Shaw and Liberalism, 1896–1904

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:
Shaw and Liberalism, 1896–1904

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This chapter examines Shaw the imperialist, opposing Liberalism again. Shaw persuaded the Fabian Society to support his argument that Socialism had absolutely nothing to do with the moral claims that were made by Liberals, Radicals, and Socialists on behalf of the Boers. Shaw attempted to make a bold declaration on behalf of Socialism by substituting Socialism for imperialism. Shaw's criticisms of Liberalism had, in earlier controversies, been caressing and cajoling, but, on this occasion, he broke completely with Liberal assumptions. The Fabian Society, in allowing Shaw to write on imperialism, showed its determination to defend an antinomian, separate, flexible conception of Socialism. Shaw had broken the Liberal consensus within the society as he had done in 1893, and some men who remained in the society felt uneasy at this further drift away from Liberalism.

Keywords: Socialism; Liberalism; Fabian Society; imperialism; Boers

Chapter.  19587 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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