Looking Backwards from 2000 to 1887 - Edward Bellamy - Страница 1 из 292

From 2000 to 1887
Edward Bellamy
Historical Section Shawmut College, Boston,
December 26, 2000
Living as we do in the closing year of the twentieth century, enjoying
the blessings of a social order at once so simple and logical that it
seems but the triumph of common sense, it is no doubt difficult for
those whose studies have not been largely historical to realize that
the present organization of society is, in its completeness, less than
a century old. No historical fact is, however, better established than
that till nearly the end of the nineteenth century it was the general
belief that the ancient industrial system, with all its shocking social
consequences, was destined to last, with possibly a little patching, to
the end of time. How strange and wellnigh incredible does it seem that
so prodigious a moral and material transformation as has taken place
since then could have been accomplished in so brief an interval! The
readiness with which men accustom themselves, as matters of course, to
improvements in their condition, which, when anticipated, seemed to
leave nothing more to be desired, could not be more strikingly
illustrated. What reflection could be better calculated to moderate the
enthusiasm of reformers who count for their reward on the lively
gratitude of future ages!
The object of this volume is to assist persons who, while desiring to
gain a more definite idea of the social contrasts between the
nineteenth and twentieth centuries, are daunted by the formal aspect of

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