Looking Back Looking Forward Essay

Topics: Utopia, Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward Pages: 4 (1671 words) Published: November 6, 2010
In Looking Backward, Edward Bellamy argued that one of the most significant problems facing America in 1887 was the struggle of class and the values that the everyday citizen lived by and portrayed. In the past, everyone looked after himself or herself and did not live selflessly. The view of honor was skewed and people lived for currency rather than their countries and neighbors well being. A sense of equality is never reached like it has been in the utopia of the year 2000 that Bellamy portrays.

In the year of 1887 the world was not completely in turmoil but slowly heading in that direction it seemed. A fear of industrial tyranny was sweeping the nation leading to strikes. “’What should you name as the most prominent feature of the labor troubles your day?’ ’Why, the strikes, of course,’ I replied” (pg. 34). In Bellamy’s current America there were wage strikes breaking out across the country in all industries including the railroads, steel, and car companies. In his current America everything was controlled by entrepreneurs instead of the government so business was cutthroat. The sales keepers and owners primary goal was to sell everything they had no matter the quality but simply to make their money to indulge in their own desires. In a society where wants controls everything it can push people to do dishonorable acts as Julian West was used to while in this utopian society there is not a need for nor is it possible to have these wrongful acts committed upon another. These wrongful acts being dishonest sales, or unfair labor. Dr. Leete explains the fear that the past was enduring. "The records of the period show that the outcry against the concentration of capital was furious. Men believed that it threatened society with a form of tyranny more abhorrent than it had ever endured. They believed that the great corporations were preparing for them the yoke of a baser servitude than had ever been imposed on the race, servitude not to men but to soulless machines...
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