The New Utopia - Jerome K. Jerome - ebook

Jerome Klapka Jerome (1859–1927) was an English writer and humorist, best known for the comic travelogue Three Men in a Boat (1889).The New Utopia is a short story in which the author describes his dream about a socialist society. Jerome’s short essay describes a regimented future city, indeed world, of nightmarish egalitarianism, where men and women are barely distinguishable in their grey uniforms and all have short black hair, natural or dyed.Other works include the essay collections Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow (1886) and Second Thoughts of an Idle Fellow; Three Men on the Bummel, a sequel to Three Men in a Boat; and several other novels.

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The New Utopia



Copyright © 2017Jerome K. Jerome

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I had spent an extremely interesting evening. I had dined with some very "advanced" friends of mine at the "National Socialist Club". We had had an excellent dinner: the pheasant, stuffed with truffles, was a poem; and when I say that the '49 Chateau Lafitte was worth the price we had to pay for it, I do not see what more I can add in its favour.


After dinner, and over the cigars (I must say they do know how to stock good cigars at the National Socialist Club), we had a very instructive discussion about the coming equality of man and the nationalisation of capital.


I was not able to take much part in the argument myself, be- cause, having been left when a boy in a position which rendered it necessary for me to earn my own living, I have never enjoyed the time and opportunity to study these questions.


But I listened very attentively while my friends explained how, for the thousands of centuries during which it had existed before they came, the world had been going on all wrong, and how, in the course of the next few years or so, they meant to put it right.


Equality of all mankind was their watchword--perfect equality in all things--equality in possessions, and equality in position and influence, and equality in duties, resulting in equality in happiness and contentment.


The world belonged to all alike, and must be equally divided. Each man's labour was the property, not of himself, but of the State which fed and clothed him, and must be applied, not to his own aggrandisement, but to the enrichment of the race.


Individual wealth--the social chain with which the few had bound the many, the bandit's pistol by which a small gang of rob- bers had thieved--must be taken from the hands that too long had held it.


Social distinctions--the barriers by which the rising tide of humanity had hitherto been fretted and restrained--must be for ever swept aside. The human race must press onward to its destiny (whatever that might be), not as at present, a scattered horde, scrambling, each man for himself, over the broken ground of un- equal birth and fortune--the soft sward reserved for the feet of the pampered, the cruel stones reserved for the feet of the cursed,--but an ordered army, marching side by side over the level plain of equity and equality.


The great bosom of our Mother Earth should nourish all her children, like and like; none should be hungry, none should have too much. The strong man should not grasp more than the weak; the clever should not scheme to seize more than the simple. The earth was man's, and the fulness thereof; and among all mankind it should be portioned out in even shares. All men were equal by the laws of man.