Fabian Society

The Fabian Society is a British socialist organisation whose purpose is to advance the principles of democratic socialism via gradualist and reformist effort in democracies, rather than by revolutionary overthrow.[1][2]

As one of the founding organisations of the Labour Representation Committee in 1900, and as an important influence upon the Labour Party which grew from it, the Fabian Society has had a powerful influence on British politics. Other members of the Fabian Society have included political leaders from countries formerly part of the British Empire, such as Jawaharlal Nehru, who adopted Fabian principles as part of their own political ideologies. The Fabian Society founded the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1895.

Today, the society functions primarily as a think tank and is one of 21 socialist societies affiliated with the Labour Party. Similar societies exist in Australia (the Australian Fabian Society), in Canada (the Douglas–Coldwell Foundation and the now disbanded League for Social Reconstruction), in Sicily (Sicilian Fabian Society) and in New Zealand (The NZ Fabian Society).[3]

The Fabian Society
Fabian Society Logo CMYK
Fabian Society logo
Formation4 January 1884
Legal statusUnincorporated membership association
PurposeTo promote greater equality of power, wealth and opportunity; the value of collective action and public service; an accountable, tolerant and active democracy; citizenship, liberty and human rights; sustainable development; and multilateral international cooperation
HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom
  • 61 Petty France, London, SW1H 9EU
Official language
General Secretary
Andrew Harrop
Main organ
Executive Committee
SubsidiariesYoung Fabians, Fabian Women's Network, Scottish Fabians, around 60 local Fabian Societies
AffiliationsLabour Party, Foundation for European Progressive Studies

Organisational history


Fabian Society (5026519016)
Blue plaque at 17 Osnaburgh St, where the Society was founded in 1884
Frank Podmore
Fabian Society was named after "Fabius the Delayer" at the suggestion of Frank Podmore, above
Fabian Society coat of arms
Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, the original coat of arms

The Fabian Society was founded on 4 January 1884 in London as an offshoot of a society founded a year earlier called The Fellowship of the New Life.[4] Early Fellowship members included the visionary Victorian elite, among them poets Edward Carpenter and John Davidson, sexologist Havelock Ellis, and early socialist Edward R. Pease. They wanted to transform society by setting an example of clean simplified living for others to follow. Some members also wanted to become politically involved to aid society's transformation; they set up a separate society, the Fabian Society. All members were free to attend both societies. The Fabian Society additionally advocated renewal of Western European Renaissance ideas and their promulgation throughout the world.

The Fellowship of the New Life was dissolved in 1899,[5] but the Fabian Society grew to become the pre-eminent academic society in the United Kingdom in the Edwardian era. It was typified by the members of its vanguard Coefficients club. Public meetings of the Society were for many years held at Essex Hall, a popular location just off the Strand in central London.[6]

The Fabian Society was named — at the suggestion of Frank Podmore — in honour of the Roman general Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus (nicknamed "Cunctator", meaning the "Delayer").[7] His Fabian strategy sought gradual victory against the superior Carthaginian army under the renowned general Hannibal through persistence, harassment, and wearing the enemy down by attrition rather than pitched, climactic battles.

An explanatory note appearing on the title page of the group's first pamphlet declared:

For the right moment you must wait, as Fabius did most patiently, when warring against Hannibal, though many censured his delays; but when the time comes you must strike hard, as Fabius did, or your waiting will be in vain, and fruitless.[8]

According to author Jon Perdue, "The logo of the Fabian Society, a tortoise, represented the group’s predilection for a slow, imperceptible transition to socialism, while its coat of arms, a 'wolf in sheep’s clothing', represented its preferred methodology for achieving its goal."[9] The wolf in sheep's clothing symbolism was later abandoned, due to its obvious negative connotations.

Its nine founding members were Frank Podmore, Edward R. Pease, William Clarke, Hubert Bland,[10] Percival Chubb, Frederick Keddell,[11] H. H. Champion,[12] Edith Nesbit,[13] and Rosamund Dale Owen.[11][10] Havelock Ellis is sometimes also mentioned as a tenth founding member, though there is some question about this.[11]

Organisational growth

Immediately upon its inception, the Fabian Society began attracting many prominent contemporary figures drawn to its socialist cause, including George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, Annie Besant, Graham Wallas, Charles Marson, Sydney Olivier, Oliver Lodge, Ramsay MacDonald and Emmeline Pankhurst. Even Bertrand Russell briefly became a member, but resigned after he expressed his belief that the Society's principle of entente (in this case, between countries allying themselves against Germany) could lead to war.

