Morris and Marxist Theory
DOI link for Morris and Marxist Theory
Morris and Marxist Theory book
William Morris’s relationship to the Marxist tradition has often proved to be a source of controversy for those who seek to construe him as an ultimately harmless bourgeois gentilhomme – an ‘antiquary, artist, poet, upholsterer, scolder of dons, and sympathetic retailer of old-time stories’ – who did not pose any real political danger to the ruling social order of his day. As Morris gravitated towards the nascent socialist movement during the early 1880s, it is clear that he began to feel the incongruity of his position. Morris had in mind Marx’s account of the factory system in Capital and its impact on domestic industry, where Marx expounds the view that the ‘development of the factory system and the revolution in agriculture that accompanies it’ led to an expansion of production in other branches of industry, whilst also altering the character of production, particularly with regard to the introduction of unskilled workers and ‘cheap labour’.