Edward Bellamy was born at Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, on 26th March, 1850. His father, Rufus King Bellamy, was a Baptist minister, whereas his mother, Maria Louisa Putnam Bellamy, was a Calvinist. Bellamy studied law but determined to be a writer, he began working for the newspaper, the Springfield Union . He later moved to the New York Post.
Bellamy also had several novels published including The Duke of Stockbridge (1879), Dr. Heidenhoff's Process (1880) and Miss Ludington's Sister (1884). Bellamy became a socialist after reading The Cooperative Commonwealth: An Exposition of Modern Socialism by Laurence Gronlund.
Looking Backward appeared in 1888. Set in Boston, the book's hero, Julian West, falls into a hypnotic sleep and wakes in the year 2000, to find he is living in a socialist utopia where people co-operate rather than compete. Edward W. Younkins has argued: "This novel of social reform was published in 1888, a time when Americans were frightened by working class violence and disgusted by the conspicuous consumption of the privileged minority. Bitter strikes occurred as labor unions were just beginning to appear and large trusts dominated the nation’s economy. The author thus employs projections of the year 2000 to put 1887 society under scrutiny. Bellamy presents Americans with portraits of a desirable future and of their present day. He defines his perfect society as the antithesis of his current society. Looking Backward embodies his suspicion of free markets and his admiration for centralized planning and deliberate design."
The novel was highly successful and sold over 1,000,000 copies. It was the third largest bestseller of its time, after Uncle Tom's Cabin and Ben-Hur. As his biographer, Franklin Rosemont, has pointed out: "The social transformation described in Looking Backward has in turn transformed, or rather liberated, the human personality. In Bellamy's vision of the year 2000, selfishness, greed, malice, insanity, hypocrisy, lying, apathy, the lust for power, the struggle for existence, and anxiety as to basic human needs are all things of the past."
Bellamy Clubs were established all over the United States for discussing and propagating the book's ideas. His ideas were also well received in Europe. Alfred Salter, a member of the Labour Party in Britain, read the book as a young man and along with his wife, Ada Salter, attempted to build Bellamy's utopia in Bermondsey.
Bellamy's book also inspired the Garden City movement. As Stanley Buder, the author of Visionaries and Planners: The Garden City Movement and the Modern Community (1991), has pointed out: "Bellamy also envisioned an environmental setting suitable for his new social order. His Boston of the year 2000 is a small city of parklike appearance. Neat, unostentatious homes filled with conveniences face broad treelined boulevards. Conveniently located public laundries and central dining halls relieve the drudgery of housework and end the isolation of domestic life. Dominating the city are handsome and commodious public buildings of classical architecture and gleeming whiteness which provide the center of community life. Needless to say, slums, saloons, and the excitement of crowds or the enticement of loitering before shop windows have been eliminated. An efficient, ordered life is what Bellamy's future promised. The author ingeniously combined state control in matters of production and distribution with private initiative in the arts to project what he regarded as a truly satisfying and liberal society."
According to Benjamin Flower: "Edward Bellamy possessed a charming and lovable personality. There was nothing of the militant reformer about him, although he was a man who held steadfastly to his convictions." Erich Fromm has argued that the is "one of the most remarkable books ever published in America." People who have claimed that they were deeply influenced by the book include, Heywood Broun, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Daniel De Leon, Eugene Debs, Julius Wayland, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Upton Sinclair, Scott Nearing and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn.
A strong supporter of the nationalization of public services, Bellamy's ideas encouraged the foundation of what became known as Nationalist Clubs. He also became editor of The Nationalist (1889-91) and the New Nation (1891-94).
Bellamy's Equality (1897) was an attempt to answer the critics of Looking Backward. The book emphasised the central role of women in radical social change. It also provided a bold affirmation of animal rights and wilderness conservation. Peter Kropotkin argued that he knew of "no other socialist work... that equals Bellamy's Equality."
Edward Bellamy died from tuberculosis at Chicopee on 22nd May, 1898.
I first saw the light in the city of Boston in the year 1857. "What!" you say, "eighteen fifty-seven? That is an odd slip. He means nineteen fifty-seven, of course." I beg pardon, but there is no mistake. It was about four in the afternoon of December the 26th, one day after Christmas, in the year 1857, not 1957, that I first breathed the east wind of Boston, which, I assure the reader, was at that remote period marked by the same penetrating quality characterizing it in the present year of grace, 2000.
These statements seem so absurd on their face, especially when I add that I am a young man apparently of about thirty years of age, that no person can be blamed for refusing to read another word of what promises to be a mere imposition upon his credulity. Nevertheless I earnestly assure the reader that no imposition is intended, and will undertake, if he shall follow me a few pages, to entirely convince him of this. If I may, then, provisionally assume, with the pledge of justifying the assumption, that I know better than the reader when I was born, I will go on with my narrative. As every schoolboy knows, in the latter part of the nineteenth century the civilization of to-day, or anything like it, did not exist, although the elements which were to develop it were already in ferment. Nothing had, however, occurred to modify the immemorial division of society into the four classes, or nations, as they may be more fitly called, since the differences between them were far greater than those between any nations nowadays, of the rich and the poor, the educated and the ignorant. I myself was rich and also educated, and possessed, therefore, all the elements of happiness enjoyed by the most fortunate in that age. Living in luxury, and occupied only with the pursuit of the pleasures and refinements of life, I derived the means of my support from the labor of others, rendering no sort of service in return. My parents and grand- parents had lived in the same way, and I expected that my descendants, if I had any, would enjoy a like easy existence.
But how could I live without service to the world? you ask. Why should the world have supported in utter idleness one who was able to render service? The answer is that my great-grandfather had accumulated a sum of money on which his descendants had ever since lived. The sum, you will naturally infer, must have been very large not to have been exhausted in supporting three generations in idleness. This, however, was not the fact. The sum had been originally by no means large. It was, in fact, much larger now that three generations had been supported upon it in idleness, than it was at first. This mystery of use without consumption, of warmth without combustion, seems like magic, but was merely an ingenious application of the art now happily lost but carried to great perfection by your ancestors, of shifting the burden of one's support on the shoulders of others. The man who had accomplished this, and it was the end all sought, was said to live on the income of his investments. To explain at this point how the ancient methods of industry made this possible would delay us too much. I shall only stop now to say that interest on investments was a species of tax in perpetuity upon the product of those engaged in industry which a person possessing or inheriting money was able to levy. It must not be supposed that an arrangement which seems so unnatural and preposterous according to modern notions was never criticized by your ancestors. It had been the effort of lawgivers and prophets from the earliest ages to abolish interest, or at least to limit it to the smallest possible rate. All these efforts had, however, failed, as they necessarily must so long as the ancient social organizations prevailed. At the time of which I write, the latter part of the nineteenth century, governments had generally given up trying to regulate the subject at all.
The questions which I needed to ask before I could acquire even an outline acquaintance with the institutions of the twentieth century being endless, and Dr. Leete's good-nature appearing equally so, we sat up talking for several hours after the ladies left us. Reminding my host of the point at which our talk had broken off that morning, I expressed my curiosity to learn how the organization of the industrial army was made to afford a sufficient stimulus to diligence in the lack of any anxiety on the worker's part as to his livelihood.
"You must understand in the first place," replied the doctor, "that the supply of incentives to effort is but one of the objects sought in the organization we have adopted for the army. The other, and equally important, is to secure for the file-leaders and captains of the force, and the great officers of the nation, men of proven abilities, who are pledged by their own careers to hold their followers up to their highest standard of performance and permit no lagging. With a view to these two ends the industrial army is organized. First comes the unclassified grade of common laborers, men of all work, to which all recruits during their first three years belong. This grade is a sort of school, and a very strict one, in which the young men are taught habits of obedience, subordination, and devotion to duty. While the miscellaneous nature of the work done by this force prevents the systematic grading of the workers which is afterwards possible, yet individual records are kept, and excellence receives distinction corresponding with the penalties that negligence incurs. It is not, however, policy with us to permit youthful recklessness or indiscretion, when not deeply culpable, to handicap the future careers of young men, and all who have passed through the unclassified grade without serious disgrace have an equal opportunity to choose the life employment they have most liking for. Having selected this, they enter upon it as apprentices. The length of the apprenticeship naturally differs in different occupations. At the end of it the apprentice becomes a full workman, and a member of his trade or guild. Now not only are the individual records of the apprentices for ability and industry strictly kept, and excellence distinguished by suitable distinctions, but upon the average of his record during apprenticeship the standing given the apprentice among the full workmen depends.
"While the internal organizations of different industries, mechanical and agricultural, differ according to their peculiar conditions, they agree in a general division of their workers into first, second, and third grades, according to ability, and these grades are in many cases subdivided into first and second classes. According to his standing as an apprentice a young man is assigned his place as a first, second, or third grade worker. Of course only men of unusual ability pass directly from apprenticeship into the first grade of the workers. The most fall into the lower grades, working up as they grow more experienced, at the --periodical regradings. These regradings take place in each industry at intervals corresponding with the length of the apprenticeship to that industry, so that merit never need wait long to rise, nor can any rest on past achievements unless they would drop into a lower rank. One of the notable advantages of a high grading is the privilege it gives the worker in electing which of the various branches or processes of his industry he will follow as his specialty. Of course it is not intended that any of these processes shall be disproportionately arduous, but there is often much difference between them, and the privilege of election is accordingly highly prized. So far as possible, indeed, the preferences even of the poorest workmen are considered in assigning them their line of work, because not only their happiness but their usefulness is thus enhanced. While, however, the wish of the lower grade man is consulted so far as the exigencies of the service permit, he is considered only after the upper grade men have been provided for, and often he has to put up with second or third choice, or even with an arbitrary assignment when help is needed. This privilege of election attends every regrading, and when a man loses his grade he also risks having to exchange the sort of work he likes for some other less to his taste. The results of each regrading, giving the standing of every man in his industry, are gazetted in the public prints, and those who have won promotion since the last regrading receive the nation's thanks and are publicly invested with the badge of their new rank."
"I judge, then, that there has been some notable literature produced in this century."
"Yes," said Dr. Leete. "It has been an era of unexampled intellectual splendor. Probably humanity never before passed through a moral and material evolution, at once so vast in its scope and brief in its time of accomplishment, as that from the old order to the new in the early part of this century. When men came to realize the greatness of the felicity which had befallen them, and that the change through which they had passed was not merely an improvement in details of their condition, but the rise of the race to a new plane of existence with an illimitable vista of progress, their minds were affected in all their faculties with a stimulus, of which the outburst of the mediaeval renaissance offers a suggestion but faint indeed. There ensued an era of mechanical invention, scientific discovery, art, musical and literary productiveness to which no previous age of the world offers anything comparable."
"By the way," said I, "talking of literature, how are books published now? Is that also done by the nation?"
"But how do you manage it? Does the government publish everything that is brought it as a matter of course, at the public expense, or does it exercise a censorship and print only what it approves?"
"Neither way. The printing department has no censorial powers. It is bound to print all that is offered it, but prints it only on condition that the author defray the first cost out of his credit. He must pay for the privilege of the public ear, and if he has any message worth hearing we consider that he will be glad to do it. Of course, if incomes were unequal, as in the old times, this rule would enable only the rich to be authors, but the resources of citizens being equal, it merely measures the strength of the author's motive. The cost of an edition of an average book can be saved out of a year's credit by the practice of economy and some sacrifices. The book, on being published, is placed on sale by the nation."
"The author receiving a royalty on the sales as with us, I suppose," I suggested.
"Not as with you, certainly," replied Dr. Leete, "but nevertheless in one way. The price of every book is made up of the cost of its publication with a royalty for the author. The author fixes this royalty at any figure he pleases. Of course if he puts it unreasonably high it is his own loss, for the book will not sell. The amount of this royalty is set to his credit and he is discharged from other service to the nation for so long a period as this credit at the rate of allowance for the support of citizens shall suffice to support him. If his book be moderately successful, he has thus a furlough for several months, a year, two or three years, and if he in the mean time produces other successful work, the remission of service is extended so far as the sale of that may justify. An author of much acceptance succeeds in supporting himself by his pen during the entire period of service, and the degree of any writer's literary ability, as determined by the popular voice, is thus the measure of the opportunity given him to devote his time to literature. In this respect the outcome of our system is not very dissimilar to that of yours, but there are two notable differences. In the first place, the universally high level of education nowadays gives the popular verdict a conclusiveness on the real merit of literary work which in your day it was as far as possible from having. In the second place, there is no such thing now as favoritism of any sort to interfere with the recognition of true merit. Every author has precisely the same facilities for bringing his work before the popular tribunal. To judge from the complaints of the writers of your day, this absolute equality of opportunity would have been greatly prized."
There is no such thing in a civilized society as self-support. In a state of society so barbarous as not even to know family cooperation, each individual may possibly support himself, though even then for a part of his life only; but from the moment that men begin to live together, and constitute even the rudest of society, self-support becomes impossible. As men grow more civilized, and the subdivision of occupations and services is carried out, a complex mutual dependence becomes the universal rule. Every man, however solitary may seem his occupation, is a member of a vast industrial partnership, as large as the nation, as large as humanity. The necessity of mutual dependence should imply the duty and guarantee of mutual support.
Human history, like all great movements, was cyclical, and returned to the point of beginning. The idea of indefinite progress in a right line was a chimera of the imagination, with no analogue in nature. The parabola of a comet was perhaps a yet better illustration of the career of humanity. Tending upward and sunward from the aphelion of barbarism, the race attained the perihelion of civilization only to plunge downward once more to its nether goal in the regions of chaos.
As for the comparatively small class of violent crimes against persons, unconnected with any idea of gain, they were almost wholly confined, even in your day, to the ignorant and bestial; and in these days, when education and good manners are not the monopoly of a few, but universal, such atrocities are scarcely ever heard of.
"I think you are right," I answered. "I used to give in to the talk about the pricelessness of the right of suffrage, and the denunciation of those whom any stress of poverty could induce to sell it for money, but from the point of view to which you have brought me this morning I am inclined to think that the fellows who sold their votes had a far clearer idea of the sham of our so-called popular government, as limited to the class of functions I have described, than any of the rest of us did, and that if they were wrong it was, as you suggest, in asking too high a price."
"But who paid for the votes?"
"You are a merciless cross-examiner," I said. "The classes which had an interest in controling the government--that is, the capitalists and the office-seekers - did the buying. The capitalists advanced the money necessary to procure the election of the office-seekers on the understanding that when elected the latter should do what the capitalists wanted. But I ought not to give you the impression that the bulk of the votes were bought outright. That would have been too open a confession of the sham of popular government as well as too expensive. The money contributed by the capitalists to procure the election of the office-seekers was mainly expended to influence the people by indirect means. Immense sums under the name of campaign funds were raised for this purpose and used in innumerable devices, such as fireworks, oratory, processions, brass bands, barbecues, and all sorts of devices, the object of which was to galvanize the people to a sufficient degree of interest in the election to go through the motion of voting. Nobody who has not actually witnessed a nineteenth-century American election could even begin to imagine the grotesqueness of the spectacle."
