H. G. Wells on The Open Conspiracy for World Government

- Selections by Peter Myers.

Date May 3, 1999; update July 7, 2019

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H. G. Wells was the Twntieth Century's leading exponent within the West of the movement for One World Government, which he also called The New World Order. The first edition of his book The Open Conspiracy was published in 1928, and bore a publisher's name. The 1933 edition bore no publisher's name, but was later re-issued under the title What Are We To Do With Our Lives?, with a publisher's name. In the quotations below, bold emphasis is added.

Wells was a champion of the downtrodden, and yet his New World Order is totalitarian. A militant rationalistic atheism was one of the pillars of his thought; religious people he deemed less mentally evolved, and therefore their ideas on how the world should be run do not count. Whilst campaigning for Peace - by which he meant One World Government - he advocated any violent means necessary. His system would be for the benefit of the victims of the Old Order, but it would be run by an elite, which would attempt to make its rule eternal by suppressing all dissent and rival educational systems. He supported Communism as an ideal system, but criticised its implementation in the USSR. His Internationalism is really Trotskyism in a disguised form.

The British Labour Party, under Tony Blair, is very much in the Wells mould, and leading Labour MP Michael Foot has written a new biography of Wells (H.G.: The History of Mr Wells, Doubleday, London, 1995), which mentions all the books discussed here, but omits to mention their advocacy of World Government; nor is this term listed in the index of Foot's book. Foot, like Wells, gives the impression that Wells opposed Soviet Communism, but it would be more accurate to say that he opposed the Stalinist faction, but supported Trotsky. In 1929, as Stalin was expelling Trotsky from the USSR, Wells and the (Fabian) Webbs sent Trotsky a message of support (Dmitri Volkogonov, Trotsky: The Eternal Revolutionary, p. 321).

I read Wells' criticism of "Marxism" in this book of 1933 as an attack on Stalinism. This is because he was a leading supporter of the early Soviet regime. Wells and the Webbs supported Trotsky (against Stalin) at the time of his Expulsion from the USSR: wells-lenin-league.html.

Pitirim Sorokin on Wells' visit to Russia in 1920: kronstadt.html.

(1) H. G. Wells, The Open Conspiracy
(2) Analysis of Wells' Internationalism
(3) Wells & the 60s Cultural Revolution in the West
(4) Wells and the Webbs support Trotsky (against Stalin) at the time of his Expulsion from the USSR


(1) H. G. Wells, The Open Conspiracy, in H. G. Wells, The Open Conspiracy and Other Writings. London, 1933.


It seemed to me that all over the world intelligent people were waking up to the indignity and absurdity of being endangered, restrained, and impoverished, by a mere uncritical adhesion to traditional governments, tradition ideas of economic life, and traditional forms of behaviour, and that the awakening intelligent people must constitute first a protest and then a creative resistance to the inertia that was stifling and threatening us. These people I imagined would say first, "We are drifting; we are doing nothing worth while with our lives. Our lives are dull and stupid and not good enough. "Then they would say, "What are we to do with our lives?" And then, "Let us get together with other people of our sort and make over the world into a great world-civilization that will enable us to realize the promises and avoid the dangers of this new time."

It seemed to me that as, one after another, we woke up, that is what we should be saying. It amounted to a protest, first mental and then practical, it amounted to a sort of unpremeditated and unorganized conspiracy, against the fragmentary and insufficient governments and the wide-spread greed, appropriation, clumsiness, and waste that are now going on. But unlike conspiracies in general this widening protest and conspiracy against established things would, by its very nature, go on in the daylight, and it would be willing to accept participation and help from every quarter. It would, in fact, become an "Open Conspiracy," a necessary, naturally evolved conspiracy, to adjust our dislocated world.

I made various attempts to develop this idea. I published a little book called The Open Conspiracy

{p. 15} as early as 1928, into which I put what I had in my mind at that time. ... Since that first publication we have all got forward amazingly. Events have hustled thought along and been hustled along by thought. The idea of reorganizing the affairs of the world on quite a big scale, which was "Utopian," and so forth, in 1926 and 1927, and still "bold" in 1928, has now spread about the world until nearly everybody has it. It has broken out all over the place, thanks largely to the Russian Five Year Plan. Hundreds of thousands of people everywhere are now thinking upon the lines foreshadowed by my Open Conspiracy, not because they had ever heard of the book or phrase, but because that was the way thought was going.


The new world demands new schools, therefore, to give everyone a sound and thorough mental training and equip everyone with clear ideas about history, about life, and about political and economic relationships instead of the rubbishy head-content at present prevalent. The old-world teachers and schools have to be reformed or replaced. A vigorous educational reform movement arises as a natural and necessary expression of the awakening Open Conspirator. A revolution in education is the most imperative and fundamental part of the adaptation of life to its new conditions.

These various compendia of knowledge ... will permeate and replace its text-books ... Before we can talk politics, finance, business, or morals, we must see that we have got the right mental habits and the right foundation of realized facts. There is nothing much to be done with our lives until we have seen to that.


Let us try and bring this problem of the Open Conspiracy to meet and make the new world, into relation with the traditions of religion. The clear-minded Open Conspirator who has got his modern ideology, his lucidly arranged account of the universe in order, is obliged to believe that only by giving his life to the great processes of social reconstruction, and shaping his conduct with reference to that, can he do well with his life. But that merely launches him into the most subtle and unending of struggles, the struggle against the incessant gravitation of our interests to ourselves. He has to live the broad life and escape from the close narrow life. We all try to attain the dignity and happiness of magnanimity and escape from the tormenting urgencies of personal desire. In the past that struggle has generally assumed the form of a religious struggle. Religion is the antagonist of self.

In their completeness, in the life that was professionally religious, religions have always demanded great subordinations of self. Therein lay their creative force. They demanded devotion and gave reasons for that demand. They disentangled the will from the egotistical preoccupations - often very completely. There is no such thing as a self-contained religion, a private religious solo. Certain forms of Protestantism and some mystical types come near to making religion a secluded duet between the individual and his divinity, but here that may be regarded as a perversion of the religious impulse. Just as the normal sexual complex excites and stirs the individual out of his egotism to serve the ends of the race, so the normal religious process takes the individual out of his egotism for the service of the community. It is not a bargain, a "social contract," between the individual and the community; it is a subordination of both the existing individual and the existing community in relation to something, a divinity, a divine order, a standard, a righteousness, more important than either. What is called in the phraseology of certain religions "conviction of sin" and "the flight from the City of Destruction" are familiar instances of this reference

{p. 23} to the self-centred individual and his current social life to something far better than either the one or the other.

{p. 24} The word "God" is in most minds so associated with the concept of religion that it is abandoned only with the greatest reluctance. The word remains, though the idea is continually attenuated. Respect for Him demands that He should have no limitations. He is pushed farther and farther from actuality, therefore, and His definition becomes increasingly a bundle of negations, until at last, in His role of The Absolute, He becomes an entirely negative expression. While we can speak of good, say some, we can speak of God. God is the possibility of goodness, the good side of things.

On the other hand there is in many fine religious minds a desire amounting almost to a necessity for an object of devotion so individualized as to be capable at least of a receptive consciousness even if no definite response is conceded. One type of mind can accept a reality in itself which another must project and dramatize before it can comprehend it and react to it. The human soul is an intricate thing which will not endure elucidation when that passes beyond a certain degree of harshness and roughness. The human spirit has learnt love, devotion, obedience and humility in relation to other personalities, and with difficulty it takes the final step to a transcendent subordination, from which the last shred of personality has been stripped. ... In matters not immediately material, language has to work by metaphors ...

{p. 25} Three profound differences between the new mental dispositions of the present time and those of preceding ages have to be realized ... Our former sins are seen as ignorance, inadequacies and bad habits ... Secondly, ... we do not think so readily of the individual contra mundum as our fathers did .... Man's soul is no longer his own. It is, he discovers, part of a greater being which lived before he was born and will survive him. The idea of a survival of the definite individual with all the accidents and idiosyncrasies of his temporal nature upon him dissolves to nothing in this new view of immortality. {this is a Jewish view}

The third of the main contrasts between modern and former thought which have rendered the general shapes of established religion old-fashioned and unserviceable is a reorientation of current ideas about time. The powerful disposition of the human mind to explain everything as the inevitable unfolding of a past event which, so to speak, sweeps the future - helplessly before it, has been checked by a mass of subtle criticisms. The conception of progress as a broadening and increasing purpose, a conception which is taking hold of the human imagination more and more firmly, turns religious life towards the future. We think no longer of submission to the irrevocable decrees of absolute dominion, but of participation in an adventure ...

{p. 26} There was no Creation in the past, we begin to realize, but eternally there is creation; there was no Fall to account for the conflict of good and evil, but a stormy ascent. Life as we know it is a mere beginning.

It seems unavoidable that 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, its gross preoccupations, its posthumous prolongation of personal ends. 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, to strip it for greater tasks than it has ever faced before. The histories and symbols that served our fathers encumber and divide us. Sacraments and rituals harbour disputes and waste our scanty emotions. The explanation of why things are is an unnecessary effort in religion. The essential fact in religion is the desire for religion and not how it came about. If you do not want religion, no persuasions, no convictions about your place in the universe can give it to you. The first sentence in the modern creed must be, not "I believe," but "I give myself." To what ? And how ? To these questions we will now address ourselves.


