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In George Bernard Shaw’s play Major Barbara, which recently closed after a revival on Broadway, the lead character, Andrew Undershaft, sells arms to opposing countries and anyone else who wants them.

Undershaft is a Nietzschean hero, an amoral war profiteer, Shaw’s version of the Übermensch.

“In the millionaire Undershaft,” Shaw wrote, “I have represented a man who has become intellectually and spiritually as well as practically conscious of the irresistible natural truth which we all abhor and repudiate: to wit, that the greatest of evils and the worst of crimes is poverty.”

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