Looking Backward was written in the belief that the Golden Age lies before us and not behind us.
On no other stage are the scenes shifted with a swiftness so like magic as on the great stage of history when once the hour strikes.
Your system was liable to periodical convulsions...business crises at intervals of five to ten years, which wrecked the industries of the nation.
If bread is the first necessity of life, recreation is a close second.
Equal wealth and equal opportunities of culture...have simply made us all members of one class.
An American credit card...is just as good in Europe as American gold used to be.
If we could have devised an arrangement for providing everybody with music in their homes, perfect in quality, unlimited in quantity, suited to every mood, and beginning and ceasing at will, we should have considered the limit of human felicity already attained, and ceased to strive for further improvements.
Badly off as the men...were in your day, they were more fortunate than their mothers and wives.
When you come to analyze the love of money which was the general impulse to effort in your day, you find that the dread of want and desire of luxury was but one of several motives which the pursuit of money represented; the others, and with many the more influential, being desire of power, of social position, and reputation for ability and success.
The nation guarantees the nurture, education, and comfortable maintenance of every citizen from the cradle to the grave.
Buying and selling is essentially antisocial.
Hold the period of youth sacred to education, and the period of maturity, when the physical forces begin to flag, equally sacred to ease and agreeable relaxation.
Human history, like all great movements, was cyclical, and returned to the point of beginning. the idea of indefinite progress in a right line was a chimera of the imagination, with no analogue in nature. The parabola of a comet was perhaps a better illustration of the career of humanity. Tending upward and sunward from the aphelion of barbarism, the race attained the perihelion of civilization only to plunge downward once more to its nether goal in the regions of chaos.
Why, when the world gets to understand about it I expect that two men or two women, or a man and a woman, will come in here, and say to me, 'We have quarrelled and outraged each other, we have injured our friend, our wife, our husband; we regret, we would forgive, but we cannot, because we remember. Put between us the atonement of forgetfulness, that we may love each other as of old.
But one thing it opened her eyes to, and made certain from the first instant of her new consciousness, namely, that since she loved him she could not keep her promise to marry him.