... the established and older religions of our race ... involved much self-abasement ... to the God or Gods, or much self-mortification ... with a view to the moral perfecting of self ... The modern tendency has been and is all in the direction of minimizing what one might call self-centred devotion and self-subjugation, and of expanding and developing external service. The idea of inner perfectibility dwindles with the diminishing importance attached to individuality .. We think less and less of "conquering" self and more and more of escaping from self...

{so, the Old Order produced personalities with smaller egos; what if the New Order produces people with bigger egos, but who clash with one another? Surely, unrestrained by humility, their conflicts will be more cruel and devastating}

Unprecedented possibilities, mighty problems, we realize, confront mankind today ... The practical aspect, the material form, the embodiment of the modernized religious impulse is the direction of the whole life to the solution of these problems and the realization of their possibilities ...

{p. 28} In the fixed and limited outlook of the past, practical good works took the form mainly of palliative measures against evils that were conceived of as incurable; the religious community nursed the sick, fed the hungry, provided sanctuary for the fugitive, pleaded with the powerful for mercy. It did not dream of preventing sickness, famine, or tyranny. Otherworldliness was its ready refuge from the invincible evil and confusion of the existing scheme of things.

But it is possible now to imagine an order in human affairs from which these evils have been largely or entirely eliminated. More and more people are coming to realize that such an order is a material possibility .... Other-worldliness become unnecessary.

{but the attempt to create such a future, in the USSR, grossly violated the very principles it claimed to be aiming at}

The realization of this possible better order brings us at once to certain definite lines of conduct. We have to make an end to war, and to make an end to war we must be cosmopolitan in our politics.

{the early USSR gave high place to "cosmopolitanism", but in Stalin's later years, "cosmopolitan" became a word for indirectly referring to Jews and Trotskyists}

It is impossible for any clear-headed person to suppose that the ever more destructive stupidities of war can be eliminated from human affairs until some common political control dominates the earth, and unless certain pressures due to the growth of population, due to the enlarging scope of economic operations or due to conflicting standards and traditions of life, are disposed of.

To avoid the positive evils of war and to attain the new levels of prosperity and power that now come into view, an effective world control, not merely of armed force, but of the production and main movements of staple commodities and the drift and expansion of population is required. It is absurd to dream of peace and world-wide progress without that much control. These things assured, the abilities and energies of a greatly increased proportion of human beings could be diverted to the happy activities of scientific research and creative work, with an ever-increasing release and enlargement of human possibility. On the political side it is plain that our lives must be given to the advancement of that union. Such a forward stride in human life, the first stride in a mighty continuing advance, an advance to which no limit appears, is now not simply materially possible. It is urgent. The opportunity is plain before mankind. It is the alternative to social decay. But there is no certainty, no material

{p. 29} necessity, that it should ever be taken. It will not be taken by mankind inadvertently. It can only be taken through such an organization of will and energy to take it as this world has never seen before.

These are the new imperatives that unfold themselves before the more alert minds of our generation ... Religion ... has for its outward task to set itself to the control and direction of political, social, and economic life. If it does not do that, then it is no more than a drug for easing discomfort, "the opium of the peoples." ... Can religion, or can it not, synthesize the needed effort to lift mankind out of our present disorders, dangers, baseness, frustrations, and futilities to a phase of relative security, accumulating knowledge, systematic and continuing growth in power and the widespread, deep happiness of hopeful and increasing life? ... Our answer here is that the religious spirit, in the light of modern knowledge, can do this thing, and our subject now is to enquire what are the necessary opening stages in the synthesis of that effort. We write, from this point onward, for those who believe that it can, and who do already grasp the implications of world history and contemporary scientific achievement.


Now the most comprehensive conception of this new world is of one politically. socially, and economically unified ... To this end we set our faces and seek to direct our lives.

... 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 ...

Let us make clear what sort of government we are trying to substitute for the patchwork of to-day. It will be a new sort of direction with a new psychology. The method of direction of such a world commonweal is not likely to imitate the methods of existing sovereign states. It will be something new and altogether different.

This point is not yet generally realized. It is too often assumed that the world commonweal will be, as it were, just the one heir and survivor of existing states, and that it will be a sort of megatherium of the same form and anatomy as its predecessors.

But a little reflection will show that this is a mistake. Existing states are primarily militant states, and a world state cannot be militant. There will be little need for president or king to lead the marshalled hosts of humanity,

{p. 31} for where there is no war there is no need of any leader to lead hosts anywhere, and 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.

The fundamental organization of contemporary states is plainly still military, and that is exactly what a world organization cannot be. Flags, uniforms, national anthems, patriotism sedulously cultivated in church and school, the brag, blare, and bluster of our competing sovereignties, belong to the phase of development the Open Conspiracy will supersede. We have to get clear of that clutter. The reasonable desire of all of us is that 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, restrained from making spasmodic interruptions but powerful enough to modify or supersede without haste or delay whatever is weakening or unsatisfactory in the general direction.

A number of readers will be disposed to say that this is a very vague, undefined, and complicated conception of world government. But indeed it is a simplification. Not only are the present governments of the world a fragmentary competitive confusion, but none of them is as simple as it appears. They seem to be simple because they have formal heads and definite forms, councils, voting assemblies, and so forth, for arriving at decisions. But the formal heads, the kings, presidents, and so forth, are really not the directive heads. They are merely the figure heads. They do not decide. They merely make gestures of potent and dignified acquiescence when decisions are put to them. They are complicating shams. Nor do the councils and assemblies really decide. They record, often very imperfectly and exasperatingly, the accumulating purpose of outer forces. These outer really directive forces are no doubt very intricate in their operation; they depend finally on religious and educational forms and upon waves of gregarious feeling, but it does not in the least simplify the process of collective human activity to pretend that it is simple and to set up symbols and dummies in the guise of rulers and dictators to embody that pretence. To recognize the incurable intricacy of collective action is a mental simplification; to remain satisfied with the pretensions of existing governmental institutions, and to bring in all the problems of their procedure and interaction is to complicate the question.

The present rudimentary development of collective psychology obliges us to be vague and provisional about the way in which the collective mind may best define its will for the purpose of administrative action. We may know that a thing is possible and still be unable to do it as yet, just as we knew that aviation was possible in 1900. Some method of decision there must certainly be and a definite administrative machinery. But it may turn out to be a much slighter, less elaborate organization than a consideration of existing methods might lead us to imagine. It may never become one

{p. 32} single interlocking administrative system, We may have systems of world control rather than a single world state. ...

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 questions of practical control. It is likely in its growth to incorporate many active public servants and many industrial and financial leaders and directors. It 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 its opening phase will evoke, step by step, as experience is gained and power and responsibility acquired, forms of administration and research and correlation.

The differences in nature and function between the world controls of the future and the state governments of the present age which we have just pointed out favours a hope that the Open Conspiracy may come to its own in many cases rather by the fading out of these state governments through the inhibition and paralysis of their destructive militant and competitive activities than by direct conflict to overthrow them. As new world controls develop, it becomes the supreme business of the Open Conspiracy to keep them world wide and impartial, to save them by an incessant critical educational and propagandist activity from entanglement with the old traditional rivalries and feuds of states and nations. It is quite possible that such world controls should be able to develop independently, but it is highly probable, on the other hand, that they will continue to be entangled as they are to-day, and that they will need to be disengaged with a struggle. We repeat, the new directive organizations of men's affairs will not be of the same nature as old-fashioned governments. They will be in their nature biological, financial, and generally economic, and the old governments were primarily nothing of the sort. Their directive force will be (I) an effective criticism having the quality of science and (2) the growing will in men to have things right. The directive force of the older governments was the uncriticized fantasies and wilfulness of an individual, a class, a tribe, or a majority.

{p. 33} The modernization of the religious impulse leads us straight to this effort for the establishment of the world state as a duty, and the close consideration of the necessary organization of that effort will bring the reader to the conclusion that a movement aiming at the establishment of a world directorate, however restricted that movement may be at first in numbers and power, must either contemplate the prospect of itself developing into a world directorate, and by the digestion and assimilation of superseded factors into an entire modern world community, or admit from the outset the futility, the spare-time amateurishness, of its gestures.


... We aim at a particular sort of unification; a world Caesar is hardly better from the progressive viewpoint than world chaos; the unity we seek must mean a world-wide liberation of thought, experiment and creative effort. A successful Open Conspiracy merely to seize governments and wield and retain world power would be at best only the empty frame of success. It might be the exact reverse of success. Release from the threat of war and from the waste of international economic conflicts is a poor release if it demands as its price the loss of all other liberties.

It is because we desire a unification of human direction, not simply for the sake of unity, but as a means of release to happiness and power, that it is necessary, at any cost - in delay, in loss of effective force, in strategic or tactical disadvantage - that the light of free, abundant criticism should play upon that direction and upon the movements and unifying organizations leading to the establishment of that unifying direction.

Man is an imperfect animal and never quite trustworthy in the dark. Neither morally nor intellectually is he safe from lapses. Most of us who are past our first youth know how little we can trust ourselves and are glad to have our activities checked and guarded by a sense of helpful inspection. It is for this reason that a movement to realize the conceivable better state of the world must deny itself the advantages of secret methods or tactical insincerities. It must leave that to its adversaries. We must declare our end plainly from the outset and risk no misunderstandings of our procedure.

