What Is the Fabian Society? Ben Carson's mention of a venerable British organization sparked American interest in an old conspiracy theory.
As the political fervor roiled around sexual assault accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in September 2018, a number of explanations and excuses for his purported behavior appeared even before the details of the reports were widely known.
Some of these excuses bordered on the mystical; others ignored the border and just went straight into the conspiracy realm, dredging up decades-old esoteric conspiracy theories to bolster the claim that a story of sexual assault brought by a California professor, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, was actually “a Fabian Society tactic.”
The most high-profile version of that particular story came from Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon turned Trump administration’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. His contention? That Ford, an academic, was simply following an ages-old script in order to discredit her political opponent.
"If you really understand the big picture of what's going on, then what's going on with Kavanaugh will make perfectly good sense to you," Carson told the annual Values Voter Summit in Washington on September 21, 2018 "There have been people in this country for a very long time, going all the way back to the Fabians, people who've wanted to fundamentally change this country."
Political smears are nothing new, especially in the wild and woolly post-2016 days.What has changed, first gradually and then all at once, is that elected officials and their appointees are now apparently far more likely to use conspiracy theories as a defense.
So what is the Fabian Society, and what are its tactics? Despite the wild and esoteric rumors put forth by Carson and others, the Fabian Society in actuality is, at least relative to these rumors, rather tame. It is an openly left-leaning British think tank co-founded by children’s author and political activist Edith Nesbit with the stated purpose of advancing the principles of democratic socialism; indeed, the Fabians were an original founder of the UK’s Labour Party. In their own words:
The Fabian Society is a socialist organisation which aims to promote:
- greater equality of power, wealth and opportunity
- the value of collective action and public service
- an accountable, tolerant and active democracy
- citizenship, liberty and human rights
- sustainable development
- multilateral international cooperation
Jeet Heer, a staff writer for The New Republic, pointed out that conspiracy theorists often focus on wild stories of secret deals because to acknowledge the reality of sweeping social unrest would also be to acknowledge the reality of major socioeconomic disparities and how other groups profit from them.
10. So instead of acknowledging politics based on mobilization against real problems (economic injustice, patriarchy, racism, imperialism) the preferred theory to blame some small group of eggheads (Illuminati, Masons, Fabians, Frankfurt School, Soros, etc).
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) September 22, 2018
“The weird thing here,” Heer went on, “is that the Fabians were, in context of socialism, the most moderate form of social democracy: advocates of slow, gradual change over many decades or centuries: the herbivorous left.”
But why the Fabian Society in particular, when other left-wing groups also embody its slow-change ethos? Articles on white supremacist websites, such as this blog post from 2013, shed light on the possible answer:
As Marxists the Fabian Society are Globalists/multiculturalists. They support the creation of a 1% jewish master-race and a 99% mixed race, or multi racial, dumbed down race of corporate debt-slaves run by Marxist kapos. The Fabian Society were prime movers in shutting down Grammar Schools for Working Class Children in Britain – the cover story for this dumbing down was “anti-elitism”. Most Fabian Society members, like Diane Abbot Labour MP, send their children to expensive private schools. Fabian journalists and politicians have also been behind branding anyone not supporting Globalisation/multiculturalism as racist – this has destroyed many decent British Peoples’ careers and lives.
In other words, then, it’s just another antisemitic trope, and there is absolutely no evidence that the reports of sexual assault brought against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had anything to do with this organization or any other.