Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Thursday, May 07, 2009

HG Wells against racism

'I am convinced myself that there is no more evil thing in this present world than race prejudice; none at all. I write deliberately - it is the worst single thing in life now. It justifies and holds together more baseness, cruelty and abomination than any other sort of error in the world. Through its body runs the black blood of coarse lust, suspicion, jealousy and persecution and all the darkest poison of the human soul...It is a monster begotten of natural instincts and intellectual confusion, to be fought against by all men of good intent, each in our dispersed modern manner doing his fragmentary, inestimable share.'
HG Wells, 'Race Prejudice', The Independent, 14 February 1907, quoted in Jeffrey B Perry (ed.), A Hubert Harrison Reader, p. 57)
The quote might complicate traditional thinking about the Fabian socialist and science fiction writer HG Wells, and the subject of race and racism, a little maybe at least.

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3 Comments:

At 8:53 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is as may be. But next to it must be put the fact that Wells also stated:

"I believe," he wrote, "that now and always the conscious selection of the best for reproduction will be impossible; that to propose it is to display a fundamental misunderstanding of what individuality implies. The way of nature has always been to slay the hindmost, and there is still no other way, unless we can prevent those who would become the hindmost being born. It is in the sterilization of failure, and not in the selection of successes for breeding, that the possibility of an improvement of the human stock lies."

So perhaps he was just a very confused man?

 
At 12:06 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, there's no confusion there.

The first quote says racism is bad.

The other says that if one wants to improve human genetics like a gardener with flowers or a farmer with horses, it is more important to "sterilize" the "failures" than to encourage breeding of the "successes".

He doesn't mention separate races there, but humanity as a whole.

In other words, he had nothing against other races, he just regretted cripples, freaks, and brainless one-eyed monsters...

 
At 9:38 am, Anonymous tuxedo best said...

forget all criticism and dont entertain all racist.

 

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