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A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Symbol Analysis of the Fabian Society Crest
This symbol really got me thinking. What exactly is the meaning? It is well known that subliminal messages are used in marketing, and secondary meanings are often hidden in plain sight. But is that the case here?
The Fabian Society is a socialist intellectual movement founded in Britain in 1884. The goal of the society was to advance a gradualist variety socialism by slowly reforming capitalism rather than through revolutionary Marxism. In the twentieth century, the society's members included Edward Mandel House, adviser to Woodrow Wilson who was instrumental in passing the Federal Reserve Act, the philosopher Bertrand Russel, and the economist John Maynard Keynes, who's theories now generally guide the world economy.
Fabian George Bernard Shaw, the playwright, stated, "We urged our members to join the Liberal and Radical Associations in their district, or, if they preferred it, the Conservative Associations - we permeated the party organizations and pulled all the strings we could lay our hands on with the utmost adroitness and energy, and we succeeded so well that in 1888 we gained the solid advantage of a Progressive majority full of ideas that would never have come into their heads had not the Fabians put them there."
But this organization's crest is puzzling. Why choose a wolf in sheep's clothing symbol for what is ostensibly a beneficent organization seeking to improve the lives of the working class? The wolf in sheep's clothing reference is biblical in origin. "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." Matthew 7:13-27 (KJV). But why use this symbol on the Fabian Society crest? Do the founders know that socialism is actually a wolf, but want to make it appealing to the public by pretending that it is a sheep?
If anyone has a different interpretation, I'd be glad to hear about it.