This book examines the societies of the civilised world - old and new - and its two distinct and separate classes. Whilst one class accumulates in utter idleness enormous and ever increasing revenues, the other, far more numerous, labours life-long for miserable wages.
One class lives without working, the other works without living or without a life worthwhile. When confronted by such a contrast, the question must at once occur to every mind: is this sad state of affairs the result of inherent necessity, inseparable from the organic conditions of human nature; or is it merely the outcome of certain historical tendencies that are destined to disappear at a later stage of social evolution?
It concludes that the truth is to be found in the latter alternative: that capitalistic property, with its caste division of humanity into capitalists and labourers, is by no means the product of conditions inherent in human nature, but simply the result of powerful historical causes which will eventually disappear. A variety of facts are presented in support of this argument.