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Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Intellectual Guerrilla Warfare of George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw is now mostly remembered as the writer of plays like Pygmalion, Arms and the Man, The Devil's Disciple, Caesar and Cleopatra, Major Barbara, Heartbreak House, and Saint Joan. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925.

But Shaw was a lifelong socialist, and a founding member of the Fabian Society—he was a supporter of the Soviet Union, and a devotee of the Soviet tyrant Josef Stalin—he was an admirer of Hitler and Mussolini—a proponent of eugenics, he advocated the extermination of certain races.

In 1931 Shaw went to the Soviet Union on an invitation from Josef Stalin. They had a lengthy meeting, and later Shaw described Stalin as “a Georgian gentlemen with no malice in him.” On the purges and mass slaughter that Stalin had unleashed in the Soviet Union, Shaw remarked, “I have seen all the terrors and I was terribly pleased by them.”

Shaw saw nothing wrong in Stalin’s massacres. In 1934 he said, ”The top of the ladder is a very trying place for old revolutionists who have had no administrative experience, who have had no financial experience, who have been trained as penniless hunted fugitives with Karl Marx on the brain and not as statesmen.” He felt that Stalin had no alternative except to push these old revolutionists off the ladder with a rope around their necks.

A devotee of eugenics, Shaw proposed the doctrine of “life unworthy of life,” which holds that the unproductive people must be exterminated. In his 1910 lecture before the Eugenics Education Society, Shaw said: “We should find ourselves committed to killing a great many people whom we now leave living... A part of eugenic politics would finally land us in an extensive use of the lethal chamber. A great many people would have to be put out of existence simply because it wastes other people's time to look after them.”

In 1931, Shaw advocated the extermination of unproductive human beings with these words:

“You must all know half a dozen people at least who are no use in this world, who are more trouble than they are worth. Just put them there and say Sir, or Madam, now will you be kind enough to justify your existence?”

“If you can’t justify your existence, if you’re not pulling your weight, and since you won't, if you’re not producing as much as you consume or perhaps a little more, then, clearly, we cannot use the organizations of our society for the purpose of keeping you alive, because your life does not benefit us and it can’t be of very much use to yourself.”

In 1933 Shaw made an "appeal to the chemists to discover a humane gas that will kill instantly and painlessly. Deadly by all means, but humane not cruel…”

Shaw believed that dictatorship was the only political option. He saw Hitler as a “very remarkable man, a very able man.” In a lecture before the Fabian Society in London, Shaw emphasized the weaknesses of a parliamentary system and praised the dictators. He said, “While parliaments get nowhere, Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin do things.”

When Stalin and Hitler entered into a pact in 1939 (Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact), Shaw celebrated the development as a coming together of Europe’s two great political forces. At the height of the Second World War, Shaw was advocating a unilateral disarmament by Britain. When he was asked what Britons should do if the Nazis crossed the channel into Britain, he replied, "Welcome them as tourists."

Shaw joined hands with leading intellectuals—H. G. Wells, Sidney Webb, Beatrice Webb, and a few others—to found the Fabian Society in 1884. Named after the Roman general Quintus Fabius Maximus who used the tactics of attrition and delay, or guerrilla warfare tactics, to defeat the enemies of Roman Empire, the Fabians want to propagate “socialism” by conducting “intellectual guerrilla warfare” against the countries with free-market system.

In 1889, Fabian Essays in Socialism edited by George Bernard Shaw, was published by the Fabian Society. This work made a moral case for socialism, and revealed that the Fabians intended to start a new political party to move Britain in the direction of socialism. In 1900, the Fabian Society joined hands with several trade unions and helped found the British Labor Party.

In the last 120 years the Fabians have won the political and intellectual debate in many countries. They have made major intellectual contributions for inspiring the rise of socialist regimes in the British colonies which got independence during the 1940s. They have coerced the Western countries to adopt the Welfare State model.

In The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism (1928), this is what Shaw has to say about life in a socialist regime:

“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 had not 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.”

Related:

How H. G. Wells Distorted The Idea of Liberalism!

Jean-Paul Sartre: The Intellectual Henchman of Tyrants 

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