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(ESTABLISHED 1883.) HE FABIAN SOCIETY consists of Socialists. A statement
of its Principles, Rules, Conditions of Membership, etc., can be obtained from the Secretary, at 21 Hyde Park Mansions, London, N.W. Also the following publications :“FABIAN ESSAYS IN SOCIALISM."
(22nd Thousand.) A full exposition of modern English Socialism in its latest and maturest phase. The book consists of eight monographs by G. BERNARD SHAW, SYDNEY OLIVIER, SIDNEY WEBB, WILLIAM CLARKE. HUBERT BLAND, GRAHAM WALLAS and ANNIE BESANT. The frontispiece is by WALTER CRANE. Library Edition, 68.; or, direct from the Secretary for Cash, 4/6 (postage 4}d.) Cheap Edition, Paper cover (published by Walter Scott, 24 Warwick Lane,
London), ls. ; ditio, plain cloth, 2s. At all booksellers, or post free from the Secretary for ls. and 28. respectively.
FABIAN TRAOTS. To be obtained from the Publisher, John Heywood, Deansgate and Ridgefield,
Manchester, and i Paternoster Buildings, London; or from the Secretary at above address.
No. 1.-Why are the Many Poor p 25th thousand. Price 6 for id.; Is. per 100.
NO. 6.-Facts for Socialists. A comprehensive survey of the distribution of income and the condition of classes in England, gathered from official returns, and from the works of well-known economists and statisticians. Authorities given for all the figures. 25th thousand. 16 pp., Id. ; or gd. per doz.
No. 7.- Capital and Land. A similar survey of the distribution of property, with a criticism of the distinction sometimes set up between Land and Capital as instruments of production. Joth thousand. 16 pp., id. ; orgd. per doz.
No. 8.-Facts for Londoners. An exhaustive collection of statistical and other information relating to the County and City of London, with suggestions for Municipal Reform on Socialist principles. 5th thousand. 56 pp., 6d. ; or 4/6 per doz
No. 9.-An Eight Hours Bill in the form of an amendment of the Factory Acts. Very full notes explain the Trade Option clause and the principles and prece. dents on which the Bill,is founded. A list of literature dealing with the question of the limitation of the hours of labor is appended. 20th thous. 16 pp., Id. ; or 9d. per doz.
No. 10.-Figures for Londoners (a short abstract of No. 8). 2oth thousand. 4 pp., 6 fc id.: is. per 100.
No. 11.-The Workers' Political Programme fully explains the politics of to-day from the working class point of view, and gives questions to put to "Parliamentary candidates. Toth thousand. 20 pp., Id. ; or gd. per doz.
No. 12.-Practicable Land Nationalization. A brief statement of prac. tical proposals for immediate reform. 20th thousand. 4 pp., 6 for id. ; or Is. per 100.
No. 13.-What Socialism Is. A short exposition of the aim of Socialists. 30th thousand._4 pp., 6 for 1d.; or Is. per 100.
No. 14.-The New Reform Bill. A draft Act of Parliament providing for Adult Suffrage, Payment of Members and their election expenses, Second Ballot, and a thorough system of Registration. 15th thousand. 20 pp. id.; or 9d. per doz.
No. 16.- English Progress towards Social Democracy. The evolution of English Society, with explanation of Socialism. ioth thous. 16 pp., id. ; 9d. doz
No. 16.-A Plea for an Eight Hours Bill. A brief answer to objectors. 50th thousand. 4 pp., 6 for id.; Is. per 100.
No. 17.-Reform of the Poor Law. Facts as to pauperism, with proposals for pensions for the aged, and other Socialist reforms. 20 pp., id. ; gd. per doz. No. 18.-Facts for Bristol (in preparation).
The set post free for fifteen pence. The LECTURE LIST, containing the names of sixty lecturers, who offer their services gratuitously, may be obtained on application to the Secretary. Upwards of 1000 lectures were delivered by members during the year ended in March, 1890.
G. STANDRING, Priuter (Trade Union), 7 & 9, Finsbury Street, E.C.
SEVENTEENTH THOUSAND : REPRINTED.
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THE FABIAN SOCIETY.
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"THE FABIAN SOCIETY, 3 CLEMENT'S Inn, STRAND, W.C.
