Orwell may have been a fool for socialism, but that makes his observations all the more powerful to us, because they can by no means be deemed "reactionary" by the left.
He is a pertinent excerpt from Homage to Catalonia:
In reality, it was the Communists above all others who prevented revolution in Spain. Later, when the Right Wing forces were in full control, the Communists showed themselves willing to go a great deal further than the Liberals in hunting down revolutionary leaders.
Between the Communists and those who claim to stand to the Left of them there is a real difference. The Communists hold that Fascism can be beaten by alliance with sections of the capitalist class (the Popular Front); their opponents hold that this maneuver simply gives Fascism new breeding-grounds. The question has got to be settled; to make the wrong decision may be to land ourselves in for centuries of semi-slavery.
I'm not sure the author really gets it. Orwell recognized something very useful to conservatives:
"Communism" is a fascist ruse, and
The real force behind communism is a fascist (I prefer neo-feudal) aristocracy
Actually, I prefer Hayek who demonstrated that both communism and fascism are different manifestations of the same collective totalitarianism.
Here's a good thread if you've never encountered Hayek.
"In reality, it was the Communists above all others who prevented revolution in Spain. Later, when the Right Wing forces were in full control, the Communists showed themselves willing to go a great deal further than the Liberals in hunting down revolutionary leaders."
One might suggest that in the case of Spain, Stalin, saw an opportunity to work with Franco as an opportunity to diffuse German influence. Faced with the inability of Britain & France to take the threat of Nazi German seriously, he could have seen cooperation with Franco as a price worth paying if it kept France from fighting on three fronts (Germany, Italy & Spain). It was the smart (but heartless) move but credited the French with more ability than was due, given what we see of France in 1940.