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This is the sci-fi fantasy of H.G. Wells and is the central theme to everything he wrote including his works of non-fiction. The subject on ways to reduce the world population was a troubling dilemma for Wells…not the reducing part, but the thought that there would be those so foolish as to forbid it.
You see, it was considered by some that the human species had found itself in a crisis by the 1900s. Europe, up until the 17th century had a population size that never exceeded roughly 100 million. But nearly doubled to 180 million in the 18th century, and doubled again to 390 million in the 19thcentury. H.G. Wells wrote of this “the extravagant swarm of new births” as “the essential disaster of the nineteenth century.” (1) Not war, not disease, not starvation, not abject poverty, but population growth was determined as the disaster of an entire century.
[Rothbard wants us to abolish the 20th century. Wells wants us to abolish the 19th. ]
The Wells that we have come to know today started his journey as a young boy winning a scholarship to study at the prestigious Normal School of Science (now called the Royal College of Science). His subject of choice was biology and his teacher, and quickly thereafter mentor, was none other than Thomas Huxley, otherwise known as “Darwin’s bulldog” (his words).
Through Huxley, Wells’ conception of the nature of humankind was formed with its foundation built upon the philosophies of Charles Darwin and Thomas Malthus.
Because Wells is so very influenced by these men, in fact they form the very basis for his ethics; I thought it apt to share with you a few quotes.
In Thomas Malthus’ “Essay on the Principle of Population” (1799), he wrote:
“We should facilitate, instead of foolishly and vainly endeavoring to impede, the operations of nature in producing this mortality; and if we dread the too frequent visitation of the horrid form of famine, we should sedulously encourage the other forms of destruction, which we compel nature to use. In our towns we should make the streets narrower, crowd more people into the houses, and court the return of the plague.” [emphasis added]
In Charles Darwin’s “The Descent of Man” (no not his autobiography! Though he was very much spiritually conflicted with the social consequences of his philosophies…) stated his thoughts on directed breeding as such:
“No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man itself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.” [emphasis added]
To the credit of Darwin (though the damage was already done), he included a disclaimer in his “The Descent of Man,” that if humankind were to take upon itself the enforcement of the so-called “forces of nature,” it would be at the cost of our “most noble qualities”, as Darwin states:
“Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with an overwhelming present evil.” [emphasis added]
[From Darwin’s autobiography:]
“I have said that in one respect my mind has changed during the last twenty or thirty years. Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it, poetry of many kinds…gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays…music [was a] very great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. I have also almost lost my taste for…music…My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive… The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.” (2)
What is the value of life, if in striving for our supposed “survival” we lose our most noble qualities? Why should we sacrifice our best qualities in a humiliating trade-off for a “contingent benefit” and “an overwhelming evil”?
The ethical system laid out in Wells’ New Republic forbids the further growth of the “People of the Abyss”. In the past, Nature killed these off, and in some cases killing will still be necessary. And we should not be appalled by this task, as per Mr. Wells. Death for such people will mean merely “the end of the bitterness of failure, the merciful obliteration of weak and silly and pointless things.” Clearly the effecting of this will be morally justifiable according to Wells:
“The new ethics will hold life to be a privilege and a responsibility, not a sort of night refuge for base spirits out of the void; and the alternative in right conduct between living fully, beautifully and efficiently will be to die. For a multitude of contemptible and silly creatures, fear-driven and helpless and useless, unhappy or hateful happy in the midst of squalid dishonour, feeble, ugly, inefficient, born of unrestrained lusts, and increasing and multiplying through sheer incontinence and stupidity, the men of the New Republic will have little pity and less benevolence.” (5) [emphasis added]
If “the whole tenor of a man’s actions” shows him to be unfit to live, the New Republicans will exterminate him. They will not be squeamish about inflicting death because they will have a fuller sense of the possibilities of life. “They will have an ideal that will make killing worth the while.” The killing, Wells explains, will not be needlessly brutal. “All such killing will be done with an opiate.” Whether this will be administered forcibly or whether the victim will be persuaded to swallow it, he does not reveal. Selected criminals will be destroyed by the same means. The death penalty will also be used to prevent the transmission of genetic disorders. People suffering from genetically transmissible diseases will be forbidden to propagate, and will be killed if they do. (6)
As for the “swarms of black, and brown, and dirty-white, and yellow people”, who do not meet the new needs of efficiency, will, he insists “have to go”. It is “their portion to die out and disappear”. (7)
Wells wrote of the panic-stricken reaction to the alien invasion in his book “The War of the Worlds”:
“If one could have hung that June morning in a balloon in the blazing blue above London, every northward and eastward road running out of the infinite tangle of streets would have seemed stippled black with the streaming fugitives, each dot a human agony of terror and physical distress…Never before in the history of the world had such a mass of human beings moved and suffered together…without order and with a goal, six million people, unarmed and unprovisioned, driving headlong. It was the beginning of the rout of civilization, of the massacre of mankind.” (8) [emphasis added]
I think it no coincidence that our entertainment industry today, so heavily saturated with the influence of Wells’ propaganda, is obsessed with the theme of a post-apocalyptic world, the ever-revolving death game where its avatars are tested on their ability to survive at all cost. Through these adventures, we the audience are brought along and are taught how to feel the thrill of the hunt, the catharsis of the bludgeoning, the release that comes from mayhem. For we are the children of the ultimate revolution… the dawn of the great Purge.
