Man, it seems, is hardly a suitable base on which to build ‘progressive’ political theories. Conservative theorists have been content to use him and have been willing to explain away the misfortunes of some men in terms of ‘human nature’: men are by nature selfish and unequal, and society, as a consequence, can never become much ‘fairer’ than it happens to be. But progressive theorists (by which I mean not only those who are normally referred to as Utopians but also Marxist and, more broadly, socialist theorists, who write about a society fundamentally different from that which exists) have given up man, as we know him, as a bad lot. But human nature, they tell us, is not immutable. What we call man is simply the product of a particular set of social and economic relationships: change those and you will change him. Human nature is not a constant. ‘What human nature?’ asked William Morris. ‘The human nature of paupers, of slaves, of slave-holders, or the human nature of wealthy freemen? Come, which?’ 1 So man as he is (or seems to be) is discarded for man as he might become. As goes without saying, the variety of ‘new’ men is endless. All that unifies them is that none much resembles man as we know him.