The Open Conspiracy against the traditional and now cramping and dangerous institutions of the world must be an Open Conspiracy and cannot remain righteous otherwise. It is lost if it goes underground. Every step to world unity must be taken in the daylight with the understanding sympathy of as many people as possible, or the sort of unity that will be won will be found to be scarcely worth the winning. The essential task would have to be recommenced again within the mere frame of unity thus attained.

{p. 35} This candid attempt to take possession of the whole world, this Open Conspiracy of ours, must be made in the name of and for the sake of science and creative activity. ...

It is true that man, like the animal world in general from which he has risen, is the creature of a struggle for sustenance, but unlike the animals, man can resort to methods of escape from that competitive pressure upon the means of subsistence, which has been the lot of every other animal species. He can restrain the increase in his numbers, and he seems capable of still quite undefined expansions of his productivity per head of population. He can escape therefore from the struggle for subsistence altogether with a surplus of energy such as no other kind of animal species has ever possessed. Intelligent control of population is a possibility which puts man outside competitive processes that have hitherto ruled the modification of species, and he can be released from these processes in no other way.

There is a clear hope that, later, directed breeding will come within his scope, but that goes beyond his present range of practical achievement, and we need not discuss it further here. Suffice it for us here that the world community of our desires, the organized world community conducting and ensuring its own progress, requires a deliberate collective control of population as a primary condition.

There is no strong instinctive desire for multitudinous offspring, as such, in the feminine make-up. The reproductive impulses operate indirectly. Nature ensures a pressure of population through passions and instincts that, given sufficient knowledge, intelligence, and freedom on the part of women, can be satisfactorily gratified and tranquillized, if need be, without the production of numerous children. Very slight adjustments in social and economic arrangements will, in a world of clear available knowledge and straightforward practice in these matters, supply sufficient inducement or discouragement to affect the general birth rate or the birth rate of specific types as the directive sense of the community may consider desirable. So long as the majority of human beings are begotten involuntarily in lust and ignorance, so long does man remain like any other animal under the moulding pressure of competition for subsistence. Social and political processes change entirely in their character when we recognize the possibility ...


This open and declared intention of establishing a world order out of the present patchwork of particularist governments, of effacing the militarist conceptions that have hitherto given governments their typical form, and of removing credit and the broad fundamental processes of economic life out of reach of private profit-seeking and individual monopolization, which is the substance of this Open Conspiracy to which the modern religious mind must necessarily address its practical activities, cannot fail to arouse enormous opposition. ...

One might conclude, and it would be a hasty, unsound conclusion, that the only people to whom we could look for sympathy and any passionate energy in forwarding the revolutionary change would be the unhappy, the discontented, the dispossessed, and the defeated in life's struggle. This idea lies at the root of the class-war dogmas of the Marxists, and it rests on an entirely crude conception of human nature. The successful minority is supposed to have no effective motive but a desire to retain and intensify its advantages. A quite imaginary solidarity to that end is attributed to it, a preposterous, base class activity. On the other hand, the unsuccessful mass - "proletariat" - is supposed to be capable of a clear apprehension of its disadvantages, and the more it is impoverished and embittered, the clearer-minded it becomes, and the nearer draws Its uprising, its constructive "dictatorship," and the Millenium.

No doubt a considerable amount of truth is to be found in this theory of the Marxist revolution. ...

{p. 45} In practice Marxism is found to work out in a ready resort to malignantly destructive activities, and to be as impotent in the face of material difficulties. In Russia, where - in and about the urban centres, at least - Marxism has been put to the test, the doctrine of the Workers' Republic remains as a unifying cant, a test of orthodoxy of as little practical significance there as the communism of Jesus and communion with Christ in Christendom, while beneath this creed a small oligarchy which has attained power by its profession does its obstinate best, much hampered by the suspicion and hostility of the Western financiers and politicians, to carry on a series of interesting and varyingly successful experiments in the socialization of economic life.

{Wells supports their goals, but thinks he can do it better}

Here we have no scope to discuss the N. E. P. and the Five Year Plan. They are dealt with in The Work, Wealth, and Happiness of Mankind. Neither was properly Communist. The Five Year Plan is carried out as an autocratic state capitalism. Each year shows more and more clearly that Marxism and Communism are divagations from the path of human progress and that the line of advance must follow a course more intricate and less flattering to the common impulses of our nature.

{the description of Stalin's system as "state capitalism" is a classic Trotskyist formulation. Stalin pursued "socialism in one country", whereas Wells and the Trotskyists wanted "internationalism" - the abolition of tariffs}

The one main strand of truth in the theory of social development woven by Marx and Engels is that successful, comfortable people are disposed to dislike, obstruct and even resist actively any substantial changes in the current patchwork of arrangements, however great the ultimate dangers of that patchwork may be or the privations and sufferings of other people involved in it. The one main strand of error in that theory is the facile assumption that the people at a disadvantage will be stirred to anything more than chaotic and destructive expressions of resentment. If now we reject the error and accept the truth, we lose the delusive comfort of belief in that magic giant, the Proletariat, who will dictate, arrange, restore, and create, but we clear the way for the recognition of an elite of intelligent, creative-minded people scattered through the whole community, and for a study of the method of making this creative element effective in human affairs against the massive oppositions of selfishness and unimaginative self-protective conservatism.

Now, certain classes of people such as thugs and burglars seem to be harmful to society without a redeeming point about them, and others, such as racecourse bookmakers, seem to provide the minimum of distraction and entertainment with a maximum of mischief. Wilful idlers are a mere

{p. 46} burthen on the community. Other social classes again, professional soldiers, for example, have a certain traditional honourableness which disguises the essentially parasitic relationship of their services to the developing modern community. Armies and armaments are cancers produced by the malignant development of the patriotic virus under modern conditions of exaggeration and mass suggestion. But since there are armies prepared to act in the world to-day, it is necessary that the Open Conspiracy should develop within itself the competence to resist {a favourite Trotskyist word} military coercion and combat and destroy armies that stand in the way of its emergence. Possibly the first two types here instanced may be condemned as classes and excluded as classes from any participation in the organized effort to recast the world, but quite obviously the soldier cannot. The world commonweal will need its own scientific methods of protection so long as there are people running about the planet with flags and uniforms and weapons, offering violence to their fellow men and interfering with the free movements of commodities in the name of national sovereignty.

And when we come to the general functioning classes, landowners, industrial organizers, bankers, and so forth, who control the present system, such as it is, it should be still plainer that it is very largely from the ranks of these classes, and from their stores of experience and traditions of method, that the directive forces of the new order must emerge. The Open Conspiracy can have nothing to do with the heresy that the path of human progress lies through an extensive class war.

Let us consider, for example, how the Open Conspiracy stands to such a complex of activities, usages, accumulations, advantages as constitutes the banking world. There are no doubt many bankers and many practices in banking which make for personal or group advantage to the general detriment. They forestall, monopolize, constrain, and extort, and so increase their riches. And another large part of that banking world follows routine and established usage; it is carrying on and keeping things going, and it is neither inimical nor conducive to the development of a progressive world organization of finance. But there remains a residuum of original and intelligent people in banking or associated with banking or mentally interested in banking, who do realize that banking plays a very important and interesting part in the world's affairs, who are curious about their own intricate function and disposed towards a scientific investigation of its origins, conditions, and future possibilities. Such types move naturally towards the Open Conspiracy. Their enquiries carry them inevitably outside the bankers' habitual field to an examination of the nature, drift, and destiny of the entire economic process. ...

{p. 47} The Open Conspiracy must be content to take a fraction of a man, as it appeals to fractions of many classes, if it cannot get him altogether.

This idea of drawing together a proportion of all or nearly all the functional classes in contemporary communities in order to weave the beginnings of a world community out of their selection is a fairly obvious one ... But the Open Conspiracy cannot avail itself of these class animosities for its driving force. It can have, therefore, no uniform method of approach. For each class it has a conception of modification and development, and each class it approaches therefore at a distinctive angle. Some classes, no doubt, it would supersede altogether; others - the scientific investigator, for example - it must regard as almost wholly good and seek only to multiply and empower, but it can no more adopt the prejudices and extravagances of any particular class as its basis than it can adopt the claims of existing state or empire.

... It must fight upon several fronts and with many sorts of equipment. It will have a common spirit, but it is quite conceivable that between many of its contributory factors there may be very wide gaps in understanding and sympathy. It is no sort of simple organization.


We have now stated broadly but plainly the idea of the world commonweal which is the objective of the Open Conspiracy, and we have made a preliminary examination of the composition of that movement, showing that it must be necessarily not a class development, but a convergence of many different sorts of people upon a common idea. Its opening task must be the elaboration, exposition, and propaganda of this common idea, a steady campaign to revolutionize education and establish a modern ideology men's minds ...

{p. 49} It does not want to destroy existing controls and forms of human association, but either to supersede or amalgamate them into a common world directorate.

