Anticipations of The New Republic: The Vision of H.G. WellsBy Daniel Taylor
Mar. 14, 2008
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In 1901, when Herbert George Wells was around 35 years old, he wrote a book titled Anticipations: Of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon Human life and Thought. This work contains many of the same themes as his later 1928 book The Open Conspiracy, as he details the rise of the "New Republic", a system of world governance and scientific control.
Anticipations is a no holds barred explanation of Wells' vision of the New Republic. A watered down version of these ideas can be found in The Open Conspiracy, but it is my opinion that Anticipations will give us a much clearer and honest view into what Wells truly foresaw.
When reading Anticipations, it is difficult not to be reminded of later works such as Orwell's 1984 and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. A scientific, ruthless elite gains effective control of society - in the case of H.G. Wells New Republic by proclaiming altruistic motives to the general population - and directs the affairs of mankind.
Anticipations was one of the first books dedicated to surveying the future. Binghamton University history professor and futurist W. Warren Wagar writes regarding Wells' Anticipations,
"Anticipations ranged widely in its subject matter, from the future of transport to the future of world order... Wells looked ahead to the first aircraft and to broad highways teeming with automobiles, busses, and trucks. Suburbia would triumph over city and countryside... one vast unbroken sprawl of middle-class life would reach from Boston to Washington. [Wells] foresaw the collapse of capitalism and the nation state system in great technologically advanced total wars that the tycoons and the politicians could not, ultimately, understand or control. Power would slip through their fingers. They would be swiftly replaced by the technically competent, by scientists and engineers and managers, who would learn from their errors and build a world state of peace and plenty."Anticipations contains many startling predictions that have come to pass to one degree or another. In this book, Wells bluntly states the goals and intentions of his envisioned New Republic that will, among many other things, "...have an ideal that will make killing worth the while," and inflict upon deviants, "good scientifically caused pain, that will leave nothing but a memory." Wells even predicts the rise of a union of European states complete with "...homologization of laws and coinage and measures..." through which "...the final peace of the world may be assured for ever." This "peace" however, means certain enslavement for a large portion of mankind.
Wells states - again, this is written in 1901 - that the New Republic will,
"...aim to establish, and it will at last, though probably only after a second century has passed, establish a world-state with a common language and a common rule. All over the world its roads, its standards, its laws, and its apparatus of control will run."The organization of the New Republic is described by wells as consisting of wealthy men who "will presently discover with a sort of surprise the common object towards which they are all moving." Wells writes,
"Now, the more one descends from the open uplands of wide generalization to the parallel jungle of particulars, the more dangerous does the road of prophesying become, yet nevertheless there may be some possibility of speculating how, in the case of the English-speaking synthesis at least, this effective New Republic may begin visibly to shape itself out and appear. It will appear first, I believe, as a conscious organization of intelligent and quite possibly in some cases wealthy men, as a movement having distinct social and political aims, confessedly ignoring most of the existing apparatus of political control, or using it only as an incidental implement in the attainment of these aims. It will be very loosely organized in its earlier stages, a mere movement of a number of people in a certain direction, who will presently discover with a sort of surprise the common object towards which they are all moving."Wells describes the New Republic as an "outspoken Secret Society" and an "open freemasonry" controlling the apparatus of government. He states,
"In its more developed phases I seem to see the New Republic as a sort of outspoken Secret Society, with which even the prominent men of the ostensible state may be openly affiliated."The new ethics of death
Wells' New Republic is largely driven by eugenic policies aimed at what Wells calls the "people of the Abyss." These classes of people are those who the New Republic deems inferior, be they Jews, Blacks, the diseased, the incurably melancholy, etc. The supposed superiority of the scientific elite, who have purified themselves of ancient, outdated ideas and restraining morality, places them in a position of dominance in Wells' New Republic. A "reconstructed ethical system" gives rise to a "new ethics" in the New Republic.
Wells writes regarding this new ethics,
"...the ethical system of these men of the New Republic, the ethical system which will dominate the world state, will be shaped primarily to favour the procreation of what is fine and efficient... and to check the procreation of base and servile types..."Death, writes Wells, must be called to the aid of mankind,
"And the method that nature has followed hitherto in the shaping of the world, whereby weakness was prevented from propagating weakness, and cowardice and feebleness were saved from the accomplishment of their desires... the method that must in some cases still be called in to the help of man, is death."A "reconstructed ethical system" governs the elite of the New Republic which allows for the killing of lesser types as a greater service to the whole of mankind, but a more selfish motivation of total domination seems to cut to the core of this elite. These men of the New Republic have a "moral justification" for every action. Scientific management and a compulsive desire for efficiency guide their hands. They do display some amount of compassion - if you can call it that - as Wells describes their allowance of some defectives to live, but on the condition that they do not reproduce. If this agreement is violated, murder is not out of the question.