"It seems, then," said Edith, "that the capitalists not only carried on the economic government as their special province, but also practically managed the machinery of the political government as well."
"Oh, yes, the capitalists could not have got along at all without control of the political government. Congress, the Legislatures, and the city councils were quite necessary as instruments for putting through their schemes. Moreover, in order to protect themselves and their property against popular outbreaks, it was highly needful that they should have the police, the courts, and the soldiers devoted to their interests, and the President, Governors, and mayors at their beck."
"It occurs to me, doctor," I said, "that it would have been even better worth the while of a woman of my day to have slept over till now than for me, seeing that the establishment of economic equality seems to have meant for more for women than for men."
"Edith would perhaps not have been pleased with the substitution," said the doctor; "but really there is much in what you say, for the establishment of economic equality did in fact mean incomparably more for women than for men. In your day the condition of the mass of men was abject as compared with their present state, but the lot of women was abject as compared with that of the men. The most of men were indeed the servants of the rich, but the woman was subject to the man whether he were rich or poor, and in the latter and more common case was thus the servant of a servant. However low down in poverty a man might be, he had one or more lower even than he in the persons of the women dependent on him and subject to his will. At the very bottom of the social heap, bearing the accumulated burden of the whole mass, was woman. All the tyrannies of soul and mind and body which the race endured, weighed at last with cumulative force upon her. So far beneath even the mean estate of man was that of woman that it would have been a mighty uplift for her could she have only attained his level. But the great Revolution not merely lifted her to an equality with man but raised them both with the same mighty upthrust to a plane of moral dignity and material welfare as much above the former state of man as his former state had been above that of woman. If men then owe gratitude to the Revolution, how much greater must women esteem their debt to it! If to the men the voice of the Revolution was a call to a higher and nobler plane of living, to woman it was as the voice of God calling her to a new creation."
"Undoubtedly," I said, "the women of the poor had a pretty abject time of it, but the women of the rich certainly were not oppressed."
"The women of the rich," replied the doctor, "were numerically too insignificant a proportion of the mass of women to be worth considering in a general statement of woman's condition in your day. Nor, for that matter, do we consider their lot preferable to that of their poorer sisters. It is true that they did not endure physical hardship, but were, on the contrary, petted and spoiled by their men protectors like over-indulged children; but that seems to us not a sort of life to be desired. So far as we can learn from contemporary accounts and social pictures, the women of the rich lived in a hothouse atmosphere of adulation and affectation, altogether less favorable to moral or mental development than the harder conditions of the women of the poor. A woman of to-day, if she were doomed to go back to live in your world, would beg at least to be reincarnated as a scrub woman rather than as a wealthy woman of fashion. The latter rather than the former seems to us the sort of woman which most completely typified the degradation of the sex in your age."
Edward Bellamy possessed a charming and lovable personality. There was nothing of the militant reformer about him, although he was a man who held steadfastly to his convictions. Looking Backward was followed by a number of social visions and romances depicting the happiness, development, and progress of peoples from the Fraternal State. Later appeared Bellamy's Equality, a work on which he spent much time and thought, in the hope of answering the numerous objections to his social schemes as outlined in Looking Backward.
Bellamy's utopia was addressed to a middle-class readership aspiring to a fuller social life, one free of insecurity over bills or concern with status and downward mobility. They desired genteel amenities, attractive surroundings, and more leisure, but not a life of idleness or luxury. Looking Backward is consumer oriented and devotes little attention to either the details of the factory system of 1887 or the new industrial technology of the year 2000. It, however, describes in great detail the process of distribution-use of credit cards, the ordering of goods from large warehouses and their delivery by means of pneumatic tubes.
Bellamy also envisioned an environmental setting suitable for his new social order. The author ingeniously combined state control in matters of production and distribution with private initiative in the arts to project what he regarded as a truly satisfying and liberal society.
Edward Bellamy’s popular novel, Looking Backward 2000-1887, is frequently cited as one of the most influential books in America between the 1880s and the 1930s. This novel of social reform was published in 1888, a time when Americans were frightened by working class violence and disgusted by the conspicuous consumption of the privileged minority. Looking Backward embodies his suspicion of free markets and his admiration for centralized planning and deliberate design.
Looking Backward is a promotional argument and an attempt to informally educate the American public through the medium of the romantic novel. From this perspective, it is like Ayn Rand’s monumental Atlas Shrugged (1957) - both present blueprints for the future and have been potential sources for social change. Looking Backward launched a national political movement based on a system of scientific and systematic socialism as readers of the day embraced Bellamy’s novel. By the early 1890s, there were 165 Bellamy Clubs. In Looking Backward, Bellamy called his ideology “nationalism,” and never used the term “socialism.” This ideology viewed the nation as collectively activated in the pursuit of sustenance and survival. As a philosophy of collective control of the nation’s economy, its goal was to rationalize the functions of production and distribution. To this day, many American intellectuals have been attracted to such a system of economic paternalism.
Julian West, a thirty-year-old privileged aristocrat in 1887 Boston, is the main character and narrator of Looking Backward. Having been born into an upper class family, he thought himself to be superior to the working masses and believed that he deserved his privileged life. West is the third generation of his family to have a great deal of money. He is set to marry Edith Bartlett when a house he is having built is completed. Strikes had delayed the completion of West’s house and he, therefore, simply viewed labor conditions as an annoyance due to the setbacks in its construction. He looked at strikes with anger and disdain. West was unconcerned about the great divide between the rich and poor and the gaps between social classes.
On May 30, 1887, Decoration Day, Julian attends ceremonies celebrating and remembering Civil War veterans with Edith Bartlett and her family. He suffers from a sleeping disorder, and upon returning home, he retires to his soundproof and fireproof underground sleeping chamber. In the secluded vaulted bedroom, Dr. Pillsbury, a trained mesmerist, puts Julian into a deep trancelike sleep. Only Dr. Pillsbury and Julian’s servant, Sawyer, knew how to wake him. That night the house burns down and Julian is assumed to have died in the fire along with Sawyer. Edith also thought that Julian had perished. Even she did not know about the sleeping disorder, the hypnosis, and the sleeping chamber. The basement vault is not discovered and West is left undisturbed to sleep for 113 years with his organs and functions in a state of suspended animation.
In the year 2000, Dr. Leete, a retired physician, discovers the vault and Julian’s ageless and uncorrupted body (he has not aged a day) when he is excavating for a new laboratory. The excavation reveals the hidden cellar and West’s perfectly preserved body. When Julian awakens he meets Dr. and Mrs. Leete and their daughter, Edith, and he finds himself in very unfamiliar territory - the 20th century is vastly different from the 19th. Throughout the rest of the novel West questions Leete about the changes that had occurred. As a spokesman for the 20th century and for Bellamy’s ideas on social reform, Dr. Leete systematically and rationally answers Julian’s questions and responds to his concerns. In turn, West serves a spokesman for Bellamy’s 19th century audience. It is through West’s eyes that the reader views the contrasts between the old order and the new utopia.
…chiefly for his utopian novel Looking Backward, 2000–1887.
…Edward Bellamy, in his novel Looking Backward (1888), envisioned a planned society in the year 2000 in which technology would play a conspicuously beneficial role. Even such late Victorian literary figures as Lord Tennyson and Rudyard Kipling acknowledged the fascination of technology in some of their images and rhythms.
Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward (1888) was both an indictment of the capitalistic system and an imaginative picturing of a utopia achieved by a collectivist society in the year 2000. Howells’s Traveler from Altruria (1894) pleaded for an equalitarian state in which the government regimented men’s lives. The…
…animated the best-selling utopian novel Looking Backward (1888), by the American journalist Edward Bellamy. In England the Anglican clergymen Frederick Denison Maurice and Charles Kingsley initiated a Christian socialist movement at the end of the 1840s on the grounds that the
…his enormously popular utopian novel Looking Backward (1888). In Bellamy’s utopia, men and women alike were drafted into the national service at the age of 21, on the completion of their education, where they remained until the age of 45. Bellamy’s reformed society had thus, as his protagonist Julian West…
this line included Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward (1888), in which a Bostonian awakes from a mystical sleep in the year 2000 to find industry nationalized, equal distribution of wealth to all citizens, and class divisions eradicated—a process that Bellamy called Nationalism. Bellamy Nationalist clubs sprang up nationwide to discuss his…
Looking Backward from the Future
When Edward Bellamy published his utopian novel Looking Backward in 1888, he would never have referred to it as science fiction. How could he? Although by the 1860s Jules Verne had begun to produce the speculative adventure novels&mdashJourney to the Center of the Earth, From the Earth to the Moon, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and many others&mdashthat have long been regarded as among the earliest science fiction, there was no label to apply to what Bellamy was doing. Verne called his books Voyages Extraordinaires, which is certainly part of science fiction&rsquos visionary appeal. Like H.G. Wells, whose novels The Time Machine (1895) and The War of the Worlds (1898) are also considered proto&ndashscience fiction, or even Edgar Allan Poe and Mary Shelley (her 1826 novel, The Last Man, takes place in a future world decimated by plague), Bellamy was staking out a territory that had yet to be determined. Projections about technology and the future came face-to-face with contemporary anxieties to create a genre that has since grown so pervasive that many readers take its narratives for granted as the stuff of cliché.
Science fiction, however, has always offered more than is expected. Set in 2000, Looking Backward imagines an America that has done away with war, poverty, and taxes, as seen by a time traveler named Julian West. Like a latter-day Rip Van Winkle, West falls asleep in 1887 and awakens 113 years later to a world transformed. He meets a guide who reveals the advances of this society, in which people retire at 45 and businesses have been nationalized. In its time, Looking Backward was a sensation it sold 400,000 copies in the first decade after its publication and led to the creation of hundreds of so-called Nationalist Clubs in the United States. What this suggests is that the response to the book&mdashand its relevance&mdashhad less to do with the world it imagined than with the one in which it appeared.
Like so many speculative writers, Bellamy invoked the future as a way of reflecting on issues that concerned him, personal and otherwise. A consumptive who once spent a year in Hawaii on a rest cure, he gave up a career in journalism because of its physical demands. Equally important, he was writing in a time and place, late-19th-century America, that had been hit with economic and political disruptions, from the depression of the 1870s to the Haymarket Riot of 1886. For Bellamy, the novel was less a set of prognostications than an extrapolation of the present. Indeed, for all its utopian tendencies, Bellamy&rsquos fiction did not save him he died of tuberculosis at the age of 48, a decade after Looking Backward appeared.
The novel takes place in Boston, but its influence transcends a single time or place. For one thing, Bellamy&rsquos description of the future&rsquos architecture (&ldquoI was in a vast hall full of light,&rdquo he writes, &ldquoreceived not alone from the windows on all sides, but from the dome, the point of which was a hundred feet above&rdquo) inspired Los Angeles&rsquos Bradbury Building, with its atrium and great glass ceiling, which suffuses the interior spaces with natural light. The construction of that building, in 1893, might also be seen as a gesture of science fiction, an attempt to think again about the present and to imagine how we might live in a different way. This is what science fiction is always doing, framing possibilities, positive and negative, conjecturing about what may happen by recasting or reframing where we are. Growing up in Manhattan in the 1970s, I moved through a city that was degraded: dirty, crumbling, overcrowded, illuminated by glaring rape lights. It makes sense that I was drawn to the gritty science fiction of the era, the work of writers who were also reckoning with a version of that experience, what it meant to live in this particular time and place.
This, of course, is the necessary mechanism of all fiction, its &ldquobuzz of implication,&rdquo to borrow E.M. Forster&rsquos phrase. How could science fiction be any different? It is the fiction as much as the science, after all, that gives the genre its weight. In novels such as Thomas M. Disch&rsquos 334, which takes place in the 2020s and revolves around the residents of a public housing project on New York&rsquos Lower East Side, and Robert Silverberg&rsquos Dying Inside, narrated by a precognitive who is losing his second sight, I encountered an urban landscape, a set of circumstances, that I recognized.
Both were published in 1972 and offer arcs of quiet desperation framed by cultural decay. Call it science fiction as projective social realism, although what else does the genre, at its most incisive, provide? &ldquoThey talk about the end of the world,&rdquo Disch writes, &ldquothe bombs and all, or if not the bombs then about the oceans dying, and the fish, but have you ever looked at the ocean? I used to worry, I did, but now I say to myself&mdashso what. So what if the world ends?&hellip The end of the world. Let me tell you about the end of the world. It happened fifty years ago. Maybe a hundred. And since then it&rsquos been lovely. I mean it. Nobody tries to bother you. You can relax. You know what? I like the end of the world.&rdquo
LIVING AT THE END OF THE WORLD
It&rsquos stunning to read Disch&rsquos line about liking the end of the world at this moment, in a time that feels similarly fraught, and realize we are living in a version of the future he sought to represent. The same is true of Harry Harrison&rsquos 1966 novel, Make Room! Make Room!, which imagines 35 million people living in New York City by the end of 1999. Each of these books is a kind of anti&ndashLooking Backward, projecting less utopia than its antipode. And yet, it was ever thus. Twenty years past the time frame of Looking Backward, in the decade of 334, we are faced not with fewer problems or solutions, but rather with divergent ones. Disch&rsquos riff on the end of the world resonates not because the world isn&rsquot ending (the world is always ending in one form or another) but because it is ending in a different way. We occupy the present ourselves. What this means is that Disch&mdashlike Bellamy or Harrison&mdashwasn&rsquot trying to foretell the future he was speculating, as does any writer, about who we are and how we live. &ldquoHe was thirty-eight years old,&rdquo Philip K. Dick writes in his Hugo Award&ndashwinning 1962 novel, The Man in the High Castle, &ldquoand he could remember the prewar days, the other times. Franklin D. Roosevelt and the World&rsquos Fair the former better world.&rdquo
The Man in the High Castle remains among the touchstones of the genre, although it takes place not in the future but in an alternate present, in which the Axis powers won the Second World War. (The book is the source of the television series of the same name.) America is divided into German and Japanese protectorates, with the Rockies as a buffer. But even that is more conditional, more elusive, than we might expect.
Late in the novel, Nobusuke Tagomi, a Japanese official in San Francisco, finds himself in Portsmouth Square, where he falls into a reverie when he returns, he is no longer in his history but in ours. &ldquoWhat is that?&rdquo he asks, gesturing at the rising shape of the Embarcadero Freeway, which is not under construction in his world. The sequence is brief, only a few pages before Tagomi&rsquos city snaps back into place. What it underscores, however, is a divide that animates Dick&rsquos writing, the blurry border between artifice and authenticity. Which world is genuine? That of the novel or the one in which we read?
The answer, Dick insists, is both, or neither, or, more accurately, it depends. For Tagomi, the slip is a reminder that the relationship between reality and illusion is always shifting back and forth. Yes, the San Francisco of the novel is a fiction, but it is also infiltrated by the city as it actually exists. This movement is highlighted by the fact that, outside the novel, in the San Francisco of today, the Embarcadero Freeway has been gone for 30 years now. It is not predictions we are after, then, but possibilities.
