JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
1502 tr. Ordynarye of Crysten Men (de Worde) iv. xxii. sig. ff.iii, Suche synne is named yronie, not that the whiche is of grammare, by the whiche a man sayth one and gyueth to vnderstonde the contrary. -- Oxford English Dictionary, in an example of the earliest usage of "irony" in English.
I wonder if there are such things as "small" and "big" ironies? Perhaps it is more a question of small and big wonders.
In any event, the Unselfish Society of this pamphlet refers to a eugenics Society, or eugenics in general, and was part of a Socratic dialog in the pamphlet concerning eugenic principles and education. It feels more like backlash of theatrical Shavian wit, what with the eugenics folks being about as far removed from principles of un-selfishness as possible. Or perhaps they are interested in "unselfishness" as a principle expressed by others in order to better the genetic and societal lot of the more-privileged people. But the expectation of unselfishness in others is not being unselfish in yourself, unless you're Ayn Rand. And in this instance we're talking about the so-called "positive" eugenics, and not the "negative" one, where there is an enforced elimination of what is deemed (by them) to be society's "weak links". "Unselfishness" is not a currency expected (and sometimes extracted) from others and used for yourself.
1883 F. Galton Inquiries into Human Faculty page 44. "The investigation of human eugenics, that is, of the conditions under which men of a high type are produced."
Full text here