Futures from the Past

The Iron Heel

The Iron Heel

Author: Jack London

The main premise of the book is the rise of a socialist mass movement in the US – strong enough to have a real chance of winning national elections, getting to power, and implementing a radical socialist regime. Conservatives feel alarmed and threatened by this prospect, to the point of seizing power and establishing a brutal dictatorship in order to avert it. In fact, such a movement never arose in the United States, where socialist parties and movements would remain marginal throughout the 20th century. However, such mass left-wing movements would arise in Italy in the early 1920s, in Germany in the early 1920s, and in Spain in the late 1930s, leading conservatives in those countries to support, respectively, Benito MussoliniAdolf Hitler, and Francisco Franco, out of motives similar to those of Jack London’s “Oligarchs”. London foresaw the Oligarchic tyranny arising in the English-speaking United States and Britain while Germany and Austria would for a time hold out against it before finally succumbing; in practice, it would be Nazi Germany which spearheaded fascism in its most virulent form, while the British and Americans stood against it.

The book is considered to be “the earliest of the modern dystopian fiction”, in the form of social science fiction as employed by novels such as...” (read the whole post in Wikipedia)

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