Here (h/t Samizdata) is a good review of H G Wells’ ever more calamitous and influential ideas as they evolved over some forty years.
His great idea was contempt for the masses, who needed visionary, purposeful leadership from visonary, purposeful people. Such as himself.
At first he did not like communism and fascism:
As the bootsteps of both fascism and Communism began stamping down his influence, Wells wrote a 1924 essay, “The Spirit of Fascism: Is There Any Good in It at All?” The answer: a resounding no. “Moscow and Rome are alike in this, that they embody the rule of a minority conceited enough to believe that they have a clue to the tangled incoherencies of human life, and need only sufficiently terrorize criticism and opposition to achieve a general happiness,” Wells wrote.
As elitist as his rivals but nonetheless liberal, he explained that “neither recognizes the enormously tentative quality of human institutions, and the tangled and scarcely explored difficulties in the path of social reconstruction.”
At the same time, both fascists and Communists were too democratic for Wells, having attained power, as he saw it, by an ill-advised appeal to the masses. “The underlying fact in all these matters,” he concluded, was that “the common uneducated man is a violent fool in social and public affairs.”
But he came round to seeing some good aspects of their work:
… drawing again on Marx’s “utopian” predecessors, he promised an anodyne adaptation of Soviet central planning shorn of police-state thuggery. He called for a “great central organization of economic science,” which “would necessarily produce direction; it would indicate what had best be done here, there, and everywhere.” But “it would not be an organization of will, imposing its will upon a recalcitrant race; it would be a direction, just as a map is a direction.”
… In a talk at Oxford provocatively titled “Liberal Fascism,” he called for liberalism to be “born again.” After his customary denunciation of parliamentary politics as an anachronism, he let out his frustrations, calling for fascist means to serve liberal ends by way of a liberal elite as “conceited” and as power-hungry as its rivals.
“I suggest that you study the reinvigoration of Catholicism by Loyola,” Wells said. “I am asking for a Liberal Fascisti.” It was also to Communism that “we shall have to turn—we outsiders, that is, the young people with foresight for enlightened Nazis; I am proposing that you consider the formation for a greater Communist Party; a western response to Russia.”
He met Stalin:
“I have never met a man more candid, fair and honest, and it is to these qualities and to nothing occult and sinister, that he owes his tremendous undisputed ascendancy in Russia. . . . No one is afraid of him and everyone trusts him.”
Wells summed up the differences between Washington and Moscow by arguing that “the one is a receptive and coordinating brain center; the other is a concentrated and personal direction.” The aim sought, “a progressively more organized big-scale community,” was “precisely the same.”
Community Organisers now rule the roost.
Someone should write a book about all this. Oh, already done: