title:Utopia 2000 ver.1.0e
by Taro Kimura


I FIRST saw the light in the city of Boston in
the year 1857. "What!" you say, "eighteen
fifty-seven? That is an odd slip. He means
nineteen fifty-seven, of course." I beg pardon,
but there is no mistake. It was about four in the
afternoon of December the 26th, one day after
Christmas, in the year 1857, not 1957, that I first
breathed the east wind of Boston, which, I assure
the reader, was at that remote period marked by
the same penetrating quality characterizing it in
the present year of grace, 2000.

"My dear sir," he said, "your manner indicates
that you are a man of culture, which I am aware
was by no means the matter of course in your day
it now is. No doubt, then, you have yourself
made the observation that nothing in this world
can be truly said to be more wonderful than any-
thing else. The causes of all phenomena are
equally adequate, and the results equally matters
of course. That you should be startled by what I
shall tell you is to be expected; but I am confi-
dent that you will not permit it to affect your
equanimity unduly. Your appearance is that of
a young man of barely thirty, and your bodily
condition seems not greatly different from that of
one just roused from a somewhat too long and
profound sleep, and yet this is the tenth day of
September in the year 2000, and you have slept
exactly one hundred and thirteen years, three
months, and eleven days."

"Is the term of service in this industrial army
for life?"
"Oh, no; it both begins later and ends earlier
than the average working period in your day.
Your workshops were filled with children and old
men, but we hold the period of youth sacred to
education, and the period of maturity, when the
physical forces begin to flag, equally sacred to ease
and agreeable relaxation. The period of indus-
trial sevice is twenty-four years, beginning at the
close of the course of education at twenty-one and
terminating at forty-five. After forty-five, while
discharged from labor, the citizen still remains
liable to special calls, in case of emergencies caus-
ing a sudden great increase in the demand for
labor, till he reaches the age of fifty-five, but such
calls are rarely, in fact almost never, made. The
fifteenth day of October of every year is what we
call Muster Day, because those who have reached
the age of twenty-four years' service, have reached the
age of forty-five, are honorably mustered out. It
is the great day of the year with us, whence we
reckon all other events, our Olympiad, save that it
is annual."

"As an industrial system, I should think this
might be extremely efficient," I said, "but I don't
see that it makes any provision for the professional
classes, the men who serve the nation with brains
instead of hands. Of course you can't get along
without the brain-workers. How, then are they
selected from those who are to serve as farmers and
mechanics? That must require a very delicate sort
of sifting process, I should say."
"So it does," replied Dr. Leete; "the most deli-
cate possible test is needed here, and so we leave
the question whether a man shall be a brain or
hand worker entirely to him to settle. At the end
of the term of three years as a common laborer,
which every man must serve, it is for him to choose,
in accordance to his natural tastes, whether he
will fit himself for an art or profession, or be a
farmer or mechanic. If he feels that he can do
better work with his brains than his muscles, he
finds every facility provided for testing the reality
of his supposed bent, of cultivating it, and if fit,
of pursuing it as his avocation. The schools of
technology, of medicine, of art, of music, of his-
trionics, and of higher liberal learning are always
open to aspirants without condition."
"Are not the schools flooded with young men
whose only motive is to avoid work?"
Dr. Leete smiled a little grimly.
"No one is at all likely to enter the professional
schools for the purpose of avoiding work, I assure
you," he said, "They are intended for those with
special aptitude for the branches they teach, and
any one without it would find it easier to do double
hours at his trade than try to keep up with the
classes. Of course many honestly mistake their
vocation, and, finding themselves unequal to the
requirements of the schools, drop out and return
to the industrial service; no discredit attaches to
such persons, for the public policy is to encourage
all to develop suspected talents which only actual
tests can prove the reality of. The professional
and scientific schools of your day depended on the
patronage of their pupils for support, and the
practice appears to have been common of giving
diplomas to unfit persons, who afterwards found
their way into the professions. Our schools are
national institutions, and to have passed their
tests in a proof of special abilities not to be ques-

