Tuesday, May 31, 2011


We may think that our era is uniquely responsible with its call for ethical investment and purchasing, but this is Ruskin in 1854:
The object that we ourselves covet may, indeed, be desirable and harmless, so far as we are concerned, but the providing us with it may, perhaps, be a very prejudicial occupation to someone else. And then it becomes instantly a moral question, whether we are to indulge ourselves or not. Whatever we wish to buy, we ought first to consider not only if the thing is fit for us, but if the manufacture of it be a wholesome and happy one; and if, on the whole, the sum we are going to spend will do as much good spent in this way as it would if spent in any other way. It may be said that we have not time to consider all this before we make a purchase. But no time could be spent in a more important duty;
John Ruskin,  Lectures on Architecture and Painting, Routledge, London, 1854: p.p. 68-69.

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