I realize by looking for political ethics in fairy tales, I will probably miss the point. But if the author was a failed Christian socialist in the 19th century, and who for all his faults articulated an interesting social vision, one is justified in looking for social visions.
William Morris held to a non-statist form of socialism. Perhaps lacking a well-informed Christian faith, and perhaps being unable to transcend his own Western position, he was unable to find what he so rightly sought.
Despite some of Morris’s wackier views, I can’t help but think his social vision has something to commend it. State Socialism has obviously failed, yet democratic capitalism lacks the aesthetic charm and is a modern blip on the radar. Fortunately, many communal ethicists have posited middle ways.
Morris’s work (The House of the Wolfings) begins by showing a community that is knit together by blood, labor, and liturgy (not in the overt Christian sense, but by ritual that transcends the mundane).