Dick was hardly the first novelist to traffic in alternate histories The Man in the High Castle, he claimed, was influenced by Ward Moore&rsquos 1953 novel, Bring the Jubilee, in which the Confederacy wins the Civil War. Nor was he the last Harry Turtledove, for one, has made a career of such books (among them, an entire series in which the South was victorious), and non-genre writers such as Philip Roth (The Plot Against America) and Michael Chabon (The Yiddish Policemen&rsquos Union) have dipped into the territory as well.
What Dick brought, however, was a healthy countercultural edge, honed by his experiences coming of age in Berkeley, where he lived until decamping for Orange County in 1972. In The Man in the High Castle, this emerges in the novel&rsquos use of the I Ching, or Book of Changes, the ancient Chinese text popularized in the West by psychedelic explorers and artists including Terence McKenna and John Cage. Not only do the novel&rsquos characters turn to the oracle (as Dick calls it) throughout the novel, but so did the author in the composition of the work. The strategy interjects a breath of randomness, of serendipity, into the marrow of the narrative. Tagomi&rsquos slip, for instance&hellipthrough this lens, it becomes more than a plot point it&rsquos an indicator, a signpost, a reminder of the unknowability of everything.
The perspective is in line with Disch or even Silverberg, their ironic irreverence. So, too, J.G. Ballard, a key figure in the British new wave science fiction of the early 1960s, whose 1970 collection, The Atrocity Exhibition, was pulped before publication by its would-be American publisher, Doubleday, because of a story called &ldquoWhy I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan,&rdquo which includes sexual fantasies about the then&ndashgovernor of California, as well as &ldquoa unique ontology of violence and disaster.&rdquo If such content seems relatively tame now, well, that&rsquos the whole idea, isn&rsquot it? If science fiction isn&rsquot predictive, it is still imaginative it is written in the present to the future, a way of envisioning how and where we want to live.
For Ballard, this had to do with the erotics of violence, the seething rage beneath the surface of suburban calm. &ldquoIn a totally sane society,&rdquo he once wrote, &ldquomadness is the only freedom.&rdquo The statement explains a lot. &ldquoWhy I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan&rdquo was the subject of a 1968 obscenity trial in Britain when Ballard was asked by his attorney why the story was not obscene, he replied, &ldquoOf course it was obscene, and intended to be so.&rdquo Needless to say, he did not appear as a witness in his own defense.
And yet, the ultimate expression of Ballard&rsquos countercultural sensibility may be another story from The Atrocity Exhibition, &ldquoThe Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Considered as a Downhill Motor Race,&rdquo inspired by Alfred Jarry&rsquos &ldquoThe Crucifixion Considered as an Uphill Bicycle Race,&rdquo a masterpiece of turn-of-the-century French symbolism. Like Jarry, Ballard pushes the boundaries not only of genre but also of accepted narrative. &ldquoWithout doubt Oswald badly misfired,&rdquo he writes, just a few years after the murder of the president. &ldquoBut one question still remains unanswered: who loaded the starting gun?&rdquo
COLD WAR KIDS
Such a sensibility, with its social commentary, is not specific to the 1960s it emerged, rather, more than a decade before, driven by the political uncertainties of the Cold War. Ray Bradbury&rsquos Fahrenheit 451 (published in 1953 and written on a rental typewriter in the basement of UCLA&rsquos Powell Library) was inspired by the author&rsquos concerns about McCarthyism. &ldquoI was writing about what I was beginning to notice,&rdquo he told me in 2002. &ldquoAbout how we were encouraging people to be dumb.&rdquo
The theme emerges in the novel&rsquos main character, Montag, who is a fireman&mdashhere, someone who burns books, which are regarded as dangerous&mdashuntil he grows curious enough to take a risk and read. &ldquoIf you don&rsquot want a man unhappy politically,&rdquo Bradbury writes, &ldquodon&rsquot give him two sides to a question to worry him give him one. Better yet, give him none.&hellip Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of &lsquofacts&rsquo they feel stuffed, but absolutely &lsquobrilliant&rsquo with information. Then they&rsquoll feel they&rsquore thinking, they&rsquoll get a sense of motion without moving. And they&rsquoll be happy, because facts of that sort don&rsquot change.&rdquo
For us, living in a moment marked by bots and fake news, that passage seems uncomfortably prescient, as if Bradbury were anticipating our world. But again, and essentially, he was reflecting what he saw. His vision feels relevant, perhaps, because things don&rsquot change that much. We live on the verge, at the mercy of our best and worst impulses, as we have always done. The future, like the present, is not fixed but fluid it is what we make.
Jack Finney weaves a related message into his 1955 novel, The Body Snatchers, another allegory of the McCarthy era, set in Mill Valley and adapted for the screen four times. Likewise, Harlan Ellison, whose 1967 story &ldquoI Have No Mouth and I Must Scream&rdquo is set in an apocalyptic future where the Cold War has gone hot and the handful of human survivors are kept in captivity by sentient machines. &ldquoThe Cold War started,&rdquo he writes, &ldquoand became World War Three and just kept going. It became a big war, a very complex war, so they needed the computers to handle it.&rdquo
Here, Ellison is responding to a pair of perceived threats: nuclear annihilation and AI. The future he imagines is not utopian but bleak. The theme, the thread, is a common one, a story in which humanity outsmarts itself. Such a point becomes explicit in Damon Knight&rsquos &ldquoShall the Dust Praise Thee?&rdquo&mdasha three-page story originally published in Ellison&rsquos groundbreaking multiauthor anthology Dangerous Visions (1967)&mdashin which God returns to Earth for the day of wrath only to discover that humanity has already destroyed itself, but not before leaving the deity a pointed message: &ldquoWE WERE HERE. WHERE WERE YOU?&rdquo
BACK TO THE FUTURE
Apocalypse, however, can arrive in a variety of ways. This is what we are learning now. Who needs nuclear war or rogue machines when we have pandemics and environmental collapse? It&rsquos enough to make one doubt the efficacy of any utopia.
At the same time, all but the direst dystopian fantasias involve at least a whisper of survival, which makes them if not optimistic necessarily then forward-looking, at least. Octavia E. Butler&rsquos story &ldquoSpeech Sounds&rdquo&mdashfor which she won her first Hugo Award, in 1984&mdashimagines Los Angeles after a pandemic survivors are left mostly unable to communicate. The narrative describes the efforts of a lone woman, Rye, to travel from downtown to Pasadena, a journey that would once have been an afterthought. Along the way, she meets a man who agrees to drive her, before he is killed in a random flash of violence. &ldquoShe had found and lost the man so quickly,&rdquo Butler writes. &ldquoIt was as though she had been snatched from comfort and security and given a sudden, inexplicable beating. Her head would not clear. She could not think.&rdquo And yet, what else can she do? The same act has left two children orphaned, and she has no choice now but to care for them. In losing one connection, one companion, she has found two more.
That&rsquos an important moment, suggesting that the key to survival is perseverance, which is the whole idea. We cannot protect ourselves from what will happen we can only imagine how we might respond. In science fiction, that imagining becomes both personal and collective: the story of how Rye survives but also how we all do. The art of possibility again, a genre that, even at its most apocalyptic, is also transformative, relying on disruption as aesthetic charge. In her 1985 novel, Always Coming Home, Ursula K. Le Guin describes an agrarian society in Northern California called the Kesh, living centuries from now. The seas have risen and the grid has collapsed, but the book, framed largely as a collection of myths and songs and other artifacts, becomes a celebration of adaptability.
Like the futuristic society in Looking Backward, the culture Le Guin portrays has done away with industry and greed. It does not, for the most part, wage war. But it does have technology, left over from the before time, which it has adapted to its needs. The vision is similar to that of Kim Stanley Robinson&rsquos Pacific Edge (1990), the third novel in his Three Californias trilogy, which also imagines an environmentally conscious utopia built on the detritus of the former world. The future as an extension of the present. A world in which cataclysm and climate change lead to possibility. If you don&rsquot believe it could happen, just look out your window, where, through the intercession of the lockdown, the air in California is now as clean as it has been in years. Who could have foreseen that? But this is where we are now, in a present&mdashas strange as any science fiction&mdashthat was once an unpredicted future, as, of course, the future always is.
Towers 1982 is a standard reference work providing biographical details and context for Looking Backward. Rosemont 1979 is a good introduction to the author, themes in his writings, and Responses to Looking Backward. Widdicombe and Preiser 2002 go beyond the basics by reprinting fiction and nonfiction works not readily available. See also MacDonald 2003 (cited in Looking Backward, 2000–1887) for an especially comprehensive edition of the novel, including biographical and historic context and excerpts from additional works by Bellamy and his contemporaries.
Rosemont, Franklin. “Free Play and No Limit: An Introduction of Edward Bellamy’s Utopia.” Cultural Correspondence 10–11 (Fall 1979): 6–16.
Thorough introduction to Bellamy and his writings, also discussing the Nationalist movement and Bellamy’s influence at home and abroad. Responds to detractors’ comments and criticisms, emphasizing that many have ignored Bellamy’s more revolutionary views. Identifies themes in earlier works and their inclusion in Looking Backward.
Towers, Tom H. “Edward Bellamy (26 March 1850–22 May 1898).” In American Realists and Naturalists. Vol. 12, Dictionary of Literary Biography. Edited by Donald Pizer and Earl N. Herbert, 14–23. Detroit: Gale, 1982.
Accessible biography and discussion of Bellamy’s Novels. Provides economic and social context that help explain Looking Backward’s popularity. While acknowledging the novel’s impact and status as one of the country’s best known utopias, Towers is dismissive of Bellamy’s other novels. Somewhat dated in its assessment that his earlier works show little of his later social consciousness. Available through subscription database Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete online.
Widdicombe, Toby, and Herman S. Preiser, eds. Revisiting the Legacy of Edward Bellamy (1850–1898), American Author and Social Reformer: Uncollected and Unpublished Writings, Scholarly Perspectives for a New Millennium. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2002.
Especially useful for researchers who want to delve more deeply into Bellamy’s writings. Reprints short stories and newspaper articles for the first time since their original publication and offers insights from previously unpublished biographical essays and Bellamy’s personal notebooks. Examines the development of themes important to Looking Backward and Equality, including feminism and economic equality. Includes an update of Widdicombe 1988 in Bibliographies and critical essays on Bellamy, including several that discuss his current significance.
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The Accuracy of Edward Bellamy: Predicting the Future with Science Fiction
There's a fascinating little book you've probably never heard of called Looking Backward: 2000-1887, but a little over a hundred years ago it was wildly popular. In fact, at the time, it was the third best-selling novel, and it did something few other works of fiction dared to do: it predicted the future.
Back when science fiction didn't technically exist and Jules Verne's fantastical proto-sci-fi was relatively new, Edward Bellamy wrote this novel that not only qualifies&mdashhowever unintentionally&mdashas science fiction, but made some bold prophecies about how life would work in the year 2000.
Predicting our future is a longstanding tradition of science fiction, but those predictions rarely turn out to be true. So why bother? What's the point of writing about a future that will never happen?
Now that we're comfortably beyond the year 2000, it's worth looking backward once again to see how much came true. Perhaps then the intent of this book, and science fiction in general, will become clear.
First, a quick synopsis: a dandy in late-19th century Boston gets hypnotized to help him sleep (a professor of animal magnetism, whatever that is, convinces him it's the only way to combat insomnia). It works a little too well, and this man wakes up to find he slept 113 years. Naturally, the new tenants of the house, one Dr. Leete and his family, are quite surprised to find this anachronism hibernating in their basement.
Through a series of conversations, Dr. Leete explains how humanity has completely redesigned its economy and society so there are no poor, people only have to work a few hours a day in a job they love, and they all retire at 45 to a life of leisure and creative pursuit.
It's one of those books, and it doesn't take long to realize that Bellamy didn't get much right.
In fact, the entire thing falls apart with the benefit of hindsight. History has not been kind to the ideas espoused in Looking Backward. Basically, it reads as a Marxist manifesto, chock-full of long soliloquies about communist ideals, or perhaps just over-the-top socialism. Either way, to a modern ear, it sounds woefully naive and even dangerous. The very term "industrial army" as a way to describe the populace is enough to resurrect Cold War-era fears.
To be fair, this was written at a time when these ideas were untested and lacked the emotional and historical baggage that they now carry. And there are a few interesting predictions about technology in society, even though technology is a secondary consideration in this book.
One of the things Bellamy seemed to predict with the most accuracy is Amazon. Yep, the online store. Bellamy envisioned a meatspace version of Amazon where every product is on display people choose what they want, and it's delivered to their house within a day (via a set of tubes, which is a particularly delightful detail in light of the joke about the Internet being a series of tubes). He also describes the use of "credit cards," which function more like debit cards, but are nevertheless a fairly accurate representation of how we do business in this era.
With a little bit of stretching, it's even possible to see Bellamy's prediction of an on-demand music service piped directly to homes via telephone wires as a fairly decent forecast of services such as Pandora or Spotify. At the very least, it's a foreshadowing of radio stations.
Regardless, the main prediction, the entire point of the novel, is so painfully inaccurate, that it could easily make the book feel like a bit of a waste.
Looking Backward is a perfect example of the real reason behind science fiction and futuristic predictions, in general. It's not meant to be a roadmap, but an inspiration to think differently about the present. Take, for instance, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. It's often credited with predicting the Internet, social media, multiplayer video games, and even iPads with spooky accuracy. Despite that, Card was less interested in predicting the future than he was in making us think about our current place in the universe and how we treat people who aren't like us.
Setting aside all the wrong-headedness and wildly unfounded optimism in Looking Backward, it's still worth reading for this very reason. The hope for humanity's future, the belief that things can improve, are more important than any of the actual details that history has since called into question.
For example, the following quote still rings true. Speaking about the old viewpoint of commerce and business, Dr. Leete says: "It was the sincere belief . that the only stable elements of human nature, on which a social system could be safely founded, were its worst propensities. They had been taught and believed that greed and self-seeking were all that held mankind together. "
Bellamy didn't know that the economy in his own book could also bring out some awfully bad "propensities" in mankind, but that does nothing to blunt the criticism of our own system. That's the real power of "predictive" science fiction: describing how things can change&mdashfor better or worse&mdashand making people think about how that relates to their current life. In that way, it remains surprisingly relevant to our time.
For every prediction that congress will only need to meet once every five years (Ha!), there is a surprisingly progressive take on women in the workforce. For every prediction that workers will construct covered walkways in the streets of Boston whenever it rains (". it would be considered an extraordinary imbecility to permit the weather to have any effect on the social movements of the people."), there is a painfully accurate parable about the human condition. For every troubling claim that there is a genetic predisposition to crime, there is an emphasis on education and satisfying employment for every person.
Behind the juvenile enthusiasm about radical economic restructuring, the real message is that humanity can improve, that we can all be more compassionate.
It's a hilarious, cloying, overly optimistic future, one that never came to pass, and it gets so many things wrong. Yet Looking Backward is still worth a read. The details don't work, but the underlying sentiment may yet come true. That's one prediction that we should all be working to fulfill.
