H.G. Wells wrote this…

Taken from “A Story of the Days To Come” by H.G. Wells.
Published in The Pall Mall Magazine, June-October 1897 :

Chapter 3
Prominent if not paramount among world-changing inventions
in the history of man is that series of contrivances in locomotion that
began with the railway and ended for a century or more with the
motor and the patent road. That these contrivances, together with the
device of limited liability joint stock companies and the supersession
of agricultural labourers by skilled men with ingenious machinery,
would necessarily concentrate mankind in cities of unparallelled
magnitude and work an entire revolution in human life, became,
after the event, a thing so obvious that it is a matter of astonishment
it was not more clearly anticipated. Yet that any steps should be taken
to anticipate the miseries such a revolution might entail does not
appear even to have been suggested; and the idea that the moral
prohibitions and sanctions, the privileges and concessions, the
conception of property and responsibility, of comfort and beauty,
that had rendered the mainly agricultural states of the past prosperous
and happy, would fail in the rising torrent of novel opportunities and
novel stimulations, never seems to have entered the nineteenth-century
mind. That a citizen, kindly and fair in his ordinary life, could as a
shareholder become almost murderously greedy; that commercial
methods that were reasonable and honourable on the old-fashioned
countryside, should on an enlarged scale be deadly and overwhelming;
that ancient charity was modern pauperisation, and ancient
employment modern sweating; that, in fact, a revision and enlargement
of the duties and rights of man had become urgently necessary, were
things it could not entertain, nourished as it was on an archaic system
of education and profoundly retrospective and legal in all its habits of
thought. It was known that the accumulation of men in cities involved
unprecedented dangers of pestilence; there was an energetic
development of sanitation; but that the diseases of gambling and usury,
of luxury and tyranny should become endemic, and produce horrible
consequences was beyond the scope of nineteenth-century thought.
And so, as if it were some inorganic process, practically unhindered
by the creative will of man, the growth of the swarming unhappy
cities that mark the twenty-first century accomplished itself.
The new society was divided into three main classes. At the
summit slumbered the property owner, enormously rich by accident
rather than design, potent save for the will and aim, the last avatar of
Hamlet in the world. Below was the enormous multitude of workers
employed by the gigantic companies that monopolised control; and
between these two the dwindling middle class, officials of
innumerable sorts, foremen, managers, the medical, legal, artistic,
and scholastic classes, and the minor rich, a middle class whose
members led a life of insecure luxury and precarious speculation
amidst the movements of the great managers.


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