{p. 56} The class war was invented by the classes; it is a natural tradition of the upper strata of the old order. ... The "class war" of the Marxist is merely a poor snobbish imitation, a tu quoque, a pathetic, stupid, indignant reversal of and retort to the old arrogance, a pathetic upward arrogance. ... Labour, awakened, enquiring, and indignant, is not necessarily progressive ... The deep instinctive jealousy of the commonplace individual for outstanding quality and novel initiative may be organized and turned to sabotage and destruction, masquerading as and aspiring to be a new social order, but that will be a blind alley and not the road of progress. Our hope for the human future does not lie in crowd psychology and the indiscriminating rule of universal democracy.

The Open Conspiracy can have little use for mere resentments as a driving force towards its ends; it starts with a proposal not to exalt the labour class

{p. 57} but to abolish it, its sustaining purpose is to throw drudges out of employment and eliminate the inept - and it is far more likely to incur suspicion and distrust in the lower ranks of the developing industrial order of to-day than to win support there. ...


So far, in our accounting of the powers, institutions, dispositions, types, and classes which will be naturally opposed to the Open Conspiracy, we have surveyed only such territory in the domain of the future world commonweal as is represented by the complex, progressive, highly-industrialized communities, based on a preceding landlord-soldier, tenant, town-merchant, and tradesman system, of the Atlantic type. These communities have developed farthest in the direction of mechanicalization, and they are so much more efficient and powerful that they now dominate the rest of the world. India, China, Russia, Africa present melanges of social systems, thrown together, outpaced, overstrained, shattered, invaded, exploited, and more or less subjugated by the finance, machinery, and political aggressions of the Atlantic, Baltic, and Mediterranean civilization. In many ways they have an air of assimilating themselves to that civilization, evolving modern types and classes, and abandoning much of their distinctive traditions. But what they take from the West is mainly the new developments, the material achievements, rather than the social and political achievements, that, empowered by modern inventions, have won their way to world predominance. They may imitate European nationalism to a certain extent; for them it becomes a convenient form of self-assertion against the pressure of a realized practical social and political inferiority; but the degree to which they will or can take over the social assumptions and habits of the long-established European-American hierarchy is probably very restricted. Their nationalism will remain largely indigenous; the social traditions to which they will try to make the new material forces subservient will be traditions of an Oriental life widely different from the original life of Europe. They will have their own resistances to the Open Conspiracy, therefore, but they will be different resistances from those we have hitherto considered. The automobile and the wireless set, the harvester and steel construction building, will come to the jungle rajah and the head hunter, the Brahmin and the Indian peasant, with a parallel and yet dissimilar message to the one they brought the British landowner or the corn and cattle farmers of the Argentine and the Middle West. Also they may be expected to evoke dissimilar reactions.

To a number of the finer, more energetic minds of these overshadowed communities which have lagged more or less in the material advances to which this present ascendancy of western Europe and America is due,

{p. 59} the Open Conspiracy may come with an effect of immense invitation. At one step they may go from the sinking vessel of their antiquated order, across their present conquerors, into a brotherhood of world rulers. They may turn to the problem of saving and adapting all that is rich and distinctive of their inheritance to the common ends of the race. But to the less vigorous intelligences of this outer world, the new project of the Open Conspiracy will seem no better than a new form of Western envelopment, and they will fight a mighty liberation as though it were a further enslavement to the European tradition. They will watch the Open Conspiracy for any signs of conscious superiority and racial disregard. Necessarily they will recognize it as a product of Western mentality {Jewish perhaps?} and they may well be tempted to regard it as an elaboration and organization of current dispositions rather than the evolution of a new phase which will make no discrimination at last between the effete traditions of either East or West. ...

In the conflict of old traditions and in the consequent deadlocks lies much hope for the direct acceptance of the groups of ideas centring upon the Open Conspiracy. One of the most interesting areas of humanity in this respect is the great system of communities under the sway or influence of Soviet Russia. Russia has never been completely incorporated with the European system; she became a just passable imitation of a western European monarchy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and talked at last of constitutions and parliaments - but the reality of that vast empire remained an Asiatic despotism, and the European mask was altogether smashed by the successive revolutions of 1917. The ensuing system is a government presiding over an enormous extent of peasants and herdsmen, by a disciplined association professing the faith and dogmas of Marx, as interpreted and qualified by Lenin and Stalin.

{Wells' Open Conspiracy would extend this minority elitist rule to the whole world}

In many ways this government is a novelty of extraordinary interest. It labours against enormous difficulties within itself and without. Flung amazingly into a position of tremendous power, its intellectual flexibility is greatly restricted by the urgent militant necessity for mental unanimity and a consequent repression of criticism. It finds itself separated, intellectually and morally, by an enormous gap from the illiterate millions over which it rules. More open perhaps to scientific and creative conceptions than any other government, and certainly more willing to experiment and innovate, its enterprise is starved by the economic depletion of the country in the Great War and by the technical and industrial backwardness of the

{p. 60} population upon which it must draw for its personnel. Moreover, it struggles within itself between concepts of a modern scientific social organization and a vague anarchistic dream in which the "State" is to disappear, and an emancipated proletariat, breeding and expectorating freely, fills the vistas of time forevermore. The tradition of long years of hopeless opposition has tainted the world policy of the Marxist cult with a mischievous and irritating quality that focuses upon it the animosity of every government in the dominant Atlantic system. Marxism never had any but the vaguest fancies about the relation of one nation to another {editor's note: Wells knows that Marx advocated the abolition of a world-state}, and the new Russian government, for all its cosmopolitan phrases, is more and more plainly the heirs to the obsessions of Tsarist imperialism, using the Communist Party, as other countries have used Christian missionaries, to maintain a propagandist government to forward its schemes. {editor's note: the early USSR gave high place to "cosmopolitanism", but in Stalin's later years, "cosmopolitan" became a word for indirectly referring to Jews; the likening of Stalin's system to Tzarism is a standard Trotskyist strategy} Nevertheless, the Soviet government has maintained itself for more than twelve years, and it seems far more likely to evolve than to perish. It is quite possible that it will evolve towards the conceptions of the Open Conspiracy {editor's note: Gorbachev did this}, and in that case Russia may witness once again a conflict between new ideas and Old Believers. So far the Communist party in Moscow has maintained a considerable propaganda of ideas in the rest of the world and especially across its western frontier. Many of these ideas are now trite and stale. The time may be not far distant when the tide of propaganda will flow in the reverse direction. It has pleased the vanity of the Communist party to imagine itself conducting a propaganda of world revolution. Its fate may be to develop upon lines that will make its more intelligent elements easily assimilable to the Open Conspiracy for a world revolution. The Open Conspiracy as it spreads and grows may find a less encumbered field for trying out the economic developments implicit in its conceptions in Russia and Siberia than anywhere else in the world.

However severely the guiding themes and practical methods of the present Soviet government in Russia may be criticized, the fact remains that it has cleared out of its way many of the main obstructive elements that we find still vigorous in the more highly-organized communities in the West. It has liberated vast areas from the kindred superstitions of monarchy and the need for a private proprietary control of great economic interests. And it has presented both China and India with the exciting spectacle of a social and political system capable of throwing off many of the most characteristic features of triumphant Westernism, and yet holding its own. In the days when Japan faced up to modern necessities there were no models for imitation that were not communities of the Atlantic type pervaded by the methods of private capitalism, and in consequence the Japanese reconstituted their affairs on a distinctly European plan, adopting a Parliament and bringing their monarchy, social hierarchy, and business and financial methods into a general conformity with that model. It is extremely doubtful whether any other Asiatic community will now set itself to a parallel imitation, and it will be thanks largely to the Russian revolution that this breakaway from Europeanization has occurred.

But it does not follow that such a breakaway will necessarily lead more

{p. 61} directly to the Open Conspiracy. If we have to face a less highly organized system of interests and prejudices in Russia and China, we have to deal with a vastly wider ignorance and a vastly more formidable animalism. Russia is a land of tens of millions of peasants ruled over by a little band of the intelligentsia who can be counted only by tens of thousands {editor's note: as Wells advocates for the whole world}. It is only these few score thousands who are accessible to ideas of a world construction, and the only hope of bringing the Russian system into active participation in the world conspiracy is through that small minority and through its educational repercussion on the myriads below. As we go eastward from European Russia the proportion of soundly prepared intelligence to which we can appeal for understanding and participation diminishes to an even more dismaying fraction. Eliminate that fraction, and one is left face to face with inchoate barbarism incapable of social and political organization above the level of the war boss and the brigand leader. Russia itself is still by no means secure against a degenerative process in that direction, and the hope of China struggling out of it without some forcible directive interventions is a hope to which constructive liberalism clings with very little assurance.

{editor's comment: Wells has argued that his One World will be ruled not by the Proletariat but by "an elite of intelligent, creativeminded people" (p. 45). So what's the difference from the Soviet system? Wells' target appears to be Stalin - he is a Trotskyist, despite calling his system "constructive liberalism"}

We turn back therefore from Russia, China and the communities of Central Asia to the Atlantic world. It is in that world alone that sufficient range and amplitude of thought and discussion are possible for the adequate development of the Open Conspiracy. In these communities it must begin and for a long time its main activities will need to be sustained from these necessary centres of diffusion. It will develop amidst incessant mental strife, and through that strife it will remain alive. It is no small part of the practical weakness of present-day communism that it attempts to centre its intellectual life and its directive activities in Moscow and so cuts itself off from the free and open discussions of the Western world. Marxism lost the world when it went to Moscow and took over the traditions of Tsarism, as Christianity lost the world when it went to Rome and took over the traditions of Caesar. {this is an attack on Stalin} Entrenched in Moscow from searching criticism, the Marxist ideology may become more and more dogmatic and unprogressive, repeating its sacred credo and issuing its disregarded orders to the proletariat of the world, and so stay ineffectively crystallized until the rising tide of the Open Conspiracy submerges, dissolves it afresh, and incorporates whatever it finds assimilable.

