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Keynes, consumer rights and the new thrifty consumers

Lucy in I Love Lucy –​a ‘liberated’, ‘modern’, carefree to the point of being flippant, and desirous shopper, fulfilling her own desire for pleasure in her new-​found leisure-​time that modern labour-​saving consumer devices, such as washing machines, had provided her with. Lucy, as an embodiment of this newly constructed female consumer, was, in effect, a vehicle for the evangelists of modernity to promote a world that appeared cleaner, lighter, more efficient and, above all, more fun than previously. The modern device-​loving, consumer-​housewife was the epitome of

in A brief history of thrift
Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Smiles and Victorian moralism

moralistic individualism perfectly. Vernon Parrington argues that Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, a ‘practical efficient man making himself master of his environment’ was the dream of Defoe to Franklin’s ‘visible, new-​world embodiment of that dream’ (1927:166). In addition, Parrington sees Defoe’s Essay on Projects as a classic document of the rising middle class, arguing ‘it might well have been Franklin’s first textbook’ (1927:166). In the essay Defoe advocates a plan for the formation of mutual assistance societies, and so pre-​ empted or perhaps even inspired the

in A brief history of thrift