Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The Fabian Society was founded in London in 1884. Since then Fabianism has been prominent in British socialist theory. The Fabian name derives from Quintus Fabius Maximus—the Roman general famous for his delaying tactics in the fight against Hannibal. The early Fabians rejected the revolutionary doctrines of Marxism, recommending instead a gradual transition to a socialist society. The most influential early Fabian theorists included Sidney Webb, George Bernard Shaw, and Graham Wallas. In the twentieth century, prominent Fabian thinkers included the academics Harold Laski and G. D. H. Cole (both of whom were sometimes far more radical than mainstream Fabians), as well as Labour Party politicians and activists such as Beatrice Webb, R. H. S. Crossman, Roy Jenkins, Ian Mikardo, Denis Healey, and Margaret Cole. The Fabian Society survives today as a think tank for moderate British socialists. When Fabianism emerged in the United Kingdom during the 1880s, collectivism was ...