{editor's comment: this linkage with Tsarism is another classic Trotskyist criticism of Stalin. This "dissolving afresh" represents the Trotskyist hope of destroying "socialism in one country", as happened under Gorbachev. In Science and the World-Mind (1942), Wells argued that a reformed English should be the "world language" (p. 24). The rivalry between London and Moscow - the centres of "international socialism" and "socialism in one country" respectively - is comparable to that between Rome and Byzantium - two branches of the creed}

India, like Japan, is cut off from the main body of Asiatic affairs. But while Japan has become a formally Westernized nationality in the comity of such nations, India remains a world in itself. In that one peninsula nearly every type of community is to be found, from the tribe of jungle savages, through a great diversity of barbaric and mediaeval principalities, to the child and women-sweating factories and the vigorous modern commercialism of Bombay. Over it all the British imperialism prevails, a constraining and restraining influence, keeping the peace, checking epidemics, increasing the food supply by irrigation and the like, and making little or no effort to evoke responses to modern ideas. Britain in India is no propagandist of modern ferments: all those are left the other side of

{p. 62} Suez. In India the Briton is a ruler as firm and self-assured and uncreative as the Roman. The old religious and social traditions, the complex customs, castes, tabus, and exclusions of a strangely-mixed but unamalgamated community, though a little discredited by this foreign predominance, still hold men's minds. They have been, so to speak, pickled in the preservative of the British raj. The Open Conspiracy has to invade the Indian complex in conflict with the prejudices of both ruler and governed. It has to hope for individual breaches in the dull Romanism of the administration: here a genuine educationist, here a creative civil servant, here an official touched by the distant stir of the living homeland; and it has to try to bring these types into a co-operative relationship with a fine native scholar here or an activeminded prince or landowner or industrialist there. As the old methods of passenger transport are superseded by flying, it will be more and more difficult to keep the stir of the living homeland out of either the consciousness of the official hierarchy or the knowledge of the recalcitrant "native." Very similar to Indian conditions is the state of affairs in the foreign possessions of France, the same administrative obstacles to the Open Conspiracy above, and below the same resentful subordination, cut off from the mental invigoration of responsibility. Within these areas of restraint, India and its lesser, simpler parallels in North Africa, Syria and the Far East, there goes on a rapid increase of low-grade population, undersized physically and mentally, and retarding the mechanical development of civilization by its standing offer of cheap labour to the unscrupulous entrepreneur, and possible feeble insurrectionary material to the unscrupulous political adventurer. It is impossible to estimate how slowly or how rapidly the knowledge and ideas that have checked the rate of increase of all the Atlantic populations may be diffused through these less alert communities.

We must complete our survey of the resistances against which the Open Conspiracy has to work by a few words about the Negro world and the regions of forest and jungle in which barbaric and even savage human life still escapes the infection of civilization. It seems inevitable that the development of modern means of communication and the conquest of tropical diseases should end in giving access everywhere to modern administration and to economic methods, and everywhere the incorporation of the former wilderness in the modern economic process means the destruction of the material basis, the free hunting, the free access to the soil, of such barbaric and savage communities as still precariously survive. The dusky peoples, who were formerly the lords of these still imperfectly assimilated areas, are becoming exploited workers, slaves, serfs, hut-tax payers, or labourers to a caste of white immigrants. The spirit of the plantation broods over all these lands. The Negro in America differs only from his subjugated brother in South Africa or Kenya Colony in the fact that he also, like his white master, is an immigrant. The situation in Africa and America adjusts itself therefore towards parallel conditions, the chief variation being in the relative proportions of the two races and the details

{p. 63} of the methods by which black labour is made to serve white ends. In these black and white communities which are establishing themselves in all those parts of the earth where once the black was native, or in which a sub-tropical climate is favourable to his existence at a low level of social development, there is - and there is bound to be for many years to come - much racial tension. The steady advance of birth-control may mitigate the biological factors of this tension later on, and a general amelioration of manners and conduct may efface that disposition to persecute dissimilar types, which man shares with many other gregarious animals. But meanwhile this tension increases and a vast multitude of lives is strained to tragic issues.

To exaggerate the dangers and evils of miscegenation is a weakness of our time. Man interbreeds with all his varieties and yet deludes himself that there are races of outstanding purity, the "Nordic," the "Semitic," and so forth. These are phantoms of the imagination. The reality is more intricate, less dramatic, and grips less easily upon the mind; the phantoms grip only too well and incite to terrible suppressions. Changes in the number of half-breeds and in the proportion of white and coloured are changes of a temporary nature that may become controllable and rectifiable in a few venerations. But until this level of civilization is reached, until the colour of a man's skin or the kinks in a woman's hair cease to have the value of shibboleths that involve educational, professional, and social extinction or survival, a black and white community is bound to be continually preoccupied by a standing feud too intimate and persuasive to permit of any long views of the world's destiny.

We come to the conclusion therefore that it is from the more vigorous, varied, and less severely obsessed centres of the Atlantic civilizations in the temperate zone, with their abundant facilities for publication and discussion, their traditions of mental liberty and their immense variety of interacting free types, that the main beginnings of the Open Conspiracy must develop. For the rest of the world, its propaganda, finding but poor nourishment in the local conditions, may retain a missionary quality for many years.

{p. 71} These educational and propagandist groups drawing together into an organized resistance to militarism and to the excessive control of individuals by the makeshift governments of to-day, constitute at most only the earliest and most elementary grade of the Open Conspiracy, and we will presently

{p. 72} go on to consider the more specialized and constructive forms its effort must evoke. Before doing so, however, we may say a little more about the structure and method of these possible initiatory groupings.

Since they are bound to be different and miscellaneous in form, size, quality, and ability, any early attempts to organize them into common general action or even into regular common gatherings are to be deprecated. There should be many types of groups. Collective action had better for a time - perhaps for a long time - be undertaken not through the merging of groups but through the formation of ad hoc associations for definitely specialized ends {editor's note: here we see the Green, Gay, Feminist, Ethnic Minority, Animal Rights etc. movements}, all making for the new world civilization. Open Conspirators will come into these associations to make a contribution very much as people come into limited liability companies, that is to say with a subscription and not with their whole capital. A comprehensive organization attempting from the first to cover all activities would necessarily rest upon and promote one prevalent pattern of activity and hamper or estrange the more original and interesting forms. It would develop a premature orthodoxy, it would cease almost at once to be creative, and it would begin to form a crust of tradition {editor's note: i.e. the activist groups, even if originally single-issue, are to be steered towards one-world Internationalism}. It would become anchylosed. With the dreadful examples of Christianity and Communism before us, we must insist that the idea of the Open Conspiracy ever becoming a single organization must be dismissed from the mind {editor's note: when Wells attacks "Communism" he means "Stalinism"; he supports Trotsky}. It is a movement, yes, a system of purposes, but its end is a free and living, if unified, world.

At the utmost seven broad principles may be stated as defining the Open Conspiracy and holding it together. And it is possible even of these, one, the seventh, may be, if not too restrictive, at least unnecessary. To the writer it seems unavoidable because it is so intimately associated with that continual dying out of tradition upon which our hopes for an unencumbered human future rest.

(I) The complete assertion, practical as well as theoretical, of the provisional nature of existing governments and of our acquiescence in them; {editor's note: this means agitation against all governments not in "our" camp, a Trotskyist strategy} (2) The resolve to minimize by all available means the conflicts of these governments, their militant use of individuals and property, and their inteferences with the establishment of a world economic system; (3) The determination to replace private, local or national ownership of at least credit, transport, and staple production by a responsible world directorate serving the common ends of the race; {editor's note: whose world directorate?} (4) The practical recognition of the necessity for world biological controls, for example, of population and disease; (5) The support of a minimum standard of individual freedom and welfare in the world; and {editor's note: a world-wide social-welfare system} (6) The supreme duty of subordinating the personal career to the creation of a world directorate capable of these tasks and to the general advancement of human knowledge, capacity, and power; (7) The admission therewith that our immortality is conditional and lies in the race and not in our individual selves {editor's note: this is a Jewish view}


In this book we are not starting something; we are describing and participating in something which has started. It arises naturally and necessarily from the present increase of knowledge and the broadening outlook of many minds throughout the world, and gradually it becomes conscious of itself. It is reasonable therefore to anticipate its appearance all over the world in sporadic mutually independent groupings and movements, and to recognize not only that they will be extremely various, but that many of them will trail with them racial and regional habits and characteristics which will only be shaken off as its cosmopolitan character becomes imperatively evident. {editor's note: i.e. the activist groups, even if originally single-issue, are to be steered towards one-world Internationalism. In Stalin's later years, "cosmopolitan" meant Jewish, Trotskyist.}

The passage from the partial anticipations of the Open Conspiracy that already abound everywhere to its complete and completely self-conscious statement may be made by almost imperceptible degrees. To-day it may seem no more than a visionary idea; to-morrow it may be realized as a world-wide force of opinion and will. People will pass with no great inconsistency from saying that the Open Conspiracy is impossible to saying that it has always been plain and clear to them, that to this fashion they have shaped their lives as long as they can remember.