"I saw very little that was not new," I replied.
"But I think what surprised me as much as any-
thing was not to find any stores on Washington
Street, or any banks on State. What have you
done with the merchants and bankers? Hung
them all, perhaps, as the anarchists wanted to do
in may day?"
"Not so bad as that," replied Dr. Leete. "We
have simply dispensed with them. Their functions
are obsolete in the modern world."
"Who sells you things when you want to buy
them?" I inquired.
"There is neither selling nor buying nowadays;
the distribution of goods is effected in another
way. As to the bankers, having no money we
have no use for those gentry."
"Miss Leete," said I, turning to Edith, "I am
afraid that your father is making sport of me. I
don't blame him, for the temptation my innocence
offers must be extraordinary. But, really, there
are limits to my credulity as to possible alterations
in the social system."
"Father has no idea of jesting, I am sure," she
replied, with a reassuring smile.
The conversation took another turn then, the
point of ladies' fashions in the nineteenth century
being raised, if I remember rightly, by Mrs. Leete,
and it was not till after breakfast, when the doctor
had invited me up to the house-top, which appeared
to be a favorite resort of his, that he recurred to
the subject.
"You were surprised," he said, "at my saying
that we got along without money or trade, but a
moment's reflection will show that trade existed
and money was needed in your day simply be-
cause the business of production was left in private
hands, and that, consequently, they are superfluous
"I do not at once see how that follows," I
"It is very simple," said Dr. Leete. "When
innumerable different and independent persons
produced the various things needful to life and
comfort, endless exchanges between individuals
were requisite in order that they might supply
themselves with what they desired. These ex-
changes constituted trade, and money was essential
as their medium. But as soon as the nation be-
came the sole producer of all sorts of commodities,
there was no need of exchanges between indi-
viduals that they might get what they required.
Everything was procurable from one source, and
nothing could be procured anywhere else. A sys-
tem of direct distribution from the national store-
houses took the place of trade, and for this money
was unnecessary."

"In the first place," replied Dr. Leete, "our
neighbors have nothing to sell us, but in any event
our credit would not be transferable, being strictly
personal. Before the nation could even think or
honoring any such transfer as you speak of, it
would be bound to inquire into all the circum-
stances of the transaction, so as to be able to
guarantee its absolute equity. It would have been
reason enough, had there been no other, for abol-
ishing money, that its possession was no indication
of rightful title to it. In the hands of the man
who had stolen it or murdered for it, it was as
good as in those which had earned it by industry.
People nowadays interchange gifts and favors out
of friendship, but buying and selling is considered
absolutely inconsistent with the mutual benevo-
lence and disinterestedness which should prevail
between citizens and the sense of community of
interest which supports our social system. Ac-
cording to our ideas, buying and selling is essen-
tially anti-social in all its tendencies. It is an
education in self-seeking at the expense of others,
and no society whose citizens are trained in such a
school can possibly rise above a very low grade of

"What is to prevent, in course of time, such
accumulations of valuable goods and chattels in
the hands of individuals as might seriously inter-
fere with equality in the circumstances of citi-
zens?" I asked.
"That matter arranges itself very simply," was
the reply. "Under the present organization of
society, accumulations of personal property are
merely burdensome the moment they exceed what
adds to the real comfort. In your day, if a man
had a house crammed full with gold and silver
plate, rare china, expensive furniture, and such
things, he was considered rich, for these things
represented money, and could at any time be
turned into it. Nowadays a man whom the lega-
cies of a hundred relatives, simultaneously dying,
should place in a similar position, would be con-
sidered very unlucky. The articles, not being
salable, would be of no value to him except for
their actual use or the enjoyment of their beauty.
On the other hand, his income remaining the same,
he would have to deplete his credit to hire houses
to store the goods in, and still further to pay for
the service of those who took care of them. You
may be very sure that such a man would lose no
time in scattering among his friends possessions
which only made him the poorer, and that none of
those friends would accept more of them than they
could easily spare room for and time to attend to.
You see, then, that to prohibit the inheritance of
personal property with a view to prevent great
accumulations would be a superfluous precaution
for the nation. The individual citizen can be
trusted to see that he is not overburdened. So
careful is he in this respect, that the relatives usu-
ally waive claim to most of the effects of deceased
friends, reserving only particular objects. The
nation takes charge of the resigned chattels, and
turns such as are of value into the common stock
once more."

"Who is capable of self-support?" he demanded.
"There is no such thing in a civilized society as
self-support. In a state of society so barbarous as
not even to know family cooperation, each indi-
vidual may possibly support himself, though even
then for a part of his life only; but from the
moment that men begin to live together, and con-
stitute even the rudest sort of society, self-support
becomes impossible. As men grow more civilized,
and the subdivision of occupations and services is
carried out, a complex mutual dependence becomes
the universal rule. Every man, however solitary
may seem his occupation, is a member of a vast
industrial partnership, as large as the nation, as
large as humanity. The necessity of mutual de-
pendece should imply the duty and guarantee of
mutual support; and that it did not in your day
constituted the essential cruelty and unreason of
your system."

