4 January

The Fabian Society is a British socialist organization whose purpose is to advance the principles of socialism via gradualist and reformist effort in democracies, rather than by revolutionary overthrow.

As founders of the Labour Party in 1900, the Fabian Society has influenced British policy to the present day, from the postwar creation of the modern welfare state to the election of Tony Blair (they must be really embarrassed by that last one, ed.) . Later members of the Fabian Society included Nehru and other leaders of new nations created out of Britain’s former colonies, who used Fabian principles to create socialist democracies in India, Pakistan, Nigeria and elsewhere as Britain decolonized after the second World War.

The Fabian Society founded the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1895 “for the betterment of society,” now one of the leading institutions in the world, an incubator of influential politicians, economists, journalists, prime ministers and liberal billionaires.

Today, the society functions primarily as a think tank and is one of 15 socialist societies affiliated with the Labour Party. Similar societies exist in Australia (the Australian Fabian Society), in Canada (the Douglas-Coldwell Foundation and the now disbanded League for Social Reconstruction), in Sicily (Sicilian Fabian Society) and in New Zealand.