Review of Reviews,  16 (1897), 191–200.

The Book of the Month. The Revolt Against the Rule of the Rich; or, an American Short Cut to the Millennium



Regular Feature, Abstract

Publications abstracted:

Bellamy 1897


Futurism, Science Fiction, Electricity, Telegraphy, Technology, Machinery, Language, Extinction, Energy

    Bellamy's novelistic account of life in the early twenty-first century depicts the use of many new technologies, including 'the electroscope, by which he maintains it will be possible for anybody to see anything that is going on in any part of the world. Already the telephone has taught us that we can listen to a sermon or a play at a distance of hundreds of miles. He maintains it will be possible to adapt the same useful agent to the service of the eye, so that we shall be able to see as far as we can hear'. Because of this 'combination of the telephone and the electroscope [...] the habit of meeting together in public assembly [...] goes out of fashion', and the new mode of world-wide communication also 'presupposes the blotting out of dialects, and of many of the languages of the smaller peoples', as well as the adoption of 'a kind of Volapuk or universal language'. Also predicts that by the year 2000 'the horse will be as extinct as the dodo, his place having been taken by the electric motor', while the 'force and power that is used to work the machines' will be 'obtained from the natural inequalities of temperature', and 'Power [...] with all its forms of light and heat and energy, is to be practically exhaustless and costless, and scarcely enters as an element in the economical calculation'. (194)

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