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The essay's title refers to Ruskin's work of the 1860-70s that harbors economic thought at a crucial point in its development from the eighteenth-century labor theory of value to the current primacy of demand. Essentially labor was the bulwark of his aesthetics to the end of his public life. Ruskin's identification of himself as a laborer, his borrowing of Ricardian economics in order to describe his own suffering, his abstraction of payment into the reception of his message, and his sense of writing as a commodity were therefore natural extentions of labor theory as it developed from Smith to Marx. By the 1870s, however, his self-acclaimed dual role as a moral aesthetician and a political economist made him perceive cultural shifts in the realm of art market and new readerships, as the ideal of labor receded. In a very literal way, Marx's idea of double appropriation―that labor consumes the sensuous world and thereby the robs the worker of own means of living pervades these late texts. And some arguments of his, though not fully developed in the essays such as “The Nature of Gothic,” are very close to that proposed by the working class at this time. Ruskin, however, contradicts his own sense of society's condition, concerning the conceptions of liberty and division of labor. Again and again he has not distinguished between the world as it is, in which the composition of the society is not controlled by justice, and the world he wishes to come about, in which it is. He must assume that his world view is shared by others, lest he go mad in his isolation, yet his own sense of the world's disarray tells him it is not so. Throughout his writing in this period, then, there is the sense that the force for good is in the world, sometimes as God, but usually more nebulous; never can Ruskin locate and identify it for us. The result of this confusion in these essays, as in his earlier work, is that in practical terms he can offer no new directions.