At the core of the Fabian Society were Sidney and Beatrice Webb. Together, they wrote numerous studies[14] of industrial Britain, including alternative co-operative economics that applied to ownership of capital as well as land.

Many Fabians participated in the formation of the Labour Representation Committee in 1900 and the group's constitution, written by Sidney Webb, borrowed heavily from the founding documents of the Fabian Society. At the meeting that founded the Labour Representation Committee in 1900, the Fabian Society claimed 861 members and sent one delegate.

The years 1903 to 1908 saw a growth in popular interest in the socialist idea in Great Britain and the Fabian Society grew accordingly, tripling its membership to nearly 2500 by the end of the period, half of whom were located in London.[15] In 1912, a student section was organised called the University Socialist Federation (USF) and by the outbreak of World War I this contingent counted its own membership of more than 500.[15]

Early Fabian views

The first Fabian Society pamphlets[16] advocating tenets of social justice coincided with the zeitgeist of Liberal reforms during the early 1900s, including eugenics. The Fabian proposals however were considerably more progressive than those that were enacted in the Liberal reform legislation. The Fabians lobbied for the introduction of a minimum wage in 1906, for the creation of a universal health care system in 1911 and for the abolition of hereditary peerages in 1917.[17]

Fabian socialists were in favour of reforming Britain's imperialist foreign policy as a conduit for internationalist reform, and were in favour of a capitalist welfare state modelled on the Bismarckian German model; they criticised Gladstonian liberalism both for its individualism at home and its internationalism abroad. They favoured a national minimum wage in order to stop British industries compensating for their inefficiency by lowering wages instead of investing in capital equipment; slum clearances and a health service in order for "the breeding of even a moderately Imperial race" which would be more productive and better militarily than the "stunted, anaemic, demoralised denizens ... of our great cities"; and a national education system because "it is in the classrooms ... that the future battles of the Empire for commercial prosperity are already being lost".[18]

In 1900 the Society produced Fabianism and the Empire, the first statement of its views on foreign affairs, drafted by Bernard Shaw and incorporating the suggestions of 150 Fabian members. It was directed against the liberal individualism of those such as John Morley and Sir William Harcourt.[19] It claimed that the classical liberal political economy was outdated, and that imperialism was the new stage of the international polity. The question was whether Britain would be the centre of a world empire or whether it would lose its colonies and end up as just two islands in the North Atlantic. It expressed support for Britain in the Boer War because small nations, such as the Boers, were anachronisms in the age of empires.[19]

In order to hold onto the Empire, the British needed to fully exploit the trade opportunities secured by war; maintain the British armed forces in a high state of readiness to defend the Empire; the creation of a citizen army to replace the professional army; the Factory Acts would be amended to extend to 21 the age for half-time employment, so that the thirty hours gained would be used in "a combination of physical exercises, technical education, education in civil citizenship ... and field training in the use of modern weapons".[20]

The Fabians also favoured the nationalisation of land rent, believing that rents collected by landowners in respect of their land's value were unearned, an idea which drew heavily from the work of American economist Henry George.

Second generation

In the period between the two World Wars, the "Second Generation" Fabians, including the writers R. H. Tawney, G. D. H. Cole and Harold Laski, continued to be a major influence on socialist thought.

But the general idea is that each man should have power according to his knowledge and capacity. [...] And the keynote is that of my fairy State: From every man according to his capacity; to every man according to his needs. A democratic Socialism, controlled by majority votes, guided by numbers, can never succeed; a truly aristocratic Socialism, controlled by duty, guided by wisdom, is the next step upwards in civilisation.
— Annie Besant, a Fabian Society member and later president of Indian National Congress, [21]

It was at this time that many of the future leaders of the Third World were exposed to Fabian thought, most notably India's Jawaharlal Nehru, who subsequently framed economic policy for India on Fabian socialism lines. After independence from Britain, Nehru's Fabian ideas committed India to an economy in which the state owned, operated and controlled means of production, in particular key heavy industrial sectors such as steel, telecommunications, transportation, electricity generation, mining and real estate development. Private activity, property rights and entrepreneurship were discouraged or regulated through permits, nationalisation of economic activity and high taxes were encouraged, rationing, control of individual choices and Mahalanobis model considered by Nehru as a means to implement the Fabian Society version of socialism.[22][23][24] In addition to Nehru, several pre-independence leaders in colonial India such as Annie Besant—Nehru's mentor and later a president of Indian National Congress – were members of the Fabian Society.[25]

