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Old 09-13-07, 11:49 AM   #1
Tom Stormcrowe
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Need some Foopinions

I have a paper for AMHist154. The subject I've chosen is a secondary analysis of Edward Bellamy's Looking Back, 2000-1887, which is a fictional work published in 1888. Bellamy was an advocate of Central Planning and a Marxist/Socialist economic model, from a Utopian's viewpoint. I thought it would be an interesting analysis of what he got right, what he got wrong and how his book, which was a best seller in his day affected US political and urban development.

Now, your opinions: What ya think?
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Old 09-13-07, 11:52 AM   #2
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If its OK with the prof, it sounds fun. If you are on that same vein, you may want to read (quick read) "Anthem" by Ayn Rand as well. You may even want to throw it in to the mix. She also portrays a futuristic pure Utopian/Marxist society, but just as a fictional story, not a fictional history.
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Old 09-13-07, 11:54 AM   #3
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If its OK with the prof, it sounds fun. If you are on that same vein, you may want to read (quick read) "Anthem" by Ayn Rand as well. You may even want to throw it in to the mix. She also portrays a futuristic pure Utopian/Marxist society, but just as a fictional story, not a fictional history.
Not sure I would call it a "utopian" society Ayn Rand portrayed in Anthem.

As to OP's question, I think it would be a lot of work, but fun to do also. I would vote yes.
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Old 09-13-07, 12:02 PM   #4
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Depends on the teacher, and if your going to be nice or mean to socialism.

If your teacher is the kind that grades poorly if you disagree with him, don't write the paper if your going to end up going against his viewpoint on socialism.

If your teacher is the kind that grades based off of your research/support of your stance, then just make sure you write a good paper
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Old 09-13-07, 12:12 PM   #5
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Not sure I would call it a "utopian" society Ayn Rand portrayed in Anthem.

As to OP's question, I think it would be a lot of work, but fun to do also. I would vote yes.
I can't see how you would see it any other way....but I'll PM you. Don't want to derail Tom's thread.
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Old 09-13-07, 12:15 PM   #6
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I can't see how you would see it any other way....but I'll PM you. Don't want to derail Tom's thread.
I think what he's getting at is that the majority of Utopian society books are actually dis-Utopian societys based off of a Utopian society idea that was around at the time the author wrote the book.
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Old 09-13-07, 12:23 PM   #7
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I think what he's getting at is that the majority of Utopian society books are actually dis-Utopian societys based off of a Utopian society idea that was around at the time the author wrote the book.
That's why I thin "Anthem" was one that broke the mold. It really was a Utopian society, unlike what the societies end up becoming (e.g. 1984). I believe Ayn Rand was showing that communism was wrong even at a fundamental level, that's why she portrayed the society as a pure Utopian Communist society.
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Old 09-13-07, 12:30 PM   #8
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That's why I thin "Anthem" was one that broke the mold. It really was a Utopian society, unlike what the societies end up becoming (e.g. 1984). I believe Ayn Rand was showing that communism was wrong even at a fundamental level, that's why she portrayed the society as a pure Utopian Communist society.
It wasn't Utopian. There was technological regression, a lottery system for job placement, as well as still at least some form of police, and corporal punishment (the guy getting burnt at the stake), the society may not have been as screwed up as the ones in 1984, or Animal Farm, or Brave New World, but it was still far from the definition Excellent or ideal but impracticable


Also, HA, so much for not derailing.
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Old 09-13-07, 12:32 PM   #9
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My Professor is intellectually honest. He wants us to defend our actual views rather than parrot his. Great teacher!
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Depends on the teacher, and if your going to be nice or mean to socialism.

If your teacher is the kind that grades poorly if you disagree with him, don't write the paper if your going to end up going against his viewpoint on socialism.

If your teacher is the kind that grades based off of your research/support of your stance, then just make sure you write a good paper
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Old 09-13-07, 12:33 PM   #10
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Sounds pretty fun, not sure how you'd prove how it effected policy though...and as a result the difficulty is turning it into a history paper.

