Equality & Socialism Anecdotes (Post No.7745)

Dr Samuel Johnson


Post No.7745

Date uploaded in London – 26 March 2020   

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The liberal historian Mrs Catherine Macaulay used to debate with Doctor Johnson the question of social equality. One day at dinner in her house Dr Johnson put on a grave face and said,

“Madam, your arguments have converted me to your way of thinking. I am convinced that all mankind should stand upon an equal footing; and to give you proof, Madam, I am in earnest, here is a very sensible, civil, well behaved fellow citizen — your footman. I desire that he may be allowed to sit down and dine with us”.

This proposition the hostess of course indignantly rejected, much to the doctor’s amusement. Later he said reporting his victory from his armchair, “I thus showed her the absurdity of her levelling doctrine. She has never liked me since. Your levellers wish to level down as far as themselves; but they cannot bear levelling up to themselves.”



Woman’s Suffrage

Among the ardent feminists arrested during the suffragette movement in England was an elderly crusader, often in jail for the Cause, and a young thing sentenced for the first time and taking it very hard. They were assigned to adjoining cells. Anon the older woman heard the younger sobbing. She rapped energetically on the dividing wall, and called:

“There,t here, dear, don’t cry! Put your trust in God— She will protect you!”


Lord Pass field

Socialism Anecdote

One rainy day, standing at a window with Sydney Webb (Lord Passfield), I asked him how the socialists were going to bring about the social changes. He pointed to the rain, gentle, steady, incessant and said in a voice no less gentle,

“I want the Socialists to work like that; without noise, without fuss. And then (using another simile),

“Under the earth are the burrows of the moles; we must work as they work, unobtrusively, slowly and gradually undermining the excising system until, one day, it subsides.

tags — Socialism, suffragette anecdotes,equality