Obafemi Awolowo, who later became the premier of Nigeria's now defunct Western Region, was also a Fabian member in the late 1940s. It was the Fabian ideology that Awolowo used to run the Western Region during his premiership with great success, although he was prevented from using it in a similar fashion on the national level in Nigeria. It is less known that the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was an avid member of the Fabian Society in the early 1930s. Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore, stated in his memoirs that his initial political philosophy was strongly influenced by the Fabian Society. However, he later altered his views, considering the Fabian ideal of socialism as impractical.[26] In 1993, Lee said:

They [Fabian Socialists] were going to create a just society for the British workers—the beginning of a welfare state, cheap council housing, free medicine and dental treatment, free spectacles, generous unemployment benefits. Of course, for students from the colonies, like Singapore and Malaya, it was a great attraction as the alternative to communism. We did not see until the 1970s that that was the beginning of big problems contributing to the inevitable decline of the British economy.[26]

In the Middle East, the theories of Fabian Society intellectual movement of early-20th-century Britain inspired the Ba'athist vision. The Middle East adaptation of Fabian socialism led the state to control big industry, transport, banks, internal and external trade. The state would direct the course of economic development, with the ultimate aim to provide a guaranteed minimum standard of living for all.[27] Michel Aflaq, widely considered as the founder of the Ba'athist movement, was a Fabian socialist. Aflaq's ideas, with those of Salah al-Din al-Bitar and Zaki al-Arsuzi, came to fruition in the Arab world in the form of dictatorial regimes in Iraq and Syria.[28] Salāmah Mūsā of Egypt, another prominent champion of Arab Socialism, was a keen adherent of Fabian Society, and a member since 1909.[29]

Fabian academics of the late 20th-century included the political scientist Bernard Crick, the economists Thomas Balogh and Nicholas Kaldor and the sociologist Peter Townsend.

Contemporary Fabianism

Through the course of the 20th century, the group has always been influential in Labour Party circles, with members including Ramsay MacDonald, Clement Attlee, Anthony Crosland, Roy Jenkins, Hugh Dalton, Richard Crossman, Ian Mikardo, Tony Benn, Harold Wilson and more recently Shirley Williams, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Gordon Marsden and Ed Balls. 229 Society members were elected to Parliament in the 1945 General Election.[30] Ben Pimlott served as its chairman in the 1990s. (A Pimlott Prize for Political Writing was organised in his memory by the Fabian Society and The Guardian in 2005 and continues annually.) The Society is affiliated to the Party as a socialist society. In recent years the Young Fabian group, founded in 1960, has become an important networking and discussion organisation for younger (under 31) Labour Party activists and played a role in the 1994 election of Tony Blair as Labour Leader. Today there is also an active Fabian Women's Network and Scottish and Welsh Fabian groups.

On 21 April 2009 the Society's website stated that it had 6,286 members: "Fabian national membership now stands at a 35 year high: it is over 20% higher than when the Labour Party came to office in May 1997. It is now double what it was when Clement Attlee left office in 1951".

The latest edition of the Dictionary of National Biography (a reference work listing details of famous or significant Britons throughout history) includes 174 Fabians. Four Fabians, Beatrice and Sidney Webb, Graham Wallas, and George Bernard Shaw, founded the London School of Economics with the money left to the Fabian Society by Henry Hutchinson. Supposedly the decision was made at a breakfast party on 4 August 1894. The founders are depicted in the Fabian Window[31] designed by George Bernard Shaw. The window was stolen in 1978 and reappeared at Sotheby's in 2005. It was restored to display in the Shaw Library at the London School of Economics in 2006 at a ceremony over which Tony Blair presided.[32]

As of 2016, the Fabian Society had about 7,000 members.[33]

Influence on Labour government

With the advent of a Labour Party government in 1997, the Fabian Society was a forum for New Labour ideas and for critical approaches from across the party.[34] The most significant Fabian contribution to Labour's policy agenda in government was Ed Balls's 1992 pamphlet, advocating Bank of England independence. Balls had been a Financial Times journalist when he wrote this Fabian pamphlet, before going to work for Gordon Brown. BBC Business Editor Robert Peston, in his book Brown's Britain, calls this an "essential tract" and concludes that Balls "deserves as much credit – probably more – than anyone else for the creation of the modern Bank of England";[35] William Keegan offered a similar analysis of Balls's Fabian pamphlet in his book on Labour's economic policy,[36] which traces in detail the path leading up to this dramatic policy change after Labour's first week in office.