"A solution which leaves an unaccounted-for
residuum is no solution at all; and our solution of
the problem of human society would have been
none at all had it left the lame, the sick, and the
blind outside with the beasts, to fare as they
might. Better far have left the strong and well
unprovided for than these burdened ones, toward
whom every heart must yearn, and for whom ease
of mind and body should be provided, if for no
others. Therefore it is, as I told you this morn-
ing, that the title of ever man, woman, and child
to the means of existence rests on no basis less
plain, broad, and simple than the fact that they are
fellows of one race-members of one human fam-
ily. The only coin current is the image of God,
and that is good for all we have.

Not long after, Edith came to me, smiling, and
"Last night, as I was thinking what I could do
to make you feel at home until you came to be a
little more used to us and our ways, an idea oc-
curred to me. What would you say if I were to
introduce you to some very nice people of your
own times, whom I am sure you used to be well
acquainted with?"
I replied, rather vaguely, that it would certainly
be very agreeable, but I did not see how she was
going to manage it.
"Come with me," was her smiling reply, "and
see if I am not as good as my word."
My susceptibility to surprise had been pretty
well exhausted by the numerous shocks it had re-
ceived, but it was with some wonderment that I
followed her into a room which I had not before
entered. It was a small, cosy apartment, walled
with cases filled with books.
"Here are your friends," said Edith, indicating
one of the cases and as my eye glanced over the
names on the backs of the volumes, Shakespeare
Milton, Wordsworth, Shelley, Tennyson, Defoe,
Dickens, Thackeray, Hugo, Hawthorne, Irving, and
a score of other great writers of my time and all
time, I understood her meaning. She had indeed
made good her promise in a sense compared
with which its literal fulfillment would have been
a disappointment. She had introduced me to
a circle of friends whom the century that had
elapsed since last I communed with them had aged
as little as it had myself. Their spirit was as high,
their wit as keen, their laughter and their tears as
contagious, as when their speech had whiled away
the hours of former century. Lonely I was not
and could not be more, with this goodly companion-
ship, however wide the gulf of years that gaped
between me and my old life.

"But with no state legislatures, and Congress
meeting only once in five years, how do you get
your legislation done?"
"We have no legislation," replied Dr. Leete,
"that is, next to none. It is rarely that Congress,
even when it meets, considers any new laws of con-
sequence, and then it only has power to commend
them to the following Congress, lest anything be
done hastily. If you will consider a moment, Mr.
West, you will see that we have nothing to make
laws about. The fundamental principles on which
our society is founded settle for all time the strifes
and misunderstandings which in your day called
for legislation.
"Fully ninety-nine hundredths of the laws of
that time concerned the definition and protection
of private property and the relations of buyers and
sellers. There is neither private property, beyond
personal belongings, now, nor buying and selling,
and therefore the occasion of nearly all the legis-
lation formerly necessary has passed away. For-
merly, society was a pyramid poised on its apex.
All the gravitations of human nature were con-
stantly tending to topple it over, and it could be
maintained upright, or rather upwrong (if you
will pardon the feeble witticism), by an elaborate
system of constantly renewed props and buttresses
and guy-ropes in the form of laws. A central
Congress and forty state legislatures, turning out
some twenty thousand laws a year, could not make
new props fast enough to take the place of those
which were constantly breaking down or becoming
ineffectual through some shifting of the strain.
Now society rests on its base, and is in as little
need of artificial supports as the everlasting hills."

