Chapter

Shaw and Marxism, 1893–1904

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813033723.003.0004
Shaw and Marxism, 1893–1904

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This chapter presents Shaw the revisionist, opposing Marxism again. Shaw was perhaps in the strongest position to see something of the contradictions involved in European Marxism. All Socialists were agreed that they could not contradict history, impose their ideas on it arbitrarily, or suppose that they had a revolutionary cause when they in fact did not. However, Shaw was willing to step aside from the conventional, or Whiggish, sensibility of ordinary Fabianism to consider the thorny problems of practicality, of individuality, and of will. He was certainly willing to provoke Marxists by suggesting that it was Lassalle, and not Marx, who was the founder of social democracy. Most decisively, he was willing to remind European Socialists that they could not ignore the state.

Keywords: Socialism; Marx; European Marxism; Fabianism; European socialists; social democracy

Chapter.  16761 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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