The Fabian Society Tax Commission of 2000 was widely credited[37] with influencing the Labour government's policy and political strategy for its one significant public tax increase: the National Insurance rise to raise £8 billion for National Health Service spending. (The Fabian Commission had in fact called for a directly hypothecated "NHS tax"[38] to cover the full cost of NHS spending, arguing that linking taxation more directly to spending was essential to make tax rise publicly acceptable. The 2001 National Insurance rise was not formally hypothecated, but the government committed itself to using the additional funds for health spending.) Several other recommendations, including a new top rate of income tax, were to the left of government policy and not accepted, though this comprehensive review of UK taxation was influential in economic policy and political circles, and a new top rate of income tax of 50% was introduced in 2010.[39]

In early 2017 Fabian general secretary, Andrew Harrop, produced a report[40] arguing the only feasible route for Labour to return to government would be to work with the Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party. Based on then-current polling, it predicted Labour would win fewer than 200 seats in the next general election, the lowest since 1935, due to Brexit, lack of support in Scotland, and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s purported unpopularity.[41][42] This prediction was proven false in the general election later in 2017 in which Labour won 262 seats.

Fabianism outside the United Kingdom

The major influence on the Labour Party and on the English-speaking socialist movement worldwide, has meant that Fabianism became one of the main inspirations of international social democracy. An American Fabian Society was established in Boston in February 1895 by W. D. P. Bliss, a prominent Christian socialist.[43] The group published a periodical, The American Fabian, and issued a small series of pamphlets.[43] Around the same time a parallel organization emerged on the Pacific coast, centred in California, under the influence of socialist activist Laurence Gronlund.[43]

Direct or indirect Fabian influence may also be seen in the liberal socialism of Carlo Rosselli (founder, with his brother Nello Rosselli, of the anti-fascist group's Giustizia e Libertà) and all its derivatives such as the Action Party in Italy.[44] The Community Movement, created by the socialist entrepreneur Adriano Olivetti, was then the only Italian party which referred explicitly to Fabianism, among his main inspirations along with federalism, social liberalism, fighting partitocracy and social democracy.[45]

During 2000 the Sicilian Fabian Society was founded in Messina.[46]


It is written into the rules of the society that it has no policies. All the publications carry a disclaimer saying that they do not represent the collective views of the society but only the views of the authors. "No resolution of a political character expressing an opinion or calling for action, other than in relation to the running of the Society itself, shall be put forward in the name of the Society."[47]

Executive committee

The Fabian Society is governed by an elected executive committee. The committee consists of 10 ordinary members elected from a national list, three members nationally elected from a list nominated by local groups, representatives from the Young Fabians, Fabians Women's Network and Scottish and Welsh Fabians. There is also one staff representative and a directly elected honorary treasurer from the membership. Elections are held every other year, with the exception of the Young Fabians and staff representation which are elected annually. The committee meet quarterly and elect a chair and at least one vice-chair annually to conduct its business. The current chair of the Fabian Society is Kate Green.


The Fabian Society have a number of employees based in their headquarters in London. The secretariat is led by a general secretary, who is the organisation's CEO. The staff are arranged into departments including Research, Editorial, Events and Operations.

Young Fabians

Since 1960 members aged under 31 years of age are also members of the Young Fabians. This group has its own elected Chair, executive committee and sub-groups. The Young Fabians are a voluntary organisation that serves as an incubator for member-led activities such as policy and social events, pamphlets and delegations. Within the group are five special interest communities called Networks that are run by voluntary steering groups and elect their own Chair and officers. The current Networks are Finance, Health, International Affairs, Education and Communications (Industry). It also publishes the quarterly magazine Anticipations.

Fabian Women's Network

All female members of the Fabian Society are also members of the Fabian Women's Network. This group has its own elected Chair and Executive Committee which organises conferences and events and works with the wider political movement to secure increased representation for women in politics and public life. It has a flagship mentoring programme that recruits on an annual basis and its president is Seema Malhotra, a Labour Party and Co-operative MP. The Network also publishes the quarterly magazine, Fabiana, runs a range of public speaking events, works closely in partnership with a range of women's campaigning organisations and regularly hosts a fringe at the Labour Party conference.

Local Fabians

There are 45 local Fabian societies across the UK, bringing Fabian debates to communities around the country. Many of these are affiliated to their local constituency Labour party and have their own executive bodies. These local branches are affiliated to the national Fabians and local members have same voting rights as their national counterparts.


