberalism, and Finance, 1887–1938 (Oxford, 2002), 3233. This is an otherwise exemplary account of Hobson's economic thought.

23 While difficult to prove a negative, it is at least indicative that in addition to these monograph indices, a title search for “machine,” “machinery,” or “technology” in the combined total publication runs of Albion, English Historical Review, Journal of British Studies, and Victorian Studies returns only nine articles, of which fewer than half are actually about machinery in the Hobsonian sense. [Searched JSTOR on 8 April 2014]

24 The conceptual organization of Kern, Stephen's pioneering The Culture of Time and Space, 1880–1918 (1983; repr.: Cambridge, MA, 2003) by categories of “Speed,” “Time,” and the like, does not leave space for the more mundane considerations of industry or the workplace.

25 Historical surveys thus tend towards what David Edgerton describes as “innovation-centrism” at the cost of a concern for the lived experience: From Innovation to Use: Ten Eclectic Theses on the Historiography of Technology,” History and Technology 16, no. 2 (1999): 111–36. On the scale of industrial occupation in 1901, see one survey that avoids such pitfalls: Harris, Jose, Private Lives, Public Spirit: A Social History of Britain, 1870–1914 (Harmondsworth, 1994), 126. There were approximately five-thousand motor vehicles in Britain at the time of the 1903 Motor Car Act.

26 The work of David Edgerton remains the honorable exception that proves this rule, and not only because of Edgerton's belief that the unexamined concept of “technology” obscures more than it illuminates. One of the few mainstream histories in recent years to have examined technological questions specifically during the period under discussion here is Rieger, Bernhard, Technology and the Culture of Modernity in Britain and Germany, 1890–1945 (Cambridge, 2005).

27 Examples of this tendency are too numerous to mention but major historians who have, by contrast, addressed the uneven adoption and impact of machinery include Samuel, Raphael, “Workshop of the World: Steam Power and Hand Technology in Mid-Victorian Britain,” History Workshop Journal 3 (1977): 672, and Harris, Private Lives, Public Spirit, e.g., 138: “Craft resistance to production-line processes centred, nearly always, not upon machinery per se but upon the question of who should man and control it.” This point applies a fortiori in the most infamous case of new machinery, namely, that of the Luddites, whose historical misrepresentation continues to this day (apart from in a handful of works—mainly in French, such as Jarrige, François, Face au monstre mécanique. Une histoire des résistances à la technique (Paris, 2009)—and following in the tradition started by Hobsbawm, Eric, “The Machine Breakers,” Past & Present 1, no. 1 (1952): 5770).

28 Contrast this with the ban on the word “scientist” in any discussion of the era before c.1830. This foundational dictum of the history of science (that is, that we must not speak of “scientists” but only of “natural philosophers”) is not only a terminological injunction, but simultaneously contains a meaningful historical claim.

29 The most influential of which was Arnold Toynbee's “Lectures on the Industrial Revolution,” first published in 1884. See Wilson, Daniel C. S., “Arnold Toynbee and the Industrial Revolution: Science, Political Economy and the Machine Past,” History and Memory 26, no. 2 (Fall/Winter 2014): 134–62.

30 Hobson was decidedly—and importantly in the political and philosophical sense—not a technological determinist. See for example Hobson's book on Ruskin, in which he laments the received wisdom that “industrial destiny” seems inevitable.” Hobson, J. A., John Ruskin, Social Reformer (London, 1898), 230. Contrast this with a contemporary economic thinker expressing the common wisdom that “the system of production is largely prescribed to us, whether we like it or not, by the existing state of physical knowledge and the industrial arts.” Foxwell, H. S., “Irregularity of Employment and Fluctuations of Prices,” in The Claims of Labour (Edinburgh, 1886), 188.

31 This perspective was in place from Hobson's very first book, in which he criticized the neglect of consumption by classical economists from J. S. Mill onwards: The Physiology of Industry, 7. To hold that machinery had determined the course of history in the past is not necessarily to believe it must continue to do so in future.

