Review of Reviews,  2 (1890), 103–13.

The Progress of the World



Regular Feature, Editorial, News-Commentary

Relevant illustrations:

photo. [4]


Engineers, Military Technology, Gas Chemistry, Humanism, Patents, War, Science Fiction, Futurism, Progress, Ethnology, Christianity, Photography, Telegraphy, Imperialism, Railways, Electricity, Government

People mentioned:

John Lubbock

Institutions mentioned:

London Scottish Rifle Volunteers , Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company

    Relates how the 'Giffard gun', which uses gas to propel bullets without sound or heat, is 'destined to destroy empires, check the progress of Socialism, and establish throughout the world the principle of government by consent of the governed' (103). Both man's ability in the future 'instantly at will [to] kill his fellow with impunity' and the increasing 'utilization of Vril—the invisible force of the universe' will mean that 'government by force becomes extinct'. This is illustrated by a lengthy passage from Edward G E L Bulwer-Lytton's science fiction novel The Coming Race (104). Presents two photographs of 'an Indian of the Wild West' that show him before and after the process of Christian civilization that has replaced the military subjugation of native Americans (105). Also comments that creating confusion amongst the enemy by 'lying by telegram' is 'regarded as [a] legitimate mode of warfare' (106), and reports on how the African mainland is being increasingly connected by telegraphs and railways. The House of Lords has rejected a 'proposal to make an electric underground railway from Kensington to the City, fearing that it might endanger the stability of St. Paul's' (111).

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