Comments on The Open Conspiracy by H. G. Wells, Part 2
By Alan Mercer
From The Open Conspiracy and Other Writings, 1933, Waterlow & Sons Ltd., London
Continued from Part 1:
Wells states that there is a:
“new phase of excitement, provocation, menace, urgency and actual or potential distresses. Our lives are part of one another. … We are items in a social mass. What are we to do with our lives?” (p. 13)
Wells is raising a type of religious question with his readers, about what they should be doing with their lives, indicating that they should be participating in the “Open Conspiracy”.
Ch. II “The Idea of the Open Conspiracy”
Wells hoped readers would say:
“Let us get together with other people of our sort and make over the world into a great world-civilization that will enable us to realize the promises and avoid the dangers of this new time.” (p. 14)
Wells said this
“conspiracy against established things would, by its very nature, go on in the daylight, and it would be willing to accept participation and help from every quarter. It would, in fact, become an “Open Conspiracy,” …. to adjust our dislocated world.” (p. 14)
Wells mentions he was unhappy with the first version of The Open Conspiracy he had published in 1928, the current one being a re-write:
“The idea of reorganizing the affairs of the world on quite a big scale … has now spread about the world until nearly everybody has it. It has broken out all over the place, thanks largely to the mental stimulation of the Russian Five Year Plan. Hundreds of thousands of people everywhere are now thinking upon the lines foreshadowed by my Open Conspiracy, not because they had ever heard of the book or phrase, but because that was the way thought was going.” (p. 15)
So he considers the Bolshevik tyranny a source of inspiration for his sort of mentality.
Ch. 3 “We have to Clear and Clean up Our Minds”
Wells says the “Great War” (World War I) was a “disastrous waste of life” (p. 18) even though we know that he himself had participated in government war propaganda.
The war had “brought home” to him “how ignorant” he was. Voicing a concern that many of us might relate to regarding our lack of knowledge, he realized that he
“did not know enough about the life in my body and its relations to the world of life and matter outside it to come to proper decisions about a number of urgent matters – from race conflicts, birth control, and my private life, to the public control of health and the conservation of natural resources.” (p. 19)
The mentality of the world planner is always expressed in his book: constant obsessions over “waste”, inefficiency, control of the economy, etc. Here he mentions “control” of everyone’s health as if each person’s health belongs to the State. And management of resources that rightfully belong to local inhabitants – as if this is kind of God-like planning is acceptable. But it has become old hat. It used to be called feudalism and imperialism. But the imperialists dressed it up in a nice red socialist package. If people could only see how misguided it is to let the international banks, their foundations, their policy think-tanks, and their spokesmen run amok like this.
Wells explains how three major books of his, Outline of History, Science of Life, and Work, Wealth & Happiness of Mankind had built up a “complete system of ideas upon which an Open Conspirator can go”, an “ideology,” as people say, on which it was possible to think of building a new world…” (p. 19)
Ch. 4. “The Revolution in Education”
Wells complained that the current educational system left people unprepared for life, and that a
“vigorous educational reform movement arises as a natural and necessary expression of the awakening Open Conspirator. A revolution in education is the most imperative and fundamental part of the adaptation of life to its new conditions.” (p. 21)
He claims that the educational world of “backwardness” “yields slowly but surely to the pressure of the new spirit …” (p. 21)
So we can think about what effect Wells’ movement has had historically on the public education system in Canada, the U.S. and other countries – as they caused the “adaptation” of the human clay to its “new conditions”.
I think it must have had a difficult time occasionally overcoming two sources of opposition: religion and individualism. I can remember signs of these two influences in the 70’s still remaining in Canadian schools.
Isn’t it the purpose of public education to serve as a tool for policy makers, in order to slowly and gradually indoctrinate according to one agenda or another? It must have been convenient for those who adopted the Open Conspiracy of Wells and those like him to at least get started on the minds of the young. And aren’t their cross hairs trained on whatever is left of non-conforming individualism, family influence and tradition?
And today, we have the Ontario government extending kindergarten to full days. Do parents want the State dominating the minds of their children from an early age? Is this just a neutral policy that just comes about because of accidental economic circumstances, and that somehow reflects the will of the people? Or is it one stage in a slow, deliberate series of social and economic changes implemented by an “Open Conspiracy”? Are parents going to “vote” or lobby to reverse this policy as if it was their idea in the first place? If not, then we are all just being herded – pushed and prodded – in the direction of total State control.
Ch. 5 “Religion in the New World”
“The clear-minded Open Conspirator who has got his modern ideology, his lucidly arranged account of the universe in order, is obliged to believe that only by giving his life to the great processes of social reconstruction, and shaping his conduct with reference to that, can he do well with his life.” (p. 22)
And Wells describes his idea of a new religion. Wells praises the aspect of religions that “demanded great subordinations of self.” Because “therein lay their creative force.”
Regardless of the truth of religious doctrines, Wells had an obnoxious attitude towards individual spiritual and moral development. He thinks a personal religion of a “secluded duet between the individual and his divinity” “may be regarded as a perversion of the religious impulse”. He says a “normal religious process takes the individual out of his egotism for the service of the community”. (p. 22)
So soulless thoughtless people who can’t stand themselves and their own lives should just run amok “serving” the “community” or following orders from the world directorate. “We don’t need no stinkin’ spiritual development”.
And here Wells hits upon the critical question of the ideological subversion that has accelerated in our time. How far will the Open Conspirators be able to push the destruction of the individual – his or her freedoms, traditional rights, will and consciousness? How far will humanity allow the individual soul to be suppressed in the name of “service” to the so-called “community”?
Continued: Part 3
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