Fabian Society

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George Bernard Shaw (1856—1950) playwright and polemicist

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The Society took its name from the Roman dictator Fabius, nicknamed ‘Cunctator’, or delayer. It was founded in 1884 by a group of middle‐class intellectuals to further ‘the reconstruction of Society in accordance with the highest moral principles’, but gradually. Its first pamphlet, Why are the Many Poor, made it plain that the highest principles were socialist. Shortly afterwards Sidney Webb and Bernard Shaw, its most famous members, joined. It survives, the most senior of all Britain's socialist organizations.

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