George Bernard Shaw was one of the analytical expounders of Fabian Socialism (Gradualist Socialism). After the two world wars, his perspectives seem to have changed. He seems to have started supporting dictatorships. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia.org:
"...His appetite for politics and controversy remained undiminished; by the late 1920s he had largely renounced Fabian gradualism and often wrote and spoke favourably of dictatorships of the right and left—he expressed admiration for both Mussolini and Stalin. In the final decade of his life he made fewer public statements, but continued to write prolifically until shortly before his death, aged 94, having refused all state honours, including the Order of Merit in 1946. ..."
ybrao-a-donkey's humble comments. वैबीराव एक गधे के विनम्र राय . వైబీరావ్ గాడిద వినమ్ర వాణి. You have every right to differ with me. I respect your right. आपको मेरे मत से भिन्न राय रखने के संपूर्ण हक है। मै उस अधिकार को परिपूर्ण रूप से गौरव देता हुँ. మీకు, మీ భిన్నమైన అభిప్రాయాన్ని కలిగిఉండే సంపూర్ణ హక్కు ఉంది. దానిని ఎంతో నేను గౌరవిస్తాను. However, pl. examine this donkey's views also. परन्तु एस गधे के दृष्टिकोण को भी अनुशीलन कीजिये. కానీ ఈ గాడిద దృష్టికోణాన్ని కూడ ఓర చూపుతో కంటజూడుమీ, క్రీగంట జూడమీ.
In Blog Post No. Click to go to post No. 813 at this blog , I have given a quote from Lenin's telegram to his associates to arrange for hanging of 100 kulaks, not because I wanted to find fault with Lenin's methods of working, but because, I have some reservations about 'killing' as a 'corrective-mechanism' for ills of society. In that post, we have also made a note that Indian Maoists went on killing/maiming presumably innocent people calling them informers or traitors, and went on being killed by the Police in (1) Genuine Encounters and, (2) Fake Encounters. The Maoists and their supporters called the State Killings as 'rAjya himsa' (Violence by State), and their killing of informers 'prati himsa' (Retributive or Compensatory Violence). Analyses of the State Violence vs. Retributive Violence, we shall take up later.
What we ought to note, in a longer term perspective, is Killings and violence delay the advent of True Socialism, because a deviation of efforts takes place. Focus will shift. Misdirections take place. There will be heat and explosions. But starving and the suffering millions will not get the amelioration and relief they need and deserve, RIGHT NOW.
We shall, now, take up the captioned quote of George Bernard Shaw, which can also be seen in the above image:--
Socialism means equality of income or nothing... under socialism you would not be allowed to be poor. You would be forcibly fed, clothed, lodged, taught, and employed whether you like it or not.
If it were discovered that you had not character enough to be worth all this trouble, you might possibly be executed in a kindly manner; but whilst you were permitted to live you would have to live well.
Back to yb-donkey's views:
About "Socialism means equality of income or nothing" : -Somehow this quote omitted "equality of wealth", "equality of dignity", "equality of distribution of menial work (physical and hazardous labor)", "equality in distribution of essential goods and services", "justice in preferential order and the design of ladder of distribution (This DESIGN OF LADDER OF DISTRIBUTION AND PREFERENTIAL ORDER requires a thousand blogposts to introduce, explain, and layout pros and cons), etc. While it is true that PERFECT EQUALITY is not possible, at least EXCELLENT EQUALITY should be achievable.
About "You would be forcibly fed, clothed, lodged, taught, and employed whether you like it or not.", this is the noblest thing in socialism. No human, worth his salt, will normally on his own volition (exceptions: some Jain traditions) abstain from food, clothing, shelter, education). Our Capitalist Economies and Political Administrations also do not OVERTLY advise or force people to abstain from FLESCOH (My favorite acronym for Food, Liberty, Education, Shelter, Clothing, Old Age Security and Health Care).
We can see how Donald Trump and Ms. Hillary Clinton are making competitive promises, and allegations and counter-allegations, about these things only. Actually, these promises, and some half-hearted follow-up actions on the part of the bourgeoisie parties, have punctured the truck of True Socialism. It is because, either people have started thinking that "something is better than nothing", or because they have reached a situation that they cannot wait even a day for the fantasy of true complete socialism.
Some Telugu language proverbs are relevant here:
1) parugetti pAlu tAgE kannA nilabaDi nILLu trAgaTam mElu. English: It will be better to drink water while standing, instead of running marathons for drinking milk.
