In an excerpt from her recently published book Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism, Kristen Ghodsee freely quotes from the works of the playwright and Fabian Socialist George Bernard Shaw to bolster her argument that capitalism is inherently sexist. The free market forces women to be reliant upon men, wrote Shaw, turning sex into a virtual bribe for financial security. Based on Shaw’s analysis, Ghodsee concludes that capitalism makes slaves out of women who, under socialism, would supposedly be happy and free.

To say the least, citing Shaw is an odd choice if one is advocating for greater freedom and independence. An apologist for the world’s most brutal and oppressive dictators, Shaw had a passionate hatred for liberty, writing,

Mussolini, Kemal, Pilsudski, Hitler and the rest can all depend on me to judge them by their ability to deliver the goods and not by … comfortable notions of freedom.

For Shaw, “the goods” could only be delivered if the people were bound in universal slavery to the state. This enslavement was necessary for the people’s welfare; most of the population were brutes who, when left to their own devices, could not fend for themselves and thus required the state to “reorganize” their lives for them.

In Shaw’s eyes, the pinnacle of civilization had been reached by the Soviet Union. During his 1931 pilgrimage to Stalin’s wonderland, Shaw was given a glimpse of what he referred to as a “land of hope.” He denied that the regime had imprisoned significant numbers of political dissidents, describing the gulags as popular vacation destinations. “From what I gather, they can stay there as long they like,” he said.

Shaw also advocated for a far-reaching eugenics program.

That’s not to say he was willfully ignorant of Stalin’s atrocities. Rather, he defended them. Blindly accepting Communist propaganda, Shaw argued that the dictator was forced to organize mass executions to keep the country safe from “exploiters and speculators.” Mass murders were also necessary to maintain a competent workforce. As Shaw wrote in 1933, the “unfortunate Commissar” must shoot his own workers “so that he might the more impressively ask the rest of the staff whether they yet grasped the fact that orders are meant to be executed.”

But killing the disobedient and inefficient was only the first step in building a better society. Shaw also advocated for a far-reaching eugenics program. “[I]f we desire a certain type of civilization and culture,” he wrote, “we must exterminate the sort of people who do not fit into it.” This included a whole range of “defectives.”

In a 1931 newsreel, he excitedly echoed Nazi sentiment, stating,

If you can’t justify your existence, if you’re not pulling your weight … then clearly, we cannot use the organizations of society for the purpose of keeping you alive, because your life does not benefit us and it can’t be of very much use to you.

But his murderous impulses didn’t stop there. A considerable number of people, Shaw argued in 1948, will never toe the line and are therefore no use to the rest of society. “[T]he ungovernables, the ferocious, the conscienceless, the idiots, the self-centered myops and morons, what of them?” he asked rhetorically. “Do not punish them. Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill them.”

Though many early 20th century intellectuals were enamored with eugenics, arguably none were as committed to the wholesale slaughter of millions as George Bernard Shaw. For decades, Shaw was a staunch proponent of genocide, refusing to soften his views even after the full horror of the Nazi death camps was brought to light. And yet, there are many leftists today who continue to look to Shaw for political wisdom.

Writing for The Irish Times, Fintan O’Toole declares “The world has never needed George Bernard Shaw more.” Employing a fittingly violent metaphor, O’Toole lauds the way in which Shaw trained his machine gun-like personality on the “pieties of Victorian imperial patriarchy.”

Socialists have not only been willing to ignore the bigots and authoritarians in their midst but have gone so far as to embrace them.

Like Kristen Ghodsee, O’Toole praises Shaw for his polemics against gender inequality and the “tyranny” of family life. No mention is made of his fondness for eugenics. Other writers have taken to Shaw’s defense, admitting he sometimes said distasteful things but ultimately brushing off his more extreme statements as mere “satire.” However, given that Shaw’s penchant for promoting totalitarianism carried on for decades, it’s difficult to believe there was anything “satirical” about it. His bloodthirsty political philosophy seems to be have been all too genuine.

Nonetheless, Shaw was also a steadfast critic of capitalism and “Victorian” social values. His fiery denunciations of wealth inequality and traditional sexual morality resonate well with modern progressives. For them, an individual’s adherence to socialist orthodoxy is enough to absolve him of almost any crime.

From the relatively quiet and “respectable” anti-semitism of Ilhan Omar to the brutal and homicidal radicalism of Che Guevara, socialists have not only been willing to ignore the bigots and authoritarians in their midst but have gone so far as to embrace them. And few have been more adored than that eccentric playwright and unapologetic Stalinist George Bernard Shaw.

via Foundation for Economic Education

7 Comments to: George Bernard Shaw Was So Enamored With Socialism That He Advocated Genocide To Advance It

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    Richard Cancemi

    April 15th, 2019

    Schools honor this man for his literature but they do not teach that he was a Marxist/Socialist/whatever, monster.

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    April 12th, 2020

    Shaw is one of the major players of the Fabian Society. Their version of Trotsky is the long march through the insitutions and wildly been successful as it has basically taken over the west. It has lived true to the two visual symbols the Fabians adopted: the mascot of the slow but biting turtle and in the stain-glass window in their building contains, a wolf in sheeps clothing—totally appropriate because intellectuals give assent to them without knowing the communism is behind everything they are doing.

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    David Laurence Winston ASHTON

    September 8th, 2021

    Galton publicly reprimanded Shaw for portraying eugenics as murder. Eugenics is about conception, not extermination, the elimination of disabiity from future people not the elimination of existing people with disability. Shaw was quite free with “extermination” in his often otherwise impressive writings, yet unlike many “progressives” was reportedly very kind in personal life, replying to every letter. Eugenics in principle had supporters across the political, religious and racial spectrum.

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    Mike P.

    September 26th, 2021

    The real criticism of Shaw should be that he had a vision of a perfect world without dissenters or hardworkers. The world will never be perfect and not everyone can or will pull their own weight regardless of (their) society. At some point we need to accept “capitalism” or whatever form of capitalism we have in the west currently, might be as close to perfect as we can ever get to reducing human suffering.
    Nazi Germany’s main flaw was also their belief capitalism was somewhere between “not good enough” and “totally evil”

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    February 15th, 2022

    I only really appreciated GOD’S on this after reading

    Labour And The Gulag: Russia and the Seduction of the British Left

    By Giles Udy
    Suffice it to say that GBS was not alone in the UK in his support for soviet stalinist polices.

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    February 15th, 2022

    Slight correction:
    I only really appreciated GBS’s position on this after reading:

    Labour And The Gulag: Russia and the Seduction of the British Left

    By Giles Udy
    Suffice it to say that GBS was not alone in the UK in his support for soviet stalinist polices.

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    February 19th, 2022

    This disgusting ideology hss been around a long time. Likr cockroaches , or something , you can never totaly get rid of them , but if you dont do something to dtand up to them , they sill multiply and plague you


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