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Shaw’s Controversial Socialism$
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James Alexander

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813033723

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813033723.001.0001

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Shaw and Liberalism, 1886–1895

Shaw and Liberalism, 1886–1895

(p.60) 2 Shaw and Liberalism, 1886–1895
Shaw’s Controversial Socialism

James Alexander

University Press of Florida

This chapter discusses Shaw the propagandist, opposing Liberalism. In order to effect the revolution they thought they wanted, the Fabians sought to overcome the scandal of Socialism; and they did this by attempting to demonstrate that Socialism was compatible with both the established political order and the established conventions of economic, moral, and political thought. So what people see in Shaw's writings on behalf of the Fabian Society in this era is the claim that Socialism was some sort of Whiggish fulfillment of Liberalism rather than some sort of Jacobin revolution or Jacobite rebellion against it. This was the Fabian, conventional, argument; and in order to state it, Shaw set aside, or reined in, his more characteristic controversial style of argument.

Keywords:   propagandist, Liberalism, political thought, Fabian Society, Socialism

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