"I also made it quite clear that Socialism means equality of income or nothing, and that 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."
by:
George Bernard Shaw
(1856-1950) Irish comic dramatist
Source:
The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism, by George Bernard Shaw, pg 470, 1928
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Reader comments about this quote:
."...whilst you were permitted to live..." In other words, be a good little citizen, do what your told and maybe you'll be considered worthy. Don't forget. Shaw was a Fabian socialist.
 -- Anon     
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    AHH YES!!! the ultimate in majority rule. We really need Obama care with a Romney twist to assure that eugenics and other murderous applications become the norm in our kinder, gentler, day to day, forced statist theocracy (in a most kindly manner - of course; socialism, the kinder, gentler way to prosperity and equality)
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Excellent Quote for the reality of what is to come. Livestock is treated in the same manor. Embrace your Future America, You earned it!
     -- S. Tolo, New York     
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    Five stars for human Humor no stars for reality - so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and give him three. Mike, you amaze me, not giving this quote any stars?
     -- RBESRQ     
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    I see a certain amount of sarcasm in this quote. Not unusual for an Irish man. Perhaps the inevitable conclusion the Socialism is in fact economic and social suicide had not yet taken hold and was still being toyed with as a workable philosophy. We now know that socialism is a great leveling of all the social classes that removes innovation, motivation and production from human action. There are no poor when there are no rich. There is no productive endeavor when there is no reward. Existence becomes pointless. Without the hope of reward for excellence we are reduced to an ant like mentality.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Amazing to me how the lunies can have such cold hearts, turning simple human compassion into "death panels" and the like...
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA, US     
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    The Prince of Paradox - he and Oscar Wilde would have been fun together. Both would have had a field day with the likes of Palin, Beck and Limbaugh
     -- RBESRQ     
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    Robert, I could have given it 5 stars for accurately depicting (what 'A' from Reston would call compassion - produce and comply or death) socialism's ultimate reality but, I chose to rate it on what its done to freedom and what its continuing to do to this once great beacon of liberty.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Seig Heil, Reston.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    The word may or may not mean that but people use the word to try to defeat anything that two or more folk may try to accomplish, like flouride in the water to prevent tooth decay was or is a "Socialist plot". It is nonsense I say pure nonsense!
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    If only it were sarcasm -- read the book: http://books.google.com/books?id=ys13gZliXFAC&pg=PA470#v=onepage&q=&f=false Fabian Socialism is alive and well and indeed headed in this direction. Shaw was a major contributor to the Fabian Society and wrote prodigiously on the merits of Socialism.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Archer, we can agree: Socialists are Morons who's belief system's are based on emotions.Sad sad sad....
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    What would the world be without emotion, sentiment and feelings. Right wing fascists I think. Be careful Carlton the sentimental season is upon us.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Archer, but he was also against many aspects of socialism - it is yet again picking from the bible to match an agenda. Mike, as Churchill and others have said Democracy is always temporary and as for Liberty in my opinion America has never been a beacon of Liberty - behind each call for Liberty was a hidden deed.
     -- RBESRQ     
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    Yes Waffler you say pure nonsense.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    How true then and true now, Mr Shaw. How dare a free man live his own life without being told how to live it. And you are also correct in your quote, "a socialist is someone who has nothing and is willing to divide it equally amongst others!" BINGO!
     -- Bob, Birmingham     
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    " There is no productive endeavor when there is no reward" - carlton, what a load of crap...a true creator, inventor, artist, craftsman etc is not motivated by monetary rewards but by the process & the need to realize the idea, provided one can find the resources to do it & while being able to feed & shelter oneself. to be totally motivated to do anything by "what will i get for it" is simply madness. in this insane Kapitalist existence, great ideas/works etc are more often today scrapped, shelved , forgotten due to ones inability to find the time between 2-3 jobs (to pay ones mortgage), or cannot find the funding coz our insane economic system would rather invest in wars & insecurity programs. would rather cut social services - education, health, housing etc than make megacorporations pay any (significant) tax.

    ide rather live in a world where one is "forced" to eat (for ones own sake) than be forced to starve. it is not in capitalists interest to feed everyone but exploit who it can & dispose of the rest. One day amerika will figure it out but until then the rest of the world will sit & wait for you & in the meantime be at the mercy of its schitsophrenia & hypocracy...fear of having social values coz it undermines "freedom"...happy to impose its (war of) "freedom & liberty" upon the rest of the world but not look at itself...claims to have christian values but profit (& hatred of those who question "profit") has become its greatest virtue - free is the one who wants none.
     -- A G N O R A N T, OZTRALIA     
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    And Australia apparently has it's share of socialist morons as well...sad sad sad...
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Robert, that which would dim the beacon of liberty as is an attached "hidden deed" is a very accurate observation. By the time the Constitution had been written, socialism (by the Fabian Society and others' activities and financing) in New England and adjacent northern States had become in vogue in academia, banking, defining a social elite oligarchy (forcing what is best on everyone else as Shaw so eloquently here elaborates) and a form of fascism. It was that early socialism (fascism) that brought about advancing crony capitalism, a change in the meaning and application of eminent domain, the war of northern aggression, a police/nanny State mentality (complete with policing agencies - in harmony with Shaw's here quote) genocide of the native populous, monopolies and all else that you would reference as hidden deeds of a non-beacon of liberty. So again, Shaw's small excerpt or spotlight on socialism's ultimate evolution was extremely accurate and telling. Socialism is all that which is anti-natural law, justice, freedom, liberty, prosperity, equality and peace.

     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Mike, nails it!

    As for Ignorant Australia above, it's nothing but the same old, tired, cognitive dissonance, group-speak, knee-jerk programming. Such useful idiots are but puppets on a string, only helping to prop up their own oppression -- and everyone else's. Hypocrisy and Ignorance are the pillars of their creed -- with a heaping helping of Envy to boot. Power is their God, and the State their church, the people divided into mobs ruled by a mafioso hierarchy that rolls its way to the top to a handful of ruling councils, dividing the spoils of the whole world among them. World Fascism is the model, under the thumb of the central banks that hold the debts of the entire world in their hands. Have a nice day! ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    In an effort to see if this quote was sarcasm or a deathbed conversion (it was the former) I learned he was a supporter of eugenics. As was Woodrow Wilson and just about all progressives of that era.
    He was impatient with the gradual Fabian Socialism and wrote supportive essays about Mussolini, Hitler as well as Stalin.
    Fabians believe: "socialism can be brought about in a perfectly constitutional manner by democratic institutions."
    I think an important lesson about "intellectuals" can be seen in his refusal after the war, to condemn his heroes, Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin after it became abundantly clear they were supremely evil...
    "Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it."
    -- Thomas Sowell
     -- Walter Clark, Fullerton CA     
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    This is to be taken with the humor it was meant and as usual GBS comes up with the goods. As for is reality, that's another question. The dichotomy in his play "Major Barbara" (1905) of providing for the poor through food or ammunition's is excellent!
     -- Robert, Somewhere in the USA     
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