In the early 1900s Fabian Society members advocated the ideal of a scientifically planned society and supported eugenics by way of sterilisation.[48] In an article published in The Guardian on 14 February 2008 (following the apology offered by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to the "stolen generations"), Geoffrey Robertson criticised Fabian socialists for providing the intellectual justification for the eugenics policy that led to the stolen generations scandal.[49][50] Similar claims have been repeated in The Spectator.[51] However, these views on eugenics were not limited to one group of people and were widely shared throughout the political spectrum.[52][53]

Although H. G. Wells was a member of the Fabian Society from 1903 to 1908, he was a critic of its operations, particularly in his 1905 paper "The Faults of the Fabian"[54] and parodied the society in his 1910 novel The New Machiavelli.[55]

At a speech in the United States the then British MP George Galloway denounced the Fabian Society for its failure to support the Irish uprising of Easter 1916 in Ireland in Dublin where an Irish Republic had been proclaimed.[56]

See also


  1. ^ George Thomson (1 March 1976). "The Tindemans Report and the European Future" (PDF).
  2. ^ Margaret Cole (1961). The Story of Fabian Socialism. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0804700917.
  3. ^ NZ Fabian Society
  4. ^ Edward R. Pease, A History of the Fabian Society. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1916.
  5. ^ Pease, 1916
  6. ^ "The History of Essex Hall by Mortimer Rowe, Lindsey Press, 1959, chapter 5". Unitarian.org.uk. Archived from the original on 16 January 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
  7. ^ "Fabian Society". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  8. ^ Quoted in A.M. McBriar, Fabian Socialism and English Politics, 1884–1918. [1962] Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1966; pg. 9.
  9. ^ Perdue, Jon B. (2012). The War of All the People: The Nexus of Latin American Radicalism and Middle Eastern Terrorism (1st ed.). Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books. p. 97. ISBN 1597977047.
  10. ^ a b McBriar, Alan M. (1962). Fabian Socialism and English Politics, 1884-1918. Cambridge University Press.
  11. ^ a b c Cole, Margaret (1961). The Story of Fabian Socialism. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-1163700105.
  12. ^ Pease, Edward R. (1916). The History of the Fabian Society.
  13. ^ Matthews, Race (1993). Australia's First Fabians: Middle-class Radicals, Labour Activists and the Early Labour Movement. Cambridge University Press.
  14. ^ See The Webbs on the Web bibliography
  15. ^ a b Kevin Morgan, Labour Legends and Russian Gold: Bolshevism and the British Left, Part 1. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 2006; p. 63.
  16. ^ A full list of Fabian pamphlets is available at the Fabian Society Online Archive
  17. ^ Fabian Society Archived 7 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Bernard Semmel, Imperialism and Social Reform: English Social-Imperial Thought 1895–1914 (New York: Anchor, 1968), p. 63.
  19. ^ a b Semmel, p. 61.
  20. ^ Semmel, p. 62.
  21. ^ Annie Besant. "The Future Socialism". Bibby's Annual (reprinted by Adyar Pamphlet). OCLC 038686071.
  22. ^ Padma Desai and Jagdish Bhagwati (April 1975). "Socialism and Indian economic policy". World Development. 3 (4): 213–21. doi:10.1016/0305-750X(75)90063-7.
  23. ^ B.K. Nehru (Spring 1990). "Socialism at crossroads". India International Centre Quarterly. 17 (1): 1–12. JSTOR 23002177.
  24. ^ Virmani, Arvind (October 2005). "Policy Regimes, Growth and Poverty in India: Lessons of Government Failure and Entrepreneurial Success" (PDF). Working Paper No. 170. Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, New Delhi.
  25. ^ Dunham, William Huse (1975). "From Radicalism to Socialism: Men and Ideas in the Formation of Fabian Socialist Doctrines, 1881–1889". History: Reviews of New Books. 3 (10): 263. doi:10.1080/03612759.1975.9945148.
