MIA: Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of Organisations



Fabian Society

An British reformist organisation, founded in 1884, named after the Roman General Quintus Fabius Maximus. The membership of the Fabian Society consisted chiefly of intellectuals – scholars, writers and politicians (the Webbs, Ramsay MacDonald, George Bernard Shaw and others).

They supported the idea that the transition from capitalism to socialism could be brought about by means of minor and gradual reforms. In 1900, the Fabian Society joined the Labour Party. Fabian socialism is one of the sources of Labour Party ideology. During the First World War (1914-18) the Fabians took a social-chauvinist stand. The Fabian Society continues to this day.

See archives of Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) and H.G. Wells (1866-1946).