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Could a Form of “Liberal Fascism” Help Solve the World’s Problems?

Public Policy

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

In September 2020, in conjunction with the annual meeting of the United Nations, the World Economic Forum organized a summit meeting on what its leader, Klaus Schwab, was calling “The Great Reset.” The Forum convened leaders “from government, business, international organizations and civil society along with a diverse group of experts and innovators to initiate, accelerate and scale-up entrepreneurial solutions to tackle climate change and advance sustainable development.”

At the same time, world leaders like Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, were using similar terms while speaking at the UN to argue that the COVID crisis had paradoxically opened up exciting new possibilities for global cooperation. As Trudeau put it, the “pandemic has provided an opportunity for a reset” to address “global challenges like extreme poverty inequality and climate change.”

Some progressives were not thrilled with this rhetoric. Winter Oak, a British nonprofit “with a serious aversion to industrial capitalism and a commitment to social justice,” declared the “Great Reset” an attempt to establish “transnational fascism” in order to “take total control over every aspect of our world.” They decried Schwab’s “chilling and grandiose vision of a ‘new order,’” crafted in secret and coded in anodyne “reset” messages.

The “Great Reset” was also widely embraced as a radical conspiracy across the internet and right-wing mainstream media. In its most “implausible version,” Quinn Slobodian writes in the Guardian, “this conspiracy imagines that a global elite is using COVID-19 as an opportunity to roll out radical policies such as forced vaccinations, digital ID cards and the renunciation of private property.”

Trudeau responded to just these sorts of “conspiratorial” suspicions in a press conference, assuring everyone that was no such coterie of world leaders constructing a “grand plot” to take over the world in the wake of the pandemic.

In fact, this is not a secretive cabal of political elites, meeting behind closed doors plotting a fascistic overthrow of the globe. It is much more in line with what one of the most popular progressive writers of the twentieth century, H.G. Wells, had advocated years before in a book he titled, aptly, The Open Conspiracy.

Though he is now most well-known for his science fiction novels, H.G. Wells also wrote a great deal on politics and history. Once a member of the Fabian Society, a pioneering association of socialist experts on public policy, Wells grew ever more bold in the kinds of political programs he was willing to entertain, fashioning them under what he called an “unorthodox” definition of liberalism.

Published in 1928, after the Great War, The Open Conspiracy was Wells’s “scheme to thrust forward and establish a human control over the destinies of life and liberate it from its present dangers, uncertainties and miseries.” Facing the prospects of environmental devastation and destructive nationalism across the globe, Wells wanted progressives to embrace a new world order that could save humankind from seemingly inevitable extinction.

Writing fourteen years later, in the midst of World War II, Wells identified three “imperatives” for the assurance of a peaceful global future in his 1942 work Phoenix: First, “the establishment of an overriding federal world control of transport and inter-state communications”; second, “the federal conservation of the world’s resources”; and third, “a common fundamental law.”

But why did Wells think such ambitions required an “Open Conspiracy”? Because he thought liberals had much to learn about the means necessary for such a world reorganization from the staggering successes of twentieth-century propagandistic fascism.

As he stated in an address to the Liberal Summer School at Oxford in July of 1932, an awakening of a new human spirit was required, making “the conception of an organized big-scale community the mental basis of [a] new generation.” In a society “too busy about its contemporary nothingness,” leaders must “appeal to the general intelligence by a propaganda”; and that “there must be a systematic organization of the will and ideas of public-minded, masterful people to handle the problems of the modern state.” “The Open Conspiracy” must be an “organization” that Wells called a “Liberal Fascisti.”

In the same way that today’s “Great Reset” is met with fears of its fascistic grandiosity, Wells received significant pushback for his argument. Surely he could not be advocating such an apparently anti-democratic proposal for the “brainwashing” of future generations.

Indeed he was — and he claimed the future of humanity depended on it.

The preservation of global peace and environmental good would require a massive re-education of the human race, universally led and enforced by leaders and citizens alike. If Wells insisted it must be seen as “conspiratorial” to convince human beings to do what is for their own good, then at least it would be an “open conspiracy.” Only a “liberal fascism” could counter the ascending powers of genuine — and genuinely evil — fascistic regimes, and the devastation Wells also saw in the impending environmental destruction of the planet.

To the Young Liberals at Oxford, Wells declared himself the defender of a new definition of liberalism: “It is the implicit recognition of the possibility of one prosperous and progressive world community of just, kindly, free-spirited, freely-thinking and freely-speaking human beings, and it is a struggle to release humanity from all that impedes our present realization of that possibility.” Liberalism, he stated, “means the progressive world state.” Foreshadowing his later work, in this 1932 lecture Wells called for a “Phoenix rebirth” of liberalism.

