Skip to comments.Was Soviet Russia the world's first "Fabian State"?
Posted on 04/20/2012 10:55:31 AM PDT by ProgressingAmerica
In The Letters of Sidney and Beatrice Webb: Volume 3,(Introduction) the author makes the following observation about the Webbs' and Shaw's view of Russia:
Shaw, visiting Russia before them, came to the same conclusion and reported that Lenin had established a Fabian state.
This was being written as far back as 1932; in "Bernard Shaw, playboy and prophet":(Page 250)
Shaw even claims the Russian Soviet Republic, founded on uncompromising Marxism but soon forced by hard facts to recognize Webb's "inevitability of gradualness," as a Fabian State.
This is what I find so infuriating about copyright laws(which I do respect and support, but nonetheless), is that there's so much important information that's sitting right there, yet hidden from view. It's also why I'm willing to record an audiobook and just give it away, because this information needs to be known, these stories need to be told. However, every now and then a stroke of luck brings to surface a partial quote, which enables me to dig out a piece of information that never should've been forgotten. From CSMonitor, who quotes Shaw in 1945:
None of us foresaw then that the revolution would be achieved in Russia (of all places!) by a minority of excessively sophisticated Marxists; and that they would make every possible catastrophic mistake until they were driven by sheer force of facts to establish the present Russo-Fabian state.
Now we're getting somewhere. Shaw on the U.S.S.R.:(Page 131)
Why do you recommend me to go to Russia? I've been there. It is a paradise: no ladies and gentlemen there. The Catholic church is like Democracy, an eternal ideal, noble and beneficent as such; but all attempts to manufacture it in the concrete reduce it to absurdity.
I couldn't find the Webb's exact wording though. Too bad. But looking for the exact phrase "Fabian State" may be looking at this the wrong way. As Margaret Cole writes (Cole, who was herself a Fabian, so this is written with all approval), Page 220:
It was in 1932 that the Webbs went to Russia, and 'fell in love', as Beatrice said, with the Soviet system; for three years thereafter they were engaged in the preparation of their massive Soviet Communism, and tended to judge all political characters - and all their visitors to Passfield Corner! - by the amount of interest they showed in Soviet affairs.
In the end, all centrally planned societies largely look the same.
So then the whole book "Soviet Communism" is a testament to the Webb's initial love for the world's first Fabian State.(they would later change their minds, but it still was what it was)
No, it wasn’t, IMHO. Shaw was impossibly ignorant politically and saw only what he wished to see. Fabian socialism was gradualism, the very opposite of the revolutionary socialism that was, at the very time Shaw wrote, standing people up against walls to be shot. Fabian socialism exists under the presumption that people will vote themselves into ever-increasing levels of collectivist enterprise and that the whole transition will be peaceful. Very few classical Marxists believe that, and Marx himself furiously denied it.
I actually had a product of America’s Marxist moron mill system tell me that soviet Russia was state capitalism.
That was to justify ending capitalism in America.
We have an entire media and re-education system in the US brainwashing people to hate capitalism from grades K to grad school.
I am blessed to have been educated in truth-teaching conservative schools and universities in Texas.
“I don’t want to punish anybody, but there are an extraordinary number of people whom I want to kill...I think it would be a good thing to make everybody come before a properly appointed board just as he might come before the income tax commissioner and say every 5 years or every 7 years...
Just put them there and say , ‘Sir or madam will you be kind enough to justify your existence’...if you’re not producing as much as you consume or perhaps a little more then clearly we cannot use the big organization 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.”
I recently learned something about Marxists that helped me understand why they continue to support failed policies.
They see class struggle as a natural law like gravity. All “proven” science is true to them, and all religion is bogus.
I see it as a bigotry against wealth, that is, as evil as any other type of bigotry or jealousy.
1. Socialism and communism are distinct political ideologies with different programs and intended outcomes.
2. Fabian socialism (by Shaw's light) is preferable to communism.
3. Fabian socialism by Shaw's recollection appears inevitable. Even the devout communists had to finally admit it.
If Shaw is right then communism is a pipe dream that can never be realized, but that socialism is inevitable.
Unfortunately, given current events I fear Shaw may be at least partially right. I personally don't fear the return of totalitarian dictatorships that attempt to gain control of all aspects of society. What I fear is the gradual increase of bureaucracy, regulation, taxation, etc.
Even Schumpeter feared that the qualities that were necessary for large corporations to provide the quantity of goods needed by the current number of consumers would turn them into carbon copy bureaucracies of the governments they worked with.
There is no need for the government to own the means of production when they can control it indirectly through regulation and tax policy.
There is no need to herd us all into reeducation camps when we are herding ourselves onto Facebook.
No need to tear down churches which are emptying of their own accord.
No need to undermine or infiltrate fraternal organizations that are being gutted by the aging out of their members.
The American people appear to be choosing the welfare state capitalism popular in Western Europe, because the alternative is too frightening to them: a life without a safety net.
The only good news I see is that it appears that even the "socialism light" of Western Europe appears to be too expensive to maintain. It may be that capitalism finally wins out only because the numbers don't add up and people are forced, however reluctantly, to once again fend for themselves in an open market.
What right to people like George Bernard Shaw, Margaret Sanger, and Adolph Hitler have to live?
People who have a sociopathic disregard for human life do not reflect God, and they are the sub-humans they justify killing themselves.
It’s a classic case of the evil projecting their flaws upon the innocent.
Just when you think you have an original thought on FR....
I could very well be misreading them. I’ll be the first to admit that there’s a huge amount of information that I haven’t read yet. I couldn’t possibly read it all in one lifetime. I do find it useful to make observations as I read things though.
You have captured a lot of what’s on my mind with your post though, regarding the concept of gradualism. I generally worry more about evolutionary change(their words) rather than revolutionary change. Even if all of us aren’t getting exactly every single detail correct in every way, we’re all on the right path toward a better understanding of socialist/communist/progressive type totalitarian schemes.
Maybe that was Soviet propaganda, but if so it was very subtle.