Wells inadvertently shows his true colors here.

A Modern Utopia by HG WellsWhile preparing a Mises Daily classic about HG Wells and The Invisible Man, Nathalie drew my attention to this great footnote:

Wells inadvertently shows his true colors here.[44]

[44] Characteristically, Wells’s utopia requires a plan to keep all citizens under perfect surveillance: “If the modern Utopia is indeed to be a world of responsible citizens, it must have devised some scheme by which every person in the world can be promptly and certainly recognized, and by which anyone missing can be traced and found” (Wells, Utopia, pp. 162–63). Wells goes on to outline a chilling plan for indexing every person in the world, with “the record of their movement hither and thither, the entry of various material facts, such as marriage, parentage, criminal convictions and the like” (p. 163). Wells recognizes that some people might find this scheme repugnant, but he chastises them as “old-fashioned nineteenth-century” Liberals (p. 165), who do not understand the goodness of government: “The old Liberalism assumed bad government, the more powerful the government the worse it was…. But suppose we do not assume that government is necessarily bad … then we alter the case altogether” (pp. 165–66). Wells’s faith in the goodness of government evidently knew no bounds. Here is his remarkable description of Joseph Stalin after an interview with him in 1934: “I have never met a man more candid, fair and honest, and to these qualities it is, and to nothing occult and sinister, that he owes his tremendous undisputed ascendency in Russia” (Wells, Autobiography, p. 689).

From "The Invisible Man and the Invisible Hand: H.G. Wells’s Critique of Capitalism" by Paul Cantor, Literature and the Economics of Liberty: Spontaneous Order in Culture, edited by Paul A. Cantor and Stephen D. Cox


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