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.
By way of attempting to give the reader some general impression of the way people lived together in those days, and especially of the relations of the rich and poor to one
Looking Backward in and of itself is an amazing book that perceived the things and issues of the year 2000 nearly perfectly in 1888. The book inspired rights for workers, architecture, and indoor atriums as shopping malls that we take for granted today. For its time, this book and its future view was amazing, but most outstanding is the fact that the book foresaw our current times, and beautifully.
I don't have information on the Bellamys beyond this book, so the review here that precedes me is irrelevant to my review. I have visited a building built on the premise put forth in this book; filled with light, solar light and so beautiful.
Edward Bellamy is famous for his utopian novel set in the year 2000, Looking Backward from 2000 to 1887, published in 1888. According to the socialist and psychologist Erich Fromm, the book"...is one of the few books ever published that created almost immediately on its appearance a political mass movement." It was the third largest bestseller of its time. It appears by title in many of the major Marxist writings of the day. "Nationalist Clubs" sprang up in the USA and worldwide for touting the book's ideas. It was tranlsated into every major language including German, Russian and Chinese. It even influenced socialists in the countries of the socialist Wholecaust (of which the Holocaust was a part): 65 million dead under the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; 49 million under the Peoples' Republic of China; 21 million under the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSGWP).
Edward influenced his cousin Francis Bellamy, famous for the Pledge of Allegiance, created for promoting their dogma in government schools. The Bellamys admired the military and they wanted the entire economy to ape the military. They called their dogma "military socialism" and "Christian Socialism" and they wanted government to take over all schools and create the "industrial army" from children to spread the Bellamy vision. Francis' early pledge was the origin of the straight-arm salute of the NSGWP, as discovered by the historian Dr. Rex Curry, author of "Pledge of Allegiance Secrets." Shocking photos are on the web.
People were persecuted for refusing to pledge or to perform the straight-arm salute to the national flag. That was to the flag of the USA (the stars and stripes) and of Germany (the swastika flag) as it happened at the same time. Some religious people considered it sacrilegious. There were good reasons to view the pledge/salute as the worship of government. Most people do not know that a cross was worshiped as the notorious symbol German National Socialism. The NSGWP called their symbol the Hakenkreuz, not the swastika. Hakenkreuz means "hooked cross." Although the swastika was an ancient symbol, Professor Rex Curry (author of "Swastika Secrets") discovered that it was also used sometimes by German National Socialists to represent "S" letters for their "socialism." With a 45 degree turn of his Hakenkreuz, the leader of the NSGWP combined the cross with collectivism, merged church and state, meshed religion and socialism, and mandated the worship of government.
Edward Bellamy's book "The Religion of Solidarity" predated the NSGWP, and shows how Bellamy combined the cross with collectivism, merged church and state, and meshed religion and socialism. Through the pledge and schools the Bellamys mandated the worship of government.
The Bellamys were bigots, racists, and xenophobes and they obsessed about immigrants coming into the USA. They wanted government to take over education and to use schools to change everyone and make everyone "equal." When the government granted their wish and began taking over schools, the government imposed segregation by law and taught racism as official policy. It served as a bad example for three decades before the NSGWP. The practice in the USA even outlasted the NSGWP by more than 15 years.
Edward's book Equality (1897) shows his disdain for individuality and differences and his desire to make everyone the same. The book did not equal its prequel in success. It continues Julian West's life in the future.