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Malcolm Muggeridge

“All this was only, in my father's estimation, a means; the end was the Earthly Paradise, the translation of William Morris's 'News from Nowhere' into 'News from Somewhere.' Then Whitman's sense of abounding joy in his own and all creation's sensuality would sweep away the paltry backwaters of bourgeois morality; the horrors of industrial ugliness which Ruskin so eloquently denounced would dissolve, and die forgotten as a dream (phrases from hymns still washed about in my father's mind) as slums were transformed into garden cities, and the belching smoke of hateful furnaces into the cool elegance of electric power. As for the ferocious ravings of my namesake, Carlyle, about the pettifogging nature of modern industrial man's pursuits and expectations -- all that would be corrected as he was induced to spend ever more of his increasing leisure in cultural and craft activities; in the enjoyment of music, literature and art.

It was pefectly true -- a point that Will Straughan was liable to bring up at the Saturday evening gatherings -- that on the present form the new citizenry might be expected to have a marked preference for dog-racing over chamber music or readings from 'Paradise Lost,' but, my father would loftily point out, education would change all that. Education was, in fact, the lynchpin of the whole operation; the means whereby the Old Adam of the Saturday night booze-up, and fondness for Marie Lloyd in preference to Beatrice Webb, would be cast off, and the New Man be born as potential fodder for third Programmes yet to come.”


Malcolm Muggeridge, Chronicles of Wasted Time
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Chronicles of Wasted Time Chronicles of Wasted Time by Malcolm Muggeridge
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