— Dora Russell author, feminist, socialist campaigner 1894 - 1986
The Right to Be Happy (1927)
Context: It has taken us centuries of thought and mockery to shake the medieval system; thought and mockery here and now are required to prevent the mechanists from building another. Without falling into a mystical vitalism that reverences organic nature as sacred, we can at least try rather to serve than to subdue the prancing seas of life. With this in view I have taken as impulses, instincts, or needs certain driving forces in the human species as we know it at present, and argued for such social and economic changes as will give them new, free, and varied expression. To take even this first step towards a happy society is a herculean task. After it has been accomplished, generations to come will see what the creature will do next. We none of us know; and we should be thoroughly on our guard against all those who pretend that they do.