The dialogue here is the play's final articulation of the "Gospel of Saint Andrew"—again, the doctrine that would promise man's salvation. Undershaft appears as social engineer, urging Barbara to scrap her system of morality and religion as one might with antiquated machinery. Note, however, that Undershaft does not scrap Barbara's system of beliefs—one organized around notions of sin, salvation, crime, punishment—but he substitutes its terms. For Undershaft, the worst crimes are no longer the seven deadly sins but poverty. The gospel does not save, but work, food, shelter, and clothing allow salvation to occur. At one level then, a materialist religion replaces an idealist one.

We should not, however, conflate Undershaft's gospel with a call, Marxist or otherwise, for the liberation of the masses, a call issued "for the love of the people." Here, the impoverished appear as the filthy, uncivilized, and diseased- ridden masses. The living and working conditions of the poor in turn of the century London notwithstanding, the specter of Undershaft's poor assume the proportions of paranoid fantasy. They commit the "crime of poverty" on the socius itself; they are criminals who "they kill the happiness of society."

Having conjured this image of the poor, Undershaft does not need to defend the gospel, saying that, "Cleanliness and respectability do not need justification." We hear echoes of the "common sense" rhetoric of the social engineer evoked earlier, a rhetoric that presents Undershaft's gospel as self-evident, all-too- obvious. Here, Undershaft's impassioned appeal to hygiene makes the more sinister implications of his "smokeless town of white walls" clear. Undershaft's violent calls for the "killing" of poverty as a social poison can only rather disconcertingly evoke the extermination of a poisonous poor people, the perpetrators of a crime against the commonweal. In other words, one cannot but wonder if in calling for the death of poverty, Undershaft calls for the elimination of poor people as well.

Undershaft's philosophy also organizes itself around a notion the great man's "will." This will comes into being through the agonistic struggle between men. Agonism (Late Latin agonista competitor, from Greek agonists, from agOnizesthai to contend, from agOn) refers to aggressive or defensive social interaction.

As Undershaft proclaims, a sacred commandment—"Thou shalt starve ere I starve"—sets him on the path to greatness. Through a murderous struggle with others, Undershaft realizes his will and desire. His "bravest enemy" is his best friend, a rival who keeps him "up to the mark." Over and against Christian ideals of human brotherhood, the recognition Undershaft demands from his neighbor is not love but obedience and respect, a bending to his will. Again, the struggle he stages with others is decidedly violent, and those who do not submit to his desire must die.

Such killing in the name of the will does restrict itself to those who stand in the way of the great man's desire, but extant social structures, institutions, and ways of thinking as well. Killing is the means by which the moralist's "ought" becomes a "shall"; it is the "only way of saying Must." Only the murderous command can inaugurate the "new" that necessarily follows according to the will of the great man. Until he achieves his will, he is menace to civilization. Upon its realization, he becomes its benefactor, thus the great man makes history.