This best-selling book turned socialism into a middle-class trend in the 1880s
E dward Bellamy didn’t intend to start a movement. Born in Massachusetts in 1850, he was a journalist through most of his twenties, before tuberculosis turned him toward the more restful life fiction writing. It was one of his novels, Looking Backward, 2000–1887, that became the cornerstone of a nationwide movement, energizing thousands of members in 165 groups across the country.
Bellamy, in the words of historian Arthur Lipow, rose as “the first critic of laissez faire capitalism in America advocating a collectivist alternative to find a large and enthusiastic audience.” His 1888 novel, though little read today, became a runaway success, selling 210,000 copies in its first year, reaching a peak rate of 10,000 volumes per week. It became the third-best selling American book of the century, behind Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ and Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
But not only did Looking Backward, with its vision of a blissful, leisurely utopia resonate with thousands of readers: it galvanized them.
Looking Backward, 1887–2000 tells the story of Julian West, a Bostonian of noble birth, who wakes from a Rip van Winkle-esque slumber in the year 2000. “Living in luxury,” West explains of his old life, “I derived the means of my support from the labor of others, rendering no sort of service in return.” But this old and unfair world is long behind him. Society has done away with the tensions between labor, capital, and inequality by adopting a collectivist world order. There are no warring political parties, and elections held every five years serve as a sort of legislative maintenance. Citizens work from age 21 to 45, then retire. Everyone is given an equal stipend, regardless of profession, to eliminate the tensions of material inequality.
A character named Dr. Leete takes West in—Virgil to his Dante—to guide him through a brave new world whose fundamental principle is “that all who do their best are equally deserving, whether that best be great or small.” Though there is equal pay to all, there are distinctions and rank of position that citizens may aspire to within the main body of society. This massive collection and coordination of labor is in charge of farming, as well as running public laundries and kitchens and other programs that eliminate the need for domestic servants. By the end of 1891, Looking Backward had sold 500,000 copies.
“When the Golden Century arrives,’’ a California reader wrote Bellamy, “your name will receive the homage of the human race of that period as being the only writer of the 19th Century capable of seeing, feeling and portraying ‘the better way.’”
The first organization dedicated to Bellamy’s utopian socialism was established in 1888, called the Boston Bellamy Club №1. Members included veterans like Thomas Wentworth Higginson, leader of the Union’s first black regiment.
Bellamy, whose primary ambition was to create “a fairy tale of social felicity,” took some time to warm up to his new role as a political and philosophical leader, but he eventually made the business of reform his new trade.
Edward Bellamy - History
Bellamy, E. (1888/1997). Looking backward . New York, NY: Dover Thrift Edition.
Edward Bellamy wrote his utopian novel largely in response to the growing crisis he recognized between workers and bosses that resulted in bloodletting such as the 1886 Haymarket Riot. Like most social reformers of his day, he warned that 'man's inhumanity toward man' would lead to social collapse. He rejected the notion that social inequity is innate to the human condition. Moreover, he rejected the notion that progress, "was a chimera of the imagination, with no analogue in nature" (p. 31). [Note: all quotes are from the Signet Classic edition]. Bellamy's Parable of the Coach illustrates most powerfully the sense that humanity, driven by hunger, forces brothers and sisters to claw against one another in a vain attempt to gain a seat atop a social transport careening toward disaster.
In the twentieth century of Bellamy's imagination, Nationalism - the Great Trust - offers a response to rampant individualism. The unified nation led by a single capitalist cures labor crises by completing the inevitable convergence of human industry: "The great city bazaar crushed its country rivals with branch stores, and in the city itself absorbed its smaller rivals till the business of a whole quarter was concentrated under one roof, with a hundred former proprietors of shops serving as clerks" (p. 53). This Great Trust is more than a government. The new nationalism results in nothing less than a fraternal fatherland:
While we will explore the implications of this fatherland on individual freedoms more fully in future conversations, let us examine four key themes to this new order: (1) centrality of public life, (2) equality of labor, (3) elimination of money, and (4) scientific socialism. Thereafter we'll examine three themes of national socialism in Looking Backward .
The centrality of public life
The centrality of public life refers to the notion that value in human relationships may be found in mutual cooperation, not individuality. Given the troubling economic times of the 1880s, this sentiment can hardly seem revolutionary. Rather, it might have appeared as a necessary salve to the crises of public life. The results of this centrality of public life emerge only when contrasted with the relative austerity of private life:
As Bellamy further illustrates in his image of nineteenth century drudges carrying hundreds of thousands of individual umbrellas to avoid the rain, the citizens of Boston 2000 have constructed mechanical and social umbrellas that cover each individual. Referring again to Bellamy's parable of the coach, we turn to a second theme of Looking Backward , the equality of labor.
In Looking Backward, shared labor is the engine of social order.
The role of labor in this imaginary society may best be compared to Thomas More's Utopia. Recall in that idealized notion of public life how each individual must work to gain the fruits of social labor. Moreover, labor confers the rights of citizenship and, as a corollary, brings a certain degree of suspicion on those who do not work in their assigned places. However, in Bellamy's Looking Backward , the joys of harmonious concert, not the fears of reprisal, are what motivate the workers of his industrial army: "The worker is not a citizen because he works, but works because he is a citizen" (p. 100). The value of labor in Boston 2000 is not lost on women either. Aside from the needs of motherhood, women are also required to fill the ranks of the industrial army. However, given that Bellamy's is a Victorian utopia, certain sexual inequities manage to endure.
In contrast to the subtle sexism that remains in his utopia, money cannot be found in Bellamy's Looking Backward . In its place, a system of wealth distribution ensures that all labor is valued equally.
All citizens who work receive the same credit. Naturally, some work is deemed more difficult than others. The role of government, therefore, is to adjust working conditions (hours, vacations, and the like) to ensure that no necessary job goes unfilled because of its excessive difficulty. Even so, no worker earns any more credit than another and none can exploit the stored labor of his colleagues. With the elimination of wealth, Boston 2000 enjoys relatively no crime or social disorder.
The optimism necessary to imagine this perfected society emerges from scientific socialism, the assumption that a well managed society marked by machine-like efficiency can ensure equality and improvement in the human condition. Scientific socialism is a response to the excesses of individualism as perceived by nineteenth century social reformers. Why, they asked, should the technical specifications necessary for perfected government be left to human will and idiosyncrasies? Can we not leave technical matters to machines, or at least to governments that function like machines?
We visit Edward Bellamy's imaginary Boston with the optimistic notion that human will is not predetermined, that human destiny is not etched in stone. Unlike John Winthrop's Puritan Boston that tried to reconcile God's will with human ambition, Looking Backward places the fate of humanity in its own hands. Once we have learned to fashion better machines and build better cities, we can rebuild human souls: "the conditions of human life have changed, and with them the motives of human action" (p. 57). As we will soon discover, of course: the ability to so radically reshape the human condition brings with it tremendous risks. To that point we now turn.
Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward envisions an optimistic form of national-socialism. Nationalism refers to an all-inclusive state, a father-land who cares for its people. Socialism refers to liberation of the individual potential. This form of government seeks to represent the will of the people writ large. In place of laws, banks, and artificial customs, an individual in this new age is directly represented by the state. As with More's Utopia, even the family is merely a temporary liaison between individual and state.
Bellamy, of course, died long before the most horrifying implications of his idealized public life came to pass. Twentieth century experiments with fascism, communism, and other forms of collectivism, seem eerily similar to Bellamy's optimistic text. In his forward to the Signet Classic edition of Looking Backward , Erich Fromm outlines three common critiques of Bellamy's utopia - it is undemocratic, mechanized, and static. As we will see, these critiques are not just philosophically grounded they reside in history as well.
Looking Backward is Undemocratic
In a manner similar to Plato's Republic , Edward Bellamy rejected what he saw as rampant individualism - the selfish impulse of people, companies, and governments to pursue their own interests to the detriment of human happiness. Universal suffrage, by extension, was merely institutionalized mob rule in Bellamy's eyes. The United States of the idealized future has dispensed with most legal and political offices - even as it has retained many of the names of its former self. Thus, a president may be found in the year 2000, but he does not answer to public whims. Rather, the president emerges as a general from the industrial army, selected from its retired ranks. All voting is limited to retired citizens who, like college alumni, have no vested interest in the impact of their decisions save the overall benefit to their alma mater. After all, as Dr. Leete explains, discipline would be ruined "if the workers had any suffrage to exercise, or anything to say about the choice. But they have nothing" (p. 133). To contemporary ears, this dimension of Looking Backward may seem troubling. However, the vote has been replaced by a much more enticing reward: the assurance that government is run by experts.
Looking Backward is too Mechanized
This notion of government-by-experts assumes a perfected form of bureaucracy in which all decisions are made with efficiency and precision. Consider Bellamy's description of central government: "The machine which they direct is indeed a vast one, but so logical in its principles and direct and simple in its workings, that it all but runs itself" (p. 129). To some critics, the result is a system in which human beings act as machines. Throughout the book, references to the efficiency of scientific government compare perfected human institutions to machines: "Supply is geared to demand like an engine to the governor which regulates its speed" (p. 162).
Certainly, this vision would have appealed to nineteenth century readers who grew tired of continual financial and political strife that followed the seemingly inept leadership of their public officials. The question, however, remains about the role of ethics and humanism within the mechanical government. One answer found in the twentieth century was fascism - a political system strangely foreshadowed by Bellamy:
As we see merely less than four decades after Bellamy's utopia is published, Europeans who have grown tired of economic misery will adopt the same mechanized response and pay a terrible price.
Looking Backward is too Static
The underlying paradox of Bellamy's novel is his desire to envision perpetual improvement within a stable society. To be sure, Dr. Leete depicts an age of innovation after the supremacy of the Nationalist party:
Such a new age naturally follows the scientific socialist notion of a utopia of progress. This utopia posits an individual who has been freed of the Great Chain of Being and the vicious cycles of hunger and human depravity. Yet, upon realizing this worker's paradise, what change may follow? One may find significant insight in Dr. Leete's discussion of Congress in the year 2000.
The Nationalized United States, leading a world of utopian nations toward the inevitable path of human improvement, has not yet mastered nature. Dr. Leete speaks of occasional natural disasters that may slow production. He accounts of changes in popular taste and even the rare occurrence of crime (generally blamed on genetically deficient families). But the future of his world looks pretty much the same as its present: "the material prosperity of the nation flows on uninterruptedly from generation to generation, like an ever broadening and deepening river" (pp. 162-163).
This organic metaphor may seem strange, given the mechanistic proclivities of Ballemy's Looking Backward . However, as we will explore later in the semester, most idealized forms of public life hide a machine under their well-tended gardens. In this utopia: "Let but the famine-stricken nation assume the function it had neglected, and regulate for the common good the course of the life-giving stream, and the earth would bloom like one garden, and none of its children lack any good thing" (pp. 216-217). Looking Backward offers a compelling vision, one that was adopted by millions of Americans and a host of utopian movements prior to the First World War. However, even as we long to stroll Bellamy's wide boulevards and look upon his grand buildings, we must also look backward unto the world that actually followed the path envisioned by the utopian's fanciful dream.
Edward Bellamy - History
EDWARD BELLAMY, NATIONAL SOCIALIST & FRANCIS BELLAMY, PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE,
NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION & NATIONALIST EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION
Edward Bellamy and his New Nation periodical (1891-94) promoted Karl Marx and the book "Capital" paired with Edward Bellamy's propaganda. Bellamy used the New Nation and Nationalism Clubs to promote his national socialist dogma. http://rexcurry.net/edward-bellamy-national-socialist.html
The following is a photograph of an advertisement from the New Nation started by Edward Bellamy http://rexcurry.net/edward-bellamy-karl-marx.jpg
Marx said "The chief mission of all other races and peoples, large and small, is to perish in the revolutionary holocaust.&rdquo
Bellamy (1850-1898), the product of Anglo-Saxon Puritan stock, was disturbed by the massive immigration of central and southern European newcomers into the cities of the northeast.
His dogma and that of Marx led to the socialist Wholecaust (of which the Holocaust was a part) under Stalin, Mao and Hitler:
60 million killed under the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
50 million under the Peoples' Republic of China
20 million under the National Socialist German Workers Party.
In 1935, long after Bellamy stopped selling his &ldquoNew Nation&rdquo periodical paired with Marx's book, Columbia University asked three people to prepare independent lists of the 25 most influential books since 1885. The judges were philosopher John Dewey, historian Charles Beard and and the editor of the Atlantic Monthly, Edward Weeks. On each of the lists Bellamy's novel &ldquoLooking Backward&rdquo (promoted in the New Nation) ranked among the top two books. At the top of each man&rsquos list was Karl Marx&rsquos &ldquoDas Kapital.&rdquo
Bellamy's book had been an international best-seller, translated into every major language including, it is sad to note for so many brutalized people, Russian, Chinese and German.
Bellamy's use of groups (Nationalism Clubs) to promote his book's national socialism provides another comparison to the growth of national socialism in the 1930s under the National Socialist German Workers Party and Adolf Hitler, author of the book "Mein Kampf." The Columbia University survey reflects how influential the dogma was at that time.
Edward Bellamy's cousin and cohort Francis Bellamy was the origin of the so-called &ldquoNazi salute&rdquo, the stiff-armed gesture used under German national socialism. The salute was actually the &ldquoAmerican salute&rdquo in that it came from Francis' Pledge of Allegiance, which began with a military salute that was then extended outward to point at the flag. http://rexcurry.net/pledge-allegiance-pledge-allegiance2.jpg
Both Bellamys referred to themselves as national socialists and touted "military socialism" (their term. they wanted all of society to emulate the military). They influenced the worst socialists worldwide, including National Socialist German Workers Party and its rituals (robotic chanting to flags & leaders), dogma, and symbols (including the use of the swastika to symbolize overlapping S-letters for "socialism" under German national socialism). The above are some of the discoveries in the the work of the documentarian Dr. Rex Curry. http://rexcurry.net/pledgebackward.html
The Bellamys also preached the deadly dogma of "economic equality." The following is a photograph of the front page, listing editor Edward Bellamy. http://rexcurry.net/edward-bellamy-new-nation.jpg
The Bellamys wanted government to take over all educational institutions and create an "industrial army" to spread their dogma.
The Nationalist magazine was also started by Edward Bellamy, with the assistance of Henry Willard Austin. Note that the publishing organization was named "THE NATIONALIST EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION" in deliberate similarity to the National Education Association (NEA). This is a photograph of the Nationalist Magazine from Edward Bellamy http://rexcurry.net/edward-bellamy-the-nationalist.jpg
To learn more about Edward Bellamy enjoy the following video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BssWWZ3XEe4
The above is a front page for the New Nation Magazine and it lists the editor, Edward Bellamy, who preached the deadly dogma of "economic equality."
