The Intelligent Woman's Guide
What she got was The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism, Capitalism, Sovietism and Fascism, one of the great, passionate and indignant expositions of how social injustice destroys human lives. Class and inequality create a rich and a poor – equal only in the obnoxiousness of both their stations – causing both the degradation of poverty and the idleness of wealth. Shaw has no truck with sentimentalists who romanticise the poor: "The blunt truth is that ill-used people are worse than well-used people." "I hate the poor and look forward eagerly to their extermination. I pity the rich a little, but am equally bent on their extermination." All classes are "each more odious than the other: they have no right to live". Nor has he any truck with Rousseauian romantic views of nature. It is the tyrant to be vanquished by civilisation: "We are not born free."