We had made an appointment to meet the ladies
at the dining-hall for dinner, after which, having
some engagement, they left us sitting at table there,
discussing our wine and cigars with a multitude of
other matters.
"Doctor," said I , in the course of our talk,
"morally speaking, your social system is one which
I should be insensate not to admire in comparison
with any previously in vogue in the world, and
especially with that of my own most unhappy cen-
tury. If I were to fall into a mesmeric sleep to-
night as lasting as that other, and meanwhile the
course of time were to take a turn backward in-
stead of forward, and I were to wake up again in
the nineteenth century, when I had told my friends
what I had seen, they would every one admit that
your world was a paradise of order, equity, and
felicity. But they were a very practical people, my
contemporaries, and after expressing their admira-
tion for the moral beauty and material splendor of
the system, they would presently begin to cipher
and ask how you got the money to make every body
so happy; for certainly, to support the whole nation
at a rate of comfort, and even luxury, such as I see
around me, must involve vastly greater wealth than
the nation produced in my day. Now, while I
could explain to them pretty nearly everything else
of the main features of your system, I should quite
fail to answer this question, and failing there, they
would tell me, for they were very close cipherers,
believe anything else. In my day, I know that the
total annual product of the nation, although it
might have been divided with absolute equality,
would not have come to more than three or four
hundred dollars per head, not very much more than
enough to supply the necessities of life with few or
any of its comforts. How is it that you have so
much more?"
"That is a very pertinent question, Mr. West,"
replied Dr. Leete, "and I should not blame your
friends, in the case you supposed, if they declared
your story all moonshine, failing a satisfactory
reply to it. It is a question which I cannot answer
exhaustively at any one sitting, and as for the exact
statistics to bear out my general statements, I shall
have to refer you for them to books in my library,
but it would certainly be a pity to leave you to be
put to confusion by your old acquaintances, in case
of the contingency you speak of, for lack of a few
"Let us begin with a number of small items
wherein we economize wealth as compared with you.
We have no national, state, county, or municipal
debts, or payments on their account. We have no
sort of military or naval expenditures for men or
materials, no army, navy, or militia. We have no
revenue service, no swarm of tax assessors and col-
lectors. As regards our judiciary, police, sheriffs,
and jailers, the force which Massachusetts alone
kept on foot in your day far more than suffices for
the nation now. We have no criminal class prey-
ing upon the wealth of society as you had. The
number of persons, more or less absolutely lost to
the working force through physical disability, of
the lame, sick, and debilitated, which constituted
such a burden on the able-bodied in your day, now
that all live under conditions of health and comfort,
has shrunk to scarcely perceptible proportions, and
with every generation is becoming more completely
"Another item wherein we save is the disuse of
money and the thousand occupations connected
with financial operations of all sorts, whereby an
army of men was formerly taken away from useful
employments. Also consider that the waste of the
very rich in your day on inordinate personal luxury
has ceased, though, indeed, this item might easily
be over-estimated. Again, consider that there are
no idlers now, rich or poor,-no drones.
"A very important cause of former poverty was
the vast waste of labor and materials which
resulted from domestic washing and cooking, and
the performing separately of innumerable other
tasks to which we apply the cooperative plan.
"A lager economy than any of these-yes, of
all together-is effected by the organization of our
distributing system, by which the work done once
by the merchants, traders, storekeepers, with their
various grades of jobbers, wholesalers, retailers,
agents, commercial travelers, and middlemen of all
sorts with an excessive waste of energy in need-
less transportation and interminable handlings,
is performed by one-tenth the number of hands
and an unnecessary turn of not one wheel. Some-
thing of what our distributing system is like you
know. Our statisticians calculate that one eightieth
part of our workers suffices for all the processes
of distribution which in your day required one
eighth of the population, so much being withdrawn
from the force engaged in productive labor."
"I begin to see," I said, "where you get your
greater wealth."

"It's a little after the time you told me to
wake you, sir. You did not come out of it as
quick as common, sir,"
The voice was the voice of my man Sawyer.
I started bolt upright in bed and stared around.
I was in my underground chamber. The mellow
light of the lamp which always burned in the
room when I occupied it illumined the familiar
walls and furnishings. By my bedside, with the
glass of sherry in his hand which Dr. Pillsbury
prescribed on first rousing from a mesmeric sleep,
by way of awakening the torpid physical functions,
stood Sawyer,
"Better take this right off, sir," he said, as I
stared blankly at him. "You look kind of flushed
like, sir, and you need it."
I tossed off the liquor and began to realize what
had happened to me. It was, of course, very
plain. All that about the twentieth century had
been a dream.

"I have been in Golgotha," at last I answered.
"I have seen Humanity hanging on a cross! Do
none of you know what sights the sun and stars
look down on in this city, that you can think and
talk of anything else? Do you not know that
close to your doors a great multitude of men and
women, flesh of your flesh, live lives that are one
agony from birth to death? Listen! their dwell-
ings are so near that if you hush your laughter
you will hear their grievous voices, the piteous
crying of the little ones that suckle poverty, the
hoarse curses of men sodden in misery, turned
half-way back to brutes, the chaffering of an army
of women selling themselves for bread. With
what have you stopped your ears that you do not
hear these doleful sounds? For me, I can hear
nothing else."

Let but the famine-stricken nation assume the
function it had neglected, and regulated for the com-
mon good the course of the life-giving stream, and
the earth would bloom like one garden, and none
of its children lack any good thing. I described
the physical felicity, mental enlightenment, and
moral elevation which would then attend the lives
of all men. With fervency I spoke of that new
world, blessed with plenty, purified by justice and
sweetened by brotherly kindness, the world of
which I had indeed but dreamed, but which might
so easily be made real. But when I had expected
now surely the faces around me to light up with
emotions akin to mine, they grew ever more dark,
angry, and scornful. Instead of enthusiasm, the
ladies showed only aversion and dread, while the
men interrupted me with shouts of reprobation
and contempt. "Madman!" "Pestilent fellow!"
"Fanatic!" "Enemy of society!" were some of
their cries, and the one who had before taken his
eyeglass to me exclaimed, "He says we are to
have no more poor. Ha! ha!"