THE NEW UTOPIA – JEROME K. JEROME
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, because, 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
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 robbers had thieved — must be taken from the hands that too long had
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 unequal 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.
With inequality comes misery, crime, sin, selfishness, arrogance,
hypocrisy. In a world in which all men were equal, there would
exist no temptation to evil, and our natural nobility would assert
When all men were equal, the world would be Heaven — freed
from the degrading despotism of God.
We raised our glasses and drank to EQUALITY, sacred
EQUALITY; and then ordered the waiter to bring us Green Chartreuse and more cigars.
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