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Full text of "The republic of the future, or, Socialism a reality"

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( UBRARY 

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tlbe 
Republic of tbe jfuture 



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COPYRIGHT, 

1887, 
By O. M. DUNHAM. 



^ O 

LOAN STACK 



Press W. L. Mershon 8e Co,, 
Rahway, N. J. 



LETTERS FROM A 

SWEDISH NOBLEMAN LIVING IN THE QIST CENTURY 
TO A FRIEND IN CHRISTIANIA. 



073 



The Republic of the Future. 




The Republic of the Future* 



i. 

NEW YORK SOCIALISTIC CITY, 

December 1st, 2050 A. D. 
DEAR HANNEVIG : 

At last, as you see, my journey is safely 
iccomplished, and I am fairly landed in the 
inidst of this strange socialistic society. To 
>ay that I was landed, is to make use of so 
obsolete an expression that it must entirely fail 
:o convey to you a true idea of the processes 



The Republic of the Future. 



of the journey. Had I written I was safely 
shot into the country this would much more 
graphically describe to you the method of my 
arrival. 

You may remember, perhaps, that before 
starting I found myself in very grave doubt as 
to which route to take whether to come by 
balloon or by tunnel. As the latter route would 
enable me to enjoy an entirely novel spectacle, 
that of viewing sub-marine scenery, I chose, 
and wisely I now know, to come by the Pneu 
matic Tube Electric Company. The comforts 
and luxuries of this sub-marine routeare beyond 
belief. The perfection of the contrivances for 
supplying hot and cold air, for instance, during 
the journey, are such that the passengers are 
enabled to have almost any temperature at com 
mand. The cars are indeed marked 70 Fahr., 
80 and 100. One buys one s seat according 



The Republic of the Future. 



to his taste for climate. Many of the travellers, 
I noticed, booked themselves for the bath de 
partment, remaining the entire journey in the 
Turkish, Russian, vapor or plunge depart 
ments as the various baths attached to this 
line surpass a Roman voluptuary s dream of 
such luxuries. I, however, never having been 
through the great tunnel before, was naturally 
more interested in what was passing so swiftly 
before my eyes. The speed at which we were 
shot was terriffic five miles to the minute- 
making the journey of three thousand miles 
just ten hours long. In spite of the swiftness 
of our transit, we were enabled by the aid of 
the instantaneous photographic process, as ap 
plied to opera-glasses and telescopes, to feel 
that we lost nothing by the rapidity of our 
meteor-like passage. I was totally unprepared 
for the beauties and the novelties which met 



io The Republic of the Future. 



my eye at every turn. The sight-seers car is 
admirably arranged. Fancy being able to take in 
all the wonders of ocean-land through large glass 
port-holes in the concave sides of circular cars. 
The tube itself, which is of iron, enormously 
thick, has glass sides, also of huge thickness, 
running parallel with the windows of the car 
so that the view is unobstructed. The sensa 
tions awakened, therefore, both by the novelty 
of the situation and by the wonders we passed 
in review, combined to make the journey thrill- 
ingly exciting. We were swept, for instance, 
past armies of fishes, beautiful to behold in 
such masses, shimmering in their opalescent 
armor as they rose above, or sank out of sight 
into the depths below. The sudden depressions 
and abrupt elevations of the sea-level made the 
scenery full of diversity. There was a great 
abundance of color, with the vivid crimson of 



The Republic of the Future. 1 1 

the coralline plants and the delicate pinks and 
yellows of the many varieties of the sub-marine 
flora. It seemed at times as if we were caught 
in a liquid cloud of amber, or were to be en 
meshed in a grove of giant sea-weeds. 

Beyond all else, however, in point of interest, 
was the spectacle of the wholesale cannibalism 
going on among the finny tribes, a cannibalism 
which still exists, in spite of the persistent and 
unwearying exertions of the numerous Societies 
for the Prevention of Cruelty among Cetacea 
and Crustacea. We passed any number of small 
boats darting in and out among the porpoises, 
dolphins and smaller fish, delivering supplies 
(of proper Christian food) and punishing offend 
ers. A sub-marine missionary, who chanced 
to sit next tome, told me that of all vertebrate 
or invertebrate animals, the fish is the least 
amenable to reformatory discipline ; fishes 



1 2 The Republic of the Future. 

appear to have been born, he went on to say, 
without the most rudimentary form of the moral 
instinct, and, curiously enough, only flourish in 
proportion as they are allowed to act out 
their original degenerate nature. He also 
confessed privately to me, that after some 
twenty-five years active work among them, the 
results of his labors were most discouraging. 
Since, however, the Buddhistic doctrine of 
metempsychosis has come to be so universally 
accepted, and as each one of these poor creat 
ures is in reality a soul in embryo, it behoves 
mankind to do all that lies in its power to ele 
vate all tribes and species. 

As you may well imagine, my dear Hannevig, 
with such spectacles and speculations to enliven 
the journey, I found it all too short. Its short 
ness was, in truth, the only drawback to my 
complete enjoyment. The wonders of the 



The Republic of the Future. 



journey, I found, were, however, only a fitting 
prelude to the surprises that awaited me on my 
arrival. I leave an account of both these sur 
prises and of my first impressions of the great 
city until my next letter, as this one, I find, has 
already grown to the proportions of an ancient 
epistle. 

I am, my dear Hannevig, 

Your life-long friend and comrade, 

WOLFGANG. 




The Republic of the Future. 




II. 

DEAR HANNEVIG : 

The three days time which has elapsed since 
my last letter to you, has been so crowded with 

a confusion of bewildered impressions produced 



by this astonishing city and its still more aston 
ishing inhabitants, that I am in doubt whether 
I shall be able to convey to you any clearer 
pictures than those which fill the disordered 
canvas of my own mind. I will, however, strive 
to reproduce my experiences in the order in 
which they came to me, and allow you to draw 
your own conclusions. 



The Republic of the Future. 15 

The first amazing thing that happened to me 
was the way in which I reached my hotel. 
Fancy being blown up on the shore, for the 
pneumatic tube being many hundreds of feet 
below the shore level, we were literally blown 
up on the beach ; there we found air-balloon 
omnibuses, into which we and our luggage were 
transported by means of little electrical cars, 
running on an inclined plane. The balloon rose 
about a thousand feet into the air, affording a 
fine view of the city. Great is not a large 
enough word to describe so vast a city as this 
city of the Socialists it has the immensity of 
an unending plain, and the flatness of one also. 
In former times, I believe, the original city was 
an island, on either side of which flowed a 
river; but as more and more land became 
necessary new channels for these rivers were 
dug, and the river-beds filled in, so that now, 



1 6 The Republic of the Future. 

far as the eye can reach, there is a limitless 
expanse of roof-tops. 

As seen from an aerial elevation, there was 
nothing to attract the eye from the picturesque 
standpoint there were few large buildings of 
noticeable size or beauty. The city was chiefly 
remarkable because of its immensity. When 
landed at my hotel I found these first impres 
sions confirmed by a nearer view. 

