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Wells, H G - War, environmental degradation and hate

Identifier

015492

Type of spiritual experience

A description of the experience

The Presidential Address to the Educational Science Section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, given on September 2nd, 1937, at Nottingham, as read by Mr, Wells

For the next five-and-twenty years now the ordinary man all over the earth will be continually confronted with systems of ideas.

They are complicated systems with many implications and applications. Indeed they are aspects of life rather than systems of ideas.

But we send out our young people absolutely unprepared for the heated and biased interpretations they will encounter. We hush it up until they are in the thick of it. And can we complain of the consequences?

The most the poor silly young things seem able to make of it is to be violently and self-righteously Anti- something or other, Anti-Red, Anti-Capitalist, Anti-Fascist.

The more ignorant you are the easier it is to be an Anti.

To hate something without having something substantial to put against it. Blame something else.

A special sub-section of history in this grade should be a course in the history of war, which is always written and talked about by the unwary as though it had always been the same thing, while as a matter of fact — except for its violence — it has changed profoundly with every change in social, political and economic life.

Clearly parallel to this history our young people need now a more detailed and explicit acquaintance with world geography, with the different types of population in the world and the developed and undeveloped resources of the globe.

The devastation of the world’s forests, the replacement of pasture by sand deserts through haphazard cultivation, the waste and exhaustion of natural resources, coal, petrol, water, that is now going on, the massacre of important animals, whales, penguins, seals, food fish, should be matters of universal knowledge and concern.

The source of the experience

Wells, H G

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Activities

Observation contributed by: John Bryant