2) majjiga lEvurA magaDA anTE, peruguki cITI vrASADuTa. English: Context: A wife asked her to bring butter-milk from outside. The husband responded by writing a chit (slip containing an order) to send curd (yogurt). Here, buttermilk is the minimum survival immediate need. Curd-yogurt is a distant fantasy. People do not oppose curd. They will be delighted to relish it, but they are not prepared to wait.
3) bratikunTE balusAku tinaccu. English: If a person lives, he can survive by eating 'leaves of the balusu plant'. In drought areas of India, there were large number of days, there are some days even now, where people ate/eat leaves of the 'balusu plant' and survived/survive.
4) Upiri unTE uppu kallu ammi bratakaccu: English: If we have breath, we can survive, even by selling salt. (Selling salt = eking out livelihood by street-vending salt taking it on a cart to houses).
About "If it were discovered that you had not character enough to be worth all this trouble, you might possibly be executed in a kindly manner;" :-- 1) Who will decide that a particular person, or some particular persons do not have the required character? If he becomes adament / biased / corrupt / despotic ? There must be a fool-proof State mechanism to prevent injustices, and a efficient-genuine-honest Grievance Redressal Mechanism.
2) What is this "executed in a kindly manner" ? Executions should not either be resorted to at all, or if they are absolutely unavoidable, they should be the LAST RESORT, after zillion alternatives fail.
In my last birth, incarnation as a Bank Employee, I used to have a Bank Manager boss, who had two sons. They used to approach him smilingly, taking with them some chocolates or laDDus, fall on his feet in perfect obedience and obeisance [In Bengali novels of late Saratchandra Chaterjee (popularly called Sarat Babu), we come across a practice called 'pAda dhUli' (taking a little dust at feet and keeping on head, as a token of reverence)]. Then, they used to sit one each on his laps, and then climb up to his head, shuffle his hair with all love and affection, and then finally blurt out "Oh Father, we love you. But we shall fire you with this (toy) pistol, etc.". In real life, there will be no toy pistols. Where will, we can find this "KINDLY".
We can only find persons of the type of Shri Kind Kaluvakolanu Chandrasekhara Rao, present Chief Minister of Telangana State, who want to do some "karru kAlci vAtalu" (brand people he hated, with hot irons). Or we may find some Great Leaders like Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, who will want their opponents to be struck with footwear (ceppu tIsukoni koTTanDi in Telugu language). Or we may find persons like his rival politician Shri Nara Chandra Babu Naidu, who will call critics 'unmAdi' (lunatic). So, this idea of Executions in "Kindly manner" or "cruel manner", or whatsoever manner, have to be erased from the Concept of Socialism.
About "but whilst you were permitted to live you would have to live well." : This is the noblest part of what Shaw said, in the above quote. Reason: Today, in this Great Great Great Capitalist Economy, millions of people are living under sub-human conditions, not only have been deprived of their basic needs of FLESCOH, but also denied of their self-respect. For proof, I can give any number of real life examples of this monstracity of Capitalism.
But, one crucial question, still remains about: "whilst you were permitted to live". This question is important, because humans existed even before societies evolved. That means Human is 'primary' and Society should be 'secondary'. 'Human' is like dog's head. 'Society' is like dog's tail. Head can survive without tail. But, tail cannot survive without head. I believe that society does not / cannot have an authority to determine whether a person SHOULD BE / SHOULD NOT BE PERMITTED TO LIVE. (NOTE: Capital Punishments through Courts of Law, for ghastly proven rarest-of-the-rarest offences, are exceptions. They are neither norms or parameters or standards in day-to-day functioning of the society.)
Here, it is worthwhile to quote a verse of Telugu poet Late SriSri, from his collection 'mahA prasthAnam' (Great destiny/destination).
మనది ఒక బ్రతుకేనా (Is our life, a life?!!! )
కుక్కల వలె నక్కలవలె (Like dogs, like foxes)
మనదీ ఒక బ్రతుకేనా (Is our life, a life?)
సందులలో పందులవలె (Like the pigs in dirty lanes)
It is this sort of life which True Complete Socialism does not want people to lead /live. However, "should live well" cannot mean "live with all comforts and luxuries". Here "live well" refers to "intrinsic worth of life", and not to "extrinsic worth of life".
Though from the Wikipedia quote given above, we find that Shaw seems to have in his later years "... often wrote and spoke favourably of dictatorships of the right and left—he expressed admiration for both Mussolini and Stalin. ...", we do not know the circumstances and situations which had led Late George Bernard Shaw to shift his stance. I do not contribute to the idea of "Shaw had become an opportunist".
To continue. Subject to further editing to remove anything illegal/unlawful. सशेष. సశేషం.