Of Wells’ vision for a “Modern Religion” he [Julian Huxley] wrote:
‘…if religion is to develop unifying and directive power in the present confusion of human affairs it must adapt itself to this forward-looking, individuality-analyzing turn of mind; it must divest itself of its sacred histories…The desire for service, for subordination, for permanent effect, for an escape from the distressful pettiness and mortality of the individual life, is the undying element in every religious system.
The time has come to strip religion right down to that [service and subordination is all Wells wants to keep of the old relic of religion]…The explanation of why things are is an unnecessary effort…The essential fact…is the desire for religion and not how it came about…The first sentence in the modern creed must be, not “I believe,” but “I give myself.” ‘ (10) [emphasis added]
And to what are we to “give ourselves” to without any questions asked, but with a blind faith to worship what we are told is the good?
Wells explains it to us thus:
“The character of the Open Conspiracy will now be plainly displayed. It will have become a great world movement as wide-spread and evident as socialism or communism. It will have taken the place of these movements very largely. It will be more than they were, it will be frankly a world religion. This large, loose assimilatory mass of movements, groups, and societies will be definitely and obviously attempting to swallow up the entire population of the world and become the new human community.” (11)
The rest of it is here.
Writes Charles Burris:
In his book, From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany (2004), Richard Weikart explains the revolutionary impact Darwinism had on ethics and morality. Darwinism played a key role in the rise not only of eugenics (a movement wanting to control human reproduction to improve the human species), but also on euthanasia, infanticide, abortion, and racial extermination. This was especially important in Germany, since Hitler built his view of ethics on Darwinian principles.
Here is Weikart’s talk on the subject.
Check out his answer at a Q&A at Cambridge University (prompted, about 10 minutes long). He is answering a question about the notion of humans as simple biological machines. He describes how biologists concentrate on the natural selection of Darwin’s theory of evolution. However, they ignore that Darwin also talked about sexual selection. And that, says JP, presupposes consciousness. That means that consciousness must have been there before humans became what they are. As an example of an animal that appears to have consciousness, JP describes the work of the puffer fish male. And of a spider.
Continue watching after he finishes to hear one of the organisers wrap up the event, and explaining how happy he is that, despite being “cancelled” by the University three years ago – because he was photographed shaking hands (after another event) with some guy who was wearing a t-shirt with some text on some on it someone found offensive.
Here’s the puffer fish he talks about in action, creating an unbelievable structure on the seabed to impress a mate.
One of the big, maybe the biggest, unsolved mystery of recorded human history is that of the origins of the industrial revolution. Why did it happen at all? Why then, and not earlier or later? Why there, and not some other place?
In a time when many denounce the Industrial Revolution, and even the Prime Minister of the country of its origin says that it marked the point when “the doomsday machine began to tick”, one might expect people to want to get to the bottom of this mystery, so as to “correct” it properly, and not make an even greater mess of it.
For the record, I’m not in the camp of those who think that the Industrial Revolution was on balance more evil than good. I think it has so far saved billions of human lives, most of which would otherwise have died in infancy, most of the rest before age 6.
However, in this post, I’m not going argue whether the Industrial Revolution was good or bad for us. Instead, I will analyse a talk given by Dr. Gary North in 2013, where he discusses a very likely reason for the origin of this revolution.Continue reading
Before reading this illuminating article, I had heard of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. But all I knew was that he was a Jesuit cleric who lived in the early 20th century and who had somehow tried to reconcile Darwinism and Christianity.
However, according to the author of the above linked article, Matthew Ehret, Teilhard de Chardin’s role in shaping today’s discourses that are occupying and exercising minds is quite large. And he seems to have been one of the culprits responsible for the weakness of Christianity in the West today. For, as Ehret says in conclusion, it seems to have been Chardin’s conviction that “Christianity had to evolve with the times like any creature wishing to avoid extinction within a Darwinian fight for survival.”
Moreover, Chardin seems to have been a proponent of eugenics. I’ll get to that shortly. First, another thing I learnt is that Chardin seems to have been in the centre of contriving the Piltdown Man hoax and the “discovery” of the Peking Man, very likely a hoax as well.Continue reading