Looking Backward: 2000-1887 tells the story of a wealthy Bostonian, Julian West, who wakes up in the year 2000 to a new world in which a nonviolent revolution has done way with both the wage and the dole, class conflict and exploitation, war, crime, sexual exploitation, environmental pollution, and all the other ills that plagued Bellamy's day. Instead, society has been reorganized by the principle of absolute economic equality, and government merely coordinates industrial production and distribution. Political democracy, which Bellamy contended is a sham without economic democracy, has become a reality. From this fundamental transformation of society flow many additional benefits: production for use instead of for profit; a redefinition of work so that it takes up but a small part
This, in turn, led critics to see Bellamy as an authoritarian technocrat, a view that a careful reading of his works, particularly those of the 1890s, should dispel.