In its opening phase, in the day of small things, quite minor accidents may help or delay the clear definition and popularization of its main ideas. The changing pattern of public events may disperse or concentrate attention upon it, or it may win the early adherence of men of exceptional resources, energy, or ability. It is impossible to foretell the speed of its advance. Its development may be slower or faster, direct or devious, but the logic of accumulating realizations thrusts it forward, will persist in thrusting it on, and sooner or later it will be discovered, conscious and potent, the working religion of most sane and energetic people.

Meanwhile our supreme virtues must be faith and persistence. {editor's note: faith is a religious concept}

So far we have considered only two of the main activities of the Open Conspiracy, the one being its propaganda of confidence in the possible world commonweal, and the other its immediate practical attempt to systematize resistance to militant and competitive imperialism and nationalism. But such things are merely its groundwork undertakings; they do no more than clear the site and make the atmosphere possible for its organized constructive efforts.

{p. 76} in the general basic activities of the Conspiracy and adhere to and promote the seven broad principles summarized at the end of Chapter Fourteen, but who work also with the larger part of their energies, through international and cosmopolitan {editor's note: in Stalin's later years, "cosmopolitan" meant Jewish, Trotskyist} societies and in a multitude of special ways, for the establishment of an enduring and progressive world organization of pure research. They will have come to this special work because their distinctive gifts, their inclinations, their positions and opportunities have indicated it as theirs.

Now a very parallel system of Open Conspiracy groups is conceivable, in relation to business and industrial life {editor's note: i.e. multinational companies have a role in Wells scheme}.It would necessarily be a vastly bulkier and more heterogeneous system of groups, but otherwise the analogy is complete. Here we imagine those people whose gifts, inclinations, positions and opportunities as directors, workers, or associates give them an exceptional insight into and influence in the processes of producing and distributing commodities, can also be drawn together into groups within the Open Conspiracy. But these groups will be concerned with the huge and more complicated problems of the processes by which even now the small isolated individual adventures in production and trading that constituted the economic life of former civilizations, are giving place to larger, better instructed, better planned industrial organizations, whose operations and combinations become at last world wide.

The amalgamations and combinations, the substitution of large-scale business for multitudes of small-scale businesses, which are going on now, go on with all the cruelty and disregards of a natural process. If a man is to profit and survive, these unconscious blunderings - which now stagger towards but which may never attain world organization - much be watched, controlled, mastered, and directed. As uncertainty diminishes, the quality of adventure and the amount of waste diminish also, and large speculative profits are no longer possible or justifiable. The transition from speculative adventure to organized foresight in the common interest, in the whole world of economic life, is the substantial task of the Open Conspiracy. And it is these specially interested and equipped groups, and not the movement as a whole, which may best begin the attack upon these fundamental readjustments.

The various Socialist movements of the nineteenth and earlier twentieth centuries had this in common, that they sought to replace the "private owner" in most or all economic interests by some vaguely apprehended "public owner." This, following the democratic disposition of the times, was commonly conceived of as an elected body, a municipality, the parliamentary state or what not. There were municipal socialists, "nationalizing" socialists, imperial socialists. In the mystic teachings of the Marxist, the collective owner has to be "the dictatorship of the proletariat." Production for profit was denounced. The contemporary mind realizes the evils of production for profit and of the indiscriminate scrambling of private ownership more fully than ever before, but it has a completer realization and a certain accumulation of experience in the difficulties of organizing that larger ownership we desire. Private Ownership may not be altogether

{p. 77} evil as a provisional stage, even if it has no more in its favour than the ability to transcend political boundaries. {editor's note: Wells would lower tariffs, and let multinationals take over a country's economy, rather than have national self-sufficiency}

Moreover - and here again the democratic prepossessions of the nineteenth century come in - the Socialist movement sought to make every single adherent a reformer and a propagandist of economic methods. In order to do so, it was necessary to simplify economic processes to the crudity of nursery toys, and the intricate interplay of will and desire in enterprise, normal employment, and direction, in questions of ownership, wages, credit, and money, was reduced to a childish fable of surplus value wickedly appropriated. The Open Conspiracy is not so much a socialism as a more comprehensive offspring which has eaten and assimilated whatever was digestible of its socialist forebears. It turns to biology for guidance towards the regulation of quantity and a controlled distribution of the human population of the world, and it judges all the subsidiary aspects of property and pay by the criterion of most efficient production and distribution in relation to the indications thus obtained {editor's note: Wells here supports economic rationalism}.

These economic groups, then, of the Open Conspiracy, which may come indeed to be a large part of the Open Conspiracy, will be working in that vast task of economic reconstruction - which from the point of view of the older socialism was the sole task before mankind. They will be conducting experiments and observing processes according to their opportunities. Through ad hoc societies and journals they will be comparing and examining their methods and preparing reports and clear information for the movement at large. The whole question of money and monetary methods in our modern communities, so extraordinarily disregarded in socialist literature, will be examined under the assumption that money is the token of the community's obligation, direct or indirect, to an individual, and credit its permission to deal freely with material.

The whole psychology of industry and industrial relationship needs to be revised and restated in terms of the collective efficiency and welfare of mankind. And just as far as can be contrived, the counsel and the confidences of those who now direct great industrial and financial operations will be invoked. The first special task of a banker, or a bank clerk for that matter, who joins the Open Conspiracy, will be to answer the questions: "What is a bank?" "What are you going to do about it?" "What have we to do about it?" The first questions to a manufacturer will be: "What are you making and why?" and "What are you and we to do about it?" Instead of the crude proposals to "expropriate" and "take over by the State" of the primitive socialism, the Open Conspiracy will build up an encyclopaedic conception of the modern economic complex as a labyrinthine pseudo-system progressively eliminating waste and working its way along multitudinous channels towards unity, towards clarity of purpose and method, towards abundant productivity and efficient social service.

Let us come back now for a paragraph or so to the ordinary adherent in the Open Conspiracy, the adherent considered not in relation to his special aptitudes and services, but in relation to the movement as a whole and to those special constructive organizations outside his own field.

{p. 88} We have now sketched out in these Blue Prints the methods by which the confused radicalism and constructive forces of the present time may, can, and probably will be drawn together about a core of modernized religious feeling into one great and multifarious creative effort. ...

The Open Conspiracy will also be dissolving and repudiating many existing restrictions upon conduct and many social prejudices. ...

Whenever possible, the Open Conspiracy will advance by illumination and persuasion. {editor's note: does this suggest a connection with the Illuminati movement?} But it has to advance, and even from the outset, where it is not allowed to illuminate and persuade, it mustn't. Its first fights will probably be for the right to spread its system of ideas plainly and clearly throughout the world.

There is, I suppose, a flavour of treason about the assumption that any established government is provisional, and a quality of immorality in any criticism of accepted moral standards. Still more is the proposal, made even in times of peace, to resist war levies {editor's note: Wells' supported Britain's war effort in World War I;it was he who coined the phrase "the War to End War" as a motivator in that war} and conscription an offence against absolute conceptions of loyalty. But the ampler wisdom of the modern Atlantic communities, already touched by premonitions of change and futurity, has continually enlarged the common liberties of thought for some generations, and it is doubtful if there will be any serious resistance to the

{p. 89} dissemination of these views and the early organization of the Open Conspiracy in any of the English-speaking communities or throughout the British Empire, in the Scandinavian countries, or in such liberal-minded countries as Holland, Switzerland, republican Germany or France {editor's note: i.e. the NATO countries}. France, in the hasty years after the war, submitted to some repressive legislation against the discussion of birth control or hostile criticism of the militarist attitude; but such a check upon mental freedom is altogether contrary to the clear and open quality of the French mind; in practice it has already been effectively repudiated by such writers as Victor Margueritte, and it is unlikely that there will be any effective suppression of the opening phases of the Open Conspiracy in France.

This gives us a large portion of the existing civilized world in which men's minds may be readjusted to the idea that their existing governments are in the position of trustees for the greater government of the coming age. Throughout these communities it is conceivable that the structural lines of the world community may be materialized and established with only minor struggles, local boycotts, vigorous public controversies, normal legislative obstruction, social pressure, and overt political activities. Police, jail, expulsions, and so forth, let alone outlawry and warfare, may scarcely be brought into this struggle upon the high civilized level of the Atlantic communities. But where they are brought in, the Open Conspiracy, to the best of its ability and the full extent of its resources, must become a fighting force and organize itself upon resistant lines.

