Skip to comments.Orwell's Struggle May Be Over
Posted on 11/22/2012 5:45:29 AM PST by No One Special
By his own admission George Orwell was a committed socialist. About a year before his death in 1950 Orwell responded to the leftist charge that his recently published novel 1984 represented a direct attack on both socialism and the British Labour Party. Orwell calmed the fears of his progressive friends with the following response:
"My recent novel  is NOT intended as an attack on Socialism or on the British Labour Party (of which I am a supporter) but as a show-up of the perversions to which a centralized economy is liable and which have already been partly realized in Communism and Fascism."
In other words, Orwell tirelessly promoted a kind of socialism that promised "political democracy, social equality, internationalism" and most importantly "freedom of thought and speech." Orwell was under the impression that a "humanized" collectivist society was possible.
Indeed, those of us who have read and thoroughly enjoyed Orwell's Animal Farm, 1984, and other great books and essays understand that Orwell truly hated despotism. But a more complex portrait of Orwell has to account for Orwell's distaste for what he calls a "particular kind" of economic despotism -- capitalism. Writing in the magazine Politics and Letters in 1948 Orwell said the following:
"Until well-within living memory the forces of the Left in all countries were fighting against a tyranny which appeared to be invincible, and it was easy to assume that if only that particular tyranny -- capitalism -- could be overthrown, Socialism would follow."
What most post-WWII British leftists failed to recognize, said Orwell, was that the material prosperity and rising living standards guaranteed by the socialist representatives in Parliament could not be achieved without continuing the hated policy of British imperialism. Orwell's solution to this dilemma was simple honesty: leftist politicians in power need to be...
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
It's a mystery to me, and many others, how someone who could write a book (1984) clearly aimed at a Stalinist-type of society could fail to understand that all attempts to centralize power leads to tyranny. In short, instead of proving their love of humanity, the intellectual love of socialism proves their intense dislike of human beings. People must be controlled for their own good.
If you are referring to Orwell, he didn’t have any movie sales in his lifetime, and never made more than a subsistence living from his books. He was not famous or a celebrity in his lifetime.
"This article though, is flawed in its own way, and doesn't take into account the historical period that Orwell matured in"
I can agree entirely and I have read both "The Road to Wigan Pier" and "Down and out in London and Paris". Few persons can have endured the hard scrabble years of the 1930's. My childhood memories are still with me from that era. Army child though and we at least ate (chuckle).
Orwell was opposed to the elite English Public School system (a misnomer, if one is American). The taxpayer funded an almost closed system of privilege. He thought the new Socialist government should at least withdraw taxpayer funds and let these institutions pay their own way. Orwell was disgusted as the socialist ranters against such an elite system, then sent their own sons and daughters to those very schools. They had arrived of course!
A bit of a late ramble by me up in Great Lakes Country- Canada/USA. The temperature hit 17 cel today and I just got out and did stuff, prior to the expected snow and freezing temperatures.
Down and Out in Paris and London
——an unforgettable book. A perfect example of Orwell’s
stubborn insistence, as cited elsewhere in the thread, to look at life exactly as it presented itself to him ‘in front of his eyes”.
Have read all his books and enjoyed most. His descriptions of life at that time are harrowing. I admire him and his works greatly and continue in understanding of the world because of them.
35C here today in Aus - summer is here!
Never heard of Pareto or his law. That is very iteresting. Thanks so much for the post and the link.
Thanks. Paretos’ Law stands for the simple scientific fact that economic equality is an impossibility. We need to rub this into liberal noses at every turn.
We also need to recognize the possibility that 20% of the people are power mongers who need to tell others what to do. Those, of course, are mostly on the left. We need to identify these people and blow their cover.
You know, you just made me realize something else about "1984." Orwell described Oceanic society as a basic 80/20 split:
Below Big Brother comes the Inner Party, its numbers limited to six millions, or something less than 2 per cent of the population of Oceania. Below the Inner Party comes the Outer Party, which, if the Inner Party is described as the brain of the State, may be justly likened to the hands. Below that come the dumb masses whom we habitually refer to as 'the proles', numbering perhaps 85 per cent of the population.
I forget what little I ever knew about statistics but we’re probably talking about the normal distribution of human characteristics of any sort. There will always be those that stand out from others and the real stand outs will be a minority, 20% or less. I look back at growing up and the athletes that were in my classes. There was always a superstar or two in every class but from those at the top it trailed off to those who could only “throw like a girl.”
I read this article that applies the principle to more that just economics:
Now if only the media would pick up and expose the idea.
What I call “the manual” from 1984 is online:
The Theory And Practice Of Oligarchical Collectivism:
The first chapter, “Ignorance is Strength”, makes so much sense to me it is scary. I am sure the left understands the truth that is embodied in it and what is worse, they know how to use it to gain and consolidate power.
It's like a gyroscope. You can push it one way or the other, but it will tend toward the 80/20 split.
Like I said, it relates to energy conservation in biological systems. There's a branch of economics called "econophysics" that developed from this insight.
But, it's not news by any stretch of the imagination. Guys like Krugman surely know that any system will move to the 80/20 split.
It is not the countries with abundant raw materials that have grown fastest, and often they are held back, because natural assets give rise to internal conflicts. No, the main reason for the 20 per cent [of the world's population] consuming 80 per cent of resources is that they produce 80 per cent of resources. The 80 per cent consume only 20 per cent because they only produce 20 per cent of resources. It is this latter problem we ought to tackle, the inadequate creative and productive capacity of the poor countries of the world, instead of waxing indignant over the affluent world producing so much. The problem is that many people are poor, and not that certain people are rich. - Johan NorbergThe post is here.
Thanks for this.