Utopian Society Thinkers Herbert George Wells Part 2

About the famous utopian thinker Herbert George Wells and history of his planned utopia.

UTOPIANS-DREAMERS

HERBERT GEORGE WELLS

(1866-1946)

Wells's mind was incredibly fertile. During W.W.I, he invented a kind of collapsible ski lift to transport supplies to the trenches (it was workable but never used); he wrote classic biology textbooks and The Outline of History; he produced novel after novel, among them A Modern Utopia and Men Like Gods, which described utopian worlds.

During the 1920s and 1930s, several of his books were made into movies, mostly mediocre. More successful was a radio program by Orson Welles based on his War of the Worlds, which, broadcast by CBS in 1938, created a mass panic of perhaps 12 million people who tuned in late and thought the Martians had actually landed in the U.S.

His Utopia: UTOPIA

A world-state, Well's Utopia existed on an earthlike planet, where people like humans had evolved a superior social organization.

The state owned all the land, as well as all sources of power and food, yet individuals could own and inherit property. The standard for money (which Wells, unlike some utopians, appreciated) was productive energy.

It was a technologically advanced society. There were noiseless electric railroad trains, complete with libraries, couches, and newsrooms, that traveled at 200 mph. Most of the work was done by machines.

The government was run by the samurai, a class of voluntary nobility--professionals and statesmen--who qualified by passing college examinations and who were required to refrain from small indulgences such as smoking, drinking, promiscuity, and gambling.

In a gigantic record system in Paris were kept the personal histories of all the people on the planet. This register was used to control population and regulate labor. In order to marry and have children, prospective parents had to show, through their records, that they were in good health, solvent, and of the proper ages.

Children were brought up on large estates, where they lived sheltered lives and learned good habits. "The jewel on the reptile's head that had brought Utopia out of the confusion of human life, was curiosity, the play impulse, prolonged and expanded in adult life into an insatiable appetite for knowledge and an habitual creative urgency," Wells said.

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