H. G. Wells “The Open Conspiracy” Part 5
Comments on The Open Conspiracy by H. G. Wells, Part 5
By Alan Mercer
Revised PDF version of whole series
From The Open Conspiracy and Other Writings, 1933, Waterlow & Sons Ltd., London
Continuing from Part 4:
Ch. VII “What Mankind Has to Do”
“What are the new forms that it is thus proposed to impose upon human life, and how are they to be evolved from or imposed upon the current forms? And against what passive and active resistance has this to be done?” (p.30)
Again, he dresses his ideas up in a cloak of pacifism:
“But here we are writing for the modern-minded, and for them it is impossible to think of the world as secure and satisfactory until there exists a single world commonweal, preventing war and controlling those moral, biological, and economic forces and wastages that would otherwise lead to wars…”
So the theory he is espousing is that nations just naturally decide to go to war over resources, (always supposedly running out). They can’t find any possible way to get along with each other and share resources for some reason. He doesn’t mention the private interests that profit from war. What he’s really saying is that if nations don’t submit to a single world government, then wars will just get worse and worse. But when they submit to world government, with the control freaks in charge, everything will be just right, everybody will be doing things the same way, and the control freaks will feel secure. And they won’t need to play off nations against each other anymore. With independent nations out of the way, having been slowly undermined from within, looting will be easier and targets of resistance will be softer. However, Wells just doesn’t put it like that.
He explains how the new order will operate non-democratically:
“… in a polyglot world a parliament of mankind or any sort of council that meets and talks is an inconceivable instrument of government. The voice will cease to be a suitable vehicle. World government, like scientific process, will be conducted by statement, criticism, and publication that will be capable of efficient translation.” (p. 31)
Wells describes this elitist technocratic form of government:
“…we should have the collective affairs of the world managed by suitably equipped groups of the most interested, intelligent, and devoted people, and that their activities should be subjected to a free, open, watchful criticism….” (p. 31)
He breaks down the main groups that make up the Open Conspiracy:
“The Open Conspiracy, the world movement for the supercession or enlargement or fusion of existing political, economic, and social institutions must necessarily, as it grows, draw closer and closer to the questions of practical control. It is likely in its growth to incorporate many active public servants and many industrial and financial leaders and directors…” (p. 32)
So here he mentions the public and private arms of the Open Conspiracy – “public servants” – government bureaucrats – as well as leaders of corporations and financial institutions.
Wells talks about this movement he describes as a type of intelligent and consuming form of life that grows of its own accord:
“It [the Open Conspiracy] may also assimilate great masses of intelligent workers. As its activities spread it will work out a whole system of special methods of co-operation. As it grows, and by growing, it will learn the business of general direction and how to develop its critical function. A lucid, dispassionate, and immanent criticism is the primary necessity, the living spirit of a world civilization. The Open Conspiracy is essentially such a criticism, and the carrying out of such a criticism into working reality is the task of the Open Conspiracy. It will by its very nature be aiming not so much to set up a world direction as to become itself a world direction, and the educational and militant forms of this opening phase will evoke, step by step, as experience is gained and power and responsibility acquired, forms of administration and research and correlation.” (p. 32)
A disturbing analogy comes to mind about this description of the Open Conspiracy. It reminds me of the “Terminator” movies, in which the “Skynet” computer, “built to remove human decisions from strategic defence”, “begins to learn at a geometric rate” and suddenly becomes “self-aware”. Then there was some desperate resistance from the people as things went from bad to worse.
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