The Rights of Man

by H. G. Wells | Philosophy |
ISBN: 0241976766 Global Overview for this book
Registered by stephjb of Torquay, Devon United Kingdom on 5/30/2017
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Journal Entry 1 by stephjb from Torquay, Devon United Kingdom on Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Won in a Penguin ThinkSmarter giveaway

Journal Entry 2 by stephjb at Torquay, Devon United Kingdom on Thursday, June 29, 2017
Review from Literary Flits http://litflits.blogspot.co.uk

H G Wells wrote this short treatise in 1940 as a response to the question 'what are we fighting for?' which was, of course, a vitally important national preoccupation at the time. The Europe-wide rising of fascism and corporate divisiveness makes it just as important now. The ten basic ideas Wells puts forward were seen as remarkably progressive at the time, although they were later instrumental in the creation of Human Rights legislation for the UK, the EU and the UN. What surprised me however was (and is) how anyone could Not want these rights for themselves, their families, their nation, their species. How are these protections still seen as something to be fought for rather than just basic common sense? Wells doesn't beat about the bush in putting forth his declarations and his clarity of expression is refreshing. I had no problem understanding his points of view or his thought processes and discussions in coming to his conclusions.

For me, reading Wells' words now, over 75 years after they were written, was a profound experience. I want to pass this book on to everyone I meet as it so perfectly explains the ideals in which I believe. The thought that many people, even in Britain, still don't even enjoy the basic rights of adequate nourishment and shelter is a shocking indictment of not only the leadership of this country, but also of the general heartless and inhumane attitudes fostered by our money-centered capitalist ideology. The existence of the Human Rights Act in Britain was seriously threatened as recently as 2015 and no doubt further attempts will be made to water it down should we see a Tory victory next week.

In my opinion The Rights Of Man is one of the most important 20th century texts. I wish I had read it far sooner - why is it not debated by teenagers in social studies lessons? - and am grateful to have done so now. There are many scarily prescient quotes which got me thinking and I was tempted to litter this review with examples. However I then thought experiencing all Wells' words together, in context, would be more satisfying for other readers so I will just end with one:

"unless we can keep our heads and our courage, so as to re-establish a candid life, our species will perish, mad, fighting and gibbering, a dwindling swarm of super-Nazis on a devastated earth."

Journal Entry 3 by stephjb at Paignton, Devon United Kingdom on Thursday, June 29, 2017

Released 2 yrs ago (6/28/2017 UTC) at Paignton, Devon United Kingdom

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