Edward Bellamy http://rexcurry.net/edward-bellamy-the-nationalist.jpg NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION http://rexcurry.net/edward-bellamy-the-nationalist.jpg Edward Bellamy
Above is the Nationalist Magazine started by Edward Bellamy, with the assistance of Henry Willard Austin. Note that the publishing organization was named "THE NATIONALIST EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION" in deliberate similarity to the National Educational Association.
Edward Bellamy's choice of "The New Nation" as the name for his weekly magazine/newspaper (from 1891 to 1894) is interesting in that another magazine with a similar name - "The Nation" - (which began in 1865) had touted a different political perspective for a long time before Bellamy's publication. And when "The Nationalist," Bellamy's earlier publication, a monthly magazine, began in 1889, its editor was Henry Willard Austin. At that time (in 1889), the older Nation magazine was owned by Henry Villard. During the life of Bellamy's the "New Nation" magazine, the older "Nation" magazine expressed an anti-socialist point of view. Was the "New Nation" name selected by Bellamy meant to contrast his magazine's pro-socialist point of view? See the work of the documentarian Dr. Rex Curry (author of "Pledge of Allegiance Secrets"). http://rexcurry.net/edward-bellamy-national-socialist.html
Note that the publishing organization for Bellamy's "Nationalist" magazine was named "THE NATIONALIST EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION" in deliberate similarity to the National Education Association (NEA). This is a photograph of the Nationalist Magazine from Edward Bellamy http://rexcurry.net/edward-bellamy-the-nationalist.jpg
In 1888, Cyrus Field Willard, a Boston newspaperman, proposed to Bellamy "that it would be a good idea to organize an association to spread the ideas contained in your book." Bellamy responded to Willard on Independence Day in 1888 with the proposal to promote national socialism in "Nationalist Clubs." There followed efforts to create the Nationalist Party, and work within the People's Party and the Populist Party. The use of groups to promote his book's national socialism provides another comparison to the growth of national socialism in the 1930s under the National Socialist German Workers Party and Adolf Hitler, author of the book "Mein Kampf." http://sites.google.com/site/francisbellamy/edward-bellamy-looking-backward
In the mid-1930s, Bellamy's daughter, Marion, had speaking engagements nationwide (including one in Portland in November 1936) where she continued to promote his dogma of national socialism. A fifteen-page pamphlet, "Edward Bellamy Today," includes the text of her lecture.
Edward Bellamy was cousin and cohort to another infamous American national socialist, Francis Bellamy, author of the Pledge of Allegiance (which was the origin of the stiff-arm salute adopted later by the National Socialist German Workers Party, as shown by Dr. Curry). http://rexcurry.net/pledge-allegiance-pledge-allegiance2.jpg
The Bellamys wanted government to take over all educational institutions and create an "industrial army" to spread their dogma.
Later, the older Nation magazine would adopt Bellamy's pro-socialist dogma, long aftger Bellamy and his magazine ceased to exist.
The Nation magazine began in July 1865 in Manhattan. The publisher was Joseph H. Richards, and the editor was E.L. Godkin, a classical liberal critic of nationalism, imperialism, and socialism. The magazine stayed at "Newspaper Row" in Manhattan for 90 years. Wendell Phillips Garrison, son of William Lloyd Garrison, was literary editor of the periodical from 1865 to 1906.
In 1881, newspaperman-turned-railroad-baron Henry Villard acquired The Nation and converted it into a weekly literary supplement for his daily newspaper the New York Evening Post.
In 1918, the editor of the magazine became Henry Villard's son, Oswald Garrison Villard, and he sold the Evening Post. He remade The Nation into a current affairs publication and gave it a socialist orientation. Villard's takeover prompted the FBI to monitor the magazine for roughly 50 years. The FBI had a file on Villard since 1915. Almost every editor of The Nation from Villard's time to the 1970s was looked at for "subversive" activities and ties. When Albert Jay Nock, not long later, published a column criticizing Samuel Gompers and trade unions for being complicit in the war machine of the First World War, The Nation was briefly suspended from the U.S. mail.
Under Henry Villard, the offices of The Nation were moved to the Evening Post's headquarters on Broadway. The New York Evening Post would later morph into a tabloid: the New York Post. It was a socialist-leaning afternoon tabloid under owner Dorothy Schiff from 1939 to 1976.
The Nation continues to be known for its socialist politics. http://rexcurry.net/swastika3swastika.jpg
Eric Foner, the socialist professor of history who has spent much of his career at Columbia University, cited Lincoln on behalf of the preservation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In his book "Lincoln Unmasked," the author Thomas DiLorenzo cites a February 1991 article in "The Nation" called "Lincoln&rsquos Lesson," in which Foner denounced the secession movements in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Georgia, and called upon Mikhail Gorbachev to suppress them with the same ruthlessness Lincoln showed the South. According to Foner, no "leader of a powerful nation" should tolerate "the dismemberment" of Soviet socialism. "The Civil War," Foner explained gushingly, "was a central step in the consolidation of national authority in the United States." And then: "The Union, Lincoln passionately believed, was a permanent government. Gorbachev would surely agree." Modern American socialists boastfully repudiate the Lincoln myth about slavery and they declare that Lincoln's so-called "Civil War" was the violent suppression of independence, exactly what Foner wanted to see under Soviet socialism.
Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels. In "The Story of American Freedom," the historian Eric Foner observes that the 1890&rsquos ritual Pledge of Allegiance from the socialist Francis Bellamy (another worshipper of Lincoln and the War of Northern Aggression) was quickly joined with the practice of standing for the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" as well as Flag Day. http://rexcurry.net/pledge-allegiance-pledge-allegiance2.jpg
The socialist dogma is the same dogma that was touted in the late 19th century by National Socialists in the USA. Francis Bellamy (author of the "Pledge of Allegiance") and his cousin and cohort Edward Bellamy (author of the pathetic book "Looking Backward") wanted the government to take over all food, clothing, shelter, goods and services and create an "industrial army" to impose their "military socialism." See the video documentary at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BssWWZ3XEe4
That was the motiviation behind Francis Bellamy's "Pledge of Allegiance" to the flag, the origin of the stiff-armed salute adopted later by the National Socialist German Workers Party (see the work of the historian Dr. Rex Curry, author of "Pledge of Allegiance Secrets"). http://rexcurry.net/pledge-allegiance-pledge-allegiance2.jpg
It led to the use of the swastika as S-letters for "socialism" on the flag under German National Socialism. http://rexcurry.net/swastika3swastika.jpg
It is the same dogma that led to the socialist Wholecaust (of which the Holocaust was a part):
60 million killed under the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
50 million under the Peoples' Republic of China
20 million under the National Socialist German Workers' Party. http://rexcurry.net/socialists.html
Today, the flag symbolizes authoritarianism in the USA. The historical facts above explain the enormous size and scope of government today, and the USA's police state, and why it is growing so rapidly. They are reasons for minarchy: massive reductions in government, taxation, spending and socialism.
In 1867 Bellamy failed to get an appointment to West Point instead he studied literature for a year at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. He spent much of the next year in Dresden, Germany, where he was impressed by the prosperity of the state-owned china works.
At its beginning the Meissen China manufactory was owned by the King of Saxony by 1830 it came to belong to the State of Saxony. After World War II, most of the equipment was sent to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (a former ally of Germany under the National Socialist German Workers Party) as part of war reparations However, already by 1946, the workers using traditional methods and the kilns that had not been dismantled were able to resume production. The company became a Soviet Socialist Joint Stock Company in Germany. Almost all of the production was sent to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. After the establishment of the German Democratic Republic under the influence of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the company was handed over to German government ownership in 1950. After the German reunification in 1990, the company owned again by the State of Saxony which is the sole owner.
Edward Bellamy First Uses the Term "Credit Card" in "Looking Backward"
Portrait of Edward Bellamy digitally edited from the Library of Congress online collection.
In his utopian novel Looking Backward (1887), describing life in the year 2000, Edward Bellamy used the term credit card eleven times&mdashthe first description of the use of a card for purchases.
"The book tells the story of Julian West, a young American who, towards the end of the 19th century, falls into a deep, hypnosis-induced sleep and wakes up one hundred and thirteen years later. He finds himself in the same location (Boston, Massachusetts), but in a totally changed world: It is the year 2000 and, while he was sleeping, the United States has been transformed into a socialist utopia. The remainder of the book outlines Bellamy's thoughts about improving the future. The major themes are the dangers of the stock market, the use of credit cards, the benefits of a socialist legal system, music, and the use of an "industrial army" to make tasks run smoother.
"The young man readily finds a guide, Doctor Leete, who shows him around and explains all the advances of this new age including drastically reduced working hours for people performing menial jobs and almost instantaneous, Internet-like delivery of goods. Everyone retires with full benefits at age 45, and may eat in any of the public kitchens. The productive capacity of America is nationally owned, and the goods of society are equally distributed to its citizens. A considerable portion of the book is dialogue between Leete and West wherein West expresses his confusion about how the future society works and Leete explains the answers using various methods, such as metaphors or direct comparisons with 19th-century society.
"Although Bellamy's novel did not discuss technology or the economy in detail, commentators frequently compare Looking Backward with actual economic and technological developments. For example, Julian West is taken to a store which (with its descriptions of cutting out the middleman to cut down on waste in a similar way to the consumers' cooperatives of his own day based on the Rochdale Principles of 1844) somewhat resembles a modern warehouse club like BJ's, Costco, or Sam's Club. He additionally introduces a concept of credit cards in chapters 9, 10, 11, 13, 25, and 26, but these bear no resemblance to the instruments of debt-finance. All citizens receive an equal amount of "credit." Those with more difficult, specialized, dangerous or unpleasant jobs work fewer hours. Bellamy also predicts both sermons and music being available in the home through cable "telephone". Bellamy labeled the philosophy behind the vision "nationalism", and his work inspired the formation of more than 160 Nationalist Clubs to propagate his ideas"(Wikipedia article on Looking Backward, accessed 02-07-2012)
Edward Bellamy - History
EDWARD BELLAMY & FRANCIS BELLAMY TIMELINE They influenced Nazism .
Edward Bellamy Memorial Association http://rexcurry.net/edward%20bellamy.jpg Henry George, Francis Bellamy & Looking Backward at the Pledge Of Allegiance
|Frightening information about the history of the Pledge of Allegiance is at http://rexcurry.net/book1a1contents-pledge.html (with shocking historical photographs). |
For fascinating information about symbolism see http://rexcurry.net/book1a1contents-swastika.html
Hear audio on worldwide radio at http://rexcurry.net/audio-rex-curry-podcast-radio.html
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia announces Dr. Rex Curry's historic discoveries. http://rexcurry.net/wikipedia-the-free-encyclopedia.html
Wikipedia boosts Dr. Curry's amazing research at http://rexcurry.net/america-first-committee-charles-lindbergh-wikipedia-org-wiki.html
Amazon.com adopts as its policies recommendations from the historian Dr. Rex Curry http://rexcurry.net/amazon-com-book-reviews-tags-discussions.html
The Bellamy cousins also spread the modern swastika symbol (as two S-letters for "socialism"). http://rexcurry.net/swastika3swastika.jpg
The research is part of the jaw-dropping discoveries of the noted historian Dr. Rex Curry (author of "Pledge of Allegiance Secrets"). http://rexcurry.net
1740 Joseph Bellamy, and his older cohort, Jonathan Edwards, both of Connecticut, were among the leaders of a movement known as "The Great Awakening," a religious revival that struck the country in 1740. Joseph Bellamy wrote and spoke extensively in support of his utopian fantasy. Joseph Bellamy (1719-1790) was the great-grandfather of Francis Bellamy, Edward Bellamy, Charles Bellamy, and Franklin Bellamy. Charles Joseph Bellamy was named after Joseph Bellamy and touted ideas similar to Edward's. "The Great Awakening" movement had started in Europe. It swept through England in the rise of Methodism under John Wesley, Charles Wesley and George Whitfield. Whitfield came to this country and became a leader of the movement here.
1762 Joseph Bellamy delivered a sermon to the General Assembly of Connecticut and denounced competition, blamed competition for poverty, and advocated vague "cooperation" instead.
1781 Jonathan Bellamy (1781 - 1845), a successful merchant in Washington County, New York State, was the grandfather of Francis Bellamy and Edward Bellamy.
1794 Joseph Bellamy and Jonathan Edwards publish "The Millennium, or the Thousand Years of Prosperity" which Joseph claims is shortly to commence and to be carried on to perfection. The book also contains an attempt to promote explicit agreement and visible union of people in extraordinary work for the advancement of the "kingdom" on earth, pursuant to prophecies from Joseph Bellamy and Jonathan Edwards. That millenium was still "impending" at the time of Edward Bellamy's book "Looking Backward: 2000-1887" in which Edward also makes predictions of everlasting prosperity through National Socialism. Edward originally thought that the time frame for reaching National Socialism in "Looking Backward" would be a thousand years, or much longer than the span of 2000-1887 that Edward finally selected for promotional purposes. The National Socialist German Workers Party was intended enact a thousand year reich of prosperity for all, as predicted by Adolf Hitler.
1806 After the German state’s "humiliating defeat by Napoleon in 1806, a new system of schooling was the instrument out of which Prussian vengeance was shaped, a system that reduced human beings during their malleable years to reliable machine parts, human machinery dependent upon the state for its mission and purpose," according to the author John Taylor Gatto. "When Blucher’s Death’s Head Hussars destroyed Napoleon at Waterloo," it was interpreted as confirmation of the value of Prussian schooling. (1815).
1816 Rufus King Bellamy was born (1816 - 1886). He was father to Frederick, Edward, and Charles. Rufus was a younger brother of David Bellamy (the father of Francis Bellamy). Both Rufus and David spent their lives in the ministry preaching their versions of utopia. Rufus and his wife (Maria Putnam Bellamy) preached to their three sons the need for activist altruism. Charles and Edward Bellamy went on to write utopian stories and fantasy tales. Charles wrote "Were They Sinners?" and "The Breton Mills" (1879) in which he used vague altruism to justify a socialist government. Edward followed the same route with "The Religion of Solidarity" and his totalitarian utopian fantasy "Looking Backward," both considered part of the "Christian Socialism" dogma. Both brothers inpired their cousin, Francis Bellamy (author of the Pledge of Allegiance).
1819 Rome NY's name is selected in an election. Many cities in New York State have names from classical history (Albany, Ithaca, Syracuse, Troy, Utica) and that is why New York is the Roman Empire State.
1843 (published Feb.1844) Karl Marx writes his notorious, “On the Jewish Question.” In it, he intended to libel Jewish folks when he said they were the quintessential capitalists and worthy of total contempt. Marxists and socialists had no interest in anyone they considered to be “the weak,” only in the loyal, and their “language of social justice” concerned a totalitarian plan for a new man, or more accurately a soldier ant in an ant hill.
