The Fabian Society's Incremental Socialism
The socialist movement is split between violence and passive resistance. The nihilists engage in violent revolution because it is in man's nature to fight and in nihilism nothing is really good or bad, so blowing people up is just inconvenient. (WHAT?!) Count Tolstoy is a Russian aristocrat who advocates socialist passive resistance. His appeals are respectfully ignored. That leaves the middle ground: an incremental march toward socialism. The Fabian Society has formed in London for this purpose. Their coat of arms is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Their stained-glass window pictures a hammer and tongs in the hands of the Fabians as they beat on the Earth until it burns red. The motto etched into the glass reads, "Remould It Nearer to the Hearts Desire". Their arguments sound sensible at first. Nothing too alarming. Their goal is to beat down society bit-by-bit until it accepts REAL socialism. 
- "Socialism means equality of income or nothing, and that under Socialism you would not be allowed to be poor. You would be forcibly fed. clothed, lodged, taught, and employed whether you liked it or not. If it were discovered that you had not character and industry enough to be worth all this trouble, you might possibly be executed in a kindly manner; but whilst you were permitted to live you would have to live well."
- -- "The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism" by George Bernard Shaw who joined the Fabian Society in 1884. 
The Battle for the Bottom
The US Presidential campaign has turned into a war of insults and accusations that have the virtue of being true. What other virtues the campaign had is a mystery. The Republican candidate is James Blaine... a swell guy who will gladly sell his vote to you... for the right price. (About 1.2 million in 2010 dollars. Pocket change.) The Mulligan Letters are found in an old book and scrawled across the bottom are the damning words, "Burn this letter!" The chant goes up, "Burn, burn, burn this letter!" Grover Cleveland is the Democrat contender. He is the "honest as George Washington" candidate... until it is revealed that he fathered an illegitimate child. He admits that he paid support for the child, but he is NOT the father. He says he was covering for his married friend since Cleveland is a bachelor. He did the honorable thing as any good man would. (WHAT!?) The cry goes up from Republicans, "Ma, Ma, Where's my Pa?" At this point the Republican candidate probably would have won if it hadn't been for an unfortunate remark by one of his spokesmen who said that Democrats were engaged in rebellion, drunkenness and "Romanism" meaning CATHOLICISM! Angry New York Catholics show up at the polls and 1,000 votes tip the state for Grover Cleavland. Democrats win the race to the bottom! 
The Battle for North Vietnam
I have to mention this. France has found the resources of North Vietnam irresistible, and they see a way to trade with the Chinese covertly by sending merchants up the Red River to avoid the normal Chinese customs agents. Unfortunately the same river is crawling with pirates. To solve this and many other problems, troops have been allocated to the local French Commandant for merchant escort duty and protection. That would make sense if that is what he used them for. Instead he decides to invade North Vietnam and take Hanoi. But he doesn't have enough troops to HOLD Hanoi. The French become extremely disruptive to Vietnam and Taiwan and mainland China. While many of the Vietnamese collaborators are making money hand-over-fist, the consensus is that the French should take a hike. This is the Tonkin War. As you might guess, it will end in a draw with everyone claiming victory... and then the folks back home in France disavowing everything. It becomes a real mess and the Vietnamese people are disrupted to the point where the French, in their attempt to drag Vietnam into modern era, actually cause it to slide back. It's a lose-lose for everyone, but France will not give it up until the United States decides to lend a hand some time after World War 2.     
In Other News
- Sir Charles Parsons invents a practical steam turbine engine. The previous steam turbine over-stressed 19th century materials, so Parsons split the steam into multi-ganged sections and reduced the energy hitting any single blade. 
- The Washington Monument is completed. It was supposed to be several columns but they ran out of money. Once the outside was done, it took several years to build the inside ironwork and to touch up everything. 
This Year in Wikipedia
Year 1884, Wikipedia.
- Fabian Society - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
- Shaw, George Bernard. The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism. Brentano's Publishers. “Socialism means equality of income or nothing, and that under Socialism you would not be allowed to be poor. You would be forcibly fed. clothed, lodged, taught, and employed whether you liked it or not. If it were discovered that you had not character and industry enough to be worth all this trouble, you might possibly be executed in a kindly manner; but whilst you were permitted to live you would have to live well.”
- Fabian Socialist George Bernard Shaw In His Own Words (Collection of Clips). YouTube.com (2016). Retrieved on 2 October 2016. “I pieced some clips of George Bernard Shaw together to give you a feel Fabian Socialism. Shaw also supported Eugenics which is the classification of individuals and their families, including the poor, mentally ill, blind, deaf, developmentally disabled to allow for the elimination of 'the wrong' people. I added a couple of other clips where Shaw tells us to get rid of our Constitution and one of him praising Benito Mussolini.”
