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George Bernard Shaw and Creeping Socialism

By Pedro Schwartz

 The absorbing biography of George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) by Michael Holroyd, which lay in my library since 1988 among my books on political theory, has opened my eyes to the dangers of what I call "creeping socialism." This is a species of soft collectivism that was born at the end of the 19th century, lay half dormant during the interwar years, flowered under the guise of the welfare state and social democracy after World War II, and is now rampant in the 21st century. The real nature of this far from innocuous infection was hidden to western eyes by the dreadful experiments in 'real' socialism, stated in earnest by Lenin and Stalin in the Soviet Union, Mussolini in Italy, Hitler in Germany, and Mao in China. With the end of the colonial era, real socialism morphed into planned socialism in India, Latin America, and Africa. But all the while, the soft collectivism personified by Shaw and his Fabian companions in Britain and paralleled by Social Democracy in Sweden and American...

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