1840s Government takeover of schools was touted by people like Horace Mann, who adored the regimented system they saw in Prussia in the 1840s. They imported wholesale a scheme to tame what they saw as the dangerously anarchist new immigrant working class, training the young of this underclass to report to a central government facility, to memorize identical shallow opinions, and to march at the sound of government bells. Eventually, to chant robotically the morning prayer to the government flag. A basic education would suffice for them to fill their slots in the industrial army. No critical thought would occur, as it might cause them to question the leaders. The government takeover and destruction of schools began in the middle 1800's according to John Taylor Gatto, a former New York state (public) Teacher of the Year, and author of "Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling," and the "Underground History of American Education," subtitled "A Schoolteacher's Intimate Investigation Into the Problem of Modern Schooling" ($34 postpaid, Oxford Village Press, 725 McDonough Road, Oxford, N.Y. 13830.)
1847 The Rome Academy school is planned as a non-government school in a meeting of citizens. The city is not incorporated as "Rome, New York" until 23 years after the school began. In 1848 the Rome Academy opened with a principal and six teachers. It was a non-government school for 20 years until 1869.
1847 FREDERICK BELLAMY was born.
1848 The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx is published.
1850 EDWARD BELLAMY was born (and died in 1898).
1852 CHARLES JOSEPH BELLAMY was born (and died in 1910).
1855 FRANCIS BELLAMY was born (and died in 1931). Through his life he worked with his cousin Edward Bellamy.
1857 The National Education Association began.
1859 David Bellamy (Francis' father) accepted a call at the First Baptist Church in Rome, NY and moved there with Francis (age 4).
1861-1865 The Civil War against southern Independence. Bellamy was a youth during the war, and became preoccupied with military discipline. Francis Bellamy later explained how the Civil War was not about slavery, but about socialism and centralizing government in the USA. Describing his inspiration for the Pledge Of Allegiance, Francis Bellamy said, "It began as an intensive communing with salient points of our national history, from the Declaration of Independence onwards with the makings of the Constitution. with the meaning of the Civil War with the aspiration of the people.
"The true reason for allegiance to the Flag is the 'republic for which it stands'. . And what does that vast thing, the Republic mean? It is the concise political word for the Nation - the One Nation which the Civil War was fought to prove. To make that One Nation idea clear, we must specify that it is indivisible, as Webster and Lincoln used to repeat in their great speeches. " Francis Bellamy did not mention slavery in his comments.
1867 the book Das Kapital by Karl Marx is published.
1867 The Prohibition Party is formed to outlaw alcohol by amending the US Constitution. Both Edward and Francis would support prohibition in the years ahead. Read more at http://rexcurry.net/drugs-prohibition-party-today.html
1868-9 Edward Bellamy spends a year in Dresden, learning to speak and write German and attending lectures and studying German socialism. His stay occurred shortly after the war between Prussia and Austria. Saxony, of which Dresden was the capital, had sided with Austria, had been conquered by Prussia, and then had joined the North German Federation. That would interest all who loathe the monstrous National Socialist German Workers’ Party, because Prussia led to the formation of the German empire, and after World War I, Prussia continued to exist as the largest Land (state) within the Weimar Republic and under the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (After World War II it was dissolved by decree of the Allied Control Council in 1947). Bellamy was a bitter West Point failure but he loved Prussian militarism and the educational system. While Bellamy was in Germany, the first German unions were founded and the German Workers' Party (Die Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) issued its program of socialist cliches that Bellamy repeated in his bestseller (Looking Backward) and his other writings for the rest of his life. Edward's brother Frederick wrote that Edward's letters to him were full of German socialism which "he had read and studied much at home." (see Sylvia E. Bowman "The Year 2000"). Edward's brother Frederick stated that Edward had talked and read about socialism before Edward went to Germany. Frederick wrote that Edward's letters to him from Germany were full of German socialism which "he had read and studied much at home." (see Sylvia E. Bowman's 1958 book The Year 2000). (Die Deutsche Arbeiterpartei : Ihre Prinzipien und ihr Programm. - Berlin : Jonas, 1868. - 32 p. 23 cm also see Karl Marx: Randglossen zum Programm d. deutschen Arbeiterpartei (1875) (Criticism of the Gothaer of program. Marginal notes for the program of the German Labour Party) and "On the Jewish Question" written in 1843 (published Feb.1844) by the anti-semitic Karl Marx. See Friedrich Engels: The Prussian military question and the German Labour Party (Written at the end of January until 11 February 1865). And Friedrich Engels: Bismarck and the German Labour Party (Written in the middle of July 1881).
(Hitler's party (the National Socialist German Workers' Party or Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP ) had originally been named the German Workers' Party and later added the phrase "National Socialism" to the front of its name. Hitler had suggested that his Party be named the "Social Revolutionary Party." The ominous parallel of Bellamy ideas and U.S. socialists can be seen in the 25 point program of the NSDAP).
Edward Bellamy returned to the USA and completed law school.
Charles J. Bellamy also completes law school and eventually writes Everybody’s Lawyer published by Peoples Publishing Co. in Springfield, MA.
It gives summaries on the “More Practical Parts of Common Law” such as Suing, Marriage, Divorce, Testimony, Railroad Travel and more.
1869 a government school district with a Board of Education was created and Rome Academy became "Rome Free Academy" a government school.
1870 The City of Rome was incorporated. Francis Bellamy and his father lived there 10 years before it was incorporated as "Rome."
1872 Francis graduated from Rome Free Academy (RFA -the government high school that is still there).
1872 Edward Bellamy, working as a free-lance journalist, wrote "National Education" that was published in the "Golden Age."
1873 Francis Bellamy entered the University of Rochester where he studied for the Baptist ministry.
1874 The Religion of Solidarity is written by Edward Bellamy. It combines socialism with religion, and argues that individuality is a delusion and/or is unimportant. It advocates that each individual subsume himself/herself to anything and everything else, as repeated later in Looking Backward.
1877 An Atlas Of Topographical Anatomy: After Plane Sections Of Frozen Bodies (1877) by Wilhelm Braune (Author), Edward Bellamy (Translator, Bellamy acting as a translator of the German language).
1878 A Süd Deutsch Volklied (South German Peoples' Song) was written in German on the inside cover of Bellamy's notebook, and dated "Granada, Jan. 4, 1878." (see Arthur Morgan's Edward Bellamy from Columbia University Press 1944).
1878 Six to One: A Nantucket Idyl. Edward Bellamy's first novel is based on his voyage to Hawaii in 1877. Published in New York, by Putnam.
Chapter one portrays a peaceful, orderly, remote island, removed from the stresses of city life. The character Addie Follet has a mystical passion for the sea.
1879 The Duke of Stockbridge. Edward Bellamy publishes serially this historical romance dealing with Shays' Rebellion (1786-87). His cousin, Francis Bellamy, would complete and issue it in book form in 1900. The novel is set in western Massachusetts and portrays Revolutionary War veterans who believe that they have traded rule by a king for rule by "the rich." It is foreshadow's Edward's glorification of the military, and his goal of using the military to take over the government and all of society. See http://www.gutenberg.org
1879 The Breton Mills - A Romance by Charles Joseph Bellamy is published G.P. Putnam's Sons in New York.
1880 Edward and his brother, Charles, founded a tri-weekly, the Springfield Penny News, that became the Springfield Daily News.
1880 Dr. Heidenhoff's Process by Edward Bellamy is published in New York, by D. Appleton and Co. 1880 see http://www.gutenberg.org
It is about a doctor who can eradicate bad memories from an individual's mind so that he can be happy about life again. It would have been a valuable process for eradicating bad memories about the socialist Wholecaust (of which the Holocaust was a part):
60 million slaughtered under the Union of Soviet Socialist Repulbics
50 million under the Peoples' Republic of China
20 million under the National Socialist German Workers Party. http://rexcurry.net/wholecaust-museum.html
1882 Franklin Delano Roosevelt is born.
1882 Edward Bellamy married Emma Sanderson. She had lived with the Bellamy family since the age of thirteen and Edward called her "tugs." Edward had originally opposed the idea of marriage, and he told Emma so after she confessed her love for him. Edward's views on marriage might have been similar to the views of his brother, Charles, later explicated somewhat in Charles' book "An Experiment in Marriage" (1889). Edward embraced the idea of marriage after Emma became engaged to another man. Edward and Emma had two children.
1884 Miss Ludington's Sister (A Romance of Immortality) by Edward Bellamy is published in Boston, by J.R. Osgood and Co. see http://www.gutenberg.org
1884 or 1885 The Way Out: Suggestions for Social Reform, by Charles J. Bellamy (Putnams), drones on about the equitable distribution of wealth. Arthur Morgan said that it "in many respects is as daring and radical in its proposals as is Edward Bellamy's own utopia." Edward's presentation in Looking Backward is comparable to that used by Charles in The Way Out. It is mentioned in the The Nation Magazine Volume: 040, Issue # 1024 of February 12, 1885. Also, compare Edward's How We Shall Get There in 1891.
1886 Haymarket Square riot in Chicago
1886 Dr. Edward Aveling and his wife Eleanor -the daughter of Karl Marx- wrote that when they toured the U.S. and preached the gospel of socialism as far westward as Kansas, they were surprised by the prevalence of what they termed "unconscious socialism" and that the "American people . were waiting to hear in their own language what socialism is."
1887 Edward Bellamy’s bible of military socialism “Looking Backward” is published and becomes an international bestseller translated into every major language including Russian, Chinese, and German and it inspires the creation of 167 “Nationalist Clubs” worldwide. In its time, it was outsold only by Uncle Tom's Cabin and Ben-Hur (set in Rome). The book appears by title in many major Marxist writings of the day. "It is one of the few books ever published that created almost immedately on its appearance a politcal mass movement." (Eric Fromm, p vi) 165. The book was popular among the elite in pre-revolutionary Russia, and Lenin’s wife was known to have read the book, because she wrote a review of it. see http://www.gutenberg.org
1888 (November) Bellamy personally made a contract with an interpreter to translate Looking Bacward into German. By the end of the year, sales of the book did not exceed ten thousand, but sales increased rapidly thereafter. (see Morgan, p. 65).
1888 A Moment of Madness by Charles Joseph Bellamy is published in New York, by A. L. Burt.
1888-91 (June) Edward Bellamy became editor of The Nationalist magazine and the “Nationalist Educational Association,” (NEA) is formed to publish the magazine and it is named with deliberate similarity to the National Education Association. http://rexcurry.net/nationalistmagazine.jpg
1888 James Upham in the Premium Department of the Youth's Companion launches its School Flag Movement, a four-year campaign to put U.S. flags in government schools in order to promote end non-government schools and to promote "Nationalism."
1888 (December) First Nationalist Club formed in Boston to discuss and implement principles in Looking Backward Francis Bellamy is a charter member.
1888 Nationalist Clubs gain the backing of the Theosophical Society and Madam Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. Blavatsky's mentions of Looking Backward and its author had a clear financial impact on the Nationalism according to Arthur E. Morgan in his biography, Edward Bellamy, 1948, pp. 260-75 see also The Key to Theosophy by H. P. Blavatsky, pp. 44-5. -- K.V.M.]
Theosophists saw in the Nationalist Movement a practical means to further their "ideal of universal brotherhood." A symbol for Madame Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society includes a swastika or hakenkreuz http://rexcurry.net/bellamy-blavatsky-brooch.gif Her book "The Secret Doctrine, the Synthesis of Science, Religion and Philosophy" is considered her magnum opus and was originally published as two volumes in 1888. The publication success coincided with Edward Bellamy's "Looking Backward" and with his Nationalism movement. In The Secret Doctrine, Blavatsky postulates "Aryans" as the fifth of her "Root Races," dating them to about a million years ago, tracing them to Atlantis. It was an idea also repeated by Alfred Rosenberg, and held as doctrine by the Thule Society. The idea eventually influenced the National Socialist German Workers' Party. Blavatsky travelled extensively to Germany, India and worldwide (The Esoteric World of Madame Blavatsky: Reminiscences and Impressions by Those Who Knew Her by Daniel H. Caldwell: Chapter 14, Germany and Return to India 1884-1885 Chapter 15, From India to Italy and Germany, 1885 Chapter 16, Germany 1886).
1889 (February 18) Society of Christian Socialists formed in Boston. Francis Bellamy is Vice President in charge of Education.
1889 Looking Backward was translated and published in both Sweden and Denmark, and a Norwegian translation, Tilbageblik, was published in the United States in the early 1890s. "Det nationalistiske program" was discussed in the widely circulated Norwegian review Kringsjaa, and other Norwegian periodicals and newspapers included reports on the Nationalist Movement during its peak period of activity. See Lars Ahnebrink, "A Contribution to Scandinavian Socialism" in Bowman et al., Edward Bellamy Abroad, 261.
1889 Hitler born 4-20-1889. Died 1945.
1889 Edward Bellamy wrote the short story, “An Echo of Antietam,” in which he glorifies the militarism via a group of men marching to join the Union army.
1889 An Experiment in Marriage by Charles Joseph Bellamy is published by Albany Book Co.
1889 Edward Bellamy writes "To Whom This May Come" printed in the Nationalist monthly. In it he describes the evolution of men to realize that "life is hid in our brethren, in the race" and not in the "petty self." Selfishness is said to be suicide. Later, the world would see that socialism is suicide.
1890 Were They Sinners? by Charles Joseph Bellamy is published in Springfield, Mass., by Author's Pub. Co.
1890 (October) The Theosophist endorses Edward Bellamy, his book, and the Nationalist Party, and remarks about Theosophists being involved in the formation of the party and acting as its "most active and ardent workers and supporters." p 62. There is also a remark about "The Key to Theosophy" being translated into the German language (p. 61). http://www.amazon.com/Theosophist-October-1890-April-1891/dp/1417921811/ref=si3_rdr_bb_product/104-2419291-8946309
1890 (Nov. 13, 1890) Edward Bellamy wrote for The Christian Union, "Some Misconceptions of Nationalism." In the article he states: "Nationalism is not based on the maxim 'To each according to his needs, from each according to his abilities.' Of course, as a matter of conscience, every man is bound to do all he can, and the needs of others are sacred claims upon his service but both abilities and needs are indeterminate, and therefore could not be made the basis of any regulation to be enforced by society. The principle of Nationalism is: From all equally to all equally."
1891-94 Edward Bellamy became editor of the New Nation. In it he writes columns about “Talks on Nationalism.” Bellamy would sell his weekly combined with Karl Marx's Capital as a package deal. http://rexcurry.net/edward-bellamy-karl-marx.jpg
1891 (January 30) Edward Bellamy's How We Shall Get There is published in the Twentieth Century Library, No. 30, Fortnightly, New York.
compare The Way Out: Suggestions for Social Reform, by Charles Bellamy in 1885.
1891 (July) Francis Bellamy openly and publicly defends Edward Bellamy's form of Socialism in the article "The Tyranny of All the People" in The Arena July, 1891 (p. 180-191). "Socialists believe in the fearless extension of government because they have a clear and high idea of the nation as an organic relationship apart from which the individual cannot realize himself." And "Democratic government, however socialistic it may become, is nothing but democracy expressing its own will. If the individual is led to surrender certain of his freedoms for the good of all, he surrenders to a paternalism of all the people. That were better called, once and for all, a fraternalism. Socialism aims to produce an environment where not only the Golden Rule, but the Law of Love will have a living chance." The "Republic of the Golden Rule" is a reference to the authoriatian socialist society in which Julian West awakens in Edward Bellamy's book "Looking Backward."
