1934: George Bernard Shaw Visit
March 15, 2019
Today in history, March 15th, 1934, celebrity playwright George Bernard Shaw toured New Zealand. A great writer and great wit, it was he who rightly said “a government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always rely on the support of Paul.” and “If you aren’t a socialist as a teenager you have no heart, and if you aren’t a capitalist by thirty you have no brain.” People still quote his lines to this day.
As one of the very first Fabian Socialists, he was hell-bent on killing off private enterprise and personal freedom. The ideal instead was, and remains, changing the social/political/cultural environment we all live in to one eugenic toward r-selected and dysgenic to K. In other words, to realise the horror of Plato’s Republic by creating a dependent class fused with a ruling class to mother them. Shaw, the Fabian, contributed greatly by his public advocacy as well as his plays which by which he was “smashing the conventions on after the other, and thus clearing the way for more advanced political opinion to express itself.”¹ In Auckland, Shaw advocated that the way forward for New Zealand was to be more like those wonderful dictatorship that were getting things done so well in Italy, Germany, and Russia; Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin! Shaw, the Fabian, had made socialism socially respectable rather than the frighting fringe politics normal people would usually ostracise. Thanks to the Fabians leading the way it is possible for people even today to wear Che Guevara shirts out in public without anyone (except me and a few others) raising an eyebrow. Indeed, the coat of arms for Shaw’s Fabians was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Below is that Fabian Society founding coat of arms. “Some decades later, they obviously regretted telegraphing their intentions so clearly and revised their logo to a tortoise — as if to say, “We’re still coming to imprison and kill you, but by the time we get to you you’ll probably be dead anyway, so relax.””²
“In a broadcast at the end of his visit to New Zealand in 1934, he advocated free milk and bread, criticised the mal-distribution of wealth and leisure, and at the same time praised the nation for its “admirable communist institutions.” Shaw described himself, in his unscripted talk, as a “communist,”³
Upon visiting the Waitomo Caves he said..
“I am amazed to hear that many New Zealanders, including those living so closer to the caves, have never seen them. Tell them they ought to be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.”
Shocking surprise? Socialist Shaw praises the State-run Tourist Cave!
The following year Labour 1.0 win the General Election and become the Government. Thanks for helping them, along Bernie Shaw.
note: George Bernard Shaw’s epitaph: “I knew if I stayed around long enough, something like this would happen.” Hah!
1 Thomas Bloodworth of Auckland. Nemesis of dictatorships and cancerous bureaucrats; Auckland Star, 26 March 1934; Papers Past
2 John Ansell; Facebook, 2019
3 p2626, NZH Encyclopaedia (1971)
Image ref. Shaw inspects a cracking exhibit in Rotorua;Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections
Image ref. Che Guevara. T-Shirt; You can even get them for children! Zazzle.co.nz retrieved 2019