32 Hobson, J. A., The Evolution of Modern Capitalism: A Study of Machine Production (repr.: London, 1926; 1894). All further references are to the first edition of 1894 unless stated otherwise. The book was being reprinted as late as 1965 and, according to J. R. Commons, was widely used as a university textbook and “had become more authoritative than Marx”. Maclachlan, Fiona, “J. A. Hobson and the Economists,” Journal of Post Keynesian Economics 25, no. 2 (Winter 2002): 297–308, at 298.

33 Berg, Machinery Question.

34 Hobson, The Evolution of Modern Capitalism, v.

35 Hobson was aware of Marx's Capital, to which he referred several times in the course of the book, but chose not to invoke it at the outset. Hobson also mentioned a more recent history of the cotton industry by Schulze-Gaevernitz; this was a work in line with the trend widely noted at the time, that the best analyses of the first British Industrial Revolution were being produced by foreign writers. Although well known in Fabian circles, this book was not yet published in English at the time Hobson was writing.

36 Cunningham, William, The Growth of English Industry and Commerce (repr.: Cambridge, 1921; 1882); Ashley, W. J., The Economic Organisation of England: An Outline History (London, 1914). For the classic account of how evolution appeared more widely, see Burrow, John, Evolution and Society: A Study in Victorian Social Theory (Cambridge, 1966).

37 For example, Colin Matthew chastized Hobson on this count, appearing to regret that The Evolution of Modern Capitalism was not, like the work of Beatrice Webb, a history based on primary research. Matthew, H. C. G., “Hobson, Ruskin and Cobden,” in Reappraising J. A. Hobson: Humanism and Welfare, ed. Freeden, Michael (London, 1990), 1131. Such a standard of assessment begs the question of what would be the appropriate method for a study such as Hobson's, while failing to recognize the obverse fact that Beatrice Webb's method was, in other ways, implicitly Hobsonian. While Hobson and the Fabians' politics increasingly diverged (See Thompson, Noel, “Hobson and the Fabians: Two Roads to Socialism in the 1920s,” History of Political Economy 26, no. 2 [Summer 1994]: 203–20), their thought nevertheless displayed “the same insistence on the unity of the social studies; the same refusal to recognize as valid a separate body of economic theory based on abstractions, the same determination to study directly the practical behavior of persons and institutions, where the ‘economic’ appears only as an aspect of a working unity spreading out over the whole of social life.” Cole, G. D. H., “Beatrice Webb as an Economist,” in The Webbs and their Work, ed. Cole, Margaret (London, 1949), 265–83, at 281. For other criticisms, see also Winch, “‘A Composition of Successive Heresies.’”

38 This so-called law, named after Jean-Baptiste Say, had originally arisen in response to fears about machinery. Despite being challenged by Robert Owen and Malthus, among others, the question remained unresolved.

39 Alan Lee, “A Study of the Social and Economic Thought of J. A. Hobson,” (PhD diss., University of London, 1970).

40 Peter Cain disputes Norman Etherington's claim that the American industrial theorist H. Gaylord Wilshire's 1901 writings were the decisive influence in coalescing Hobson's anti-imperialist position on various grounds. A consideration of Hobson's machine writings gives succor to Cain's view, but for the reason—not mentioned in that discussion—that Hobson could already account for overproduction as the result of machinery, and so the building blocks for the pivotal argument advanced in his seminal “The Economic Taproot of Imperialism” and subsequently were already in place before Hobson ever encountered Wilshire. Etherington, Norman, “The Capitalist Theory of Capitalist Imperialism,” History of Political Economy 15, no. 1 (1983): 3862; Cain, Peter J., “Hobson, Wilshire, and the Capitalist Theory of Capitalist Imperialism,” History of Political Economy 17, no. 3 (1985): 455–60.

41 Hobson, The Evolution of Modern Capitalism, 182.

42 For example, in his complete endorsement shortly after its publication of Werner Sombart's Der Moderne Kapitalismus, which Hobson outlined for English readers in what became the first chapter of The Evolution of Modern Capitalism from its second edition onwards in 1906.