1891 Advertisements list together the books of Charles Bellamy, Edward Bellamy and Karl Marx http://rexcurry.net/bellamy-charles-brother1891.pdf
and at http://rexcurry.net/bellamy-charles-edward1891.pdf
1892 The year the Francis Bellamy wrote the Pledge Of Allegiance was the year that the immigration station on Ellis Island opened. Many people, including the Bellamys, were fearful of immigration and the "new immigrants" coming from Southern and Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean rim. Most immigrants did not hold the Protestant Christian faith known to a majority of Americans. In the words of Emma Lazarus, they were the "wretched refuse" of older "teeming shores" ( Her famous poem using those words was affixed to the Statue of Liberty). The tide of immigration swelled to its greatest heights. Bellamy-style bigotry grew .
1892 (July 4) Edward Bellamy writes "Fourth of July, 1992" in the Boston Globe. Bellamy's historical revisionism recasts the American Revolution as leading inexorably to his utopian fantasy and the article alludes to "Looking Backward" in predicting, by the year 1992, a "new declaration of independence" that will enact the Bellamy dogma and abolish the distinctions of "employer and employed, capitalist and proletarian" and that it will come "peaceably or forcibly. "
1892 In August, Francis Bellamy finishes penning the Pledge of Allegiance (with a straight-arm salute). James Upham and Francis Bellamy were editor and associate editor of the Youth's Companion at the time. Francis had been given the assignment to prepare a celebration for Columbus Day, and he uses the assignment as an excuse to espouse his dogma. The Pledge is published in the "Youth's Companion" Magazine on September 8, 1892, along with an article ("The Meaning of the Four Centuries") wherein Francis Bellamy's historical revisionism recasts Columbus' "discovery of America" as leading inexorably to the Bellamy utopian fantasy. The article alludes to "Looking Backward" in predicting a government takeover of education that will eventually enact the Bellamy dogma. It was also a way for Bellamy and Upham to behave as socialists always do and use government to separate people from their money in government schools (socialist schools) by placing flags in every school. It is a process still followed today (In Florida, a law was imposed dictating that flags in schools were too small, and commanding that larger flags be placed in each classroom, including college and university classrooms http://rexcurry.net/debate-florida-legislature.html . Enormous amounts of money were wasted complying with the new dictate).
1892 (October 12, Columbus Day, the 400th Anniversary) Francis Bellamy was chairman of a committee of state superintendents of education in the National Education Association and he used the NEA to promote his pledge and dogma (including a government takeover of all schools). The government schools begin to impose and institutionalize segregation by law and to teach racism as official policy.
1894 Henry Demarest Lloyd says of Looking Backward, that the book was "debated by all down to the bootblack on the corner."
1895 New York became the ninth state to require displays of the National flag in government schools.
1896 Plessy v. Ferguson is decided by the U.S. Supreme Court which upholds a government law imposing and requiring “separate but equal” seating upon railroads, and that reasoning is carried over to government schools that impose segregation and teach racism.
1897 Edward Bellamy's book "Equality" is published, the sequel to "Looking Backward." The "American swastika" appears for the first time as the "equality symbol" ( = ) repeated all over the cover of the book "Equality." http://rexcurry.net/bellamy-edward-equality-swastika.jpg While the swastika/hakenkreuz was the symbol for German National Socialists, the "equals sign" was the "swastika" for American National Socialists. Bellamy wrote, "Nationalism is not based on the maxim 'To each according to his needs, from each according to his abilities.' Of course, as a matter of conscience, every man is bound to do all he can, and the needs of others are sacred claims upon his service but both abilities and needs are indeterminate, and therefore could not be made the basis of any regulation to be enforced by society. The principle of Nationalism is: From all equally to all equally." (Some Misconceptions of Nationalism, by Edward Bellamy in The Christian Union, Nov. 13, 1890). The book Equality continues the story of Julian West in Bellamy's totalitarian future of National Socialism. In whole or in part, it was translated into Danish and Swedish. see http://www.gutenberg.org
1898 the New York state legislature imposes the first statute forcing children in government schools to robotically chant the socialist's pledge. Other states follow.
The legislature required the Commissioner of Education to provide the programs and the Education Department published a book on flag history with suggested lessons and ceremonies in 1910. Included was the original Balch pledge, then recommended for the elementary grades. Here is a later example regarding the Pledge Of Allegiance http://rexcurry.net/reciting-the-pledge-of-allegiance1918.jpg
1898 The Blindman's World and Other Stories by Edward Bellamy [Int. by Howells, W. D.] is published in Boston and New York, by Houghton, Mifflin and Co.
The book is a collection of short stories including the title story written in 1885, wherein "an astronomer's 'dream soul' is transported to Mars and communicates with its advanced human inhabitants."
1898 Edward Bellamy dies of consumption (tuberculosis). His book "Looking Backward" details his weltanschauung, but he didn't have to look back at most of the world’s socialist slaughter. Although Edward Bellamy was a bitter West Point failure, he loved Prussian militarism and the Prussian educational system and, according to Tom Peyser, "On his deathbed, he wiled away the hours by arranging tin soldiers along the folds of his coverlet."
1900 Francis Bellamy completed and issued in book form Edward Bellamy's 1879 work The Duke of Stockbridge. The historical romance dealing with Shays' Rebellion had been published serially in 1879. see http://www.gutenberg.org
1905 a Finnish translation of "Equality" was published in 1905 in Hancock, Michigan.
1905 "By 1905, Prussian trained Americans, or Americans like John Dewey who apprenticed at Prussian-trained hands, were in command of every one of our new institutions of scientific teacher training: Columbia Teacher’s College, the University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins, the University of Wisconsin, Stanford," according to the author John Taylor Gatto. "The domination of Prussian vision, and the general domination of German philosophy and pedagogy, was a fait accompli among the leadership of American schooling. " And, "You should care about this for the compelling reason that German practices were used here to justify removal of intellectual material from the curriculum it may explain why your own children cannot think. That was the Prussian way – to train only a leadership cadre to think. " And, "Of all the men whose vision excited the architects of the new Prussianized American school machine, the most exciting were a German philosopher named Hegel and a German doctor named Wilhelm Wundt. . G. Stanley Hall, one of Wundt’s personal protégés (who as a professor at Johns Hopkins had inoculated his star pupil, John Dewey, with the German virus) . shrewdly sponsored and promoted an American tour for the Austrian doctor Sigmund Freud so that Freud might popularize his theory that PARENTS AND THE FAMILY WERE THE CAUSE OF VIRTUALLY ALL MALADJUSTMENT (emphasis added) – all the more reason to remove their little machines to the safety of schools." And, " Teacher training in Prussia was founded on three premises, which the United States subsequently borrowed. The first of these is that the state is sovereign, the only true parent of children. Its corollary is that BIOLOGICAL PARENTS ARE THE ENEMIES OF THEIR OFFSPRING. When Germany’s Froebel invented Kindergarten, it was not a garden for children he had in mind but a garden of children, in which state-appointed teachers were the gardeners of the children. Kindergarten is meant to PROTECT CHILDREN FROM THEIR OWN MOTHERS" And, " The best-known device to break the will of the young, practiced for centuries among English and German upper classes, was the separation of parent and child AT AN EARLY AGE. Here now was an institution backed by the police power of the state to guarantee that separation. . "
1907 the USA’s salute is used in a fictional Roman scene in the American film "Ben-Hur."
1908 the salute occurs in film in the Italian "Nerone."
1910 CHARLES JOSEPH BELLAMY died (he was born in 1852).
1913 the Federal Reserve Act is imposed, expanding the government's ability to print, counterfeit and inflate money, leading to more depressions created by the government, including the Great Depression in 1929.
1914-1918 WWI. Hitler awarded the Iron Cross Medal (Ritterkreuz -"Rider Cross" or "Knight's Cross") . In Nov. 1918, the Kaiser and the House of Hollenzollern had fallen. The “Fatherland” was now a republic. The war was over.
1914 the salute occurs in film in "Spartaco" and "Cabiria."
1915 A memorial edition of "Looking Backward" is published with introduction by Sylvester Baxter of the Boston Herald, one of the first members of the Boston Nationalist Club in 1888.
1916 The Wonder Children, Their Quests and Curious Adventures, by Charles J. Bellamy. The MacMillan Company. 321 pages. Stories of Christmas Eve, Three Fishes, Enchanted Cave, Bad Boy, Golden Key, Magic Mirror, Boy who Teased, Underworld and Three Wishes.
1919 in imitation of such films, self-styled Italian "Consul" Gabriele D 'Annunzio borrowed the salute as a propaganda tool for his political ambitions upon his occupation of Fiume in 1919. Earlier, D'Annunzio had worked with Giovanni Pastrone in his colossal epic Cabiria (1914). Mussolini had worked with D'Annunzio.
1919 Anton Drexler, Gottfried Feder and Dietrich Eckart form what will become the Nazi Party, and they use the name “German Worker's Party.”
1919 The Prohibition Party's most infamous deed was in 1919, with the passage of the 18th Amendment, which outlawed alcohol. National prohibition under the 18th Amendment was repealed by the 21st Amendment in 1933. Modern prohibiton continues as does the loss of individual rights. Edward and Francis supported prohibition. Read more at http://rexcurry.net/drugs-prohibition-party-today.html
1920 Francis Bellamy gives speech "The Pledge of Allegiance: How I Came to Write It" in the New York City Stadium.
1920 the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazi Party) takes its name. The party program includes the German version of the social security scam “We demand that generous improvements be made in old-age pensions” and a government takeover of schools.
1920 Another mystical India-Germany promoter of National Socialism was Savitri Devi. Known as the "Aryan Hindu prophetess," she believed that Hitler was an avatar or god come to earth. Born Maximiani Portas, she became a strong admirer of Hitler in the 1920s, moved to India in 1932 because of its caste system, and took a Hindu name. Later, her writings were republished, and she gained new fans in the 1970s as new interest in National Socialism spread. Devi died in 1982, but the author boasted that her combination of Hindu religion and Nordic racial ideology became a bridge between National Socialism and the New Age movements.
1920s the German American Bund movement consists of American National Socialists who support German National Socialists. During this time, the American National Socialists (and their children in government schools) pledge allegiance to the flag using the straight-arm salute. http://rexcurry.net/pledgeapology.html
1922 Francis Bellamy retires to Tampa, Florida and continues to speak & write about his authorship of the pledge.
1923 Francis Bellamy article in Elks Magazine: "A Twenty-Three Word National Creed: How the Most Widely Known Patriotic Formula in America Came Into Existence."
1923 Lenin, the Bolshevik founder (not Stalin), begins his first concentration camp (the Gulag) at the Solovetsky Islands -or Solovki- a string of small islands in the White Sea near the Arctic Circle.
1924 The Elks Magazine of June 1924, Vol. 3, Edition # 1 contains "A twenty-three word national creed" by Francis Bellamy with photos of correspondence. Hence, Bellamy continued to promote his National Socialist dogma and the stiff-arm salute (and robotic chanting to flags) among various civic groups, as the Bellamys had done while they were Freemasons in Masonic Lodges. http://rexcurry.net/1qb1.html
1925 Mein Kampf is published and the terms "Nazi" and "Fascist" are never used in the book in reference to the Party. The terms "socialist" and "national socialist" are used repetitively in reference to the Party.
1925 Everybody's Magazine FEBRUARY contains article by Francis Bellamy.
1927 The Dutch Bellamy movement emerged in the Netherlands.
1929 Francis Bellamy is quoted in the Tampa Tribune Newspaper about the pledge and his authorship of it.
1930 electoral breakthroughs for the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.
1930s The wife and daughter Edward Bellamy (1850) were key figures in the revival of interest in Bellamy and his writings during the 1930s during the government-created depression. With several other notable individuals, including journalist Heywood Broun and educator John Dewey, the two Bellamy women were part of what Broun called a "Back to Bellamy" movement. The daughter, Mrs. Earnshaw, tried to revive Edward's Nationalist movement and she was president of the International Alliance of Bellamy Clubs.
1930 (June) The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act imposed the harshest tariffs in U.S. history. It is sold as "Nationalism" to "protect" farmers against foreigners. It causes poverty, misery and exacerbates the worldwide depression and makes it "Great" and long-lasting.
1931 Francis Bellamy dies in Tampa, Florida at age 76. He died just as his salute & ideas became even more infamous. He lived long enough to see part of the socialist slaughter in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the beginning of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party aping his straight-arm salute.
1931 Looking Backward published in new edition with introduction by journalist Heywood Broun. Broun suggested: "Many of the questions both of mood and technique are even more pertinent in the year 1931 than they were in 1887." (A frightening comment as the National Socialist German Workers Party followed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in mass slaughter).
1932 Equality by Edward Bellamy is published again by D. Appleton and Company of New York and London 1932. Also shows copyright of 1924, by Mrs. Emma Bellamy Hadley. http://rexcurry.net/equality.html
1933 (3-4-1933) FDR takes office and feverishly imposes socialist programs including the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps run by the military.
1933 (3-23-1933) dictatorship is imposed by leader of National Socialist German Workers’ Party.
1933 the International Bellamy Association (IVB) is founded in Rotterdam. By the end of the 1930s the IVB has around 10,000 followers.
1933 The Golden Book Magazine Issue Date: JUNE, 1933 VOL. XVII, No. 102 "A SOLUTION FOR UNEMPLOYMENT" by Edward Bellamy spouts Bellamy's National Socialist dogma in America after German National Socialists impose dictatorship.
1933 the first concentration camp begins under the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. It will utilize numbering and eventually, at Aushwitz, tattooing of numbers upon victims.
1933 "Back to Bellamy," by Heywood Broun in World-Telegram (7-19-33), reprinted in Broun, It Seems to Me, 1925 (see below).
1933 Movie idea of "Looking Backward" is mentioned in letter of August 29, 1933 written by CARL LAEMMLE on Universal Pictures Corporation stationary, written to Lester Anderson, an early science-fiction fan (see Locus Volume 25:4 No.357 Oct 1990).
1933 Franklin Delano Roosevelt was so impressed by Bellamy's book "Looking Backward" that Roosevelt wrote "Looking Forward"
http://rexcurry.net/fdr-franklin-delano-roosevelt-looking-forward.jpg on Roosevelt's way to impose Bellamy's national socialism in America.
1933 National prohibition under the 18th Amendment is repealed by the 21st Amendment. Modern prohibiton continues today as does the loss of individual rights. Edward and Francis supported prohibition. Read more at http://rexcurry.net/drugs-prohibition-party-today.html
1934 "Triumph of the Will," directed by Leni Riefenstahl, shows the National Socialist German Workers' Party parading its industrial army. In keeping with their socialist dogma, Hitler is praised as an "epitome of altruism" and the speakers refer to each other as "comrades" who will cause a "revolution of the people and workers" to end "class struggle" and create "egalitarianism." http://rexcurry.net/filmrev-triumph-of-the-will.html
1935 Lillian and William Gobitas refuse to stand and recite the pledge in Minersville, Pennsylvania and are persecuted and expelled. As under Nazism, Jehovah's Witnesses and others in the USA were persecuted for refusing to perform the straight-arm salute and robotically chant the pledge. They were also expelled from government schools and had to use the many better alternatives.