First let me tell you, however, that after 
entering the vestibule of the hotel, I felt as if 
I had stepped into some dwelling of gnomes or 
sprites. Not a human being presented himself. 
No one appeared to take my luggage, nor was 
a clerk or hall boy visible anywhere. The great 
hall of the hotel was as deserted and silent as 
an empty tomb ; at first I could not even dis 
cover a bell. Presently, however, I saw a huge 
iron hand pointing to an adjacent table. On the 



The Republic of the Future. 



table lay a big book with a placard on which 
was printed, " Please write name, country, 
length of stay and number of rooms desired" 
All of which I did. The book then miraculously 
closed itself and disappeared ! The next instant 
a tray made its appearance where the book had 
been, on the tray was a key, and on the key a 
tag with a number and the words, " Take ele 
vator at your left to third flight." The elevator 
as I stepped into it, stopped as if by magic at 
the third story, when another iron hand shot 
out of the wall, pointing me to the left. Soon 
I found the room assigned me, opened it, and 
entered to discover the apartment in complete 
order, and the faucets in the bath-chamber 
actually turned on ! 

My dear Hannevig, can you believe me when 
I tell you that I have been in this hotel four 
mortal days, have eaten three substantial meals 



1 8 The Republic of the Future. 



a day, have been fairly comfortable, and yet 
have not seen a human creature, from a land 
lord to a servant ? The whole establishment 
apparently is run by machinery. There is a 
complicated bell apparatus which you ring for 
every conceivable want or need. Meals are 
served in one s own room, by a system of in 
genious sliding shelves, which open and shut, 
and disappear into the wall in the most wizard- 
like manner. Of course the reason of all these 
contrivances is obvious enough. In a society 
where labor of a degrading order is forbidden 
by law, machinery must be used as its substi 
tute. It is all well enough, I presume, from the 
laborer s point of view. But for a traveller, 
bent on a pleasure trip, machinery as a 
substitute for a garrulous landlord, and a score 
of servants, however bad, is found to be a poor 
and somewhat monotonous companion. I 



The Republic of the Future. 19 

amuse myself, however, with perpetually test 
ing all the bells and the electrical apparatus, 
calling for a hundred things I don t want, to see 
whether they will come through the ceiling 
or up the floor. 

Most of my time, however, is spent in the 
streets. My earlier impressions of the city I find 
remain unchanged. It is as flat as your hand and 
as monotonous as a twice-told tale. Never 
was there such monotony or such dulness. 
Each house is precisely like its neighbor; each 
house has so many rooms, so many windows, 
so many square feet of garden, which latter no 
one cultivates, as flowers and grass entail a 
certain amount of manual labor, which, it 
appears, is thought to be degrading by these 
socialists. Imagine, therefore, miles upon miles 
of a city composed of little two-story houses as 
like one unto another as two brown nuts. There 



2 o The Republic of the Future. 

are parks and theatres and museums, and 
libraries, the Peoples Clubs, and innumerable 
state buildings ; but these are all architectur 
ally tasteless, as utility has been the only feat 
ure considered in their construction. Every 
thing here, from the laying out of the city to 
the last detail concerning the affairs of com 
merce or trade is arranged according to the 
socialistic principle by the people for the 
People. The city itself was rebuilt a hundred 
years ago, in order that the houses and the 
public buildings might be in more fitting har 
mony with the new order and principles of 
Socialism. What the older City of New York 
may have been, it is difficult to determine, 
although it is supposed to have been ugly 
enough. But this modern city is the very 
acme of dreariness. It is the monotony I think, 
which chiefly depresses me. It is not that the 



The Republic of the Future. 2 1 

houses do not seem comfortable, clean and 
orderly, for all these virtues they possess. 
But fancy seeing miles upon miles of little two- 
story houses ! The total lack of contrast 
which is the result of the plan on which this 
socialistic city has been built, comes, of course, 
from the principle which has decreed that no 
man can have any finer house or better interior, 
or finer clothes than his neighbor. The aboli 
tion of poverty, and the raising of all classes 
to a common level of comfort and security, has 
resulted in the most deadening uniformity. 
Take for example, the aspect of the shop win 
dows. All shops are run by the government on 
government capital ; there is, consequently, nei 
ther rivalry nor competition. The shop keep 
ers, who are in reality only clerks and sales 
men under government jurisdiction, take 
naturally, no personal or vital interest either 



22 The Republic of the Future. 

in the amount of goods sold, or in the way in 
which these latter are placed before the public. 
The shop-windows, therefore, are as uninviting 
as are the goods displayed ; only useful, neces 
sary objects and articles are to be seen. The 
eye seeks in vain throughout the length 
and breadth of the city for any thing really 
beautiful, for the lovely, or the rare. Objects 
of art and of beauty find, it seems, no 
market here. Occasionally the Government 
makes a purchase of some foreign work 
of art, or seizes on some of those recently 
excavated from the ruins of some igth 
century merchant s palace. The picture or 
vase is then placed in the museums, where 
the people are supposed to enjoy its pos 
session. 

To connect the word enjoyment with the 
aspect of these serious socialists is almost 



The Republic of the Future. 23 

laughable. A more sober collection of people 
I never beheld. They are as solemn as the 
oldest and wisest of owls. They have the 
look of people who have come to the end of 
things and who have failed to find it amusing. 
The entire population appear to be eternally 
in the streets, wandering up and down, with 
their hands in their pockets, on the lookout for 
something that never happens. What in 
deed, is there to happen ? Have they 
not come to the consummation of every 
thing, of their dreams and their hopes 
and desires ? A man can t have his dream 
and dream it too. Realization has been 
found before now, to be exceedingly dull 
play. 

As it is, I am free to confess, that the dul - 
ness and apathy of these ideally-perfect social 
ists weighs on me. My views of their condition 



24 The Republic of the Future. 

may change when I come to know them 
better. 

It is late and I must close. 

Ever yours, W. 




The Republic of the Future. 




III. 

Curiously enough, my dear fellow, the very 
next day after dispatching my last, I found my 
self involved in a long and most interesting 
conversation with the daughter of one of the 
city residents. I had brought letters of intro 
duction to a certain gentleman, and after a 
search of some hours through the eternal laby 
rinth of these unending streets, found the house 
to which I had been directed. The gentleman, 
or rather citizen, as all men are called here, was 
not at home. I was, however, received by his 



26 The Republic of the Future. 

daughter, a plain but seemingly agreeable, in 
telligent young woman. The women dress so 
exactly like the men in this country that it is 
somewhat difficult to tell the sexes apart. 
Women, however, usually betray themselves as 
soon as they speak, by their voices. 

This young lady had an unusually pleasant 
voice and manner, and we were soon deep in 
the agreeable intricacies of a lengthy con 
versation. I had any number of questions to 
ask, and she appeared to be most willing to 
answer them. 

