Liberal Progress = The Destruction of Monogamy, Faith in God, and Respectability

Fred Siegel's The Revolt Against the Masses

Fred Siegel’s The Revolt Against the Masses

“At the turn of the twentieth century, Wells set forth the two central tropes of liberalism: a sense of superiority and a claim on the future. Liberals thought themselves smarter than other people because they had seen through the supposed Victorian verities to a future not yet born.”

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“The story of the shift from the “old” nineteenth-century Victorian liberalism of laissez-faire to the “new liberalism” that is the modern statist variety has almost exclusively focused on how the growth of giant industries undercut the old assumptions about individual sovereignty. But there was a parallel shift induced by the concussive intellectual impact of Darwinism. Darwin’s location of human origins in the natural world rather than the spiritual realm begged for prophets of a secular humanity. Wells, who more than any other intellectual understood both shifts, saw himself and was seen by his devotees as just such a prophet.” The Revolt Against the Masses, copyright © 2013 by Fred Siegel, Encounter Books, Page 4.

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““The book,” [Wells’s 1901 nonfiction book, Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon Human Life and Thought] Wells explained, “was designed to undermine and destroy… monogamy, faith in God & respectability, all under the guise of a speculation about motor cars and electrical heating.” For many young American intellectuals, Wells’s writing were a passport out of provincialism.”” The Revolt Against the Masses, copyright © 2013 by Fred Siegel, Encounter Books, Page 5.

About Michael

Retired military officer; retired Air Force civil servant; retired executive, DS Information Systems Corporation; writer; researcher; reader and avid yachtsman.
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