Saturday, January 7, 2017

Welcome to The Puritan Tyranny

An amoral and self-indulgent elite is peacefully ousted by a new gang of autocrats who are devoted to "schooling the world with considerable austerity."

Welcome to The Puritan Tyranny―how 2017 looked to H.G. Wells when he published his 1933 novel, The Shape of Things to Come.

"The Tyranny," as Wells named it, "tidied up the world" and "altered the human face forever."

Under the Tyrants' rule, reprobates and oddballs of every kind disappear.

So do introverts.

But, wait, there's more.

"History becomes a record of increasingly vast engineering undertakings and cultivations, of the pursuit of minerals and of the first deep borings into the planet," Wells says.

"New mechanisms appeared, multiplied, and were swept away by better mechanisms. The face of the earth changed. The scientific redistribution of population began."

In the name of progress―they prefer the term "business"―the Tyrants also "invent work," Wells says.

"Earth became an ant-hill under their dominion, clean and orderly, but needlessly 'busy."

The Tyrants tear down everything in sight.

They destroy "the huts, hovels, creeper-clad cottages and houses, old decaying stone and brick town halls, market houses, churches, mosques, factories and railway stations," replacing them with stark and sterile buildings.

And the Tyrants censor books, known as "fever rags" for their ability to incite people to doubt, complain, laugh and have sex.

"You may call it a tyranny," Wells says, "but it was in fact a release; it did not suppress men, but obsessions."
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