My first question, I remember, was an emi 
nently practical one. It was on the subject of 
chimneys and cooking. I had noticed almost 
immediately on my arrival that, throughout 
the entire city, not a chimney was to be seen. 
It was this fact more than any other that gave 
the city the appearance of a plain, and made the 



, The Republic of the Future. 2 7 

houses seem curiously deformed. It naturally 
followed that, there being no chimneys, there 
was also no smoke, which therefore made 
this already sufficiently clear atmosphere as 
pure as the air on a mountain-top. All very 
beautiful, I said to myself, but how do the 
people get along without cooking ? I, in my 
quality of stranger and foreigner, had made the 
interesting discovery that my own meals were 
prepared to my taste by specially appointed 
State cooks a law only recently passed to 
facilitate international relations. The latter, 
it appears, had become somewhat strained, 
when travelers had found themselves forced to 
abide by the rules and regulations governing 
the socialists diet. But what was this diet ? 
This was the mystery which had been puzzling 
me ever since my arrival. When therefore I 
found myself face to face with my young lady, 



28 The Republic of the Future. 

I promptly implored her to solve my dilemma. 
" Oh," she replied, " cooking has gone out 
long ago. To do any cooking is considered 
dreadfully old-fashioned." 

" Has eating also gone out of fashion in this 
wonderful country? " I asked in amazement. 

She laughed as she replied, " Eating hasn t, 
but we do it in a more refined way. Instead 
of kitchens we now have conduits, culinary 
conduits." 

" Culinary conduits? " I asked, still in a daze 
of wonderment. 

" Oh, I see you don t understand," she an 
swered ; u you haven t been here long enough 
to know how such things are arranged. Let me 
explain. The State scientists now regulate all 
such matters. Once a month our Officer of 
Hygiene comes and examines each member of 
the household. He then prescribes the kind of 



The Republic of the Future. 29 

food he thinks you require for the next few 
weeks, whether it shall be more or less phos 
phates, or cereals, or carnivorous preparations. 
He leaves a paper with you. You then touch 
this spring see?" and here she put her pretty 
white finger on a button in the wall. " You 
whistle through the aperture to the Culinary 
Board, put in the paper, and it is sent to the 
main office. You then receive supplies for 
the ensuing month." 

" And where is this wonderful board ? " 

"It is in Chicago, where all the great gran 
aries are. You know Chicago supplies the food 
for the entire United Community." 

" But Chicago is a thousand miles off. Isn t 
all the food stale by the time it reaches you ? 

Here she laughed, although I could see she 
tried very hard not to do so. But my ignorance 
was evidently too amazingly funny. When she 



30 The Republic of the Future. 

had regained composure she answered : " The 
food is sent to us by electricity through the 
culinary conduits. Every thing is blown to us 
in a few minutes* time, if it be necessary, if the 
food is to be eaten hot. If the food be cereals or 
condensed meats, it is sent by pneumatic 
express, done up in bottles or in pellets. All 
such food is carried about in one s pocket. We 
take our food as we drink water, wherever we 
may happen to be, when it s handy and when 
we need it. Although," she added with a 
sigh, " I sometimes do wish I had lived in the 
good old times, in the nineteenth century, for 
instance, when such dear old-fashioned customs 
were in vogue as having four-hour dinners, and 
the ladies were taken into dinner by the gen 
tlemen and every one wore full dress the dress 
of the period, and they used to flirt wasn t 
that the old word? over their wine and dessert. 



The Republic of the Future. 3 1 

How changed every thing is now ! However/ 
she quickly added, " if kitchens and cooking 
and long dinners hadn t been abolished, the 
final emancipation of women could never have 
been accomplished. The perfecting of the 
woman movement was retarded for hundreds 
of years, as you know, doubtless, by the slavish 
desire of women to please their husbands by 
dressing and cooking to suit them. When the 
last pie was made into the first pellet, woman s 
true freedom began. She could then cast off 
her subordination both to her husband and to 
her servants. Women were only free, indeed, 
when the State prohibited the hiring of ser 
vants. Of course, the hiring of servants at all 
was as degrading to the oppressed class as it 
was a clog to the progress of their mistresses 
freedom. The only way to raise the race 
was to put every one on the same level, 



32 The Republic of the Future. 

to make even degrees of servitude impos 
sible." 

" But how, may I be permitted to ask, is the 
rest of the housework accomplished, if no ser 
vants exist to take charge of so pretty a house 
as this one ? " (The house, my dear Hannevig, 
was in reality hideous, as bare and as plain as 
are all the houses here. Each is furnished by 
state law, exactly alike). 

" Oh, every thing is done by machinery, as at 
your hotel. Every thing, the sweeping, bed 
making, window scrubbing and washing. Each 
separate department has its various appliances 
and apparatus. The women of every house 
hold are taught the use and management of the 
various machines, you know, at the expense 
of the state, during their youth ; when they 
take the management of a house they can run 
it single-handed. Most of the machinery goes 



The Republic of the Future. 33 

by electricity. A house can be kept in perfect 
order by two hours work daily. The only hard 
work which we still have to do is dusting. No 
invention has yet been effected which dusts 
satisfactorily without breakage to ornaments, 
which accounts for the fact, also, that the 
fashion of having odds and ends about a home 
has gone out. It was voted years ago by the 
largest womans vote ever polled, that since men 
could not invent self-adjusting, non-destructive 
dusters, their homes must suffer. Women were 
not to be degraded to hand machines for the 
sake of ministering to men s aesthetic tastes. So 
you see we have only the necessary chairs and 
tables. If men want to see pictures thy can go 
to the museums." 

Perhaps it is this latter fact which accounts 
for my never being able to find the good citizen 
A at home. He is gone to the public club, 



34 The Republic of the Future. 

or to the bath, or to the Communal Theater, 
I am told, when I appear again and again. 
This wonderful community has done much, of 
that I am convinced, in the development of 
ideal freedom ; but there appears to be a fatal 
blight somewhere in its principles, a blight which 
seems to have destroyed all delight in domestic 
life. In my next I will tell you more and at 
length, of the peculiar development which the 
race has attained under these now well-estab 
lished emancipation doctrines, and of their 
results on the two sexes. 

I hope you are not wearying of my somewhat 
lengthy descriptions, but you yourself are to 
blame, as you bound me to such rigid promises 
of detail and accuracy. 

Farewell, dear companion, would you were 
here to use your wiser philosopher s eyes. 

I am yours, WOLFGANG. 



The Republic of the Future. 



35 




IV. 

DEAR FRIEND : No one thing, I think, strikes 
the foreigner s eye, on his arrival in this extra 
ordinary land so strongly as does the lack of 
variety and of taste displayed in the dress of 
either the men or the women. Both sexes 
dress, to begin with, as I said in my last, pre 
cisely alike. As it is one of the unwritten 
social laws of the people to dress as simply, 
economically and sensibly as possible, it results 
that there is neither brightness nor color nor 
beauty of line in any of the garments worn. In 



36 The Republic of the Future. 

passing the Government Clothing Distribution 
Bureaus, nothing so forcibly suggests the ideal 
equality existing between the sexes, as does the 
sight of the big and the little trowsers, hanging 
side by side, quite unabashed, the straight and 
the baggy legs being the only discernible 
difference. Baggy trowsers and a somewhat 
long, full cloak for the women straight-legged 
trowsers and a shorter coat for the men, this is 
the dress of the entire population. Some of the 
women are still pretty, in spite of their hideous 
clothes. But they all tell me, they wouldn t be 
if they could help it, as they hold that the 
beauty of their sex was the chief cause of their 
long-continued former slavery ; they consider 
comeliness now as a brand and mark of which to 
be ashamed. From what I have been able 
to observe, however, I should say that the 
prettiness which has descended to some of the 



The Republic of the Future. 37 

women fails to awaken any old-time sentiment 
or gallantry on the part of the men. There has, 
I learn, been a gradual decay of the erotic 
sentiment, which doubtless accounts for the 
indifference among the men ; a decay which is 
due to the peculiar relations brought about by 
the emancipation of woman. 

