Shaw and Marxism, 1882–1892

James Alexander

in Shaw’s Controversial Socialism

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780813033723
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038117 | DOI:
Shaw and Marxism, 1882–1892

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This chapter examines Shaw the economist, opposing Marxism. Shaw's first encounter with Marxism was as theory. In the 1880s, Marxist theory meant the labor theory of value and the theory of surplus value. History, politics, and economics all had to be understood before Shaw and his contemporaries could lay down a “basis” for Socialism that would avoid Marxist assumptions. This they did in the famous set of essays edited by Shaw in 1889, Fabian Essays in Socialism. The publication of this brought the early educative stage of Shaw's encounter with Socialism to an end. His Socialism was the consequence of what could be called a conversion to economics in 1882. Socialism was the activity that sought to impose this science on society; and it was Shaw's determination to take it seriously that led him to commit himself to the Fabian Society and not some other Socialist society.

Keywords: economist; Marxism; Fabian Society; Socialism; history; labor theory

Chapter.  17986 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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