What Is Fabian Socialism;What Does It Do?

Fabian Socialism is a scheme under which the means of production and exchange would be under the administration of the civil service. They had no doubt that trained civil servants would administer the economic system fairly. The injustices of the industrial system that Marx denounced were, in the eyes of the Fabians, the result of inept social arrangements. They also assumed that their version of socialism was completely compatible with political democracy.

Fabian doctrine had great influence upon the British Labour Party, which was organized in 1906 and is now one of the two leading British parties. Fabian leaders, such as Sidney Webb, also served in Labour cabinets when that party was in power. In the United States, democratic socialism has not been a factor of great significance in recent years, because it does not have much working class support. During the first quarter of this century, however, it did have some labor support and was a third party of some importance. In 1912 it received about 5% ot the total presidential vote. However. in no election did a Socialist win the electoral vote of any state.

The main importance of the Socialist party has been to propagate reform proposals later adopted by the two major parties, especially the Democratic. Much of the New Deal program originated with the Socialists. Socialism, however, has been a powerful force in Europe. In Britain and the Scandinavian countries in particular. Social Democratic parties have been in power for considerable periods of time. Socialism also promises to be of importance in the new nations of Africa and Asia. We will now take up developments in African socialist thought.

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