Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

A Modern Utopia: H.G. Wells

 Wells's Utopia is governed by people called Samurai. Anyone can apply to be a Samurai- which is why they're referred to as  "voluntary nobles"; all that's required of them is intelligence and obedience to a code. Quite how they do their governing isn't explained.

Also they wear a uniform.

And no, they're not the SS, but in real life that's surely what they'd become. The problem with Utopias is they overlook the corruptibilty of human beings. Give a person power and they're bound to exploit and misuse it. 

Conversely, the problem of all dystopias is that they overlook the human passion for freedom and justice.

The Modern Utopia is a sweet book- part essay, part novel. Wells takes an annoying aquaintance along. The aquaintance is too busy wittering about a long-dead love affair to notice how spiffy everything is.

People live in apartment blocks that are run like gentlemen's clubs, they travel in high-speed trains. Everyone is a vegetarian and nobody keeps pets. There is sexual equality (women can be Samurai too) and no racism. The economy is run in such a way that it's impossible for anyone to become filthy rich.

By the end of my tour I was sorry to come home. 
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