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Notes for an upcoming research paper on the Anglo-Catholic Socialists 

In The Autobiography of a Christian Socialist, John Malcom Ludlow recalls one of his parish visits to a poverty stricken London neighborhood:

Another case placed under my charge was that of a slop-tailor in Duke Street, working with his family for Messrs Moses. He was a very decent man, and strange to say, whilst telling me of the low prices he received, and how he could only get on by putting his children to work on his garments as soon as they possibly could, and before they ought to do so, he bore no grudge to his employers, and according to the most orthodox doctrines of competitive plutonomy said he knew they could not pay more, or they would be cut out by their rivals. Although already a socialist at heart, and by this time in full intellectual and moral revolt against plutocracy, I could not find it in my heart to disturb the poor fellow’s faith in the Mammonite gospel, so long as I had nothing else to offer him. But as I went down those Duke Street stairs, I felt somewhat like the Scots Laird, about Charles the First’s execution, and wished that kings of slop work too might be taught that they ‘had a thirl in their necks’… (106).

More than one hundred years later, the battle against the “most orthodox doctrines of competitive plutonomy” are still with us today – Seattle’s 15 Now campaign comes to mind.

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