24-07-13

The Salvaging of Civilization

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Teaching then is the initial and decisive factor in the future of mankind, and the first duty of everyone who has the ability and opportunity, is to teach, or to subserve the teaching of, the true history of mankind…Men and women can help the spread of the saving doctrine in a thousand various ways; for it is not only in homes and schools that minds are shaped. They can print and publish books, endow schools and teaching, organize the distribution of literature, insist upon the proper instruction of children in world wide charity and fellowship, fight against every sort of suppression or restrictive control of right education, bring pressure through political and social channels upon every teaching organization to teach history aright, sustain missions and a new sort of missionary, the missionaries to all mankind of knowledge and the idea of one world civilization and one world community; they can promote and help the progress of historical and ethnological and political science, they can set their faces against every campaign of hate, racial suspicion, and patriotic falsehood, they can refuse, they are bound to refuse, obedience to any public authority which oppresses and embitters class against class, race against race, and people against people. A belligerent government as such, they can refuse to obey; and they can refuse to help or suffer any military preparations that are not directed wholly and plainly to preserving the peace of the world.

H.G. Wells
From The Salvaging of Civilization (1921)

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