  26. ^ a b Michael Barr (March 2000). "Lee Kuan Yew's Fabian Phase". Australian Journal of Politics & History. 46 (1): 110–26. doi:10.1111/1467-8497.00088.
  27. ^ Amatzia Baram (Spring 2003). "Broken Promises". Wilson Quarterly. Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
  28. ^ L. M. Kenny (Winter 1963–1964). "The Goal of Arab Unification". International Journal. 19 (1): 50–61. doi:10.2307/40198692. JSTOR 40198692.
  29. ^ Kamel S. Abu Jaber (Spring 1966). "Salāmah Mūsā: Precursor of Arab Socialism". Middle East Journal. 20 (2): 196–206. JSTOR 4323988.
  30. ^ "Our History". Fabians. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  31. ^ Press release, A piece of Fabian history unveiled at LSE Archived 5 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine, London School of Economics & Political Science Archives, Last accessed 23 February 2007
  32. ^ Andrew Walker, Wit, wisdom and windows, BBC News, Last accessed 23 February 2007
  33. ^ Annual Report 2016 (PDF) (Report). Fabian Society. 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  34. ^ "The Fabian Society: a brief history". The Guardian. 2001-08-13. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
  35. ^ Mark Wickham-Jones (2005). "Party Officials, Experts and Policy-making: The Case of British Labour" (PDF). r/ French Political Science Association.
  36. ^ Sunder Katwala (14 September 2003). "Observer review: The Prudence of Mr Gordon Brown by William Keegan | By genre | guardian.co.uk Books". London: Politics.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
  37. ^ Andrew Rawnsley, columnist of the year (22 December 2001). "Honesty turns out to be the best policy". The Observer. London. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
  38. ^ "Think tank calls for NHS tax". BBC News. 27 November 2000. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
  39. ^ "In defence of earmarked taxes – FT 07/12/00". Samuelbrittan.co.uk. 15 December 1994. Archived from the original on 12 January 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
  40. ^ Harrop, Andrew (3 January 2017). Stuck - How Labour is too weak to win and too strong to die (PDF) (Report). Fabian Society. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  41. ^ Walker, Peter (2 January 2017). "Labour could slump to below 150 MPs, Fabian Society warns". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  42. ^ MacLellan, Kylie (3 January 2017). "UK's opposition Labour 'too weak' to win an election: think tank". Reuters. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  43. ^ a b c William D.P. Bliss (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Social Reforms. Third Edition. New York: Funk and Wagnalls Co., 1897; pg. 578.
  44. ^ Leo Valiani, Socialismo liberale. Carlo Rosselli, tra Critica Sociale e Fabian Society
  45. ^ Olivetti: comunitarismo e sovranità industriale nell’Italia postbellica
  46. ^ Sicilian Fabian Society
  47. ^ "Rules of the Fabian Society November 2017" (PDF). Fabian Society. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  48. ^ Freedland, Jonathan (17 February 2012). "Eugenics: the skeleton that rattles loudest in the left's closet". The Guardian.
  49. ^ Geoffrey Robertson (13 February 2008). "We should say sorry, too". The Guardian. London.
  50. ^ L.J. Ray (1983). "Eugenics, Mental Deficiency and Fabian Socialism between the Wars". Oxford Review of Education. 9 (3): 213–22. doi:10.1080/0305498830090305.
  51. ^ "How eugenics poisoned the welfare state | The Spectator". The Spectator. 2009-11-25. Retrieved 2016-12-26.
  52. ^ Diane Paul (Oct–Dec 1984). "Eugenics and the Left". Journal of the History of Ideas. University of Pennsylvania Press. 45 (4). JSTOR 2709374.
  53. ^ Christopher Badcock (2008). "Eugenics" (PDF). London School of Economics and Political Science.
  54. ^ Taunton, Matthew. "H G Wells's politics". The British Library. Retrieved 2016-10-05.
  55. ^ H. G. Wells, The New Machiavelli, Dunfield & co., New York (1910)
  56. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtkJYKfCDhA

