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Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)

Letter Concerning Socialism, and Edward
Bellamy's "Looking Backward" (S418: 1889)

Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: An untitled response to an enquiry, printed in the Land Nationalisation Society's publication Land and Labor, issue of November 1889. This is apparently the first time that Wallace committed himself in print to the cause of Socialism. Original pagination indicated within double brackets. To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S418.htm

    [[p. 7]] The Star recently contained the following paragraph, which went the round of the press.--"It is said that Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace has come to the conclusion that Land Nationalisation does not by itself offer a sufficient solution of the social problem, and has in consequence proclaimed himself a socialist."

    [[p. 8]] In response to an enquiry, Dr. Wallace writes:--"I did not authorise the paragraph in the Star, and such a bald statement does not at all represent my views. Hitherto I have been doubtful whether Socialism in any form would be the future of humanity, and altogether sceptical of the possibility of carrying out any scheme of Socialism in the present phase of human development. But my opinions on both these points have been changed by a careful study of that remarkable book, Looking Backward, which for the first time--so far as I know--sets forth a practicable and altogether unobjectionable scheme of socialistic life, and solves all the difficulties of the problem in a most complete and satisfactory manner. My conclusions as to the practicability and advisability of such a scheme of social economy as Mr. Bellamy expounds in no way affects my advocacy of Land Nationalisation, which I believe to be--so far as this country is concerned--the indispensable preliminary to any realisation of Mr. Bellamy's views. I shall therefore continue to advocate it as earnestly as I have hitherto done, while I shall not advocate any of the less complete and more or less objectionable forms of Socialism usually propounded in this country."

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