It is now nearly two hundred years since 
women have enjoyed the same freedom and 
rights as men. It is interesting and curious to 
note the changes, both upon the character and 
nature of the two sexes, which has been the 
result of this development. One s first impres 
sion, in coming here, is that women are the sole 
inhabitants of the country. One sees them 
everywhere in all the public offices, as heads 
of departments, as government clerks, as officials, 
as engineers, machinists, aeronauts, tax col 
lectors, firemen, filling, in fact, every office and 



The Republic of the Future. 



vocation in civil, political and social life. The 
few men by comparison, whom I saw seemed 
to me to be allowed to exist as specimen ex 
amples of a fallen race. Of course, this view 
is more or less exaggeration. But the women 
here do appear to possess by far the most 
energy, vigor, vitality and ambition. Their 
predominance in office just now is owing to their 
over-powering number, the women s vote polled 
being ten to one over that of the men. This 
strong sex influence has been fruitful in greatly 
changing and modifying the domestic, social 
and political laws of the community. 

Women, for instance, having satisfactorily 
emancipated themselves from the bondage of 
domestic drudgery and the dominion of ser 
vants, by means of the improvement in machin 
ery and the invention of the famous culinary 
conduits, found one obstacle still in their path 



The Republic of the Future. 39 

to complete and co-equal man-freedom. There 
still remained the children to be taken care of 
and brought up. As motherhood came in 
course of time to be considered in its true light, 
as perhaps the chief cause of the degradation 
of women, it was finally abolished by act of 
legislature. Women were still to continue to 
bear children, or else the socialistic society 
itself would cease to be. A law was passed 
providing that children almost immediately 
after birth, should be brought up, educated 
and trained under state direction to be returned 
to their parents when fully grown, and ready 
for their duties as men and women citizens. 
In this way women stand at last on as absolutely 
equal a physical plane with men as it is possible 
to make them. 

It has followed, of course, that with the juris 
diction of the state over the children of the 



40 The Republic of the Future. 

community, all family life has died out. Men 
and women live together as man and wife, but 
the relation between them has become more 
nominal than real. It is significant of the 
changes that have been brought about between 
the sexes, that the word " home " has entirely 
dropped out of the language. A man s house 
has in truth ceased to be his home. There are 
no children there to greet him, his wife, who is 
his comrade, a man, a citizen like himself, is as 
rarely at home as he. Their food can be eaten 
anywhere there is no common board ; there is 
not even a servant to welcome the master with a 
smile. The word wife has also lost all its origi 
nal significance. It stands for nothing. Hus 
band and wife are in reality two men having 
equal rights, with the same range of occupation, 
the same duties as citizens to perform, the 
same haunts and the same dreary leisure. 



The Republic of the Future. 41 



Is it therefore, my dear Hannevig, to be won 
dered at, that all ideas of love, and that all 
strong mutual attraction and affections should 
have died out between the sexes ? Man loves, 
longs for passionately and protects with tender 
solicitude only that which is difficult to con 
quer. The imagination must at least be in 
flamed. But where there is no struggle, no oppo 
sition, no conditions which breed longing, desire, 
or the poetry of a little healthy despair, how is 
love or any sentiment at all to be awakened or 
kindled ? Here there is no parental authority 
to make a wall between lovers, nor is there 
inequality of fortunes, nor any marked differ 
ence between the two sexes, even in their daily 
duties or in their lives, I am more and more 
impressed with the conviction, as I look into this 
question this question of what we should con 
sider the growth of an abnormal indifference 



42 The Republic of the Future. 

between the sexes that the latter cause is per 
haps the one which has been chiefly instrumen 
tal in the bringing about so complete a change 
over the face of the passions. Woman has 
placed herself by the side of man, as his co 
equal in labor and vocation, only to make the 
real distance between them the greater. She has 
gained her independence at the expense of her 
strongest appeal to man, her power as mistress, 
wife and mother. How can a man get up any 
very vivid or profound sentiment or affection 
for these men-women who are neither mothers 
nor housekeepers, who differ in no smallest 
degree from themselves in their pursuits and 
occupation ? Constant and perpetual compan 
ionship, from earliest infancy to manhood and 
old age has resulted in blunting all sense of any 
real difference between the sexes. Whatever 
slight inequalities may still exist between men 



The Republic of the Future. 43 

and women in the matter of muscular energy 
or physical strength is more than counter 
balanced by the enormous disproportion be 
tween them, numerically, as voters. 

Some very curious and important political 
changes have been effected by the preponder 
ance of the woman s vote. 

Wars, for instance, have been within the last 
fifty years declared illegal. Woman found that 
whereas she was eminently fitted for all men s 
avocations in time of peace, when it came to 
war she made a very poor figure of a soldier. 
Wars, therefore, were soon voted down ; foreign 
difficulties were adjusted by arbitration. As 
women, as a rule, were sent on these foreign 
diplomatic missions, I have heard it wickedly 
whispered that the chief cause of the usually 
speedy conclusion of any trouble with a foreign 
court was because of the babel of tongues which 



44 The Republic of the Future. 

ensued : a foreign court being willing to con 
cede any thing rather than to continue negotia 
tions with women-diplomatists. But this of 
course, is to be put down to pure malicious 
ness. Women since time immemorial, have 
had the best of man whenever it came to con 
tests of the tongue, and this appears to be the 
one insignia of their former prestige which the 
sex insists on claiming. 

In my next I shall try to give you some con 
ception of the position which man occupies, as 
a citizen and as worker in this community. I 
shall, I think, also be able to give you some 
most interesting results of the effects produced 
by the communistic, socialistic principles which 
have been incorporated into the constitution of 
this people. 

It is late and I am weary, so farewell for a 
few days. Ever and ever, . 



The Republic of the Picture. 



45 




V. 



More and more, as I study these institu 
tions, am I reminded of the resemblance be 
tween these American socialists and the 
ancient Spartans. The Spartan was also a 
part of the State had all things on a grand 
Communal scale had public games, public 
theaters, baths, museums and festivals, was 
brought up by the state, his womenkind being 
considered as a part of it. 

In this modern community, however, there 
are two important features which the sim 
pler Spartans did not have to cope with. 