It is shocking how alike Wells’s concerns are to our own. Like today’s world leaders, Wells saw a window of opportunity in a time of crisis — of both rising nationalist politics and impending environmental catastrophes — to change things for the better.

But today’s “Great Reset” is not the “Open Conspiracy” Wells had hoped for. While the current visions for a better global future are barely distinguishable from those of Wells — grounded in further economic coordination and communication, the protection and preservation of the planet, and respect for universal human rights — Wells would undoubtedly declare that the “Great Reset” is not grand enough to match the ambitions of its advocates.

Instead of “vague promises of social reform,” the new world order needs both “a voice” and “a backbone” — the discipline to carry out the “programme for human liberation.” This would involve a new system of unified global education, a World State, the liberation of all persons from debt and poverty, and the cultivation of a “public mind” through a propaganda machine advocating rights and environmental protections. The only hope for the future, according to modernity’s greatest prophetic writer, H. G. Wells, was in a determined “liberal fascism.”

The conspiracy theorists and the critics at Winter Oak had it backwards. The liberal “Great Reset” is not secretly fascistic, it is openly conspiratorial. And, for H.G. Wells, it is also hardly “fascistic” enough to secure the future humanity needs to survive.

Emma Planinc is an assistant professor of political science in the Program of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

13 Comments on "Could a Form of “Liberal Fascism” Help Solve the World’s Problems?"

  1. peepee +1 on Tue, 15th Dec 2020 1:07 am 

    peepee’s home and he’s feeling like a man, REALLY Green.

  2. Abraham van Helsing on Tue, 15th Dec 2020 4:50 am 

    Americans and their non-understanding of “fascism”, roll-eyes. “Fascism” was historically a nationalist European defense mechanism against jewish communism and it failed because hard-core nationalism can be easily played-out against each other and hand over victory to the communist-imperialists-globalists (3 names for the same thing), in casu USA-USSR-UK.

    What these punks Schwab, Trudeau and Biden really represent is anything but fascism, but the opposite, a last gasp, a last attempt at creating structures that should encompass the entire world… in their pocket, or rather that of the Sanhedrin that owns US media and Fed (and hence politics). Yes, “deep state”.

    Is this going to work? No. Eurasia will laugh in their Anglo-Zionist has-been globalist faces.

    Instead, Greater Europe will look for conflict to get rid of these idiots and will use Nord Stream 2 and Brexit to push through real geopolitical change. And if these globalists have the nerve to try to obstruct that pipeline, they will drive Europe only more into the arms of Russia and China and risk WW3, Eurasia-Anglosphere, which the globalists will lose with flying colors and cause the break-up of the US and Eurasia can divide the Anglo loot amongst themselves:

    – Downunder for China
    – Scotland, Ulster, Heartland for the EU
    – Russia member of the Common European Home

    Next a review of the 20th century before we can finally close that chapter:

    – WW1 was Britain
    – WW2 was US jews
    – holohoax cannot be proven

  3. Abraham van Helsing on Tue, 15th Dec 2020 5:39 am 

    The battle for the physical survival of the Netherlands is beginning in earnest:

    The “Sea Lock IJmuiden” project has been decided upon, the largest sea lock in the world, to be completed in 2030, that gives access to Amsterdam harbor. The old one is outdated and can’t handle the to be expected sea level rise and neither can the old dikes.

    Drone video construction site:

    Note that the sea level (bottom left) is higher than the inland water table. 1 meter extra can be handled, 3 meters extra means the end of large parts of the Netherlands and its 3 largest cities: Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague.

    The inauguration of the old locks, 100 years ago:

  4. Dredd on Tue, 15th Dec 2020 10:22 am 


  5. Abraham van Helsing on Tue, 15th Dec 2020 11:56 am 

    “No Deal would be a nail in the coffin of Western democracy and celebrated by Russia and China”

    Fascinating, the geopolitical implications of a no deal Brexit begin to dawn in the heads of DailyMail editors! Something I have been explaining here for years, namely that a hard Brexit enables Paris-Berlin-Moscow and a Eurasian orientation of the EU, certainly if Biden would be so stupid to start a trade war over Nord Stream 2.

    Interestingly, the DailyMail is loosening up its censoring policies and since a few days allows most of my posts:

    Some Yank posted:

    UK ruled the world before. It can remain independent now.

