“Fabian” Socialism

by Ryan on March 28, 2013

in Anything Else,History,Politics,Social Agitators

Since 2009, I’ve heard the term “Fabian socialist” thrown around now and then, but wasn’t too sure who they were.  What makes them “fabian” and not regular socialists?

Well, I looked it up.  In the Second Punic War (218-202 BC), there was a Roman general (and brief dictator) named Quintus Fabius Maximus, commonly known as “the Delayer” for avoiding direct attacks with Hannibal’s forces, preferring to wear-out the armies of Carthage by being “consistent and unchangeable.”  Fabius was usually successful.

Well, in 1884 a faction of Britain’s socialists believed that evolution, not revolution would be more effective in achieving their goals.  These socialists would be consistent and unchangeable in their desire for, as Jerry Bowyer of Forbes wrote, the:

“gradual nationalization of the economy through manipulation of the democratic process. Breaking away from the violent revolutionary socialists of their day, they thought that the only real way to effect ‘fundamental change’ and ‘social justice’ was through a mass movement of the working classes presided over by intellectual and cultural elites.”

So, they called themselves the “Fabian Society” to describe their approach to worldwide socialism.  They are still around today.

Bowyer’s article, written the day before President Obama was elected, seems to imply that this “fabian” tradition is alive and well in the hearts of progressives like Obama.  That revelation adds another layer of understanding about this administration’s goals and policies.

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