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John Stuart Mill: market socialist?

McCabe, Helen



Compared to other elements of his political and economic thought, John Stuart Mill’s claim to be ‘under the general designation of Socialist’ has largely been ignored. Where it has been acknowledged, it has generally been denied. One exception to this rule has been to link Mill with ‘market socialism’, primarily because of his commitments to worker-cooperatives and competition. These are both elements of Mill's socialism, but when we examine his position on production, distribution and exchange more carefully, it becomes much less clear that Mill endorses anything like a ‘market’ in his socialism. This paper offers a critical assessment of Mill’s status as ‘market socialist’, considering, in particular, the ‘ethos’ he proposed for socialist organization of production and exchange, which is at odds with a profit-seeking motivation.


McCabe, H. (2021). John Stuart Mill: market socialist?. Review of Social Economy, 79(3), 506-527.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 8, 2020
Online Publication Date Jun 25, 2020
Publication Date 2021
Deposit Date May 4, 2020
Publicly Available Date Dec 26, 2021
Journal Review of Social Economy
Print ISSN 0034-6764
Electronic ISSN 1470-1162
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 79
Issue 3
Pages 506-527
Keywords Market socialism, J.S. Mill
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Review of Social Economy on 25/06/2020, available online:


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