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CLR Book Club – Week 2 September 6, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Have we clarified anything since last week. You decide! Collectively and with consensus!

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1. Starkadder - September 7, 2016

Following up from a suggestion by Gewerkschaftler in the previous
Book Club thread, I started reading Geoff Eley’s fascinating
“Forging democracy : the history of the left in Europe, 1850-2000”.
Eley focuses on how socialism put values about egalitarianism,
a fair society and a rejection of capitalism into the public sphere.

I’m also reading the recent reprint of “The Rights of Man: Or What
are We Fighting For?” by H. G. Wells. Wells proposes a set of basic rights for all citizens- the ancestor of today’s human rights charters.

Those getting their ideas about Wells’ politics from the odious hatchet jobs by Michael Coren and John Carey should read this book, especially this line “That no man shall be subjected to any sort of mutilation or sterilization except with his own deliberate consent, freely given…”

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Tomboktu - September 7, 2016

Does Wells argue for economic, social an cultural rights or is it confined to civil and political rights?

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Starkadder - September 7, 2016

One of Wells’ rights is economic- that a citizen must be “entitled to paid employment”. Wells also suggests “a mixture of socialist and capitalist measures” as part of a worldwide program of political reform.

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Michael Carley - September 8, 2016

In fairness, if you get your ideas about Wells’ politics from his autobiography, you’ll probably have little time for him: his idea of socialism involved rule by an unelected `Samurai class’.

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Starkadder - September 8, 2016

“The Rights of Man” was aimed at a popular audience, and was aimed at encouraging mass support for anti-fascism.
TROM has little of the authoritarianism you find in Wells’
earlier political works (most infamously “Anticipations” and the “Autobiography”).

But the World Government Idea was something Wells never abandoned, and is found in many of his political writings.

Of course, post-Brexit, post-Iraq War, the idea of World Government is even more remote than it was following the descent of the Cold War (just after the end of WWII, it wasn’t the unworkable idea it appears now).

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Jim Monaghan - September 8, 2016
Starkadder - September 12, 2016

Yes, and Wells himself regrettably (and his opponents on the
RIght like Winston Churchill).

John S. Partington has a good overview of Wells’ politics here:

http://www.academia.edu/400350/_H._G._Wells_A_Political_Life_

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