In the Spring edition of City Journal, Fred Siegel has a tremendous profile of H.G. Wells and his remarkable influence on the “progressive” politics of the first half of the 20th century. Titled “The Godfather of American Liberalism”, Siegel references, among other moments in Wells’ later career, his speech at Oxford in 1932, where he called for a new kind of “Liberal Fascism.”
Well’s “Samurai”, an updated version of the New Republicans [from his 1903 essay “Mankind in the Making”; Wells would contribute frequently to the New Republic magazine, launched a decade later–Ed] would keep track of their charges through a centralized thumbprint index of all the earth’s inhabitants. Latter-day Puritans in everything except sex, the Samurai would lead lives of irreproachable rectitude, abjuring tobacco, alcohol, trade, and games, which they could neither join nor watch.
Update (5/23/09): Siegel’s article is online here.