The seed for this direction is society goes back to philosophy and religion. All religion has a philosophy that is expressed by its theology. Philosophy at its core has the aspects of belief that we associate with religion. I know they are different but they intersect frequently.
In trying to explain why the genocidal culture being described in The Skylark of Space is so wonderful, Smith lays down his philosophical roots. In order to achieve the perfection of society he envisions certain prerequisites are needed. So he goes to the religion of this culture. Remember, he intends this description as positive and cutting-edge.
"Well, as nearly as I can explain it, it's a funny kind of a mixture - partly theology, partly Darwinism, or at least, making a fetish of evolution, and partly pure economic determinism. They believe in a Supreme Being, whom they call the First Cause-that is the nearest English equivalent-and they recognize the existence of an immortal and unknowable life-principle, or soul. They believe that the First Cause has decreed the survival of the fittest as the fundamental law, which belief accounts for their perfect physiques...." (Garby and Smith, Kindle Loc. 3292-95)Do any of those key words and phrases sound familiar? This is at the heart of the raging clash between evolution and creation. It is still alive and well in our schools.
To be continued...
Smith, Edward Elmer and Garby, Lee Hawkins. The Skylark of Space. Amazing Stories, 1928.
homo unius libri