Tuesday, 9 August 2016
Societies And Populations
(i) "'This telling everyone where they have to work and such. It's too much like communism for my liking.'" (p. 171)
Here we need only note, first, that the telling everyone where to work was temporarily necessary for survival and, secondly, that words like "communism" have a history of different applications and changed meanings. For how Wells used the term in The Time Machine, see here.
(ii) "'...the number of pregnancies is up...'
"'More mouths,' Cofflin grumbled.
"'More hands, eventually,' the doctor replied." (p. 199)
Precisely. Every extra mouth to feed is an extra pair of hands to produce food or something else to exchange for food. If there are three people in the car and only two lunch bags in the boot (trunk), then we say that there are too few lunch bags, not that there are too many people!
(iii) "Cofflin...was beginning to see why socialism was impractical, something he'd simply taken on faith before; there just wasn't a mind alive that could soak up all the information needed to make all the economic decisions, even for this miniature city-state." (p. 277)
Changed meanings again. The socialists I know certainly do not think that any one person should plan the economy. A democracy based in every workplace and community is envisaged. Impractical? Bound to degenerate into a dictatorship? These questions are controversial but at least one-person control is not what is aimed at. And dictators have called themselves "socialist" as they have called themselves "Christian" and every other label.