Individualism in Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy

349 Words2 Pages
Julian West, a man born and raised in the 19th century has suddenly appeared in the 20th century. Due to an apparent mishap in the 19th, his body was never awaken and remained in its mesmeric state. When he woke up, he found himself in a whole different society then he was living in. The economy, government, and the whole social structure were completely changed. To Julian, the 20th century became the perfect image of a utopian society. But the society of the 20th century has left behind the pride of individualism which was cherished in the 19th century. Therefore, this new society has not benefited the belief of individualism. In the 19th century individualism was prided but in the 20th century the society has changed, the new society sought out for more communities and cooperation. The main aspects of the new society were all influenced by cooperation, such as the economy, people's social life, work ethics and others. The economy is the one reason why individualism has not progressed in the 20th century. In the new society, the nation itself owns, manages and distributes all the capital. They also organize and produce all of the nation's goods. The nation's wealth is divided evenly between all their citizens and money does not exist anymore, citizen's are given a certain amount of credit that they can spend anyway they like. But there are some good in having the citizen's managing the economy, for instance, they are able to set the supply and demand curves of every product since there is no more competition between companies. There is no more failed business since there is only one centralized industry also Individualism has also been affected by the new society's work ethics. In the new society no matter how much more or harder one person works than another, there incomes would eventually still be the same. This would question why anyone would want to accept harder jobs. The handicapped and slackers of the society would receive the same income. What incentive is there to working as profession accounting that has a fifty-plus hour work week as oppose to working at a fast food restaurant for 10 hours and still receiving the same income? How can people in a society accept such an unbalanced work load? But there are benefits of the new society for some, such as those who may like to pursue a career in something they are passionate in but doesn't pay well, no longer has to worry about that.

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