46 The Republic of the Future. 

The Greeks stood at the dawn of civilization. 
The American finds himself at what he con- 
siders is the completion of it. Break away 
from his past as hard as ever he may try, 
he has still found himself heir to this past, 
and his heredity dominates him in spite 
of all his attempts to throw it off. The 
Greeks, also, were a warlike people, and the 
American is a peace lover, preferring the 
pipe to the sword. Perhaps above all else 
in the sum of these differences ought we 
to remember, the great factor of machinery as 
a substitute for manual labor. The sword 
raised man out of the dust. The piston has 
levelled him with it. I believe, my dear Han- 
nevig, that if machinery had never been in 
vented, socialism would never have been 
dreamed of. Machinery was the true cause of 
the conflict between capital and labor, and not 



The Republic of the Future. 47 

the unequal distribution of land, as the great 
founder of this Communal Society, Henry 
George, asserted in this book, the bible of this 
people. Machinery needed capital to run it, 
and was more or less indifferent to labor. The 
laborer, with machinery as his rival, stood a 
far less possible chance of becoming a capitalist 
himself than he did when battling against men ; 
his duties more and more closely resembling in 
their monotony and routine, the very ma 
chine that he was called on to feed, in turn 
re-acting on his natural aptitude. 

However, to go into the depths of this knotty 
question involves too much space for a letter. 
Let me, instead recall to your mind, as I have 
recently done to my own, the chief features of 
importance in the history of this people which 
have placed them where they now are. 

You recollect, of course, the terrible rei<m of 



48 The Republic of the Future, 

blood that took place during the awful conflict 
between the republican Americans and the 
socialists and anarchists in 1900. The war 
began, nominally, as an act of resistance on the 
part of the Americans against the encroaching 
and insistent demands of the socialists, de 
mands covering the abolishment of private 
ownership in land, of the division of property, 
both real and personal, and the overthrow, 
generally of all the then existing economic and 
social institutions. These socialists and an 
archists represented the foreign element in the 
country, those who had imported their revolu 
tionary doctrines with them. (If I remember 
rightly the early Americans had given all rights 
of citizenship to this foreign contingency, in a 
moment of mistaken Republican zeal, a polit 
ical mistake they lived to rue bitterly later). 
Well, at first in this anarchist war, the Ameri- 



The Republic of the Future. 49 

cans won, did they not ? I find my memory 
tripping me at times possibly would have con 
tinued to win had the war been conducted on 
strict military tactics. But the anarchists 
finding themselves unsuccessful as soldiers and 
warriors, resorted to the ingenious means of 
destroying their enemies by the use of explo 
sives. Dynamite accomplished what the can 
non and the bayonet were powerless to effect. 
Towns, cities and even the villages and ham 
lets, were lighted by the torch of electricity 
and seared level with the ground. Dynamite 
was reserved for the armies and for individual 
offenders. During that reign of destruction, it 
seemed as if not a man, woman or child would 
survive to carry even the memory of the great 
tragedy to their graves with them. 

However, since the anarchist s plan was to 
reconstruct the whole face of society on a new 



SO The Republic of the Future. 

basis, it was to be expected, of course, that the 
revolution they undertook as the means of 
effecting this would be carried through at what 
ever cost. 

There is one feature of this war which has 
always struck me as possessing a very humor 
ous side. The anarchists, you remember, were 
foreigners, chiefly Germans, Irishmen and a few 
Russians. When the war was ended, by the de 
struction of very nearly all the Republican con 
tingency, the anarchists broke out into dissen 
sion among themselves. The German element 
would not submit to Irish dictation the latter 
leaders having, apparently, a great opinion of 
their own talent for political leadership and 
the Irish in turn violently resisted the Ger 
man dicta. A veritable anarchy ensued, a 
war so fierce that it looked at one time as if 
the whole continent might be left a howling 



The Republic of the Future. 5 r 

wilderness, with neither conqueror nor con 
quered to enter and take possession of what 
was now, in truth, but a desert. Fortunately, 

however, a few of the Americans had survived. 

. 

Among them were some of the descendants of 
the ancient New England statesmen. These 
men, although under sentence of death, were 
liberated, that they might act as peacema 
kers between the two factions. Americans, 
you see, had had so much experience in recon 
ciling, conciliating and pacifying the difficulties 
between the Irish and German parties during 
the American Republican era, that these 
survivors were eminently fitted to adjust 
affairs at issue between them now. The 
American Council decided that the Irishmen 
should draw up the laws and regulations 
for the new Communal and Socialistic constitu 
tion, while the Germans should see that the 



52 The Republic of the Future. 

new society was properly organized ; a decision 
which proves the real genius for statescraft 
which these ingenious Americans possessed. 
For Irishmen are proverbially affluent of ideas 
and incapable of putting them into action, 
unless it be violent action, while the Germans 
have proved themselves practical organizers 
and ideal political policemen. The sagacity of 
the old American Republicans was shown in 
the manner in which they themselves, in their 
era of power, had made use of the distinguish 
ing qualities of the two races, when such 
hordes overflowed the land during the great 
emigration period. The Irishmen were kept in 
the large cities, where they were allowed to mis 
govern the towns to their hearts desire, being 
thus given a vent for their turbulent political 
spirit ; while the Germans, on the contrary, 
were sent into the still unconquered wilderness 



The Republic of the Future. 53 



to turn it into a garden by their industry and 
thrift. The American having thus made use of 
the Irishmen to run his political machinery for 
him, and of the Germans to extend the territo 
rial lines of order and civilization, secured unto 
himself all his own time for money making. 
Hence the colossal American fortunes, which, 
as we read of them now, seem to us like a tale 
of magicians. Such a policy must have seemed 
to a nineteenth-century American as a very 
shrewd and ingenious way of utilizing elements 
which otherwise might prove dangerous. The 
policy was, in truth, a fatally short-sighted one, 
as was proved later ; since it was the enormous 
accumulation of fortunes in a few hands and 
the supposed tyranny of capital which wrought 
to a frenzy the envy and anger of the foreign 
poorer classes, then under the sway of the 
anarchist revolutionists. 



54 The Republic of the Future. 

After the American statesmen had made 
peace between the conquering but quarrelsome 
anarchists, these latter set about organizing 
the new society. Anarchy itself, although the 
principles for which it had fought and con 
quered now prevailed, it was found, must sub 
ordinate itself to some form or order before it 
could hope to enforce order upon others. 

The Anarchist s war-cry had been, as you 
remember Away with private property ! away 
with all authority ! away with the State ! away 
with all political machinery! But now the 
leaders discovered that a belief in the reign of 
anarchy was one thing, and its practice was 
quite another. For a time, as you know, there 
was a terrible period of disorder, during which 
the grossest excesses were practiced under the 
name of " Perfect Individualism," "a common 
property, common freedom, common distribu- 



T/ie Republic of the Future. 55 

tion for all." After a few years of the wildest 
indulgence, rapacity, crime, and cruelty for, 
of course, there being no government, there 
could be neither restraints imposed nor crimes 
punished the people themselves at last began 
to cry aloud for some form of government 
which should include at least order and decency. 
The Socialists doctrines were then decided 
upon as being more in conformity with the 
demands of the people and with the necessities 
of organizing a state than were the formless 
theories of the anarchists. 

