Slouching Toward Eloi

H. G. Wells appears to have been correct. 

In his book "The Time Machine", Wells showed us the future as he feared it might be. Are we there yet?  Well, not quite.  Though he had a very distant date on his prediction, even now we can sense elements of his warning.  We are slowly moving in the direction of what he suggested could be our final condition. We are slouching toward Eloi.

In "The Time Machine," a time traveler was launched to a future date and was met by a curious civilization - the Eloi.  They had no currency, no monetary system, no written language, and no apparent industry.  They walked about in a semi hypnotic state.  There was no regard for history or books. 

The magical sound of a siren placed the Eloi under a submissive spell. They would march in lockstep to their own demise. In this depiction, Wells suggests a metaphor by which the spell cast by the siren's noise is equivalent to a spell binding leader's voice.   An orator with a perfectly cadenced delivery before swooning throngs. Are these similarities beginning to resonate?

The Eloi lived a comfortable life. All seemed provided for them, though they knew not the source of their comforts. For them, it had always been so.  There was no reason to question the source of their comforts. In fact, the need for reason itself had vanished.

It was a population wrapped in the moment and the present circumstance, but seemingly unconcerned of the future condition.  Obliviously satisfied, they received gifts and provisions but did not question the source or the wisdom of the arrangement.

There was no competition, no ideas, no discussion.  All that may have been catalysts for such activities had been extinguished.  Food, clothing, and other needs were tended to by a seemingly invisible force.  All was leisure. Yet they were strangely socially dysfunctional and disconnected.  There were no books, little dialogue,  no synergies of normal coexistence.  It was a vapid but comfortable condition.

The Eloi had a wonderful "present", but apparently no future.  All were roughly the college age in today's world.  There were no aged Eloi.  (Perhaps Medicare and Social Security did go broke). There was no recorded history.  Only a wonderfully and mindless present.

What is missing from the Well's story are the video games, food stamps, government checks in the mail, free cell phones, and the internet.  All would be forces that contribute to an Eloi like condition. We can excuse Wells for missing these technological innovations.  We can salute Wells for his foresight. He recognized the propensity for the human condition to be manipulated into a submissive state via gifts and comforts doled out by a mystical power. Resonate indeed.


Bruce Johnson


H. G. Wells appears to have been correct. 

In his book "The Time Machine", Wells showed us the future as he feared it might be. Are we there yet?  Well, not quite.  Though he had a very distant date on his prediction, even now we can sense elements of his warning.  We are slowly moving in the direction of what he suggested could be our final condition. We are slouching toward Eloi.

In "The Time Machine," a time traveler was launched to a future date and was met by a curious civilization - the Eloi.  They had no currency, no monetary system, no written language, and no apparent industry.  They walked about in a semi hypnotic state.  There was no regard for history or books. 

The magical sound of a siren placed the Eloi under a submissive spell. They would march in lockstep to their own demise. In this depiction, Wells suggests a metaphor by which the spell cast by the siren's noise is equivalent to a spell binding leader's voice.   An orator with a perfectly cadenced delivery before swooning throngs. Are these similarities beginning to resonate?

The Eloi lived a comfortable life. All seemed provided for them, though they knew not the source of their comforts. For them, it had always been so.  There was no reason to question the source of their comforts. In fact, the need for reason itself had vanished.

It was a population wrapped in the moment and the present circumstance, but seemingly unconcerned of the future condition.  Obliviously satisfied, they received gifts and provisions but did not question the source or the wisdom of the arrangement.

There was no competition, no ideas, no discussion.  All that may have been catalysts for such activities had been extinguished.  Food, clothing, and other needs were tended to by a seemingly invisible force.  All was leisure. Yet they were strangely socially dysfunctional and disconnected.  There were no books, little dialogue,  no synergies of normal coexistence.  It was a vapid but comfortable condition.

The Eloi had a wonderful "present", but apparently no future.  All were roughly the college age in today's world.  There were no aged Eloi.  (Perhaps Medicare and Social Security did go broke). There was no recorded history.  Only a wonderfully and mindless present.

What is missing from the Well's story are the video games, food stamps, government checks in the mail, free cell phones, and the internet.  All would be forces that contribute to an Eloi like condition. We can excuse Wells for missing these technological innovations.  We can salute Wells for his foresight. He recognized the propensity for the human condition to be manipulated into a submissive state via gifts and comforts doled out by a mystical power. Resonate indeed.


Bruce Johnson


RECENT VIDEOS