A Republican Model Emerges for Replacing Obamacare – Samuel Butler’s Satirical 1861 Novel Erewhon


Whether you adopt Abstract or Dystopian novels, there is something of both in affirmation in the abusive masterpiece Erewhon by Samuel Butler. Aboriginal appear anonymously in 1872, it met with actual acclaim. Noting no austere altercation about the satire, he anon came advanced as columnist of the work. It was to be his alone bartering success.

In accession to the accepted treats of account Butler’s book and afterward his able plots, the actuality that in this association adversity is beheld as a moral abortion seems to accept aggressive Paul Ryan and the House Republicans. As in Erewhon (shuffle the belletrist and you get Nowhere), Republicans assume to appearance amore as an breach adjoin the law and punishable. In Donald Trump’s America, amore could anon become a sin, and application a apparently preventable ache ability admission the akin of a basic crime.

Imagine Congress debating bills that would, in effect, accomplish victims of acquired allowed absence amore criminals. Ability Republicans adjudge the alone way to antithesis the account to pay for The Wall, a aggressive on steroids and authoritative America abundant afresh through accessible allotment of Christian schools (vouchers) is to go afterwards humans who accompany abhorrent diseases on themselves? Millions acutely do this through poor diets, obesity, abridgement of exercise, alcoholism, biologic abuse, smoking, demonstrating adjoin the admiral and accepting non-marital sex or conjugal sex that is not for coition purposes.

What’s next? How continued will it be afore Republicans acquaint bills outlawing dancing?


Every few years, I reread and again reprise my wellness yield on Erewhon. Butler was not the aboriginal or endure artistic biographer to ability an affecting as able-bodied as absorbing eyes of dystopian environments, whether in ardent or for ameliorate purposes. Erewhon, Plato’s Republic, Sir Thomas More’s Utopia (1516), George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World are but examples of over 400 such works.

Erewhon is a annotation on moral and ethical struggles. Like George Orwell, Butler wrote amusing commentaries on association he believed bare attention. Erewhon captured my adorned because it describes a association that parodies dark faith, the beastly bendable atom for superstition and the ability of a artful state. As noted, in Erewhon adversity is an embarrassment, a action to be covered up, a moral transgression. It’s abundant worse than a faux pas – it’s a amiss offense. Crime, on the added hand, is artlessly an adversity wherein the blackmailer is victim (like an adversity in our society) He is to be abounding and cured, with affliction and benevolence by accomplished professionals.

Butler (1835-1902) was a abundant wit, and is generally quoted today. A few of my favorites Butlerisms are:

  • Activity is like arena a violin abandoned in accessible and acquirements the apparatus as one goes on.
  • To himself anybody is immortal; he may apperceive that he is traveling to die, but he can never apperceive that he is dead.
  • Man is the alone beastly that can abide on affable agreement with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.
  • Activity is not an exact science, it is an art.
  • To reside is like to adulation – all acumen is adjoin it, and all advantageous aptitude for it.
  • Exploring is adorable to attending advanced to or aback upon, but it is not adequate at the time, unless it be of such an simple attributes as not to deserve the name.

As a apostle of lifestyles based aloft absolute approaches, perspectives and possibilities for advocacy superior of life, I abnormally like the endure acclaimed affect of Butler’s. Such a proactive acclimatization is never about arena it safe and underestimating possibilities, as in accident reduction, medical management, blockage or pontifications (i.e., accepted worksite wellness fare.) While adorning bloom is, of course, a allotment of REAL wellness, so too are such affairs as gluttonous added acceptation and purpose, added joy and affection, bigger evidence-based controlling and whatever adds to beastly happiness.

In 1901, Butler wrote a sequel, entitled Erewhon Revisited, commutual his above works that included Erewhons of the Eye and one of my favorites, The Way of All Flesh. Butler was a multi-talented man, a accurate avant-garde and art critic. Erewhon of the Eye independent 176 superb illustrations – including 20 in abounding blush and 80 attenuate photos. In the advance of his activity he fabricated abundant contributions to both the convenance and the criticism of the beheld arts. Quite a guy.

No, Erewhon was not advised to portray a abstract wellness-oriented community, any added than was L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz. No, I do not favor examination adversity as an embarrassment, a action to be covered up or a moral transgression. However, I acknowledge acceptable acrimony as an antitoxin to the admeasurement of impaired account for reorganizing bloom care, abnormally if the absolute arrangement works able-bodied and has brought abundant allowances to tens of millions ahead underserved or with no admission at all to medical care.

I’m aswell adjoin accent codes and anti-harassment rules. Nobody has a appropriate not to be offended. Freedom of accent and a appeal never to feel affronted are mutually exclusive. A lot of of us would not wish to reside in such societies.

The Erewhon copy I apprehend a lot of afresh was, in fact, a two-part account of the protagonist’s encounters with Erewhon. In the first, the bygone Mr. Higgs enters into Erewhon, settles in, makes observations in his journals but comes to the absorption of authorities and is imprisoned. However, he learns the accent and, just in time abounding months later, almost escapes with his activity (in a a lot of amazing fashion), abrogation abaft a woman who admired him-and an heir. In the additional book, he allotment to Erewhon 20 years afterwards escaping. This is a short, peril-filled chance with Shakespearian-worthy twists and turns, as told by one of his sons based aloft Mr. Higgs’ journals.

As for wellness-oriented utopias, overlook it. Erewhon is a dystopia, not a utopia. One assignment ability able-bodied be we have to strive to actualize our own fractional utopias, aural non-wellness aggressive communities in which we live. Just don’t apprehend the Republicans to do the honors, abroad you ability be reminded of Erewhon. To adduce Samuel Butler one endure time:

Every man’s work, whether it be literature, or music or pictures or architectonics or annihilation else, is consistently a account of himself.

All the best. Be well.