Some years ago I researched an article which led to learning about a 19th
Century writer named Edward Bellamy. Bellamy's 1888 novel, LOOKING BACKWARD,
was a futurist projection to the year 2000.
The wealthy young hero of the novel, Julian West, had trouble sleeping, so
when exhausted would retire to a specially constructed soundproof vault
under his Boston home. A hypnotist would then put him into a deep sleep.
When the hero had enough rest his valet would enter the vault and awaken
On a particular night in 1887 the hypnotist left town immediately after
inducing the trance. During the night the house burned down taking the life
of the valet and also--everyone understandably presumed--that of Julian
The scene changes to the year 2000. Workers, while excavating for the
foundation of a private laboratory in the garden of Dr. Leete of Boston,
come upon the 19th Century underground bedchamber and the body of a young
man looking as if he had just lain down to sleep. Dr. Leete attempts
resuscitation, and to his own astonishment his efforts prove successful.
After recovering from the shock of discovering that he has been asleep for
more than 100 years, Julian West learns about the changes that have taken
place during his sleep. He also has a rather stiff and mechanical romance
with Edith Leete, the doctor's daughter, who is the great granddaughter of
Edith Bartlett, the young woman to whom West had been engaged in the year
In the year 2000 no one has personal independence. Private capitalism has
evolved into public capitalism; and everybody is represented as blissfully
happy with universal equality and with being kept by the system. No one is
separate. No one is special. No one is richer or poorer than anyone else.
There is a universal distribution system and everybody is content with what
he receives. Occupations are assigned by the system. The only religion is
the Religion of Solidarity or
Millions of copies of LOOKING BACKWARD were sold in countries all over the
world. It was an inspirational document for communists, socialists,
Zionists, Nazis, corporate collectivists, Theosophists, revolutionaries, and
people-pushers of all types. It was read by Americans, Russians, Chinese,
English, Belgians, Germans, French, Africans, South Americans, etc., etc.,
Some critics pointed out, however, that Bellamy had used literary trickery.
He had put his hero to sleep in 1887, and then awakened him after all the
changes toward the world communistic society had taken place. How were the
changes accomplished? How did the transition from the society of 1887 to the
controlled society of the year 2000 come about?
In 1897 Bellamy's sequel,
EQUALITY was published. It took up where LOOKING BACKWARD left off.
Conversations between the main characters and visits to classrooms revealed
how sociologists, economists, and social planners of all types had used
education to bring about the intellectual, religious, moral, political,
material, and social changes of 2000.
It is an unsettling experience to read EQUALITY today because it reads
almost like history rather than fiction. The devices and techniques
described have, in fact, been used. It is even possible to predict
future manipulations from the sociological scenario Bellamy outlined in
I decided I had to discover more about Bellamy and the influences which
helped to shape his thoughts. I learned that he had been profoundly affected
by the writings of Auguste Comte. I had never heard of Comte, so I went to
my 1910 WERNER ENCYCLOPEDIA (American edition of BRITANNICA).
Comte (1798-1857) was a brilliant French mathematician/philosopher. He had
one main ambition which was to remake the world according to his plan. He
devoted his entire intellectual life to constructing a philosophical system
and plan which could be used to take total control over all the people of
the world for all time. Existing religions, governments and systems would be
eliminated, and people would be changed so they could be made to adapt to
Comte's world communist system,
First Comte arranged all the sciences according to what he believed to be
their relative importance and stage of development. Above all the sciences,
and directing all human activities was to be Comte's new science, sociology,
or social science. Replacing and uniting all religions was to be Comte's new
religion, the Religion of Humanity, or as his early teacher Saint Simon had
termed it, Humanitarianism. Comte appointed himself the first High Priest of
Humanity. The High Priest would dictate the moral precepts, medical policies
and education, but have no other part in governing. Nation states would be
replaced by a permanent communist world government.
The WERNER ENCYCLOPEDIA quoted Comte:
"In the name of the Past and of the Future, the servants of Humanity--both
its philosophical and its practical servants--come forward to claim as their
due the general direction of this world. Their object is to constitute at
length a real Providence in all departments, -- moral, intellectual, and
material. Consequently they exclude once for all from political supremacy
all the different servants of God--Catholic, Protestant, or Deist--as being
at once behindhand and a cause of disturbance."
I had to take a course in sociology in high school and another in college.
In spite of the fact that Comte, more than anyone else, deserved to be
called the father of sociology; in spite of the fact that innumerable
Communistic-type changes in education, religion, government, and business
had already been brought about through Comte's social science and Religion
of Humanity, I had never heard of the man. His work and his followers had a
greater effect on our lives than any person in recent history that I could
think of. Yet, I had never heard so much as his name. How could I have lived
so long and gone through schooling, and still be so ignorant? One would
think that if sociology were a science, as Comte claimed, the teachers and
professors would want to inform students about its founders and their goals.
My ignorance about Comte was mind boggling to say the least. Where had I
been all my life? Where had anybody been? None of my friends, acquaintances,
or relatives were any better informed.
Later I sought books written by late 19th and early 20th Century
sociologists to see if they were carrying on in the same collectivist spirit
as Comte. They were! Their lust for power over people and events was as
great or greater than that of Comte himself. They said such things as:
"It is indeed an ambitious conception, this idea of blueprinting the outlines
of a truly worthful society for the future and then politicing societal
evolution deliberately and intelligently toward that goal. There are those
who regard such an ambition as ludicrously impossible. Yet this is the
supreme aspiration of social science." ROSS L. FINNEY (1923)
"If it were possible to control the learning of all individuals, in the way
both of ideas and of emotional attitudes, as they come on the stage of life,
it would be possible to modify the whole complex of our social life, or our
civilization, within the comparatively short space of one or two
generations. CHARLES A. ELLWOOD (1923)
"The school is the germ plasm of the higher civilization. Teachers are,
therefore, in charge of social selection at the source of origins for each
new generation; they can even introduce at will mutations of their own
invention." ROSS L. FINNEY (1929)
These men were serious. They were college professors teaching sociological
goals and philosophy to their students. But that was only the beginning of
what Comte put in motion. The Russian mystic, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky,
read Comte and incorporated his philosophical thoughts into her
Society formed in 1875. Annie Besant lectured and wrote about Comte and
Bellamy John Dewey worked to adapt education to what Comte and Bellamy
recommended. Multimillionaires paid to have sociology included in the
curriculum of major colleges. Sociology did not have to be a true science.
Money power bought its way into the curriculum.
In grade schools, high schools, and universities students in sociology or
social science were taught to expect and work for change toward more
cooperation--not knowing that the word, "cooperation" was the collectivist's
code word for the less popular word, "socialism." Annie Besant explained
this in THE THEOSOPHIST in February, 1930. She said:
"I was giving a number of lectures here a year or two ago. I avoided the word
socialism altogether. I always said, "cooperation," and my American
audiences were delighted with my ideas on cooperation. But it was only
socialism under another name! Language is meant to express a thought and I
knew if I said socialism you would think communism, and I wanted you to
think cooperation. So I preached socialism under the name cooperation, and
my audiences liked it."
Many Americans, it appears also accept the idea that sociology is a science
rather than a philosophy that denies individuality and personality. American
children (also those in other countries) are taught a curriculum designed by
foundation-financed sociological organizations. Government bureaucracies
make huge grants to support sociological education. Yet, there is no way a
country can stay free when generation after generation of its children are
sociologically schooled for socialism and communism. It is plain stupid to
continue the process. History, geography and civics should be returned to
the curriculum. Social studies can go the way of alchemy.