I am reading H.G. Wells “The War of the Worlds” and came across this very telling section on what the author thinks of the middle class and how they will fair as domesticated food for the invading Martians, from Chapter VII – The Man on Putney Hill. Sound familiar? It was written in 1898, 115 years ago, some things never change?
The Man, a soldier, is talking to the protagonist about what he thinks will happen to civilians after the Martians take over:
“All these-the sort of people who lived in these houses, and all those damn little clerks that used to live down that way…. They just used to skedaddle off to work-I’ve seen hundreds of ’em, bit of breakfast in hand, running wild and shining to catch their little season-ticket train, for fear they’d get dismissed if they didn’t; working at businesses they were afraid to take the trouble to understand; skedaddling back for fear they wouldn’t be in time for dinner; keeping indoors after dinner for fear of the back streets, and sleeping with the wives they married, not because they wanted them, but because they had a bit of money that would make for safety in their one little miserable skedaddle through the world. Lives insured and a bit invested for fear of accidents… Well, the Martians will be a godsend to these. Nice roomy cages, fattening food, careful breeding, no worry… They’ll wonder what people did before there were Martians to take care of them.”