Further reading

  • Howell, David (1983). British Workers and the Independent Labour Party, 1888–1906. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  • McBriar, A.M. (1962). Fabian Socialism and English Politics, 1884–1918. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Pease, Edward R. (1916). A History of the Fabian Society. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co.
  • Radice, Lisanne (1984). Beatrice and Sidney Webb: Fabian Socialists. London: Macmillan.
  • Shaw, George Bernard, ed. (1931). Fabian Essays in Socialism. London: Fabian Society.
  • Shaw, George Bernard, ed. (1906) [1892]. The Fabian Society: Its Early History. London: Fabian Society.
  • Wolfe, Willard (1975). From Radicalism to Socialism: Men and Ideas in the Formation of Fabian Socialist Doctrines, 1881–1889. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

External links

Australian Fabian Society

The Australian Fabians (also known as the Australian Fabian Society) was established in 1947. Inspired by the Fabian Society in the United Kingdom, it is dedicated to Fabianism, the focus on the advancement of socialist ideas through gradual influence and patiently promoting socialist ideals to intellectual circles and groups with power.

An earlier experiment with Fabianism in Australia was initiated in Adelaide in 1891 by the Rev Charles Marson, who had joined the Fabians in London in 1885 and drew in trade unionists like David Charleston, Robert Guthrie and John McPherson as well as social reformers like James & Lucy Morice into the first overseas branch of the UK Fabian Society. The Australian members retained their membership for ten years until the Adelaide branch was wound up in 1902.

The Australian Fabians have historically had close ties with the Australian Labor Party (ALP). This is evidenced by the number of past ALP prime ministers, federal ministers and state premiers who were active members of the Australian Fabians while in office. The role of patron of the Australian Fabians is filled by media and Social Commentator and progressive thinker, Eva Cox, but was previously filled by former Australian prime minister, the late Gough Whitlam. This is a temporary arrangement and the position will be filled when an appropriate person to fund and uphold the society's values is found.

The Australian Fabians have had a significant influence on public policy development in Australia since the Second World War, with many of its members having held influential political offices in Australian governments.

Beatrice Webb

Martha Beatrice Webb, Baroness Passfield, (née Potter; 22 January 1858 – 30 April 1943), was an English sociologist, economist, socialist, labour historian and social reformer. It was Webb who coined the term "collective bargaining". She was among the founders of the London School of Economics and played a crucial role in forming the Fabian Society.

Bill Rodgers, Baron Rodgers of Quarry Bank

William Thomas Rodgers, Baron Rodgers of Quarry Bank, PC (born 28 October 1928), usually known as William Rodgers but also often known as Bill Rodgers, was one of the "Gang of Four" of senior British Labour Party politicians who defected to form the Social Democratic Party (SDP). He subsequently helped to lead the SDP into the merger that formed the Liberal Democrats, and later served as that party's leader in the House of Lords.

Billy Hughes (educationist)

Herbert Delauney Hughes (7 September 1914 – 15 November 1995), known as Billy Hughes, was a British adult educationist and Labour Party politician. He was a member of parliament (MP) from 1945 to 1950 and principal of Ruskin College from 1950 to 1979.

Cambridge Universities Labour Club

The Cambridge Universities Labour Club (CULC) is a student political society, first founded as the Cambridge University Fabian Society in 1905, to provide a voice for Labour Party values of socialism and social democracy at the University of Cambridge. Although the society served only University of Cambridge students for most of its history, in 2007, membership was also opened up to students of Anglia Ruskin. CULC's varied past has seen it go through several disaffiliations with the national Labour Party, including periods in the 1960s and 1970s when it was under the influence of the entryist Militant tendency. It is currently affiliated to the Labour Party, Labour Students, and the Cambridge Constituency Labour Party.

CULC holds regular speaker events, social events, topical discussions and takes part in year-round campaigning activity, with the local Labour Party and on issues decided by the membership. Current campaigns include pursuing a living wage for employees of both universities, tackling pay-day loans, and encouraging ethical investment by Cambridge Colleges. In recent years, the club has hosted a number of high-profile figures including Andrew Adonis, Angela Eagle, Harriet Harman, Hazel Blears, Ed Miliband, David Miliband, Margaret Hodge, Ed Balls, John Prescott, Tristram Hunt, Alan Johnson, Andy Burnham, Iain McNicol, Hilary Benn, Axelle Lemaire and Ken Livingstone.

Dianne Hayter

Dianne Hayter, Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town (born 7 September 1949) is a British politician and Labour Co-operative member of the House of Lords who has served as a member of the Labour Party National Executive Committee from 1998 to 2010 representing the Socialist Societies. She was Chair of the Labour Party from 2007 to 2008.

Edward R. Pease

Edward Reynolds Pease (23 December 1857 – 5 January 1955) was an English writer and a founding member of the Fabian Society.

Frank Podmore

Frank Podmore (5 February 1856 – 14 August 1910) was an English author, and founding member of the Fabian Society. He is best known as an influential member of the Society for Psychical Research and for his sceptical writings on spiritualism.

Frank Wallace Galton

Frank Wallace Galton (2 November 1867 – 9 April 1952), sometimes known as Frank Wallis Galton, was an English political writer and journalist who was secretary to Sidney and Beatrice Webb and later to the Fabian Society. In 1929, he was appointed to the Royal Commission on Transport.