- Virginia Ironside would be willing to smother a sick child. YouTube.com (2016). Retrieved on 2 October 2016. “Virginia Ironside horrified viewers by saying that she would be willing to smother a sick child and by describing abortion as a 'moral', 'unselfish' act of a loving mother.”
- Virginia Ironside sparks BBC outrage: 'I'd suffocate child to end its suffering'. Daily Mail Online (October 5, 2010). Retrieved on 2 October 2016. “Miss Ironside said: 'If a baby's going to be born severely disabled or totally unwanted, surely an abortion is the act of a loving mother.' She added: 'If I were the mother of a suffering child - I mean a deeply suffering child - I would be the first to want to put a pillow over its face... If it was a child I really loved, who was in agony, I think any good mother would.'”
- About me - Virginia Ironside. virginiaironside.org (OFFICIAL SITE) (2016). Retrieved on 2 October 2016. “A bit about me. I started off as a temporary secretary to Shirley Williams at the Fabian Society and then worked at Vogue, followed by the Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail (as a rock columnist), Woman magazine, the Sunday Mirror, Today (as an agony columnist) and now with a weekly column in the Independent and a monthly one in the Oldie”
- United States presidential election, 1884 - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 October 2016. “New York Governor Grover Cleveland narrowly defeated Republican former United States Senator James G. Blaine of Maine to break the longest losing streak for any major party in American political history: six consecutive presidential elections.”
- Grover Cleveland - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 October 2016. “At 21 years, Frances Folsom Cleveland was the youngest First Lady in history, and the public soon warmed to her beauty and warm personality.”
- Frances Folsom Cleveland Preston - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 October 2016. “Becoming First Lady at age 21, she remains the youngest wife of a sitting president.”
- Tonkin - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 October 2016. “After helping to unify Vietnam under the Nguyen Dynasty, the French Navy began its heavy presence in the Mekong Delta and later colonized the southern third of Vietnam including Saigon in 1867. During in the Sino-French War (1884–1885), Tonkin, then considered a crucial foothold in Southeast Asia and a key to the Chinese market, was invaded by the French. It was turned into a French protectorate and was gradually separated from the protectorate of Annam, with Vietnam being effectively separated into three parts.”
- Barbara Wertheim Tuchman. March of Folly: from Troy to Vietnam, The. Ballantine Books. ISBN 0345308239. “Twice, in the 1880s and in 1916, Vietnamese emperors themselves had sponsored revolts that failed. While the collaborating class enriched itself from the French table, other men throbbed with the rising blood of the nationalistic impulse in the 20th century. Sects, parties, secret societies—nationalist, constitutionalist, quasi-religious—were formed, agitated, demonstrated and led strikes that ended in French prisons, deportations and firing squads.”
- Barbara Wertheim Tuchman. "Kissinger: Self-Portrait", Practicing History: Selected Essays. Random House Inc. ISBN 9780345303639. “The United States is said to have entered Vietnam 'in innocence, convinced that the cruel civil war represented the cutting edge of some global design.' One fails to comprehend why containment of communism is described as innocence. Elsewhere (Kissinger) says we entered the war out of 'naive idealism,' which sounds strange coming from Henry Kissinger, the unsentimental dealer in hard realities.”
- Red River (Asia) - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 October 2016.
- Sino-French War - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 October 2016. “In 1881, French Commandant Henri Rivière was sent with a small military force to Hanoi to investigate Vietnamese complaints against the activities of French merchants. In defiance of the instructions of his superiors, Rivière stormed the citadel of Hanoi on 25 April 1882. Although Rivière subsequently returned the citadel to Vietnamese control, his recourse to force provoked alarm both in Vietnam and in China.”
- Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 442-443.
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 October 2016. “Perennially popular with readers, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has also been the continued object of study by literary critics since its publication. It was criticized upon release because of its coarse language and became even more controversial in the 20th century because of its perceived use of racial stereotypes and because of its frequent use of the racial slur 'nigger', despite strong arguments that the protagonist and the tenor of the book are anti-racist.”
- Alex Shrugged notes: My comments on Huckleberry Finn come from my personal reading of the novel and listening to an audio course on Mark Twain vs Charles Dickens.
- Washington Monument - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 October 2016. “Although the stone structure was completed in 1884, internal ironwork, the knoll, and other finishing touches were not completed until 1888. A difference in shading of the marble, visible approximately 150 feet (46 m) or 27% up, shows where construction was halted and later resumed with marble from a different source. The original design was by Robert Mills, but he did not include his proposed colonnade due to a lack of funds, proceeding only with a bare obelisk.”