1935 Two years following Roosevelt's proclamation of a "new deal" for America, Broun wrote: "I think there should be a great revival of interest in the work of Edward Bellamy, for notions which he expressed before the beginning of the century are just now coming into articulation and a few, indeed, into action." Broun, It Seems to Me, 1925 (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1935), 207.
1935 the USA’s Congress imposed the social security scam and nationwide numbering began.
1935 Columbia University requested three people – John Dewey, a philosopher Charles Beard, a historian and Edward Weeks, the editor of Atlantic Monthly – to list the ten most influential books from 1885 to 1935 on all three lists, prepared independently, Looking Backward appeared second on the list, the first being Karl Marx’s Das Kapital. It shows how Bellamy's socialism was being compared with Marx's socialism for blending or as an alternative. It is important to remember that during this time of Bellamy's great influence, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party had been in existence since 1920, with electoral breakthroughs in 1930, and dictatorship in 1933.
1936 Mrs. Emma S. Bellamy and Miss Marion Bellamy addressed a public meeting in Portland on the topics of "Edward Bellamy as I Knew Him" and "Edward Bellamy Today."
1936 Jesse Owens competed in the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany, while his neighbors in the USA attended segregated government schools where they saluted the flag with the Nazi salute.
1937 Edward Bellamy Speaks Again! By the Peerage Press, First Edition. http://rexcurry.net/bellamy-edward-speaks-again-francis-bellamy.jpg The spread of Bellamy ideas was reinforced with these additional "Articles, Public Addresses, Letters." http://rexcurry.net/bookchapter1a1h.html
1937 The broad international interest in Bellamy dogma and the revival of that interest in the 1930s is reflected by a 1937 edition of "Looking Backward" translated into Esperanto (an international language) by L.L. Zamenhof - and published under the auspices of the International Bellamy League in The Netherlands.
1938 publication of “Talks on Nationalism.” Edward Bellamy died in 1898, yet this book revives his dogma in the USA, Germany and worldwide.
Roosevelt’s national socialism coincided with the 1938 publication of “Talks on Nationalism” by Edward Bellamy. It is a terrifying look at how socialists in the USA inspired Nazism (the National Socialist German Workers’ Party). Edward Bellamy died in 1898, but people put this book together in 1938 to widen Bellamy ideas worldwide, in the USA (under Roosevelt’s national socialism), and in Germany via the Nazis.
1938 John Hope Franklin, "Edward Bellamy and the Nationalist Movement," The New England Quarterly, Vol 11, December, 1938 p. 739-772
1939 U.S. Flag Association Committee examines authorship controversy and believes that Bellamy is the author, not Upham. It examines evidence presented by David Bellamy and the family of James Upham.
1939 The National Socialist German Workers' Party and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics demonstrated the swastika's symbolism of socialists joining together, as allies to invade Poland, under a pact to divide up Europe (the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, or Nazi-Soviet Pact).
1940 Edward Bellamy, The Religion of Solidarity, ed. Arthur E. Morgan, Antioch Bookplate Company. Published posthumusly.
1940 the US Supreme Court rules that requiring the Gobitas children to salute the flag or be expelled did not violate their free speech right. Violence occurs in the USA against people who do not perform the straight-arm salute or chant the pledge. The Gobitas children leave government schools for the better alternatives.
The Court's decision adds to the Pledge's long history of persecution and violence. There are acts of student violence, teacher violence, police violence and mob violence. There were arrests and prosecutions. Children are taken away from their parents on the government's claim of "unfit parenting" if the children are not forced to pledge. Some kids were expelled from government schools and had to use the many better alternatives. The government schools then persecuted those non-government schools. During this time, the government's schools imposed segregation by law and taught racism as official policy. The USA's behavior was an example for three decades before the Nazis. As under Nazism, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and blacks and the Jewish and others in the USA attended government schools that dictated segregation, taught racism, and persecuted children who refused to perform the straight-arm salute and robotically chant the Pledge. The Bellamys supported the government's takeover of education.
1941 Tattooing of concentration camp prisoners begins at Auschwitz.
1941 (December 7th) attack on Pearl Harbor. U.S. enters WWII against Japan.
1941 (December 11th) Germany & Italy declare war on U.S. and the U.S. reciprocates in kind.
1942 (June 22) the pledge was recognized by Congress in the Flag Code, the straight-arm salute is changed to the hand-over-the-heart. In 1942, after the USA entered the war against Germany, the salute changed from the stiff-arm salute to the hand-over-the-heart. The change was form over substance. Children in some government schools (socialist schools) were taught that, henceforth, they would be forced to perform the robotic chanting with the right hand over the heart in order to replace the previous blind obedience represented by the old stiff-arm salute used by German National Socialists that the children had been forced to perform in the past. At that time, children were still expelled and persecuted for refusing to participate, even with the "new and improved" ritual.
1942 correspondence begins between Margarette S. Miller and others regarding her investigation of the authorship of the Pledge.
1943 the Supreme Court reverses itself and rules that students could not be forced to recite the pledge West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette
Even after German National Socialism, writers continued to cover up for the Bellamys and ignore any comparison
1944 Elizabeth Sadler, "One Book's Influence: Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward" The New England Quarterly, Vol 17, December 1944, 530-555
1944: The German Army adopts the salute of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (which was actually the "American" salute from Francis Bellamy's early Pledge of Allegiance). The German Army abandons the standard military salute. German National Socialists are probably aware that the National government in the USA has tried to have the stiff-arm salute abandoned in the USA (from 1942).
1944 or 1945 Arthur E. Morgan, The Philosophy of Edward Bellamy, King's Crown Press, 1945
1944 One Book's Influence Edward Bellamy's "Looking Backward" by Elizabeth Sadler in The New England Quarterly, Vol. 17, No. 4 (Dec., 1944), pp. 530-555 references the newly issued authoritative biography by Arthur E. Morgan and states "The daughter and widow of the author report that in recent years they have heard from Bellamy groups in New Zealand, Switzerland, France, the Scandinavian countries. [et cetera].
1945 (May 22) Paul Bellamy, son of Edward Bellamy and editor-in-chief of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, writes an introduction to his father's book "Looking Backward" (published by the World Publishing Co., of Cleveland Ohio). It is interesting to note that Paul does not mention the National Socialist German Workers' Party, nor the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, nor even World War II, in that introduction to his father's book on May 22, 1945.
1945 Although the National Socialist German Workers' Party turned the swastika symbol into overlapping "S" shapes for "socialism," the Theosophical Society did not alter the swastika on its logo until the NSDAP demonstrated the deadly dogma of socialism to the world. http://rexcurry.net/bellamy-blavatsky-brooch.gif
Thereafter, the Theosophical Society changed its logo so that the "S" letters are now reversed and their shape has been altered to make the symbol less apparent.
http://rexcurry.net/theosophy-madame-blavatsky-theosophical-society.html The Theosophical Society still exists. It is remarkable to note that at the time this was written, the Theosophical Society of America (TSA) continued to maintain its Springfield Branch office at the Edward Bellamy House, 93 Church Street, Chicopee, MA and also its library.
1945 (May 30) (Just a few weeks after the end of German occupation). The National Bellamy Party (NBP) is founded by a group of six leaders of the International Bellamy Association (IVB) in Groningen. The chairman of the party was J. Derksen Staats. IVB, which was reorganized after the war, did not actively support the idea of a political party.
1945 (August 15th WWII ends with surrender of Japan). Yet the socialist Wholecaust (of which the Holocaust was a part) will continue for decades:
60 million slaughtered by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
50 million by the Peoples' Republic of China (and the previous
20 million by the National Socialist German Workers' Party).
1947 (April) Van den Muyzenberg and the majority of the National Bellamy Party (NBP) members left to join the Progressive Party for a World Government.
1949 (October 1st) Mao Zedong also promotes the idea of world government, and he proclaims the founding of the People's Republic of China. Massive bloodshed follows.
1952 Flag Day Award Ceremony programs (1952 and 1954), organized by Margarette S. Miller
1952 Pledge material is presented to the University of Rochester Library by David Bellamy on October 18, 1952.
1954 Brown v. Board of Education begins to slowly end segregation imposed by law in government schools, with racism taught as official policy. http://rexcurry.net/pledge-allegiance-pledge-allegiance.jpg Francis Bellamy and Edward Bellamy supported government takeover (socialism) for all schools. When the government granted their wish, it imposed segregation by law and taught racism as official policty. Before 1943 , the Bellamy Pledge of Allegiance had been imposed by law, and to varying degrees it was still imposed in 1954 and still is imposed, even beyond the year 2000 (especially following the imposition of the USA's police state on 9-11-2001).
1955 The Order of the Eastern Star erected a memorial tablet to Francis Bellamy in Oriskany, New York.
1956 The Pledge authorship controversy arose again when news reports again asserted Upham's authorship. The Library of Congress appointed a team of clowns to officially "finalize" the decision as to the authorship of the Pledge. The Library of Congress Legislative Reference Service issued a report affirming Francis Bellamy as the author of the Pledge in 1957. Margarette Miller was involved in the work and wrote a book about it in 1976.
1958 The Year 2000: A Critical Biography of Edward Bellamy is published by Sylvia E. Bowman. It is not very critical at all.
1960 Signet edition of Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward: 2000-1887 with a forward by Erich Fromm.
1962 Pledge material is presented to the University of Rochester Library by Mrs. David Bellamy on January 16, 1962.
1966 The NEA did not integrate its membership until 1966 and only in the late 1960's did the NEA begin to support aggressively the same idea in most state government school systems.
1966 May, socialist students were encouraged to carry copies of Mao's Little Red Book of quotations. These "Red Guards" used his quotations to attack "intellectuals" (anyone not stupid enough to embrace socialism) with themes such as "Correcting Mistaken Ideas."
1967 et seq The U.S. practice of official racism and segregation in government schools outlasted the horrid Nazi Party, into the 1960's and beyond. Thereafter, the Bellamy legacy caused more police-state racism of forced busing that destroyed communities and neighborhoods and deepened hostilities.
1976 Margarette S. Miller writes "Twenty-Three Words: The Life Story of the Author of the Pledge of Allegiance as Told in His Own Words." The introduction is by Frank P. Di Berardino III.
1986 Nancy Snell Griffith. Edward Bellamy: A Bibliography. [Scarecrow Author Bibliographies, no. 78] Metuchen, NJ: 1986. 185pp.
1988 Peggy Ann Brown. "Edward Bellamy: An Introductory Bibliography," American Studies International, 26.2 (1988):37-50.
1988 Richard Toby Widdicombe. Edward Bellamy: An Annotated Bibliography of Secondary Criticism. NY: Garland, 1988. 587pp.
1991 Merritt Abrash wrote "Looking Backward: Marxism Americanized" In M.S. Cummings & N.D. Smith (Eds.)., Utopian Studies IV (pp. 6-9). Lanham, MD: University Press of America.
1991 According to Gail Collins ". far more American workers read Looking Backward than ever made it through Marx. " Tomorrow Never Knows, The Nation, Vol. 252, Issue # 2, January 21, 1991.
2000 the year in which Bellamy’s book predicted a utopian socialist totalitarianism. The death toll for the socialist Wholecaust (of which the Holocaust was a part) is:
60 million by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics,
50 million by the Peoples' Republic of China,
20 million by the National Socialist German Workers' Party. It is the worst slaughter in history. All Holocaust Museums can quintuple in size and scope by adding Wholecaust Museums.
2003 Dr. Rex Curry, an attorney, helps with litigation against the pledge of allegiance that proceeds to the U.S. Supreme Court. In the process Professor Curry notices that the media will not tell the true story about the pledge’s author nor show any historic photo of the original salute. RexCurry.net is formed to set the record straight.
2003 The Oregon Historical Quaterly, Spring 2003, Vol 104 Number 1, contains the article “Looking Backwards at Edward Bellamy's Influence in Oregon, 1888-1936.”
2004 Tampa Florida is where Francis Bellamy died in 1931 and where his pledge of allegiance died also, much later. RexCurry.net disinterred Francis Bellamy, Edward Bellamy and the pledge. An atrocious autopsy was performed.
2004 A proposal begins that Holocaust Museums can quintuple in size and scope by adding Wholecaust Museums, and that Francis Bellamy and the pledge of allegiance should be added to the museums as the origin of the straight-arm salute and similar dogma that influenced the socialist Wholecaust.
2005 (December 23) News reports state that Cameron Frazier refused to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance at Boynton Beach High School and it sparked a Constitutional battle against his teacher and the Palm Beach County School Board. The 17-year-old junior claims in a federal lawsuit that he was ridiculed and punished Dec. 8 when he twice refused to stand for the pledge during his fourth-period algebra class.
2005 (March 1st) News reports state that an incident occurred in Brick Township, New Jersey. A video of the shocking behavior is at http://rexcurry.net/pledge-of-allegiance-flag-nazis.html
ONWARD: At the time this was written, internet searches indicated that the "Lucis Trust" http://www.lucistrust.org/ is a UN-accredited NGO (in "consultative status" with the United Nation's Economic and Social Council), and an officially acknowledged financial contributor to the United Nations. The "Lucis Trust" grew from the organization started by Alice Bailey in 1922 when she founded the "Lucifer Publishing Company" to publish her and Blavatsky's writings and also published a magazine entitled "Lucifer" wherein Edward Bellamy's dogma was promoted. Blavatsky (1831-1891), with her "Theosophical Society," is considered the mother of New Age Socialism and modern Occult Socialism. Bailey (1880-1949, née Alice LaTrobe Bateman) left Blavatsky's group and founded her own "Arcane School," wherein the term "New Age" itself originated.
At the time this was written, internet searches indicated that the Edward Bellamy Memorial Association and the Chicopee Historical Society and the Theosophical Society of America (TSA library and Springfield Branch office) were headquartered at the Edward Bellamy House, 91 to 93 Church Street, Chicopee, MA. Recent lectures there included "Discovering the Secrets in the Akashic Records" and "Alchemical Art Therapy" and "Gnosis: An Ancient Path of Illumination." http://rexcurry.net/theosophy-madame-blavatsky-theosophical-society.html
Here is contact information that was listed: Edward Bellamy Memorial Association, Inc., Stephen Jendrysik, 91 Church Street, Chicopee MA 01020
TEL: 413 594-6496 email: [email protected]
CLICK FOR LARGER PLEDGE IMAGE Edward Bellamy Nazi salute http://rexcurry.net/edward%20bellamy.jpg Edward Bellamy
Edward Bellamy & Francis Bellamy Nazi salute http://rexcurry.net/francis%20bellamy.jpg Edward Bellamy