PUBLISHED 1890. REPRINTED OCTOBER 1901.
English Progress towards Social
HERE are three stages through which every new notion in
England has to pass : It is impossible: It is against the
the third of these stages. “ We are all Socialists now,' said one of Her Majesty's late Ministers; and, in sober truth, there is no anti-Socialist political party. That which has long formed part of the unconscious basis of our practice is now formulated as a definite theory, and the tide of Democratic Collectivism is rolling in upon us. All the authorities, whatever their own views, can but note its rapid progress. If we look back along the line of history, we see the irresistible sweep of the growing tendency: if we turn to contemporary industrial development, it is there : if we fly to biological science, we do not escape the lesson : on all sides the sociologic evolution compels our adherence. There is no resting place for stationary Toryism in the scientific universe. The whole history of the human race cries out against the old-fashioned Individualism.
Economic Science, at any rate, will now have none of it. When the Editor of the new issue of the Encyclopædia Britannica lately required from some eminent Economist an article on Political Economy, fully representing the present position of that science, it was to an avowed Socialist that he addressed himself, and the article took the form of an elaborate survey of the inevitable convergence of all the economic tendencies towards Socialism.t Professor Alfred Marshall's new work will be as repugnant to Mr. Herbert Spencer and the Liberty and Property Defence League as John Stuart Mill's conversion was to his respectable friends. Have we not seen Professor Sidgwick, that most careful of men, contributing an article to the Contemporary Review, ** to prove that the main principles of Socialism are a plain deduction from accepted economic doctrines, and in no way opposed to them ?
*A Lecture delivered by Sidney Webb before the Sunday Lecture Society, London, 1888, of which a report was previously published under the title of “The Progress of Socialism."
Since republished as & “ History of Political Economy," by Dr. J. K. Ingram. Principles of Economics. Vol. I. (Macmillan, 1890.)
“Economic Socialism," Contemporary Review, Nov., 1886.
Indeed, those who remember John Stuart Mill's emphatic adhesion to Socialism, both the name and the thing, in his " Autobiography,”* cannot be surprised at this tendency of economists. The only wonder is, that interested defenders of economic monopoly are still able to persuade the British public that Political Economy is against Socialism, and are able to make even Bishops believe that its laws “forbid" anything save the present state of things.
It is, however, time to give a plain definition of Socialism, to prevent any mistake as to meanings. Nothing is more common than the statement, “I can't understand what Socialism is." But this is sheer intellectual laziness. The word is to be found in our modern dictionaries. The Encyclopædia Britannica contains exhaustive articles upon its every aspect. There are enough Socialist lectures in London every week, good, bad, and indifferent, to drive the meaning into every willing ear.
The abstract word “Socialism" denotes a particular principle of social organisation. We may define this principle either from the constitutional or the economic standpoint. We may either put it as “the control by the community of the means of production for public advantage, instead of for private profit,” or “the absorption of rent and interest by the community collectively.” Its opposite is the abandonment of our means of production to the control of competing private individuals, stimulated by the prospect of securing the rent and interest gratuitously.
But this definition does not satisfy some people. They want a complete description of & Socialist State, an elaborately worked out, detailed plan, like Sir Thomas More's “ Utopia or Gulliver's Travels. Such fancy sketches have, indeed, at times been thrown off by Socialists as by all other thinkers; but with the growing realisation of social evolution, men gradually cease to expect the fabrication of a perfect and final social state; and the dreams of Fourier and Cabet, like those of Godwin and Comte, become outworn and impossible to us. There will never come a moment when we can say, “ Now let us rest, for Socialism is established :" any more than we say, “ Now Radicalism is established.” The true principles of social organisation must already have secured partial adoption, as a condition of the continuance of every existing social organism; and the progress of Socialism is but their more complete recognition and their conscious adoption as the lines upon which social improvement advances.
Looking back over the record of human progress, we see one main economic characteristic underlying every form of society. As soon as production is sufficiently advanced to furnish more than maintenance, there arises, wherever two or three are gathered together, a fierce struggle for the surplus product. This struggle varies in outward form according to the time and circumstances, but remains essentially the same in economic character. The indivi.
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