Comments on The Open Conspiracy by H. G. Wells
By Alan Mercer
(From The Open Conspiracy and Other Writings, 1933, Waterlow & Sons Ltd., London)
Continued from Part 9
Ch. X “The Open Conspiracy is not to be thought of as a single organization; it is a conception of life out of which efforts, organizations, and new orientations will arise”
Wells explains that the Open Conspiracy
“cannot fail to arouse enormous opposition. … it is a creative effort that can hardly stir without attacking established things. It is the repudiation of drift, of “leaving things alone.” It criticizes everything in human life from the top to the bottom and finds everything not good enough. It strikes at the unversal human desire to feel that things are “all right.”” (p. 44)
There are some interesting comments Wells makes while half-criticizing and half-praising Russian Bolshevik rule, being critical of Marxist anti-elitist dogma:
“a small oligarchy which has obtained power by its profession does its obstinate best, much hampered by the suspicion and hostility of the Western financiers [ Some of them? I wonder about that statement ] and politicians, to carry on a series of interesting and varyingly successful experiments in the socialization of economic life…”
However, Wells explains how their brutal dictatorship was not good enough:
“…Marxism and Communism are divagations from the path of human progress and that the line of advance must follow a course more intricate and less flattering to the common impulses of our nature.”
In other words, he’s saying in this section that the Bolsheviks were too much tied to Marxist dogma about the “workers” and appealing to the interest of the masses and ordinary people. They were too crude and resorted to “malignantly destructive activities”, and not scientific enough for his taste. He could see the Russian form of communism just wouldn’t achieve the world state. Malicious, totalitarian, cruel, useful for “interesting” “experiments“, very educational for elitists to observe, but still ineffective in achieving a unified world state. That goal would have to wait for a much more sophisticated strategy.
As a character says in George Orwell’s 1984, in the context of resisting tyranny: “The proletariat don’t count.” Wells also recognizes that the mass man is unaware and easily conditioned to his lot in life, that he is not a revolutionary force in any direction – either towards the type of society that Wells envisages (thankfully) or away from it (unfortunately, but I hope that more will wake up to start pulling back). So:
“we clear the way for the recognition of an elite of intelligent, creative-minded people scattered through the whole community, and for a study of the method of making this creative element effective in human affairs against the massive oppositions of selfishness and unimaginative self-protective conservatism.“
So he flatters those he expects to join his Open Conspiracy, and he condemns the people who don’t want to be pushed around. He characterizes people who stand up for themselves and their ways of life as “selfish” and “unimaginative”. But of course, Wells has things upside down, because the people who care about their values and traditions and rights will stand up for each other against his Open Conspiracy. That’s not selfish.
I think things have changed a lot since his time, and now the heavily conditioned masses are more likely to just go along out of fear and join his alliance of conformists: willing idealistic dupes, opportunistic frauds and power-hungry goons. Because I’m sure that accurately characterizes the majority of the Open Conspiracy. Duped naiive idealists are the best of them, and I understand, because I’ve been duped myself when it comes to authoritarian religion.
What do you think the nature of such a hierarchy would be? Do you really think they would be better than everyone else and more caring and loving towards their fellow human beings? Wells just writes endlessly, obsessively about how he wants to change everything and fix everything and create this perfect world where his kind of “imaginative” frustrated people have it all planned out. What kind of people do you think are attracted to that? It’s all about desire for POWER, and he shamelessly repeats that concept of power as being a positive thing. It stands out. It’s not normal.
Wells contradicts his supposed anti-war persona. Since there are “armies prepared to act coercively”, he says:
“it is necessary that the Open Conspiracy should develop within itself the competence to resist military coercion and combat and destroy armies that stand in the way of its emergence.”
So he makes like that’s not being “coercive”. The Open Conspiracy will just “emerge” and will use its military might to defeat anyone who gets scared and thinks their way of life is possibly under attack. He says that’s different from being “coercive”, because trying to take over the world to create a world totalitarian system is a very “special” kind of goal, and it isn’t the same as “coercively” trying to defend your old “backwards” “selfish” “unscientific” ways of life. So he has the future scripting practically all written out in advance to justify a huge tax-funded debt-funded scientifically organized international Open Conspiracy stomping on the little ant-like people who dare to oppose it, – and calling it “defence”.
“And when we come to the general functioning classes, landowners, industrial organizers, bankers, and so forth, who control the present system, such as it is, it should be still plainer that it is very largely from the ranks of these classes, and from their stores of experience and traditions of method, that the directive forces of the new order must emerge…” (p. 46)
He flatters and encourages his banker buddies:
“…there remains a residuum of original and intelligent people in banking or associated with banking or mentally interested in banking, who do realize that banking plays a very important and interesting part in the world’s affairs, who are curious about their own intricate function and disposed towards a scientific investigation of its origins, conditions, and future possibilities. Such types move naturally towards the Open Conspiracy. Their enquiries carry them inevitably outside the bankers’ habitual field to an examination of the nature, drift, and destiny of the entire economic process.”
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