I suppose you could use it as a tool, a window if you will, to the mindset of society and how these fears/predictions directed soceity?
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Old 09-13-07, 12:35 PM   #11
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Sounds interesting to me, which sadly means it is mostly likely a bad idea.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 09-13-07, 12:35 PM   #12
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My Professor is intellectually honest. He wants us to defend our actual views rather than parrot his. Great teacher!
Have you had him before? Most of my teachers claimed such a thing, all but 3 of them in my History/Politics/English courses failed to live by it. I learned that the hard way in my first college English class, did a paper on the TVA, and the New Deal in general (the assignment was to pick one aspect of the New Deal, and tie it into the overall picture FDR was going for), that was lets say, less than complementary. Tons of citations, tons of research, tons of red marks from the teacher. After that I started spending time getting to know my teachers before doing any major writing assignments.
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Old 09-13-07, 12:36 PM   #13
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Sounds pretty fun, not sure how you'd prove how it effected policy though...and as a result the difficulty is turning it into a history paper.

I suppose you could use it as a tool, a window if you will, to the mindset of society and how these fears/predictions directed soceity?
Are you sure we aren't somehow related? That's the exact track I'm planning on using
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Old 09-13-07, 12:37 PM   #14
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Sounds pretty fun, not sure how you'd prove how it effected policy though...and as a result the difficulty is turning it into a history paper.

I suppose you could use it as a tool, a window if you will, to the mindset of society and how these fears/predictions directed soceity?
precisely...you can't say that this book actually effected the policy in the past, but you can correlate its predictions with what happened. Do this in conjunction with additional information from other sources, such as the social/political climate during the times in question, and you could make some interesting conclusions.
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Old 09-13-07, 12:38 PM   #15
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Have you had him before? Most of my teachers claimed such a thing, all but 3 of them in my History/Politics/English courses failed to live by it. I learned that the hard way in my first college English class, did a paper on the TVA, and the New Deal in general (the assignment was to pick one aspect of the New Deal, and tie it into the overall picture FDR was going for), that was lets say, less than complementary. Tons of citations, tons of research, tons of red marks from the teacher. After that I started spending time getting to know my teachers before doing any major writing assignments.
I've known him for 5 or 6 years. I know him well enough to predict his reaction to a paper designed to appeal to him specifically and the result ain't pretty. He wants our views, not a reflection of his. If the paper is an honest reflection of what you are thinking and you can successfully defend your position, then you're golden.
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Old 09-13-07, 12:40 PM   #16
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I've known him for 5 or 6 years. I know him well enough to predict his reaction to a paper designed to appeal to him specifically and the result ain't pretty. He wants our views, not a reflection of his. If the paper is an honest reflection of what you are thinking and you can successfully defend your position, then you're golden.
Sweet, do it up then. And try and tie in 'Sesame Street' somehow.
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Old 09-13-07, 12:41 PM   #17
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Are you sure we aren't somehow related? That's the exact track I'm planning on using
I dunno, we're both good looking guys who enjoy reading about medial temporal activation in correlation to PFC activation during WM tasks (did you know you can predict the accuracy of memory recall based on PFC activation during encoding?), when these begin to bore us...a little marx-related literature is good for a pick-me-up.

Otherwise, i'd have to say no
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Old 09-13-07, 12:41 PM   #18
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It wasn't Utopian. There was technological regression, a lottery system for job placement, as well as still at least some form of police, and corporal punishment (the guy getting burnt at the stake), the society may not have been as screwed up as the ones in 1984, or Animal Farm, or Brave New World, but it was still far from the definition Excellent or ideal but impracticable


Also, HA, so much for not derailing.
Taking it to PM to un-derail.
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Old 09-13-07, 01:10 PM   #19
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Ummmm..... Quail? Pie? 42?
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