43 The book is neither mentioned in Freeden, Michael's introduction to Hobson's autobiography, nor excerpted in his Hobson: A Reader (London, 1988), while the elision is further entrenched in a recent three-volume edition, in which the question of machinery is not mentioned once and The Evolution of Modern Capitalism hardly at all: Wood, John C and Wood, Robert D, ed., J. A. Hobson: Critical Assessments of Leading Economists, 3 vols. (London, 2003). Much of Lenin's criticism (i.e., that Hobson did not treat agriculture) may be attributed to the dropping of the precise subtitle in the Russian translation, suggesting a less-focused intention than was, in fact, the case; Lenin, V. I., “Review,” Economica 15 (November 1925): 362–64.

44 Hobson, Autobiography, 38.

45 Ellis, Havelock, My Life (London, 1940), 237.

46 Discussed further in the section Employment: Quantity” below. J. A. Hobson, “The Influence of Machinery upon Employment,” Political Science Quarterly 8, no. 1 (1893): 97123.

47 Report of the South Place Ethical Society Committee, 14–16, 1893–94, South Place Ethical Society, Conway Hall Archives.

48 South Place Terms ran from October to March and the range of topics covered was extraordinarily wide. A small selection were published as a book the following year: Galton, F. W., Workers on their Industries (London, 1895).

49 Hobson, J. A., Problems of Poverty: An Inquiry into the Industrial Condition of the Poor (London, 1891), 45.

50 Cooke-Taylor, Richard Whately, The Modern Factory System (London, 1891).

51 Times, 13 May 1927, 11.

52 Nicholson, J. Shield, The Effects of Machinery on Wages (London, 1892). All references are to the 1892 text. Positive reviews included Price, L. L., “Review,” Economic Journal 3, no. 9 (1893): 9192.

53 Nicholson, Effects of Machinery, v.

54 Ibid., 6; Chevalier, Michel, Cours d'économie politique fait au Collège de France, 3 vols. (Paris, 1855).

55 On Marx in Britain, see Hobsbawm, E. J., “Dr. Marx and the Victorian Critics,” in Labouring Men: Studies in the History of Labour (London, 1964), 239–49.

56 For Hobson's ongoing belief in the power of the market as contrasted with Fabian skepticism, see Noel Thompson, “Hobson and the Fabians,” who cites Hobson's line (during his intervention in Labour Party debates over the living wage) that “machinery must be dethroned.” This comment, however, can only be decoded in light of Hobson's long-standing engagement with the machine question. Hobson and the Fabians agreed that the actually existing market was anarchic and unproductive, but for fundamentally different reasons.

57 Chevalier, Cours d'économie politique, 1:319.

58 Rieger, Technology and the Culture of Modernity.

59 Lines 25–29 and 85–89: an extract of those cited in Nicholson, Effects of Machinery, 46–47.

60 This pungent phrase was borrowed from Bevan, G. Phillips, The Industrial Classes and Industrial Statistics (London, 1877), 18, cited by Nicholson at 82, while his information on cotton came from a recent report in Cotton Factory Times, 5 February 1892, cited at 74–76.

61 This methodological problem can affect historians of material culture in general; the ways in which the choice of analytical scale can determine the varieties of explanations arrived at is discussed by Misa, Thomas J., “Retrieving Sociotechnical Change from Technological Determinism,” in Does Technology Drive History? The Dilemma of Technological Determinism, ed. Smith, Merritt Roe and Marx, Leo (Cambridge, MA, 1994), 115–41.

62 Nicholson cites Cliff Leslie as an example on this point: “The movement of agricultural wages in Europe,” Fortnightly Review 21 (June 1874): 705–19.

63 Nicholson, Effects of Machinery, 110–11.

64 Ibid., 103.

65 For example, see Nicholson, J. Shield, Examination of the Crofters' Commission Report (Edinburgh, 1884), 17.

66 Smith, Adam, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, ed. Cannan, Edwin (1904; repr: Chicago, 1976), 1: chapter 8, §30.

