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Saturday, July 9th, 2005, 02:45 PM
Edward R.Pease

The History of the Fabian Society. (1916)


The History of the Fabian Society will perhaps chiefly interest the members, present and past, of the Society.
But in so far as this book describes the growth of Socialist theory in England, and the influence of Socialism on the political thought of the last thirty years, I hope it will appeal to a wider circle.

Appendix II. The Basis of the Fabian Society

The Fabian Society consists of Socialists.
It therefore aims at the reorganisation of Society by the emancipation of Land and Industrial Capital from
individual and class ownership, and the vesting of them in the community for the general benefit. In this way
only can the natural and acquired advantages of the country be equitably shared by the whole people.
The Society accordingly works for the extinction of private property in Land and of the consequent individual
appropriation, in the form of Rent, of the price paid for permission to use the earth, as well as for the
advantages of superior soils and sites.
The Society, further, works for the transfer to the community of the administration of such industrial Capital
as can conveniently be managed socially. For, owing to the monopoly of the means of production in the past,
industrial inventions and the transformation of surplus income into Capital have mainly enriched the
proprietary class, the worker being now dependent on that class for leave to earn a living.
If these measures be carried out, without compensation (though not without such relief to expropriated
individuals as may seem fit to the community), Rent and Interest will be added to the reward of labour, the
idle class now living on the labour of others will necessarily disappear, and practical equality of opportunity
will be maintained by the spontaneous action of economic forces with much less interference with personal
liberty than the present system entails.
For the attainment of these ends the Fabian Society looks to the spread of Socialist opinions, and the social
and political changes consequent thereon, including the establishment of equal citizenship for men and
women. It seeks to achieve these ends by the general dissemination of knowledge as to the relation
between the individual and Society in its economic, ethical, and political aspects.