Thoughts on economics and liberty

India’s lucky escape from the extremes of Fabian socialism: The truth about George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw wrote wonderful plays. His plays (many of which I have read more than once) were my pleasant companions during school holidays. In some ways I have ranked him (till today) along with PG Wodehouse (who remains my ultimate favourite!). 

He once wrote:"There is nothing more dangerous than the conscience of a bigot". And yet, that is precisely what he was. That's what I've found out today. He was not any ordinary bigot – but an extremely influential and dangerous one. He was the worst possible combination of an amoral (immoral) socialist and eugenist. He neither knew his science, nor economics, nor had a shred of humanity in his heart. All he did is write well. And spread his poisonous ideas far and wide. 

I write this with deep regret since it is only today that have I found out about the real Shaw. So far he has been, in my mind, a great writer but otherwise harmless and fuzzy. Yes, I've thought of him as confused (because he was Fabian socialist), but not dangerous.

But one day can make a big difference. Today I've learnt about the dark side of Shaw. And it is REALLY DARK. 

I accidentally came across a video on Facebook that led me to investigate further. By now I have confirmed that Shaw was indeed a direct supporter of Hitler and Mussolini, and supporter (even proposer) of the lethal gas (and gas chamber) concept used in Nazi Germany. From what I've read and seen, Shaw can't be rehabilitated again.

But what does this mean for India? Well, it was one lucky escape for us!

India's lucky escape from the extreme evil of Fabian socialism

Nehru and Shaw were both staunch Fabian socialists – and very good personal friends (see this picture below I found on the internet today – but I recall that a book on Nehru's pictures at home when I was a child contained other pictures of Nehru and Shaw, as well.)

Fabian socialism was an extremely dangerous creed – just like Marxist communism. It had a slightly different strategy and tactic, but the same goals. As John T. Flynn wrote: "the line between fascism and Fabian socialism is very thin. Fabian socialism is the dream. Fascism is Fabian socialism plus the inevitable dictator." (The Road Ahead, John T. Flynn, 1950, p. 149.) [Source]

India's tragedy – that I wrote about in BFN – stems essentially from Fabian influence on Nehru. But now that I see this dark side of the Fabians, I'm not sure if Nehru knew what he had signed up for. Did Nehru know about Shaw's dark, amoral side? Did Nehru understand that George Bernard Shaw advocated the most destructive combination of Marx's and Nietszche's ideas? 

I don't know. But we do know that Nehru too was a great fan of Stalin and of communism. Clearly, things were on tenterhooks in India after independence, and India could have gone either way. 

Luckily Shaw died in 1950, and could not poison Nehru's mind further. Had he lived, Nehru might have actively worked for a totalitarian state in India. But luckily Nehru also happened to be a genuine supporter of democracy  – and some of Gandhi's love for mankind must surely rubbed off on him.

Therefore, while Nehru did many foolish things, he was never evil. He still remains on my shortlist of great Indian leaders.

India has been fortunate that Nehru's successors have been feeble-minded idiots who barely knew how to read. Had Indira Gandhi or Rajiv Gandhi possessed serious intellectual capability (being amoral as they were) they might have imposed true Fabian socialism on India and we might have seen genocides on a scale that would have made the Nazi genocides look like the stirring of a tea-pot.

There is only one thing worse than stupid socialists: Intelligent socialists!

But let me now show you why I've formed such a poor opinion about Bernard Shaw.

George Bernard Shaw: the evil, amoral socialist

[Disclaimer: I’ve not had the time to verify the following quotations. However, I have formed a view, based on my limited internet research, that this information is genuine. I’d appreciate being informed of errors.]

1. Gas chambers that use “HUMANE” lethal gas

At a meeting of the Eugenics Education Society of 3 March 1910 Shaw talked about the need to use a "lethal chamber". He said: "We should find ourselves committed to killing a great many people whom we now leave living, and to leave living a great many people whom we at present kill. We should have to get rid of all ideas about capital punishment …" 

Later, in the Listener, 7 Februray 1934, he wrote: “I appeal to the chemists to discover a humane gas that will kill instantly and painlessly. In short – a gentlemanly gas deadly by all means, but humane, not cruel”.
 
In 1934 he wrote: "The moment we face it frankly we are driven to the conclusion that the community has a right to put a price on the right to live in it … If people are fit to live, let them live under decent human conditions. If they are not fit to live, kill them in a decent human way. Is it any wonder that some of us are driven to prescribe the lethal chamber as the solution for the hard cases which are at present made the excuse for dragging all the other cases down to their level, and the only solution that will create a sense of full social responsibility in modern populations?" (George Bernard Shaw, Prefaces (London: Constable and Co., 1934), p. 296).
 
In the clip (below) from the 2008 film “The Soviet Story“, we see how George Bernard Shaw defended Hitler and advocated killing those who can’t justify – to some stupid bureaucrat (see the second video clip) –  their existence. 

Now watch this entire video, below, in which he says: “I don’t want to punish anybody, but there are an extraordinary number of people who I might 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 bit 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.’

Here is Bernard Shaw calling Mussolini a "kindly" man (and proving himself to be a half-senile idiot).

Socialism: the idea of permission to live

In The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism (1928, pg. 470), Shaw wrote: “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.”

Shaw and eugenics – the selective breeding of men

In the June 1929 Birth Control Review, George Bernard Shaw supported Sanger’s efforts to promote birth control when he wrote: ”We are up against an overpopulation problem created by Capitalism…Socialists say quite truly that Socialism can get rid of it…But it cannot wait for Socialism…” "[T]he only fundamental and possible Socialism is the socialization of the selective breeding of Man"; the selection of partners "without consideration of rank or wealth" would come about when personal incomes were made equal. (Source:
Shaw, George (2008), Man and Superman, pp. 192, and Searle, Geoffrey Russell (1976). Eugenics and politics in Britain, 1900-1914. Groningen, Netherlands: Noordhoff International. p. 58.

Extermination of the socially ‘incompatible’

"The notion that persons should be safe from extermination as long as they do not commit willful murder, or levy war against the Crown, or kidnap, or throw vitriol, is not only to limit social responsibility unnecessarily, and to privilege the large range of intolerable misconduct that lies outside them, but to divert attention from the essential justification for extermination, which is always incorrigible social incompatibility and nothing else." (George Bernard Shaw, "On the Rocks" (1933), Chapter: CHRISTIANITY AND THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT – or preface – two alterantive claims).
 
[In other words, if you are socially incompatible, you can be exterminated. Clearly an ideology on par with the worst ideological excesses of Nazism.]
 
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