Come, come, gcruse; this is hardly a tome.
And x, smack yourself! Orwell is not less relevant since the collapse of the Soviets. His insights perfectly describe the political situation of all modern 'war-states', including the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and the rest. ;^)
Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writings of younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States. Moreover they do not as a rule condemn violence as such, but only violence used in defense of western countries.
For a contemporary variation on the same theme, see:
I like the civil self mockery in the first sentence--for surely the English word for longeuris analysis?
I was rather rivetted by the length of time he spent analysing (not always accurately) Chesterton's "nationalism" given the breadth of the subject he was covering. Something was stalking Orwell there, I think; something that he was trying to beat back with a garlic-dipped pen.
There's an overall quaintness about the article. A not-nice quaintness. In his fiction Orwell always escapes time and place--but not here. The dreary fact is that his intellectual and emotional ilk have run the show in England and America for the past 60 years--and what has it come to? What, perhaps, was it inevitable that it would come to?--
Domestically: A permament "inquisition" against naughty forms of nationalism from kindergarten through the glass ceiling. And in foreign affairs--that grotesque parody of the reason and probity prescibed by Orwell known as "humanitarian bombing" and "non-violent" economic sanctions.
Thank you again for an untimely, timely article.
The only thing I find annoying is the use of the very word "nationalism" which Orwell then goes to great lengths to re-define so that its new meaning has little or no resemblence to its accepted meaning. Because his interpretation is so much at odds with conventional usage, it would have been better if he appropriated some other term. In fact, he has one from his own pen : groupthink.