Forget all the things which are commonly labelled socialist for a moment and consider why or what its appeal could possibly be and you are unlikely to come up with anything much different from what Oscar Wilde does in this brilliant, over looked, small book.
Wilde waxes lyrical on what he believes could be the result of a permanent relief of poverty, similar to William Morris, here is an uplifting account of a world of improved social obligations. Reasoning that a world without the sorts of obligations compelled by sympathy for others in chronic states of want or poverty would be one where a more profound, convivial, civilised and altogether more honest individualism prevails.
Entirely removed from concrete proposals for policy, personal choices or practices this account has a certain sort of timelessness and doesnt appear arcane, antiquated or dated like a lot of socialist books. It certainly is the ideology at its most romantic, smiley and would appeal to any post-eighties reader who's a libertarian, or even libertine, at heart.
I would recommend this to all readers, politically interested and not so politically interested alike, to anyone more or less hostile towards much maligned and misunderstood (not least by its dearest supporters) socialism. It is a story of sorts and it has more literary than political merit, infact it is to contemporary politics what Jules Verne is to contemporary world travellers, cavers or submariners.