{editor's note: "Resistance" is a recurring Trotskyist word}

Non-resistance, the restriction of activities to moral suasion is no part of the programme of the Open Conspiracy. In the face of unscrupulous opposition creative ideas must become aggressive, must define their enemies and attack them. By its own organizations or through the police and military strength of governments amenable to its ideas, the movement is bound to find itself fighting for open roads, open frontiers, freedom of speech, and the realities of peace in regions of oppression {editor's note: this is the credo of the New World Order, with Karl Popper its supposed prophet}. The Open Conspiracy rests upon a disrespect for nationality, and there is no reason why it should tolerate noxious or obstructive governments because they hold their own in this or that patch of human territory. {editor's note: thus the Gulf War and the Kosovo war, fought in the name of peace, while those on the other side are labelled "militarists"} It lies within the power of the Atlantic communities to impose peace upon the world and secure unimpeded movement and free speech from end to end of the earth {editor's note: this Internationalism is thus a new kind of imperialism, its means justified by its goals}. This is a fact on which the Open Conspiracy must insist. The English-speaking states, France, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, the Scandinavian countries, and Russia {editor's note: Soviet Russia}, given only a not very extravagant frankness of understanding between them, and a common disposition towards the ideas of the Open Conspiracy, could cease to arm against each other and still exert enough strength to impose disarmament and a respect for human freedom in every corner of the planet. It is fantastic pedantry to wait for all the world to accede before all the world is pacified and policed.

{editor's note: freedom is to be imposed by force; these days, force acts in the name of "Human Rights"}

The most inconsistent factor in the liberal and radical thought of to-day is the prejudice against the interference of highly developed modern states in the affairs of less stable and less advanced regions. This is denounced as "imperialism," and regarded as criminal. It may have assumed

{p. 90} grotesque and dangerous forms under the now decaying traditions of national competition, but as the merger of the Atlantic states proceeds, the possibility and necessity of bringing areas of misgovernment and disorder under world control increase. A great war like the war of 1914-1918 may never happen again. The common sense of mankind may suffice to avert that. But there is still much actual warfare before mankind, on the frontiers everywhere, against brigands, against ancient loyalties and traditions which will become at last no better than excuses for brigandage and obstructive exaction. All the weight of the Open Conspiracy will be on the side of the world order and against that sort of local independence which holds back its subject people from the citizenship of the world.

But in this broad prospect of far-reaching political amalgamations under the impulses of the Open Conspiracy lurk a thousand antagonisms and adverse chances, like the unsuspected gulleys and ravines and thickets in a wide and distant landscape. We know not what unexpected chasms may presently be discovered. The Open Conspirator may realize that he is one of an advancing and victorious force and still find himself outnumbered and outfought in his own particular corner of the battlefield. No one can yet estimate the possible strength of reaction against world unification; no one can foresee the extent of the divisions and confusions that may arise among ourselves. The ideas in this book may spread about without any serious resistance in most civilized countries, but there are still governments under which the persistent expression of such thoughts will be dealt with as crimes and bring men and women to prison, torment, and death. Nevertheless, they must be expressed.

While the Open Conspiracy is no more than a discussion it may spread unopposed because it is disregarded. As a mainly passive resistance to militarism it may still be tolerable. But as its knowledge and experience accumulate and its organization becomes more effective and aggressive, as it begins to lay hands upon education, upon social habits, upon business developments, as it proceeds to take over the organization of the community, it will marshal not only its own forces but its enemies. A complex of interests will find themselves restrained and threatened by it, and it may easily evoke that most dangerous of human mass feelings, fear. In ways quite unpredictable it may raise a storm against itself beyond all our present imaginings. Our conception of an almost bloodless domination of the Atlantic communities may be merely the confident dream of a thinker whose thoughts have yet to be squarely challenged.

We are not even sure of the common peace. Across the path of mankind the storm of another Great War may break, bringing with it for a time more brutal repressions and vaster injuries even than its predecessor. The scaffoldings and work sheds of the Open Conspiracy may fare violently in that tornado. The restoration of progress may seem an almost hopeless struggle.

It is no part of modern religion to incur needless hardship or go out of the way to seek martyrdom. If we can do our work easily and happily, so it should be done. But the work is not to be shirked because it cannot be

{p. 91} done easily and happily. The vision of a world at peace and liberated for an unending growth of knowledge and power is worth every danger of the way {editor's note: i.e.the end justifies the means} And since in this age of confusion we must live imperfectly and anyhow die, we may as well suffer, if need be, and die for a great end as for none. Never has the translation of vision into realities been easy since the beginning of human effort. The establishment of the world community will surely exact a price - and who can tell what that price may be? - in toil, suffering, and blood. {end quotes} ====

(2) Analysis of Wells' Internationalism {by Peter Myers}

1. The Pursuit of Peace By Violent Methods.

Wells depicts his Internationalism as a religion, but one founded on atheism and rejecting the personal qualities of submission and humility cultivated by the mystical religions (p. 27). Such an atheist rejects that part of the personality Freud called the superego, as an imposition of authoritarian society, and instead expands the ego, invading that space formerly occupied by God. This type of atheism is militant, and based on the idea that Man Makes Himself, i.e. is not subject to any natural law or human nature. Wells assumed that these big egos would want to serve the common good; but what if instead they clash? Freed ("liberated") from any sense of humility, or constraint by a higher law, they have unleashed the unparalled violence of this century.

Rousseau and Nietzsche blamed Christianity for the loss of the martial ethic of the Roman Empire, and its subsequent fall from civilization into chaos (Byzantium survived partly because it was founded as Christian, whereas Rome had to change its moral basis when Christianity took power). Rousseau's Social Contract, the handbook of the French Revolutionaries, is full of references to Sparta (following Plato) and Rome as martial models for the new order, instead of the nonviolent tradition brought by Christianity, with its similarities to the ahimsa culture of the Jains and Buddhists. Nietzsche praised the martial ethic of the Jewish Bible, and rejected the pacifism of early Christianity. No wonder our century has been so violent.

The martial ethic re-entered Christian Europe with the Viking conquests, in the north, the south, and the east. The unconverted Vikings settled down as the Norman aristocracy, and their conversion amounted to a pact with the Catholic Church giving Europe the First and Second Estates which remained until the French Revolution. This structure led to a more martial culture within Europe, beginning with the Crusades, and culminating in the bloody invasion and devastation of the New World; but the Church still cultivated humility and small egos.

Marx also advocated violence as a method but, unlike Rousseau and Nietzsche, he detested the Roman Empire and welcomed the Christian takeover. However, he thought that the Christians should have established an earthy utopia, rather than settle for one in the afterlife (heaven). Marx used the expression "heaven on earth", in describing his goal, at the First International: "Someday the worker must seize political power in order to build up the new organization of labor; he must overthrow the old politics which sustain the old institutions, if he is not to lose heaven on earth, like the old Christians who neglected and despised politics" (Qualifying Violent Revolution, a speech on Sept. 8, 1872, in Karl Marx Library, McGraw-Hill, 1971, Vol. 1, p.64).

Engels explained the socialist heaven: "The history of early Christianity has notable points of resemblance with the modern working-class movement. Like the latter, Christianity was originally a movement of oppressed people: it first appeared as the religion of slaves and emancipated slaves, of poor people deprived of all rights, of peoples subjugated or dispersed by Rome. Both Christianity and the workers' socialism preach forthcoming salvation from bondage and misery; Christianity places this salvation in a life beyond, after death, in heaven; socialism places it in this world, in a transformation of society" (On the History of Early Christianity, in Collected Works of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Progress Publishers, Moscow 1975, Vol. 27).

Marx' expression "lose heaven on earth" is elucidated by Engels a little further on in the same article, as follows: 'If, therefore, Professor Anton Menger wonders ... why ... "socialism did not follow the overthrow of the Roman Empire in the West", it is because he cannot see that this "socialism" did in fact, as far as it was possible at the time, exist and even became dominant - in Christianity. Only this Christianity ... did not want to accomplish the social transformation in this world, but beyond it, in heaven ..."

The mild attitude to Christianity of Marx and Engels contrasts with the brutality of the Bolsheviks, who pulled churches down, killed priests and imprisoned and tortured those who resisted; China's Cultural Revolution was similar. As Leszek Kolakowski puts it, "... the coarseness and aggressiveness of his (Lenin's) style ... are unparalled in the whole literature of socialism." (Main Currents of Marxism, II, p. 520). Lenin deliberately incited hatred rather than appealing to argument, and justified this tactic (p. 521).

2. The Intellectual Sources of the World-State Movement

If Wells were an isolated individual, his views would be of philosophical interest only; but clearly the world is being propelled in the direction he mapped out, not by chance but by design. He is only the most forthright and honest (even if treasonous) exponent of the New World Order. The movement obviously existed before him, and has continued after. Another of its leaders was Bertrand Russell. Wells' blueprints for the world are present in his other writings, such as Imperialism and the Open Conspiracy (1929), After Democracy (1932), The Shape of Things to Come (1933), and Science and the World Mind (1942); but to reach the general public he used novels, with the same moral. Working for the One World cause was his religion.

Wells' idea of rule by intellectuals comes from his reading of Plato, but Plato's republic was small-scale, with no world-wide ambitions. In his book The Laws, he describes a small utopian republic called Magnesia, with only 5040 households (Book V, chapter 9).

