George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 – 2 November 1950), known at his insistence simply as Bernard Shaw, was an Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist. His influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. He wrote more than sixty plays, including major works such as Man and Superman (1902), Pygmalion (1912) and Saint Joan (1923). With a range incorporating both contemporary satire and historical allegory, Shaw became the leading dramatist of his generation, and in 1925 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
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I am, and always have been, a revolutionary writer, because our laws make law impossible; our liberties destroy all freedom; our property is organized robbery; our morality is an impudent hypocrisy; our wisdom is administered by inexperienced or mal-experienced dupes, our power wielded by cowards and weaklings, and our honor false in all its points. I am an enemy of the existing order for good reasons.
If the question could be put to a popular vote, I do not believe a single state would vote for the coming of Jesus to reign here as he reigns in heaven. I do not believe a single county, city, ward in this city, or a single precinct in this country would vote for his coming. . . . The Republican party would vote for the biggest blackguard on earth rather than for him. The Democrats would vote solidly against him. Even the Prohibitionists wouldn't want him here. I see some of you shaking your heads. Well, shake 'em. I'm talking facts.
A couple of months ago I had a dream, which I remember with the utmost clarity. (I don't usually remember my dreams.) I dreamed I had died and gone to Heaven. I looked about and knew where I was — green fields, fleecy clouds, perfumed air, and the distant, ravishing sound of the heavenly choir. And there was the recording angel smiling broadly at me in greeting. I said in wonder, "Is this Heaven?" The recording angel said, "It is." I said (and on waking and remembering, I was proud of my integrity), "But there must be a mistake. I don't belong here. I'm an atheist." "No mistake," said the recording angel. "But as an atheist how can I qualify?" The recording angel said sternly, "We decide who qualifies. Not you." "I see," I said. I looked about, pondered for a moment, then turned to the recording angel and asked, "Is there a typewriter here that I can use?" The significance of the dream was clear to me. I felt Heaven to be the act of writing, and I have been in Heaven for over half a century, and I have always known this.
In nothing does man, with his grand notions of heaven and charity, show forth his innate, wild animalism more clearly than in his treatment of his brother beasts. From the shepherd with his lambs to the red-handed hunter, it is the same: no recognition of rights — only murder in one form or another.