Radical, revolutionary socialism has gotten all the attention. Throughout the twentieth century, new socialist and communist nations were formed, arising often from violent revolution, and many more that resulted in tremendous upheaval, violence, and mass murder. The idea is that the proletariat class, the worker, is the oppressed class. The only way to change that is to revolt and replace the oppressors with government of the proletariat, because the ruling class will not willingly give up power, and without violent overthrow, they will squash the revolution and remain the oppressors.
There is a different kind of socialism, a “kinder, gentler” variety. It does not use violent revolution to replace government. Rather, it is stealth. It’s socialistic vision originated in the late 1800s by a group of intellectuals of the age in England who called themselves the Fabians, none of whom were proletariat workers. They embraced all of the foundations of socialism, but they didn’t like the results of revolution. They saw that after the revolution settled, the people got the worst ills of capitalism with none of the benefits of socialism that they thought it should bring about. The believed that the horrors of socialism as it had occurred was due to the wrong way to implement it.
The Fabians adopted a strategy on infiltrating or penetrating all areas of society to promote socialist ideas while refraining from calling it socialism, recognizing that the people in non-socialist countries were well aware of the horrors. Being of the intellectual class, the university was one of the bastions of society that they attacked heartily attacked, or rather sneakily infiltrated.
It is notable that all of the socialist governments in Africa, in preparation for the escape from colonial rule, sent the leaders to influential universities in England and other western countries, where socialism was the predominant program. It is not just an unfortunate accident that almost all African nations after independence have been bearing the heavy burden of socialism and despotism. While some of them have at least partially escaped, the socialist mindset is prevalent, even in relatively free-market economies.
While there were many prolific writers for the movement, George Bernard Shaw was a notable writer of Fabian literature. While the objective of the society was to quietly and nicely infiltrate social organizations and groups, Shaw seemed to take pride that he was the first socialist writer to state explicitly the end game of the socialist program. In his book, “The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism,” he ended with a startling description of the vision:
“I also made it clear that Socialism means equality of income or nothing, and that under Socialism you would not be allowed to be poor. You would be forcibly fed, clothed, lodged, taught, and employed whether you liked it or not. if it were discovered that you hd not the character and industry enough to be worth all this trouble, you might possibly be executed in a kindly manner; but whilst you were permitted to live you would have to live well. Also you would not be allowed to have half a crown an hour when other women had only two shillings, or to be content with two shillings when they had half a crown.”
Whether liberals and progressives want to admit it, this is their program. They are the inheritors of Fabian socialist ideas, not only in this country, but the world over. They are the product of a university system that has been imbued for many decades with Fabianism, stealth socialism. Though they are not as honest as G.B. Shaw was, the necessary implications of their programs point to the fulfillment of Shaw’s bold faced pronouncement. Those peaceful socialists are not so peaceful.