The faith that a one-world utopia on earth is a possibility, and the messianic missionising, come from Jewish thinking. In the minds of Wells, Russell etc., there has been a fusion of Plato's Republic with the Jewish utopia, yet although they have been quite aware of the origin in Plato's philosophy - and this is the theme of Karl Popper's book The Open Society and Its Enemies - they seem unaware of the Jewish origin of their Internationalism, and the fusion of the two streams in their minds. Believing themselves builders of Plato's republic, they failed to see the ways in which they were going beyond Plato.

3. The Dangers of a World-State

For all of human history up to now, there have been multiple political domains. If they were to be reduced to one, who knows how it would turn out? If it were totalitarian, it could suppress all opposition, and the dominant viewpoint could extinguish all rival viewpoints. Far from being a utopia, it might be a disaster, leading to the loss of most of the human heritage of the past, for the sake of some new universal value system. When the Multiculturalists outlaw female circumcision, admittedly one of the many unsavoury practices from traditional societies, they are making it plain that they want to impose a single value-system on the whole world. They say they want to protect aboriginal peoples, but they threaten all tribal and traditional cultures - chapter 11 of The Open Conspiracy has the sub-title "THE WAR WITH TRADITION" {pp. 48-57).

In a One-World system, dissidents would have nowhere to escape to. Up to now, it has always been possible for some, even if not all, of the dissidents within a political system, to leave it, escape from it, precisely because there have always been multiple political domains. But if the world became One Country, all escape routes are cut off. Why weren't Wells and Russell scared by this prospect? Because of faith, located in Jewish optimism.

The Internationalists argue that World Government is necessary, to prevent war, and to save the environment from people - their numbers and their impact. But all these reasons are rationalisations, because the idea of world government came first - it is an ancient Jewish thinking - before these problems arose. The problems, then, are used to justify this a priori solution, to necessitate it, to persuade all peoples to surrender their sovereignty, i.e. their power over their own cultures and lands.

Apologists for the New World Order say that the only alternatives to it are Nazism and Stalinism. On the contrary, Hitler and Stalin arose because of the New World Order's attempt to conquer all peoples and all cultures. In their own way, Stalin and Hitler were resisting; but their way should not be our way. We must use information not guns, we must shun violence as the early Christians did; we must prefer poverty and persecution to entrapment and corruption. And if we succeed, we must not become totalitarian ourselves, as the early Christians did. I believe that multiple countries can exist without destroying the earth, and without world government. But Multiplists cannot dodge the problems nominated by the One Worlders: they are real problems. If we don't want the One Worlders to solve them, we have to solve them ourselves.

(3) Wells & the 60s Cultural Revolution in the West

Marilyn Ferguson's book The Aquarian Conspiracy: Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s (J&P Archer, Los Angeles, 1987), with a Foreword by John Naisbitt (later author of Megatrends), explicitly likens the "Aquarian" movement to H. G. Wells' Open Conspiracy:

"A leaderless but powerful network is work to bring about radical change in the United States. ... This network is the Aquarian Conspiracy." (p. 23) .

"There are legions of conspirators. They are in corporations, universities and hospitals, on the faculties of public schools, in factories and doctors' offices, in state and federal agencies, on city councils and the White House staff, in state legislatures, in volunteer organizations, in virtually all arenas of policy-making in the country. ... They have coalesced into small groups in every town and institution" (p. 24).

"In The Open Conspiracy: Blueprints for a World Revolution (1928), novelist-historian H. G. Wells proposed that the time was nearly ripe for the coalescence of small groups into a flexible network that could spawn global change." (p. 49).

"Interestingly, H. G. Wells had predicted in his 1928 blueprint for a new society that the Open Conspiracy ... would not be a centralized organization but, rather, small groups of friends and coalitions of such groups." (p. 213).

But Ferguson makes no mention of Wells' central aim: World Government.

A book by Ethel Grodzins Romm titled The Open Conspiracy: What America's Angry Generation is Saying was published by Avon Books, NY, in the US in 1970 & 1971. Page 1 features the following quote from Edgar Z. Friedenberg: "Today's children aren't fighting their parents. They're abandoning them."

Compare this with Wells' statement in Experiment in Autobiography, Gollancz, London, 1934:

"Socialism, if it is anything more than a petty tinkering with economic relationships is a renucleation of society. The family can remain only as a biological fact. Its economic and educational autonomy are inevitably doomed. The modern state is bound to be the ultimate guardian of all children and it must assist, place, or subordinate the parent as supporter, guardian and educator; it must release all human beings from the obligation of mutual proprietorship, and it must refuse absolutely to recognize or enforce any kind of sexual ownership. It cannot therefore remain neutral when such claims come before it. It must disallow them." (vol. ii, p. 481).

(4) Wells and the Webbs support Trotsky (against Stalin) at the time of his Expulsion from the USSR

Dmitri Volkogonov, Trotsky: The Eternal Revolutionary, tr. & ed. Harold Shukman, HarperCollinsPublishers, London 1996.

{p. 320} ... the Ilyich manoeuvred slowly alongside the quay ... in Constantinople ...

On the quayside, Trotsky found an automobile and two surprisingly friendly representatives from the Soviet Consulate awaiting him. They installed his family in two rooms, brought in their luggage and generally displayed the marks of respect reserved for a high state official.

The future seemed uncertain. Trotsky at once started sending letters and telegrams to his many acquaintances in Paris, Berlin, Sofia,

{p. 321} Warsaw, Prague and London. ... Just before the disembarkation, Fokin had handed him an envelope which turned out to contain fifteen hundred US dollars. Trotsky had been reluctant to accept it, but his pockets were empty and there was family to think of.

They remained in the Consulate for about two weeks, at the beginning very much the honoured guests of its staff. But the atmosphere changed sharply for the worse once Trotsky's friends in Paris, Marguerite and Alfred Rosmer and Magdeleine and Maurice Paz, put the world's press onto him and his articles started appearing with an account of his deportation from the USSR. Soviet envoys in Paris, New York and Berlin now had to send a daily report to Moscow on what writings of Trotsky were being published, and what public and government opinion was saying about him. ...

As soon as Moscow heard about Trotsky's articles in the Western press, the Consul in Constantinople was instructed to suggest Trotsky find other accommodation, adding that he could remain for a few more days. Natalya and Lev starting looking for rooms, while Trotsky went on writing, meeting journalists and seeking channels of contact with his supporters in oher countries. Messages of support and offers of help came from Rosmer and Paz in Paris, the critic Edmund Wilson in the USA, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, H.G. Wells and Herbert Samuel in England, among others. He felt much encouraged.

{end quote}

Aleksandr Dugin outlines the Eurasianist position:

"Hitler's aggression against the USSR was the great eurasian catastrophe."

"The pact Ribbentropp-Molotov was the summit of strategic success for the eurasists. But at the last moment the Oceanic forces overcame."

"For the atlantists, the date of June 22, 1941 was a great celebration day: the intra-continental war of the two major eurasian powers, one against the other, was a pledge of triumph for the Atlantic Order, irrespective of what side victory would go to. June 22, 1941 for the Order of the eurasists was an even more tragic event than the October revolution."


Part 1 http://www.bolsheviks.org/DOCUMENTS/THE%20GREAT%20WAR%20I.htm

Part 2: http://www.bolsheviks.org/DOCUMENTS/THE%20GREAT%20WAR%20II.htm.

Trotsky as an Atlanticist?

Isaac Deutscher wrote, in his book Russia After Stalin, that the Bolshevik Government, in its first years, was run by "emigres had lived many years in the West" (p. 30), who looked down on Russian "backwardness" and pursued "internationalist" politics: "{p. 32} ... they were Marxists in partibus infidelium, West European revolutionaries acting against a non-congenial Oriental background, which ... tried to impose its tyranny upon them. Only revolution in the West could relieve them from that tyranny ... {p. 33} No sooner had Bolshevism mentally withdrawn into its national shell than this attitude became untenable. The party of the revolution had to stoop to its semi-Asiatic environment. It had to cut itself loose from the specifically Western tradition of Marxism ... " beria.html.

H. G. Wells saw the end of World War I as an opportunity to create a new world. He supported both Lenin, and the attempt to create a World Government at the Treaty of Versailles. He also advocated the creation of a Jewish state. His ideas for a united world drew on Jewish thought, in discussions with David Lubin and Israel Zangwill.

Wells, Lenin and the League of Nations: wells-lenin-league.html.

Wells & Bertrand Russell continued to work for World Government. Open Society, Open Conspiracy: opensoc.html.

Four other books by H. G. Wells promoting World Government: hgwells.html.

Communism in Practice: Sorokin and Volkogonov on the Kronstadt Massacre, and Trotsky's role in it: kronstadt.html.

The 1946 Baruch Plan for World Government: baruch-plan.html.

Leo Szilard and H.G. Wells, founders of the Green Left. Leo Szilard helped create the first nuclear chain reaction, and initiated the letter to Roosevelt that got the Manhattan Project under way. Later, he warned of the dangers of nuclear weapons, and joined Wells' crusade for World Government: szilard.html.

H. G. Wells' book The Open Conspiracy is out of print. To purchase a second-hand copy via Abebooks: http://dogbert.abebooks.com/abe/BookSearch?an=h+g+wells&tn=open+conspiracy.

To purchase from Amazon a book Modern Utopia by H. G. Wells which is probably similar to The Open Conspiracy: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0803252137/qid=974577750/sr=1-1/t/104-1659122-1959116

Write to me at contact.html.