I'm having a hard time finding the page/chapter where Shaw makes
that rather cryptic statement about those who have "not character
and industry enough to be worth" clothing and food.
Rest assured, however, it's not a fraudulent quote. As a matter of
fact, it's a well-known phrase in "An Intelligent Woman's Guide to
Socialism", a book that can be bought through Amazon or downloaded
for free through the Internet. The phrase perfectly, though
unintentionally, exposes the ugly side of modern socialism and its
obsession for the perfect society. Unfortunately, modern socialism
bases its principles on flawed scientific views of human life.
Mankind's is seen through the filter of Darwinism in biology,
Freudianism in psychology, and Marxism-Leninism in politics.
But let's not pick on Shaw. Shaw stood for more than his political
beliefs. This is what makes his art and his philosophy intriguing to
non-socialist and socialists alike; he realized early in his play-
writing career that social drama for propaganda purposes is dull and
inflexible. What the artist really needs is a symbol of intensity
that transcends neatly packaged moral messages and ethical self
rightcheousness. Evolution was Shaw's"symbol of intensity." Science
was Well's. Hemingway used war as his symbol of intensity while Rod
Serling used the occult and paranormal. All four of these writers
had strong feeling on politics, yet their work rarely falls into the
realm of political propaganda.
If only today's artists could reach the same conclusion. . .
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