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H.G. Wells And The Limits Of Elitism

Nobody in their right mind would categorize Herbert George Wells as one of the titans of rightist thought. Indeed, H.G. Wells dedicated much of his life to socialism. While Wells’ best known creations (“The War of the Worlds,” “The Time Machine,” etc.) are not expressly socialistic in tone or message, Wells’ lesser known scribblings certainly make the man’s politics clear. The Way the World is Going (1928) is a polemic advocating for the adoption of socialism, while The Open Conspiracy (also published in 1928) argues in favor of one of the most detestable idiocies ever concocted by man—world government.

However, despite his paeans to worldwide socialism and his fawning admiration for the seemingly limitless capacity of science to cure all of mankind’s ills, H.G. Wells would not fit comfortably among today’s current crop of comfortable cultural Marxists.

For starters, Wells never argued for a Marxist form of socialism. Rather, Wells envisioned a thoroughly idiosyncratic form of socialism that he called “scientific socialism.” “The fundamental idea upon which Socialism rests,” Wells wrote in New Worlds For Old: A Plain Account of Modern Socialism, “is the same fundamental idea as that upon which all real scientific work is carried on.” The natural world is orderly and can therefore be “computed” and “calculated” to in order to bring about positive outcomes for the most people possible. We’d call such programs social engineering, and since we are still living in the muck and mire created by the activist state of the New Deal, the words “social engineering” leave a decidedly bitter taste.

This of course doesn’t downplay Wells’ incorrect assumption that the world is orderly or can be ordered thoroughly by human endeavor. Much like the prophets of unfettered capitalism, socialists make the mistake of seeing humans as entirely rational actors. “Voters just want more money to buy more cheap goods,” the cigar-chomping plutocrats say. “The people want distributive, economic justice,” the socialists say in response.

Neither recognizes two important facts: 1) they’re speaking the same language, for more money or more “justice” in the modern American system mostly means more money for consumer goods, and 2) they presume that money matters most of all. Yes, your average American voter likes having more earned income and less taxes, but many would be willing to vote against their economic interests in favor of their religious, communal, or racial interests. It bears repeating: most humans are not innate liberals.

Men of both the true left and true right know this well. Wells, like fellow non-Marxian socialists Jack London and Marcel Deat, recognized the importance of hierarchical structures and manliness as an appropriate attribute for leaders. Therefore, in “A Modern Utopia,” Wells outlines what he calls the “samurai”—an elite set of scientists and specialists who direct the “modern utopia.” In between dictates describing how the samurai must take cold baths and shave daily, Wells outlines how the samurai must read from the “Book of the Samurai” for ten minutes every day, while simultaneous supplementing this reading load with recently published books that are to be consumed weekly. Private choice is circumscribed for the samurai. Like the society they watch and direct, Wells’ ubermensch must be ascetics dedicated to developing progress through cold science.

In a 2009 article, Fred Siegel proclaims that Wells is the “godfather of American liberalism.” Wells’ “anti-democratic” and “elitist assumptions” were in-tune with the position of the Transatlantic left in the 1920s. “Scientific socialism” or well-crafted snobbishness in the arts provided the antidote to what Vernon Louis Parrington’s called the “‘dictatorship of the middle class.’” Little has changed in ninety years, although a fawning devotion to “democracy” always masks a rotten, mixed-bag agenda of progressivism-through-force. However, the intelligentsia still cluck their tongues and pretend to be horrified by working class culture (especially if those workers are white and live a day’s ride away from salt water).

Intrinsic to the ideals of Wells and others was the soundness of eugenics. Unsurprisingly, Wells enjoyed the works of Charles Darwin and Francis Galton. Wells also used their laws of “survival of the fittest” and lowered birth rates in lieu of Marx’s drivel about “the proletariat.” Wells and his followers ultimately swapped Marx for Malthus and Comte.

In this regard, Wells bears a resemblance to T. Lothrop Stoddard, a “racialist” of the 1920s who penned the infamous “The Rising Tide of Color.” While that text is frequently examined by academic eggheads because it is disparagingly referenced in “The Great Gatsby,” Stoddard’s later work, 1922’s “The Revolt Against Civilization,” is the superior text. Writing against the horrors of the Bolshevik takeover of Russia, Stoddard argues for halting the “ever-multiplying swarms of degenerates and inferiors” through the application of state-sponsored eugenics. Stoddard’s goal is the creation of his own samurai, a group which he labels as the “Neo-Aristocracy.”

Visualizing a society in which “the overwhelming majority of the population possessed sound minds and sound bodies,” Stoddard, a man of ancient Yankee stock who saw in the earlier immigration waves of non-Protestant Europeans as a savage attack on America’s “Nordic” population, underlines the imperative of having “superior types” in abundance. Without elevating the average person higher, the Neo-Aristocracy would fail in their battle against the the ubiquitous “under-men” and they chaos they always breed.

The elites of Wells and Stoddard are implicitly white. Although Wells did frequently denounce European imperialism (for that matter, so did Stoddard) and made mention of disliking the Jim Crow South, both men agreed that “superiority” meant having European DNA. Surprisingly, unlike H.P. Lovecraft, who knew and admired the work of both, Wells is hardly ever castigated by the media or sci-fi nerds for his acute racialism. Furthermore, Wells’ unabashed desire for authoritarian rule is rarely a topic of discussion.

Still, despite these ideals, rightists should be somewhat weary of adopting Wells and Stoddard. I say this not as some mushy and milquetoast centrist or “liberal mugged by reality” type. No, I am a fan of authority and structure. I do believe that some people are naturally elite and that it is the duty of the state to not stand in their way. More importantly, even though I write on my nonexistent business card that I am a populist-Integralist-monarchist, I never lose sight of the fact that personal actual liberty cannot be divorced from duty, and duty comes from authority, communal bonds, and social order. That being said, I have no desire to be ruled by any contemporary elites.

Our world’s version of the Neo-Aristocracy is a bunch of weak, entitled, emasculated and androgynous urbanites who value only smut. As the Spirit Cooking, #Pizzagate, and Deep State scandals of recent memory have shown, our supposed betters are hyper-sexed perverts who consider blood, feces, and the allure of too young flesh as art.

These are not the samurai; these people aren’t even the hardy robber barons of the gaslight era. No, our Western elites are rootless destabilizers of culture. Instead of valuing strength, honor, or scientific achievement, they uphold the weak, the mentally fragile, and the perpetually aggrieved as the leaders of culture. They say “I Fucking Love Science” instead of knowing a damn thing about actual science or its possible applications. These elites and their cultural shibboleths must be resisted at all costs. Sadly, as much as we might salivate over the possibility of a true Neo-Aristocracy, Ayn Rand remains correct: cultural rot in modern America moves from the top down.