67 Other examples include Douglas, Paul H., “The Economic Theory of Wage Regulation,” University of Chicago Law Review 5, no. 2 (1938): 184218, at 214. Ironically, when Hobson reused this phrase—years later—it was to make the opposite point. Hobson, J. A., International Trade: An Application of Economic Theory (London, 1904), chapter 4, §1.

68 Smith, Wealth of Nations, 4: chapter 7, §129.

69 Mitchell, B. R. and Deane, Phyllis, Abstract of British Historical Statistics (Cambridge, 1962), 188.

70 Nicholson, Effects of Machinery, 117.

71 For the origins of this image in Greek thought, see the discussion of Aristotle's Physics in Boas, George, The History of Ideas: An Introduction (New York, 1969), 220.

72 Mirowski, Philip, Natural Images in Economic Thought: Markets Read in Tooth and Claw (Cambridge, 1994).

73 Hobson was critical of those with whom he otherwise agreed, but who did not fully appreciate the organic nature of the economy: Review of Henry Dyer,” International Journal of Ethics 6, no. 1 (1895): 127–29.

74 Hobson, Problems of Poverty.

75 Nicholson had taken his epigraph from Brentano: “Die lohnfrage ist eine culturfrage,” [sic] implying that higher wages entailed higher culture.

76 Hobson, “The Influence of Machinery upon Employment,” 97. American spellings in original.

77 This claim was repeatedly made by economists, for example, Levi, Leone, Work and Pay: Or, Principles of Industrial Economy (London, 1877), 29; Hobson disputed this in The Evolution of Modern Capitalism, 76–79.

78 Hobson, “The Influence of Machinery upon Employment,” 98.

79 Ibid.

80 Ibid., 99.

81 Ibid., 99–102, also using the data gathered by Charles Booth.

82 Ibid., 102–3.

83 Ibid., 104. Hobson remarked in an aside that the most dramatic effect of machinery on employment had been in agriculture. He claimed that this had scarcely been addressed because of the prohibitive complexity of the calculations, but that it was obvious that English agriculture had been decimated by the cheap transportation of foreign produce.

84 Hobson, The Evolution of Modern Capitalism, 237.

85 Hobson, “The Influence of Machinery upon Employment,” 105.

86 Hobson, The Evolution of Modern Capitalism, 238.

87 Hobson, “The Influence of Machinery upon Employment,” 108.

88 Hobson, The Evolution of Modern Capitalism, 182–83.

89 Theories of underconsumption first emerged during the Industrial Revolution with Malthus and it was perhaps Hobson's greatest innovation to connect underconsumptionism with imperialism, by way of the “disproportionality” with consumption introduced by the productive capacity of machinery.

90 Hobson, “The Influence of Machinery upon Employment,” 108. Part of this passage is cited by Peter Cain in what is the only scholarly reference to Hobson's essay I have been able to find. As mentioned above in note 21, the centrality of machines is not the focus of Cain's reading, which focuses rather on the general development of Hobson's macroeconomic thinking. Interestingly, Cain's citation of this passage begins in the same place as the one given above, except it closes with the penultimate sentence. Thereby Cain omits Hobson's concluding remark that follows directly: “Hence machinery is the direct material cause.” Cain, Hobson and Imperialism, 32.

91 The story of trust formation is included in The Evolution of Modern Capitalism from the first edition, but Hobson updated the book to reflect the importance, respectively, of financial speculation, imperialism, and war in subsequent reissues, revealing his commitment to the analytical lens of the book as late as its fourth edition in 1926.

92 Smith, Wealth of Nations, 1: chapter 1, §1; see Hobson & Mummery, Physiology of Industry, 4–6, for the ways in which Fawcett, Sidgwick, and other later Victorians had not treated it systematically.

93 See Trentmann, Frank, Free Trade Nation: Commerce, Consumption, and Civil Society (Oxford, 2008), 76ff, for the origins of the citizen consumer.

