Democratic capitalism is a remarkably empowering and wealth-generating structure. Although wealth is not a zero-sum game, power may well be. In Chapter 17 of his 2011 book The Fruits of Graft: Great Depressions Then and Now, Wayne Jett explores how certain elitists have actively sought to undermine the masses and usurp political and economic power for themselves.
In H. G. Wells’ 1901 book Anticipations, Jett finds the elites’ perspective and plan laid out in stark fashion. Anticipations says that humanity was historically and properly divided into a “superior class” and the “human machinery” of the “working cultivator, peasant, surf or slave.”
The problem was the mechanization of the Industrial Revolution and “the appearance of great masses of population” enabled “an entire disintegration of that system…. [W]ithout a total destruction and rebirth of that fabric, there can never be any return.”
Wells said commoners should never threaten elites because they were a “bulky, irremovable excretion of vicious, helpless and pauper masses… drifting down towards the abyss…inferior in their claim upon the future…[which] cannot be given opportunities or trusted with power…. To give them equality is to sink to their level, to protect and cherish them is to be swamped in their fecundity.”
Anticipations forecast that the “ascendant or dominant nation” would be the one “that most resolutely picks over, educates, sterilizes, exports or poisons its people of the abyss …” He envisioned a time when a new republic “can prevent the birth of just the inadaptable, useless or merely unnecessary creatures in each generation.”
This new republic would “hold life to be a privilege,” guiding it with eugenics and imposing death “with little pity and less benevolence.” Instead, “[T]hose swarms of black, and brown, and dirty-white, and yellow people, who do not come into the new needs of efficiency … they will have to go.”
Even book publishing would not be entrusted to “a government of ‘the gray,’” (democracy), but to “intelligently critical men … of the new republic… developing the morality and education system of the future.”
In Anticipations, market competition was denigrated as “the region of the scramble.” True market competition could only threaten the Plutocrats’ economic hegemony, just as true democracy threatened their political power.
“The emergent new republic will be attacking that mass of irresponsible property that is so unavoidable and so threatening under present conditions … [with a] scheme of death duties and heavy graduated taxes upon irresponsible incomes….”
This would severely cripple the upper middle class, while tax-free foundations could allow the elites to leverage protected funds to remold the world. In this way, the “competent” elite could “expropriate and extinguish incompetent rich families”—the wealthy who didn’t share this vision.
“[W]hether violently as a revolution or quietly and slowly, this gray confusion that is democracy must pass away inevitably … into the higher stage … the world-state of the coming years.” Through “elements of technical treason,” the higher class and even leading officials in governments would join in “a new republic as a sort of outspoken secret society” of “a confluent system of trust-owned business organisms … universities and reorganized military and naval services” that mimicked a state.
Did public figures distance themselves from the one who penned such radical ideas? Strangely, no. After Anticipations was published, Wells had a public audience with U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, whom Wells later called, “the creative will in man” he esteemed.
Before Anticipations, Wells named Woodrow Wilson among the “intelligently critical men of the new republic.” Under Wilson’s presidency (1913-1920), the Federal Reserve Bank, graduated income taxes, and estate taxes were introduced, fulfilling Wells’ vision and making tax-free foundations all the more crucial.
In the 1920s, Wells had an affair with Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood who prepared the way for the development of the birth control pill. Wells called her “the greatest woman in the world; the movement she started will grow to be, a hundred years from now, the most influential of all time in controlling man’s destiny on earth.”
Wells also met three times with President Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s. He found Roosevelt “continually revolutionary in the new way without ever provoking a stark revolutionary crisis” and called him “the most effective transmitting instrument possible for the coming of the new world order.”
Wells died in 1946 but the vision he espoused did not. In 1991, the late David Rockefeller echoed Wells when he said, “The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.”
Rockfeller, who died in 2017, was part of three organizations Jett portrayed as carrying on the elites’ vision: the Bilderberg Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Trilateral Commission. Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger fondly eulogized his “friend” Rockefeller in the Washington Post upon his passing.
Kissinger mentored his Harvard University pupil Klaus Schwab, who founded the World Economic Forum. Schwab’s Great Reset means we’ll own nothing–while he and his ilk are happy. At that time the “destruction and rebirth” Wells envisioned will be complete.
Lee Harding is a Research Associate for the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.