Pictures of the Socialistic Future
Pictures of the Socialistic Future is Richter’s satire of what would happen to Germany if the socialism espoused by the trade unionists, social democrats, and Marxists was actually put into practice. It is thus a late 19th century version of Orwell’s 1984, minus the extreme totalitarianism which Orwell had witnessed in Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia but which was still inconceivable to 19th century liberals. The main point of the book is to show that government ownership of the means of production and centralised planning of the economy would not lead to abundance as the socialists predicted would happen when capitalist “inefficiency and waste” were “abolished”. The problem of incentives in the absence of profits, the free rider problem, the public choice insight about the vested interests of bureaucrats and politicians, the connection between economic liberty and political liberty, were all wittily addressed by Richter, much to the annoyance of his socialist opponents.
Pictures of the Socialistic Future (Freely adapted from Bebel), trans. Henry Wright, Introduction by Thomas Mackay (London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co., 1907).
The text is in the public domain.
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Table of Contents
- Biographical Remarks, by David M. Hart
- SOME PRESS NOTICES
- INTRODUCTION by Thomas Mackay
- PICTURES OF THE SOCIALISTIC FUTURE.
- Chapter I: CELEBRATION DAY.
- Chapter II: THE NEW LAWS.
- Chapter III: DISCONTENTED PEOPLE.
- Chapter IV: THE CHOICE OF TRADES.
- Chapter V: A PARLIAMENTARY SITTING.
- Chapter VI: ASSIGNMENT OF WORK.
- Chapter VII: NEWS FROM THE PROVINCES.
- Chapter VIII: THE LAST DAY TOGETHER.
- Chapter IX: THE GREAT MIGRATION.
- Chapter X: THE NEW CURRENCY.
- Chapter XI: THE NEW DWELLINGS.
- Chapter XII: THE NEW STATE COOKSHOPS.
- Chapter XIII: A VEXING INCIDENT.
- Chapter XIV: A MINISTERIAL CRISIS.
- Chapter XV: EMIGRATION.
- Chapter XVI: RETIREMENT OF THE CHANCELLOR.
- Chapter XVII: IN AND ABOUT THE WORKSHOPS.
- Chapter XVIII: FAMILY MATTERS.
- Chapter XIX: RECREATIONS OF THE PEOPLE.
- Chapter XX: DISAGREEABLE EXPERIENCES.
- Chapter XXI: FLIGHT.
- Chapter XXII: ANOTHER NEW CHANCELLOR.
- Chapter XXIII: FOREIGN COMPLICATIONS.
- Chapter XXIV: THE ELECTION STIR.
- Chapter XXV: SAD NEWS.
- Chapter XXVI: THE RESULT OF THE ELECTIONS.
- Chapter XXVII: A LARGE DEFICIT.
- Chapter XXVIII: DOMESTIC AFFAIRS.
- Chapter XXIX: A STORMY PARLIAMENTARY SITTING.
- Chapter XXX: THREATENED STRIKE.
- Chapter XXXI: MENACING DIPLOMATIC NOTES.
- Chapter XXXII: GREAT STRIKE AND SIMULTANEOUS OUTBREAK OF WAR.
- Chapter XXXIII: THE COUNTER-REVOLUTION BEGINS.
- Chapter XXXIV: DISHEARTENING NEWS.
- Chapter XXXV: THE LAST CHAPTER.
- POSTSCRIPT. by Henry Wright