94 Hobson, “The Influence of Machinery upon Employment,” 110.

95 Ibid.

96 Ibid., 111.

97 Hobson, Evolution, 288. This is an early example of Hobson's debt to Ruskin and predates his biography. See, for example, Ruskin, John, Fors Clavigera: Letters to the Workmen and Labourers of Great Britain, ed. Collingwood, W. G. (London, 1896), 2:409 (letter 44).

98 Hobson, “The Influence of Machinery upon Employment,” 111.

99 Ibid., 112–13.

100 Ibid., 113 (emphasis added).

101 Ibid., 113.

102 Ibid., 113, 116.

103 See Babbage, Charles, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures (London, 1832), 39.

104 Hobson, “The Influence of Machinery upon Employment,” 114. Issues related to the rhythm, the intensity and the physics of the workplace in the European context are addressed in detail in Rabinbach, Anson, The Human Motor: Energy, Fatigue, and the Origins of Modernity (New York, 1990). Contemporary research on the effects of machine work (such as in the work of the industrial psychologist Hugo Münsterberg) were more advanced in Germany, France, and the United States than they were in Britain, certainly until the 1910s, and the British debates over Taylorism (see below).

105 Hobson, “The Influence of Machinery upon Employment,” 115.

106 Mill, John Stuart, Principles of Political Economy, ed. Ashley, W. J. (London, 1909), 4: chapter 6, §9.

107 Maclachlan, “Hobson and the Economists.”

108 Marshall, Alfred, Principles of Economics (London, 1890), 4: chapter 9. Although Marshall had conducted detailed research into the working of machinery both in Britain and abroad, the results of this work would not be published until much later, in his monumental Industry and Trade (London, 1919).

109 Hobson, J. A., “The Measure of Poverty,” Commonwealth 1, no. 1 (1896): 79.

110 Minutes of meeting held on 5 December 1894, Rainbow Circle, Coll Misc. 0575 2/2, London School of Economics Archives. The Rainbow Circle had existed in a previous incarnation, but was reconstituted by Hobson, Wallas, MacDonald, and others in 1894.

111 Hobson, John Ruskin, viii; 224–25.

112 Ruskin, Fors Clavigera, 4:208 (letter 82); 2:413 (letter 44); Hobson, John Ruskin, 219. Colin Matthew's astute suggestion that Hobson could at times find himself in positions more conservative than those adopted by Ruskin, therefore, requires qualification when their respective views on machinery and labor are considered; Matthew, “Hobson, Ruskin and Cobden,” 16.

113 Hobson, J. A., “The Ethics of Industrialism: A Diagnosis,” in Ethical Democracy: Essays in Social Dynamics, ed. Coit, Stanton (London, 1900), 81108.

114 Freeden, “J. A. Hobson As a New Liberal Theorist,” 425.

115 Hobson, “The Ethics of Industrialism,” 82–83. Hobson had commented at greater length on the character of industrial towns in chapter nine of his biography of Ruskin.

116 Ibid., 83.

117 Hobson, J. A., “Science and Industry,” in Science in Public Affairs, ed. Hand, J. E. (London, 1906).

118 For a finer-grained account, compare Whitston, Kevin, “The Reception of Scientific Management by British Engineers, 1890–1914,” Business History Review 71, no. 2 (Summer 1997): 207–29.

119 Cadbury, Edward, “Some Principles of Industrial Organization: The Case for and Against Scientific Management,” Sociological Review 7, no. 2 (1914): 99117. Cadbury's article was followed, in the same issue, with a long discussion of the topic, which featured contributions from G. D. H. Cole, C. G. Renold, W. Hazell, W. H. Jackson, and also J. A. Hobson. The following issue featured replies from Cadbury alongside one from F. W. Taylor himself.

120 Hobson, J. A., “Scientific Management,” Sociological Review 4, no. 3 (1913): 197212.

121 Berg, Machinery Question, Epilogue.

122 See, for example the work of François Jarrige, for example, most recently, Technocritiques: Du refus des machines à la contestation des technosciences (Paris, 2014).

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