Edward Einhorn has adapted London's novel. New Play Network's synopsis:
Jack London's socialist dystopia, IRON HEEL, is rarely read in schools. Somehow I missed it, thought a student of both utopias and dystopias. I did read Einhorn's adaptation and found it both rousing and quaintly pertinent to today's politics. But the "today" in this play is a socialist dominated future, whose leaders are recounting the revolutionary struggle against the Capitalists in an alternative 20th century. The story within a story is about Ernest and Avis, he the Socialist rebel, she the lovely daughter of a capitalist, a professor and stockholder in the mill.
When Ernest crashes a party at Avis's father's stately house in Berkeley, California, it's the instant attraction of opposites. He's a "trouble maker" dismissed from the mill for "impudence," She's the lovely dutiful daughter. But as his world and hers join, love and politics become a violent clash with the ruling Oligarchy, His Socialist ideals, which have the majority of support by Americans, are focused on ending Capitalism. But it's a nasty fight. Capitalists of the Oligarchy have no mercy.
The righteous heroic struggle leads to martyrdom. This is not Shaw's Socialism, witty and satirical. But there is are folk songs Woody Guthrie might enjoy and stories as true as Erin Brockovich, Sanders' supporters may enjoy this unusual taste of early Socialist ideals. London thought Socialism was a logical progression and perhaps Anarchy. My question for London, if he were around, is his assumption that Socialism was an end result. What would he think about Socialism becoming Communism's "Worker's Paradise?" But in London's story the struggle is enough. The tellers of his story are the present day victors.
I can see how this story may have inspired Sinclair Lewis' IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE, as well as Orwell. In Lewis' dystopia, the U.S. devolves from capitalism to fascism with a glib Ad-Man president. Obviously, this character is far too on target for election 2016.
My own dystopia, "Paradise Gardens," reverses the passage of Feudal society to Capitalism with corporate business estates underground. It's looking at the corporate exodus in 2050 of the earth's inhabitable surface for the underground (after the dissolution of the Old Fed), and life on the estates in 3011. More's Utopia is with me yet...
IRON HEEL the production has "People's Rates," even free nights. The play is a must see for idealists, lovers of political philosophy, agit prop theater, folk music or anyone pondering late stage Capitalism. Join the rabble! This is the good fight!