“For in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark. And they knew not until the flood came and took them all away” – JESUS CHRIST (Matthew 24:38-39).
Winston Churchill said in his war memorials that “for a thousand years no alien enemy has been able to invade the shores of England.” It is quite true that they have been able to keep Hitler, as they kept Napoleon, from crossing the closely guarded channel. That Karl Marx made it over with little resistance is not conceded.
The British supporter for the present government in London will tell you that English socialism has nothing to do with Marxism – we will deal with that later. For the moment let me say for the purpose of chronicling the times that no American can understand what is happening in the United States if he does not understand what happened in England and how it was brought about.
In 1883 a small group of Socialists organized what they called the Fabian Society. In due course it included such eminent persons as Sidney and Beatrice Webb, Anne Besant, George Bernard Shaw, Ramsay MacDonald, and others. These Englishmen believed that if socialism was to be brought to England it would have to be done gradually and not by violent revolution means. They decided they would make the attempt through political methods. They adopted the policy of the Roman general, Quinrus Fabius, who held the view that the only way to defeat Hannibal was to avoid a general military engagement and by clever withdrawals in order to lure him into battle in small sectors, defeating him in portions. Hence, the name of the modern movement. Their strategy as well as their program became known as Fabian Socialism.
Sidney Webb, their great statesman, later known as Lord Passfield, saw clearly that if socialism was to make any headway against British opinion it would have to do so by constitutional process. The cause must move forward one step at a time, he insisted, taking care never to offend the moral sense of the masses that must be offered only so much basic information at each stage as they would accept.
This Fabian Society never had more than 4,000 members. Yet this small group made numerous conquests in the name of socialism possible in England. Their triumphs were not gained through sheer luck or accident. The Fabians early on outlined a definite plan. Their strategy did not come about around a conference table; rather, it grew in their minds a little at a time. It was probably not until the turn of the century that they conceived it in all its parts and whole. This plan may be briefly summarized as follows:
1) The Fabian Society itself would become the political planning machine that would spearhead all strategies. It would be a training school for Socialist leaders, schooled speakers and writers and leaders that would direct the national educational programs and act as the general staff of the government.
2) The Fabians began by advocating not a Socialist State but a Welfare State.
3) They offered their ideas in small successive sections – by means of gradualism as it eventually became known.
4) They decided against total state ownership of the land and industry. Instead they proposed ownership of the great basic functions: credit, electric power, transportation, and basic metals. The balance of the economic system would remain in private hands but operated under the plans made by the state government.
5) They were convinced that they must capture the hearts and minds of the working class and to that end take over the labor unions.
6) They decided to form a political party which later became known as the British Labour Party.
7) They decided to begin by cooperating with the Liberal Party (which corresponded with our Democratic Party) until their own Labour Party acquired enough strength to displace it.
8) They agreed they must penetrate and capture the means of public opinion and information – the writers, newsmen, clergy, and the schools.
The Fabian’s plan succeeded. Its central strategy was to bring on socialism without mentioning the word “Socialism.” They offered the voters one small part of socialism at a time without the Socialist label on it. They successfully smuggled socialism into the social fabric without arousing the suspicions of the masses. It was a brilliant sneak attack of the first order.
“We can’t expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism.” – Nikita Khrushchev
To be continued …