William Morris’ Vision of Socialism: Self-sustaining Local Communities by William Bowles

by William Bowles
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
30 June 2012

Build a Peace Economy!

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

There — it sickens one to have to wade through this grimy sea of opportunism. What a spectacle of shuffling, lies, vacillation and imbecility does this Game Political offer to us? I cannot conclude without an earnest appeal to those Socialists, of whatever section, who may be drawn towards the vortex of Parliamentarism, to think better of it while there is yet time.

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An Epoch of Rest by William Bowles

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By William Bowles
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
17 September 2009

“It is right and necessary that all men should have work to do which is shall be worth doing, and be of itself pleasant to do; and which shall be done under such conditions as would make it neither overwearisome nor over-anxious.” — William Morris, ‘Art and Socialism’.

I first read William Morris’s News from Nowhere, his future history of a ‘return’ to an idealized vision of a pre-capitalist society, part feudal, part agrarian socialism, when I was a teenager, and perhaps oddly, I also read it as a science fiction novel.

Long dismissed by ‘purist’ Marxists as unworkable, in light of the fact that even the original socialist version of industrial society is no more viable than the capitalist one, perhaps it’s time to reconsider Morris’s allegedly utopian vision. And in any case, one can already see the outlines forming of some kind of small-scale, co-operative, community, small business type economy emerging on the back of the information technology revolution (minus all the corporate/state stuff of course) that has much in common with Morris’s vision. ‘All’ that remains be done is to get rid of corporate capitalism and its parasitic ruling political class.

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