H. G. Wells: Popularizing Darwin, racism, and mayhem - the history you never learned in school
Friends” ( c2c Journal: Canada’s Journal of Ideas , January 4, 2011) commentator Michael Coren quotes friends of the early twentieth century Darwin popularizer, novelist H. G. Wells:
In describing his fellow socialist and some-time friend, George Bernard Shaw wrote of Wells, “Multiply the total by ten; square the result. Raise it again to the millionth power and square it again; and you will still fall short of the truth about Wells – yet the worse he behaved the more he was indulged; and the more he was indulged the worse he behaved.” [ ... ]The interesting part is precisely the way Wells’s bad behaviour was indulged. Almost as if the “modern” 20th century public knew that people like him would be their new rulers, and adjusted to it. Good thing the trend blew itself up. Or did it?
At heart, he was a social engineer. In massively best-selling books such as Anticipations and A Modern Utopia, Wells wrote that he believed the world would collapse and from this collapse a new order should and would emerge: “People throughout the world whose minds were adapted to the big-scale conditions of the new time. A naturally and informally organised educated class, an unprecedented sort of people.” A strict social order would be formed. At the bottom of it were the base.
These were “people who had given evidence of a strong anti-social disposition,” including “the black, the brown, the swarthy, the yellow.” Christians would also “have to go” as well as the handicapped. Wells devoted entire pamphlets to the need of “preventing the birth, preventing the procreation or preventing the existence” of the mentally and physically handicapped. “This thing, this euthanasia of the weak and the sensual is possible. I have little or no doubt that in the future it will be planned and achieved.”
The people of Africa and Asia, he said, simply could never find a place in a modern world controlled by science. Better to do away with the lot. “I take it they will have to go,” he said of them. Marriage as it is known would have to end, but couples could form mutually agreed unions. They would list their “desires, diseases, needs” on little cards and a central authority would decide who was fitted for whom.
Labels: H. G. Wells