"They will hold [the men of the New Republic], I anticipate, that a certain portion of the population--the small minority, for example, afflicted with indisputably transmissible diseases, with transmissible mental disorders, with such hideous incurable habits of mind as the craving for intoxication--exists only on sufferance, out of pity and patience, and on the understanding that they do not propagate; and I do not foresee any reason to suppose that they will hesitate to kill when that sufferance is abused."All of this will stand on the "faith" of the men of the New Republic. Wells elaborates,
"The men of the New Republic will not be squeamish, either, in facing or inflicting death, because they will have a fuller sense of the possibilities of life than we possess. They will have an ideal that will make killing worth the while; like Abraham, they will have the faith to kill, and they will have no superstitions about death. They will naturally regard the modest suicide of incurably melancholy, or diseased or helpless persons as a high and courageous act of duty rather than a crime."The great synthesis
Part of Wells vision for the world state was the division of the world into regions. "The larger synthesis" writes wells, would include a "...federation having America north of Mexico as its central mass..." and a union of European states.
"I am inclined to believe that there will be such a synthesis, and that the head and centre of the new unity will be the great urban region that is developing between Chicago and the Atlantic, and which will lie mainly, but not entirely, south of the St. Lawrence. Inevitably, I think, that region must become the intellectual, political, and industrial centre of any permanent unification of the English-speaking states. There will, I believe, develop about that centre a great federation of white English-speaking peoples, a federation having America north of Mexico as its central mass (a federation that may conceivably include Scandinavia) and its federal government will sustain a common fleet, and protect or dominate or actually administer most or all of the non-white states of the present British Empire, and in addition much of the South and Middle Pacific, the East and West Indies, the rest of America, and the larger part of black Africa.This great synthesis comes at a price to American sovereignty and independence. Wells acknowledges that,
"The American constitution and the British crown and constitution have to be modified or shelved at some stage in this synthesis..." [emphasis added]Where did Wells get these ideas?
Wells brushed shoulders with and had intimate relationships with some of the most prominent people of his day. Could it be that a close relationship with contemporary elites had something to do with his uncanny ability to predict the future shape of the world?
Thomas Henry Huxley, often referred to as "Darwin's Bulldog" for his strong promotion of Darwinian ideals, tutored H.G. Wells and taught him biology. Wells went on to teach biology himself until 1893. Interestingly, Aldous Huxley and Julian Huxley were T.H. Huxley's grandsons.
Sir Julian Huxley served as the first director general of UNESCO, founded in 1945. Huxley echoed the Darwinian ideals that T.H. had promoted so strongly in his statements on UNESCO's purpose and direction. Wells' vision of a world directorate with eugenic aims came a step closer when Julian Huxley stated,
"Even though it is quite true that any radical eugenic policy will be for many years politically and psychologically impossible, it will be important for UNESCO to see that the eugenic problem is examined with the greatest care, and that the public mind is informed of the issues at stake so that much that what is now unthinkable may at least become thinkable."H.G. Well's love affair with Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, is yet another connection in Wells life with an individual who shared his belief in eugenics. In fact, Wells wrote the introduction for Sanger's 1922 book Pivot of Civilization, where he portrays a hypothetical conversation between the "New civilization" and the old. He writes that the elite cannot go on giving the gifts of freedom, wealth and prosperity to the world if "...all our gifts to you are to be swamped by an indiscriminate torrent of progeny." He continues, "...we cannot make the social life and the world-peace we are determined to make, with the ill-bred, ill-trained swarms of inferior citizens that you inflict upon us."
H.G. Wells' belief in world government led him to be a strong advocate for the League of Nations. He was also instrumental in writing the Sankey Declaration of the Rights of Man which would later become the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
As the world moves toward global government and regional rule, as massive sterilization campaigns are unleashed on the third world, a reflection on what H.G. Wells forecasted 107 years ago seems to be in order.
H.G. Wells' Anticipations can be downloaded online here.