The leaders among the people, as has been 
done so many times before in the history of 
the world, began again the making of new laws, 
for the establishment of an ideal government 
and the forming of a new constitution which 
was to insure perfect and complete happiness 
to the individual and the race. 



56 The Republic of the Future. 

For over a hundred and fifty years, now, this 
ideal socialistic society had existed, and what 
are the results? No people ever assuredly had 
a more wonderful chance at constructing a 
society on an ideal basis than had these social 
ists. Think of it ! An entire continent at 
their disposal, their enemies or opponents all 
killed or in exile* and they themselves united 
in desire and in political interest. Well, if 
some of the ineradicable, indestructible prin 
ciples in human nature could be changed as 
easily as laws are made and unmade, the 
chances for an ideal realization of the happiness 
of mankind would be the more easily attained. 
But the Socialists committed the grave error of 
omitting to count some of these determining 
human laws into the sum of their calculations. 

Time and paper are, however, finite, and 
also, presumably, your patience. I will post- 



The Republic of the Future. 



57 



pone until my next the few remaining conclu 
sions to which a brief study of this people and 
their government have led 



Your faithful 

WOLFGANG. 




The Republic of the Future. 




VI. 



DEAR FRIEND : The longer I stay here the 
more I am impressed with the profound mel 
ancholy which appears to have taken possession 
of this people. The men, particularly, seem 
sunk in a torpor of dejection and settled apa 
thy. The women, although by no means so 
vivacious and vigorous as our women, are, how 
ever, far more animated, and seem to have a 
keener relish for life, than the men. Probably 



The Republic of the Future. 59 

the comparatively recent emancipation of the 
women, their new political and social freedom, 
adds a zest to the routine of life here which 
men do not feel. 

So universal is the dreary aspect of the peo 
ple, whether at work or play and they play, I 
observe, far more languidly than they work 
that the type of face among them has under 
gone a strange and interesting transformation. 
You remember in the old prints the typical 
"Yankee " face, with its keen, penetrating eye, 
its courageous, determined chin, its intelligent 
brow, and its extraordinarily shrewd and in 
tently alert expression. This vivacity and 
energy, once the chief charm of the American 
face, has entirely disappeared. In its stead, 
imagine wooden, almost sodden features, heavy, 
dull eyes, receding chins, and a brow on which 
dulness that very nearly approaches stupidity is 



60 The Republic of the Future. 

writ in large letters. On all the faces is a ste 
reotyped expression, a mingling of discontent 
and dejection. There is the same lack of vari 
ety of types among the faces I have noticed, as 
there is a want of contrast in the houses and 
streets. The entire population appears to have 
one face; wherever one turns one sees it repeat 
ed ad infinitum, whether it be that of man 
or woman, youth or old age. 

I have accounted to myself for this curious 
physiological uniformity by finding in it simply 
a reflection of the uniformity seen in the life 
and occupations of this people. The race hav 
ing been leveled to a common plane, there has 
been a gradual dying out of individuality. The 
inevitable curtailment of individual aims, indi 
vidual struggle, individual ambitions, has natu 
rally resulted in producing a featureless type of 
character, common to all. Since, of course, it 



The Republic of the Future. 61 

is character alone which moulds feature, this 
people, being all more or less alike, have come, 
in process of time, to look alike. Nature, after 
all, is only clay in the potter s hand ; man, 
with his laws and creeds, fashions in the end 
his own face. 

I found it, however, far more difficult to 
account for the cloud of melancholy and dejec 
tion which appears to have settled upon this 
people, than to seek the causes of the above 
physiological aspect. I asked myself, again 
and again, why should this people, of all peo 
ple, be full of this discontent and unhappi- 
ness ? Haven t they come to the realization of 
all their dreams? Have they not attained to 
the very summit and to the full glory of the 
possession of their social, civic and political 
desires and aspirations ? Is there not equality 
of sex? Has not leisure instead of labor be- 



62 The Republic of the Future. 

come a law ? Is not private property abolished 
is not the land the property of the State 
the wage system become a thing of the past, 
and the possession of capital made a crime 
punishable by law ? Does not the State also 
exist for the people, educating them, training 
them for their work in life, distributing among 
them any surplus funds that the public treasury 
may accumulate, and furnishing for their 
amusement and leisure a vast system of edu 
cational clubs, educational theaters, public 
games, museums and shows ? If a people are 
not happy under such conditions, what will 
insure content ? 

Yet come with me. Let us walk through the 
principal thoroughfares, and watch the multi 
tudes of people wandering listlessly up and 
down the streets ; let us see them as they drift 
aimlessly into the theaters, museums, clubs; let 



The Republic of the Future. 63 

us look in on them as they idly finger the 
new books and newspapers, yawning over 
them as they read, and you will agree with 
me, that the entire population seems to have 
but one really serious purpose in life to 
murder time which appears to be slowly killing 
them. 

After much thought on the reasons of this 
strange apathy, this inertia, and sloth of energy, 
I have come to two conclusions which have 
helped me to solve the problem of this people s 
unhappiness. My first conclusion is that the 
people are dying for want of work- of 
downright hard work ; my second conclusion 
is that in trying to establish the law of 
equality, the founders of this ideal commu 
nity committed the fatal mistake of counting 
out those indestructible, ineradicable human 
tendencies and aspirations which have hitherto 



64 The Republic of the Future. 

been the source of all human progress, to which 
I alluded in my last letter. 

First, let us take the subject of work. As all 
work, men and women alike, and as machinery 
has been brought here to a wonderful degree of 
perfection, the actual labor necessary to main 
tain the people is, of necessity, very light. At 
first, a hundred or so years ago, in the early 
days of the community, the time of labor was 
fixed at five hours per day. But every decade, 
with the growth of the population, the labor 
hours have been diminishing. Recently a law 
has been put into effect, forbidding any one s 
working more than two hours a day. This lat 
ter law has been found to be an actual neces 
sity, from an economic point of view, as a pro 
vision against surplus production. A man, 
therefore, has the whole of the rest of his day 
on his hands, to spend as best he may. 



The Republic of the Future. 65 

The original hope and belief of the founders 
of Socialism was that if the people could only 
be given sufficient leisure, the whole race would 
be lifted to an extraordinary plane of perfec 
tion ; that, were men given time enough, each 
man and woman would devote himself and her 
self to the development and improvement of 
his or her mental tastes and capacities. At first, 
I believe, such was the case. For at least thirty 
years there was an extraordinary zeal for learn 
ing and self-improvement. But in time, a re 
action came. The founders had forgotten to 
make allowances for the mass of sluggards, 
idlers, and ne er-do-wells who are always the im 
movable block in the reformer s path of progress. 
Two parties were soon developed ; the party 
of enlightment and the conservative party. 
Learning being the sole channel for the exercise 
of individual capacity or individual ambition, 



66 The Republic of the Future. 



the old baneful system of competition soon 
developed itself. A superior class, a class 
composed of scholars, students, artists and 
authors, arose, whose views and whose political 
ideas threatened the very life and liberties of 
the community. The aristocracy of intellect, it 
was found was as dangerous to the State as an 
aristocracy founded on pride of descent or on 
the possession of ancestral acres. It became 
necessary, therefore, to make a law against 
learning and the sciences. All scholars, authors, 
artists and scientists who were found on ex 
amination to be more gifted than the average, 
Avere exiled. 

