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William Morris Again

News from Nowhere is an account by William Morris of a socialist returning home from a branch meeting of the Hammersmith Socialist League to fall into a deep sleep. When he awakes, he is in the socialist future. People are living in equality, and there is no money, no government, no marriage and no politics. The people live in harmony with nature, and work because they enjoy it, take pleasure in crafts, and have few conflicts with one another. Morris’s vision echoes Marx’s idea that under communism people would be able "to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner."

William Morris could be so easily dismissed as utopian if it were not for the amount of time, effort and money he expended on what he called ‘practical socialism’: printing newspapers, leaflets and pamphlets, organising meetings, giving lectures and building socialism as a political force. . He called himself a ‘dreamer of dreams, born out of my due time.’ Yet he was also every bit as much a political organiser as Keir Hardie. His socialism was imbued with environmentalism and an understanding of the brutalising nature of the modern city. He railed against pollution, the destruction of ancient buildings, shoddy goods and poor design. He was a ‘green’ long before the term was invented.  His vision is inspiring. His politics are uncompromising.

Socialist Courier suggests the following for further reading, an article by Colin Skelly written for the Morris Society.

A Revolutionary Socialist by Adam Buick
A critique of Paul Meiers biography of Morris by Adam Buick

Stephen Coleman,
 "The Economics of Utopia: Morris and Bellamy Contrasted."
 "What Can We Learn from William Morris?"
"William Morris and 'Education Towards Revolution': 'Making Socialists' versus 'Putting Them In Their Place.'"


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