G. D. H. Cole

George Douglas Howard Cole (25 September 1889 – 14 January 1959) was an English political theorist, economist, writer and historian. As a libertarian socialist he was a long-time member of the Fabian Society and an advocate for the co-operative movement.

Giles Radice

Giles Heneage Radice, Baron Radice, PC (born 4 October 1936) is a Labour member of the House of Lords.

Gordon Marsden

Gordon Marsden (born 28 November 1953) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Blackpool South since 1997.

Jim Griffiths

James Griffiths (19 September 1890 – 7 August 1975) was a Welsh Labour politician, trade union leader and the first Secretary of State for Wales.

John Parker (Labour politician)

Herbert John Harvey Parker (15 July 1906 – 24 November 1987), normally known as John Parker, was a British politician. He was the longest-serving Labour Party Member of Parliament (MP), retaining his seat in the House of Commons for nearly 48 years, until being overtaken by Dennis Skinner on 17 December 2017.

He was first elected to represent Romford in November 1935. After boundary changes, he continued as MP for Dagenham from 1945, remaining in the House of Commons until he retired in June 1983. As the longest-serving MP, he was the Father of the House of Commons from 1979 to 1983. When he left parliament in 1983, he was the last serving Member of Parliament to have served in the Commons before or during the Second World War.

Shirley Williams

Shirley Vivian Teresa Brittain Williams, Baroness Williams of Crosby, (née Catlin; born 27 July 1930) is a British politician and academic who represents the Liberal Democrats. Originally a Labour Member of Parliament (MP) and Cabinet Minister, she was one of the "Gang of Four" rebels who founded the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1981.Between 2001 and 2004, she served as Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords and, from 2007 to 2010, as Adviser on Nuclear Proliferation to Prime Minister Gordon Brown. She served as an active member of the House of Lords, until announcing her retirement in January 2016, and is currently Professor Emerita of Electoral Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, among numerous other activities.

Sidney Webb, 1st Baron Passfield

Sidney James Webb, 1st Baron Passfield, (13 July 1859 – 13 October 1947) was a British socialist, economist, reformer and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. He was one of the early members of the Fabian Society in 1884, along with George Bernard Shaw (they joined three months after its inception). Along with his wife Beatrice Webb, Annie Besant, Graham Wallas, Edward R. Pease, Hubert Bland, and Sydney Olivier, Shaw and Webb turned the Fabian Society into the pre-eminent political-intellectual society of England during the Edwardian era and beyond. He wrote the original Clause IV for the British Labour Party.

Stephen Twigg

Stephen Twigg (born 25 December 1966) is a British Labour and Co-operative Party politician who has been Member of Parliament (MP) for Liverpool West Derby since 2010. He previously served as the Member of Parliament for Enfield Southgate from 1997 to 2005.

He came to national prominence in 1997 by winning the seat of Defence Secretary Michael Portillo. Twigg was made the Minister of State for School Standards in 2004, a job he held until he lost his seat in 2005. He returned to parliament in 2010, after he was elected Member of Parliament for Liverpool West Derby.

Following Ed Miliband's election to the Labour leadership, he made Twigg a Shadow Foreign Office Minister. In his October 2011 reshuffle, Miliband promoted Twigg to the post of Shadow Secretary of State for Education. However, on 7 October 2013 he was replaced in the reshuffle.

Tory socialism

Tory socialism was a term used by historians, particularly of the early Fabian Society, to describe the governing philosophy of the British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. The term is also used by many free market advocates to describe certain strains of conservatism that are more reformist-minded and believe in a more activist government.

For instance, the domestic policies of Richard Nixon were also called by many libertarians to be "Tory socialist", which they believed had much in common with the philosophy of "big government conservatism" espoused by many neo-conservatives. It was in keeping with this that David Gelernter wrote a long essay in The Weekly Standard extolling Disraeli as the founder of modern conservatism. The phrase has also been used by Vernon Bogdanor to describe the thinking of Ferdinand Mount and was used by Arnold Toynbee to describe the beliefs of Joseph Rayner Stephens and Richard Oastler. The phrase was also used to describe both Stanley Baldwin and Harold Macmillan in the 1930s and by Tony Judge in his biographical study of Robert Blatchford. and in a wider study of Tory Socialism between 1870-1940

Young Fabians

The Young Fabians is the under age 31 section of the Fabian Society, a socialist society in the United Kingdom that is affiliated to the Party. The Young Fabians operate as a membership-driven think tank that organises policy debates, research projects, publications, conferences, and international delegations. The organisation holds no collective position on policy. The current National Chair is Charlotte Norton.

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