Thread: Ordo ab chao
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Old 15-08-2012, 11:55 PM   #25
lightgiver
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Lightbulb The Shape of Things to Come

The book is dominated by Wells's belief in a world state as the solution to mankind's problems. Wells successfully predicted the Second World War, although he envisaged it dragging on into the 1960s, being finally ended only by a devastating plague that almost destroys civilization. Wells then envisages a benevolent dictatorship - 'The Dictatorship of the Air' (a term obviously modeled on 'The Dictatorship of the proletariat') - arising from the controllers of the world's surviving transportation systems (the only people with global power). This dictatorship promotes science, enforces Basic English as a global lingua franca, and eradicates all religion, setting the world on the route to a peaceful utopia. When the dictatorship finds it necessary to kill political opponents, the condemned persons are given a chance to emulate the ancient philosophers Socrates and Seneca and take a poison tablet in a congenial environment of their choice...
Eventually, after a century of reshaping humanity, the dictatorship is overthrown in a completely bloodless coup, the former rulers are sent into a very honourable retirement, and the world state "withers away" . The last part of the book is a detailed description of the Utopian world which emerges, in some ways reminiscent of Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward. The ultimate aim of this utopian world is to produce a world society composed entirely of polymaths, each and every one of its members the intellectual equal of the greatest geniuses of the past...


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