    My answer:

    No it can’t, mr. Yank. England will be just as dependent on the US as Albania was on China. Which is of course exactly your agenda. Btw, Britain never “”ruled the world”. It ran the largest empire in world history, for sure, until you insisted that the UK should abandon it. After all, the British and American empires exclude each other. But you would love to have England as your 51st state (“Oceania”, Orwell). You know what? You can have it.

  6. Theedrich on Tue, 15th Dec 2020 4:03 pm 

    China may now be becoming “liberal fascist.” In any case, the two most hypocritical nations in the world, the UK and the US, have already exceeded their limits to growth.  Neither can sustain itself by yet more complexification with financial tricks and legerdemain or with greenification.  (Windmills and solar panels don’t pass the EROEI test.)  Moreover, in case no one has noticed, China is clandestinely engaging in a revenge Opium War against Anglospheria.  America is drowning in fentanyl (fabriqué en Chine) and other drugs (mostly from Spiclands to the south).  And for all we know, the Democrat Party’s contributers may not be limited to Sörös & Bros., but may include Chinkland.  The Dems’ shock troops rioting and looting in Democrat cities over the past months are suspected of having been financially supported by Beijing.  Note that the geezer heir apparent to the throne has himself accepted millions of dollars from the Middle-Kingdom Commies through his son, Hunter.  (Never mind all the other countries he has been bribed by through Hunter, Frank and James.)

    America is in deep doodoo, but can’t admit it.  The Demonics panting to get into the White House have traditionally loved war;  that is their last hope.  The Council on Foreign Relations will have the Alzheimer’s patient on the presidential stool send his conquistadors out to cause more chaos.  Yup, save the world by destroying it.

    The Yankee bribe-ocracy is corrupt through and through.  The clueless masses are brainwashed by excremental idiots savants who own the media and cyber outfits and are in bed with China and other actors who play for keeps.  We are facing the logical end of an empire that long ago decided to commit White genosuicide.

    But hey.  The Chinks are good folks, man.

  7. Abraham van Helsing on Thu, 17th Dec 2020 11:14 am 

    Appologies for my previous posts — once again I’ve had my stool pushed in so far it’s coming out my ears. Damn my anal cravings.

  8. Roger on Thu, 17th Dec 2020 6:45 pm 

    “ It is the implicit recognition of the possibility of one prosperous and progressive world community of just, kindly, free-spirited, freely-thinking and freely-speaking human beings….”

    Try that free thinking/speaking on Twitter or YouTube and see how far you get.

  9. Roger on Thu, 17th Dec 2020 6:54 pm 

    “ Her next monograph will examine the invocation of the mythic satyr in discussions of the “human animal” …”

    Our distinguished author, from her web page.

  10. Roger on Thu, 17th Dec 2020 7:10 pm 

    “ This would involve a new system of unified global education, a World State, the liberation of all persons from debt and poverty, and the cultivation of a “public mind” through a propaganda machine advocating rights and environmental protections. “

    To open ears, sounds a lot like…

    “…The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast. 4 People…asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?”….It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast…”

    Something wicked this way comes…wake up.

  11. Go Soeed Racer on Sat, 19th Dec 2020 12:34 pm 

    We already have
    liberal fascism.

    that’s called democrats.

    a liberal is a fascist.
    And a fascist is a liberal.
    Any questions?

    Here is your tutorial video:

  12. Go Speed Racer on Sat, 19th Dec 2020 2:31 pm 

    What explains the cult-like reverence of Trump ditto-heads and most members of the Republican party for Dear Leader Trump? We now have a working hypothesis. Researchers from Columbia and New York University examined voting patterns by geographic area with internet search term frequency. The study results pointed to a strong positive correlation between support for Trump and particular internet search topics. The results were shocking, although logical.

    Fragile (Toxic) Masculinity Syndrome.

    The following internet search terms had the strongest positive correlation with support for Trump:

    “How to get girls”;
    “Penis enlargement”;
    “Penis size”;
    “Erectile Dysfunction”;
    “Hair Loss”;

    Trump ditto-heads lack the traits they perceive define masculinity. Therefore, they are innately attracted to a leader who projects these characteristics.

    Examples of Trump’s alpha masculinity as perceived by Trump ditto-heads:
    • Trump uses a wig because he’s too proud to admit he’s bald.
    • Trump’s bullying behavior represents the actions of an alpha male.
    • Frequent golfer.
    • He eats McDonald’s almost every day.
    • He’s a billionaire with a hot wife who married him for his money.

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