A strict law was passed, and has since been 
rigidly enforced, forbidding mental or artistic 
development being carried beyond a certain 
fixed standard, a standard attainable by all. 
Quite naturally learning and the arts have 



The Republic of the Future. 67 

gradually died out among this people. Where 
there are no rewards either of fame or personal 
advancement, the spur to mental or artistic 
achievement is found wanting. The arts par 
ticularly have languished. Art, as is well 
known, can only live by the strength of the 
imagination and the imagination is fed by 
contrasts of life and degrees of picturesqueness. 
One of the old American sages, Emerson I 
think it was, well said of the artist, " If the rich 
were not rich, how poor would the poet be ! " 
Quite naturally, in such a civilization as this, 
no conditions exist for either creating or main 
taining artistic ability. 

Can you not imagine, my dear Hannevig, 
that under such a system and order of life, time 
might be found to be a weighty burden ? After 
the two hours devoted to labor, there are still 
fourteen waking hours to be be disposed of. The 



68 The Republic of the Future. 

people have, it is true, their clubs and their 
theaters, the national games, their libraries and 
gardens. But just because all these are free 
and at their command, is, I presume, reason 
enough for their finding the amusements thus 
provided tame and uninteresting. Most of the 
inhabitants of this city spend their days at the 
gymnasium. In the exercises and games there 
practiced, one sees the only evidence or show 
of excitement and interest indulged in. Both 
men and women are muscled like athletes, from 
their continual exercises and perpetual bathing. 
The athletic party is now trying to pass a law 
to permit races and contests on the old Greek 
plan. But the conservatives will scarcely pass 
it, as they urge that the Olympian games, by 
developing the physical powers, were in reality 
only a training-school for the Greek arm} 7 , and 
internecine trouble and dissension would surely 



The Republic of the Future. 69 

follow any such public games, as they did in 
the Greek states. 

You have, I believe, asked me if the people 
here are not allowed to find a scope for their 
superfluous energies in politics. But politics, 
as a profession, as a separate and independent 
function of activity, has ceased to exist. The 
state or Government is run on the great uni 
versal principle of reciprocity which governs 
the entire community. It exists for the people, 
is administered by the people, and acts for the 
people. All surplus revenues, derived from a 
minimum of equalized taxation are turned over 
to the public fund, being applied to public use. 
The machinery of the Government is run on the 
same principle of light labor which governs 
individual exertions. Each citizen, men and 
women alike, of course, serves his or her term 
as a government official, as in old Prussia men 



7 The Republic of the Future. 

served in the army. As no one is ever re- 
elected, no matter what his capacity or ability, 
and as each citizen only serves once during his 
life-time, there is no such thing known as poli 
tical strife, or bribery or corruption. Neither 
is there any political life. The government is 
as automatic a performance as one of the silk- 
looms of a factory. 

There are certain changes which have lately 
taken place in the political and international 
affairs of the people which lead one into a 
labyrinth of speculation. There has, for in 
stance, been a noticeable and lamentable dying 
out of international commerce and a general 
sluggishness of trade which greatly alarms the 
community at large. All trade and commerce 
are conducted on the socialistic principle, 
which forbids the venture of private capital, 
did such here exist, or of private enterprise. 



TJic Republic of the Future. 



It is the State which directs all such ventures. 
But the State, for some reason or other, does 
not appear to be a success as a merchant or as 
commercial financier. For one thing, the State 
is tremendously absorbed in its own affairs. As 
it takes care of its people, educating, training 
and developing them ; as it looks after the 
material comforts and necessities of its vast 
population, its own internal duties really absorb 
all its energies. Then, in a government, founded 
as this one is, on a principle of equality, which 
principle is the sworn enemy of ambition there 
must of necessity be a lack of initiative, a fee 
bleness in aggressive attack, and a want of 
determination in the pursuance of any given 
policy. It is only ambitious stable governments 
which can command and maintain a definite 
policy of national action. Even the American 
Republic found it difficult, with its recurrent 



72 The Republic of the Future. 

changes in official departments, to carry into 
effect great international projects. The peo 
ple, here, have ended by contenting themselves 
with the exercise of only so much executive, 
political or commercial activity as is found 
actually necessary to maintain their own exis 
tence. Men, whether as individuals or as a 
collective body, are indeed only actively aggres 
sive, ambitious or audacious in proportion as 
they meet with opposition. It is struggle, and 
not the absence of it, which makes both men 
and a nation great. 

I have, therefore, ceased to ask myself where 
are the old magnificent energies which once 
characterized this people. One looks in vain 
for the former warfare of intelligence, for the 
old time audacity of invention, for the fray 
of commercial contest, for the powerful 
massing of capital we read of as character- 



The Republic of the Future, 73 

istic of Americans two hundred years ago. 
All this has gone with the old competitive 
system. 

With the abolishment of competition have 
died out, naturally, all the prizes and rewards 
in life which came from individual struggle. 
As accumulation of personal property, in lands 
or in moneys, and the possibility of personal 
advancement are forbidden by law, under this 
form of government, all incentives to personal 
activity have disappeared. The law of equal 
ity, with its logical decrees for the suppression 
of superiority, has brought about the other 
extreme, sterility. The crippling of individual 
activity has finally produced its legitimate 
result it has fatally sapped the energies of 
the people. 

It is a curious and interesting feature in 
one s study of this people, to find that it is not 



74 The Republic of the Future, 

the establishment of the law of equality which 
has been the cause of decay in this people, but 
the enforcement of the opposite law the law 
it w r as soon found necessary to establish against 
inequality. It naturally and logically followed 
that if men are to be made equal, such equality 
can only be maintained by the suppression of 
degrees of inequality. Mentally, for instance, 
the standard must be made low enough for all 
to attain it ; each man, therefore, in time, no 
matter what his fitness, capacity or gift, was 
forced to subordinate his particular qualities to 
the general possibility of attainment. This 
level of a common mediocrity was more or less 
difficult to inforce and develop. Their own 
historians record many interesting accounts of 
the slow death of inequality. In one I read only 
yesterday, " So instinctive through long centu 
ries of oppression and misuse of power was 



The Republic of the Future. 75 

the impulse among men to aspire to supe 
riority of attainment, to excel in mental devel 
opment, or to exhibit richer creative power, that 
for years the state penitentiaries were filled 
with men whose crime was their unconquer 
able desire selfishly to surpass their less fortu 
nate brothers. It is only within our own 
enlightened twenty-first century that this grave 
fault has been remedied. Now, happily, no 
one dreams of insuring his own personal hap 
piness at the expense of others/ 

And so, my dear Hannevig, the old drama 
of history is enacted anew. Years ago men 
were unhappy because the many had to strug 
gle against the favored few. Here, where all 
are equal, men are miserable because they are 
so ; because all having equal claims to happi 
ness, find life equally dull and aimless. The 
perpetual moan here is, O for a chance to be 



The Republic of the Future. 



something, to do something, to achieve some 
thing ! 

I shall be able to send you only one more 
letter, as I return in a few days by balloon 
this time, I think, instead of by tunnel. 




The Republic of the Future. 



77 




VII. 

CHRISTMAS DAY. 

MY GOOD HANNEVIG: I have only just time 
to send you one more incident and scene. It 
being, as you may have observed at the top of 
my letter, Christmas Day, I was curious to see 
how this festival would be observed here. Some 
what to my surprise I observed that the popula 
tion went about their avocations just as usual. 
Then I reflected, in a country, where everyday 
after eleven in the morning a true holiday sets 



78 The Republic of the Future. 

in, there being nothing- for any one to do except 
to enjoy himself, it would be difficult fitly to 
celebrate any special fete day. In pointof fact, 
there are none such. The people voted them 
out of the calendar, saying they had all they 
could do to kill the ordinary enjoyment hours 
of each week without having to invent new 
games or occupations for a dozen different 
feast days. So all holidays are prescribed by law 
except Christmas. This day is kept up for two 
reasons because it is thought to be an excel 
lent time to show off the children brought up 
by the State to the people, and also because 
on Christmas Day each child is allowed to spend 
the day at home. 

The exercises of the day began at the great 
Ethical Temple. Here ten thousand children 
were gathered to listen first to a lecture on 
the history of Christmas. There was a play in 



The Republic of the Future. 79 

which Santa Claus appeared and a number of 
other legendary characters, to show the chil 
dren in what mythological, absurd beings the 
children of the unenlightened nineteenth cen 
tury believed in. Then ten thousand toys were 
distributed, dolls and whips and tops, and 
sleighs and skates. But as all were distributed 
indiscriminately by State officers to the chil 
dren as they passed out on review, of course all 
the boys got the dolls and the girls the whips 
and tops. An hour afterward, outside the 
great building, I saw groups of the children 
doing a tremendous exchange, far more inter 
ested in bartering damaged dolls for shining 
skates than in endeavoring to establish the 
identity of their own parents, whom, indeed, 
having only seen a few times in the course of 
their lives, they barely know by sight. 

I was slowly walking homeward, speculating 



8o The Republic of the Future. 

on these and other revelations made by a more 
intimate knowledge of the workings of this 
great community, when I encountered a familiar 
face. It was that of my young lady-friend, 
whose conversation I reported to you above. 
She joined me and we walked on together. 

" I hear you are going back to Sweden ; is it 
true?" she asked. 

" Yes, I return in a few days." 

" But you have enjoyed your trip and 
us?" 

" Immensely. You are a wonderful coun- 
try." 

u That, if I remember, is just what foreigners 
said to Americans two hundred years ago." 
(I like this young girl particularly. She is 
more intelligent than most of the women one 
meets here. She is allowed to be, she told me, 
because she was so much less good-looking 



The Republic of the Future. 81 

than others, which is true. But in this land of 
dead equality one is grateful for a little intelli 
gence, even if it be served up with ugli 
ness.) 

" There is one thing I can not become accus 
tomed to," I said not wishing to be called to 
closer account for my impressions," and that is 
that there are no church steeples or spires. The 
absence of them gives such a uniform look to 
all your cities. 

" Churches ? Oh, they went out long ago, 
you know. Religion, it was found, brought 
about discussion. It was voted immoral." 

u Yes, I know. Only I thought a few spires 
or churches might possibly have been preserved 
in a kind of sentimental pickle, as castles and 
ruins are kept in England, to add what an old 
writer calls " the necessary element of decay to 
the landscape." 



82 The Republic of the Future. 



" That was Ruskin, was it not? What a 
quaint old writer ! His books read as if they 
were written in a dead language. As for the 
churches, they were all destroyed, you know, 
in the war between the radicals and the or 
thodox, and not a stone was left standing. 
Since then the State has erected these huge 
Ethical Temples, where all the religions are ex 
plained and where the philosophy of ethics is 
taught the people. The finest of all these 
temples is the Temple of the Libeiators; have 
you seen it yet ? " she asked. 

u I have not, but I should like to do so. Will 
you be my guide ? " 

She led me thither. 

We soon came to a structure which being 
smaller, and of fairly good and symmetrical pro 
portions, was a little less hideous than the other 
temples I had seen. Inside, in the center of 



The Republic of the Future. 83 

the building was a colossal statue a portrait it 
is said of the founder, Henry George. Around 
the sides of the wall, were niches where portrait 
busts of the martyrs stand the nihilists, early 
anarchists, and socialists who endured persecu 
tion and often death in the early days of 
socialism. A book I noticed was placed near 
the Henry George statue. It was the social 
istic bible " Poverty and Progress " which 
with a number of other such books forms the 
chief literature of the people. Once a year, 
my young friend told me, there is a sacred read 
ing to the people from this book. 

As we turned to pursue our way homeward 
she again began to question me " But you 
haven t told me yet what you think of us 
as a country and a people," she persisted. 

" Well, since you will have it I will tell you. 
You are a great and surprising people. I mean 



84 The Republic of the Future. 

great in the sense of numbers, however, for great, 
politically and morally, you can never be again. 
You appear to have attained a certain order of 
perfection which, however, is only relative. You 
think you have solved all the great problems ; 
but you have only begun to solve them. In 
attempting to make the people happy by insur^ 
ing equality of goods and equal division of prop 
erty, you have found it necessary to stultify 
ambition and to kill aspiration. Therefore a 
healthy, vigorous morale has ceased to exist. 
In making leisure a law you have robbed it of 
its sweetness. Ennui is the curse of the land. 
The arts languish, because the arts depend on 
the imagination, and imagination has been 
declared illegal, since all are not born with it. 
Your libraries and museums are open, but who 
sees them filled with readers and students? In 
other words, man having been born heir to all 



The Republic of the Picture. 



things, has ceased to value them. And so I 
leave you, well content to go back to my bar 
baric Sweden, where the forms of political 
government are so bad that men wrestle like 
gods to remedy them, and where men them- 
selve are still born so unequal that they have 
to fight like demons to live at all. We are still 
chaotic, and unformed, and unredeemed, and 
unregenerate. But we are tremendously alive. 
And so I return with eager joy to take my part 
in the strife, to be a man, in other words, and 
not a part of a colossal machine. Why not 
go back with me ? It will be a great experi 
ence, you would go back at least two hundred 
years." 

She sighed and murmured : " We are not 
allowed to travel. It is forbidden. It breeds 
dissatisfaction. But I wish we were. It sounds 
so very beautiful and strange." And so I left 



86 The Republic of the Future. 

her, as I must you, for my letter is a volume. 
In a few days I shall be telling you all I can not 
write. Adieu, 

Yours, 

WOLFGANG. 




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