As the left rewrites history and continues to bulldoze anything that is deemed unfit for public history consumption to “remedy the errors of the past”, let’s not forget the name of the individual that statists have deemed a proponent and god of leftist ideology. A name that has been fully captured by the left without further questioning: George Orwell.
Talk to any leftist and they unabashedly prop Orwell up as a total puppet of the left. Today, even the left would force Orwell’s dead rotting skull to nod in favor of Socialist geriatric politician, Bernie Sanders. One can only wonder if they will dig up his corpse, convert him to US citizenship, and parade him to the polls like some macabre “Weekend at Bernie’s” to vote for Socialist Sanders because, you know, that is what Orwell thought.
This must stop.
Apparently, 1984 and Animal Farm had not much to do with large government. Articles (as the one linked above) and discussions with numerous people would lead you to believe Orwell was, in fact, a Socialist. This is a distorted image of the master of political literature. Statists would like you to think that Mr. Orwell is firmly placed in the hall of the left after Antonio Gramsci and Karl Marx.
However, further research illustrates a different view. Quotes directly from George Orwell would reveal he has denounced more of leftist ideology than most would like to admit. His message was clear: large government is corrupt and intrusive.
Eerily enough, many of George Orwell’s quotes below can be applied to modern America. All of these quotes are taken from one of his best works, Inside the Whale (a must read):
…Paris was invaded by such a swarm of artists, writers, students, dilettanti, sight-seers, debauchees, and plain idlers as the world has probably never seen. In some quarters of the town the so-called artists must actually have outnumbered the working population indeed, it has been reckoned that in the late twenties there were as many as 30,000 painters in Paris, most of them impostors. The populace had grown so hardened to artists that gruff- voiced lesbians in corduroy breeches and young men in Grecian or medieval costume could walk the streets without attracting a glance and along the Seine banks by Notre Dame it was almost impossible to pick one’s way between the sketching-stools.
It was the age of dark horses and neglected genii; the phrase on everybody’s lips was ‘Quand je serai lance? (when am I launching?)”. As it turned out, nobody was “launching” the slump descended like another ice age, the cosmopolitan mob of artists vanished, and the huge Montparnasse cafes which only ten years ago were filled till the small hours by hordes of shrieking poseurs have turned into darkened tombs in which there are not even any ghosts.
The above account can be reflected with any modern Leftist city in the USA and the conformist hippy “artist”. Modern Austin, Brooklyn, Denver, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle come to mind as parallels to early 20th century Paris. Just remember, next time your pretentious dread-locked friend rolls up on his longboard with a “Feel the Bern” t-shirt, remember that Orwell would have thought him a faggy poseur.
Orwell explains how leftist ideologies dominated cultural and literary circles. This unflinching dominance of the left in the arts and culture of today (originating in 1969 America) has become vapid and cliché, just as it was in the 1930s. History is cyclical and Orwell was truly a soothsayer:
As early as 1934 or 1935 it was considered eccentric in literary circles not be more or less “left”. Between 1935 and 1939 the Communist Party had an almost irresistible fascination for any writer under forty. It became as normal to hear that so-and-so had ‘been received’. For about three years, in fact, the central stream of English literature was more or less directly under Communist control. How was it possible for such a thing to happen?
Orwell goes on with the destruction of the individual. The weapons to destroy the individual are conformity, statist group thought, propaganda language, and censorship within the Left (e.g. political correctness today):
Every Communist is in fact liable at any moment to have to alter his most fundamental convictions, or leave the party.
Almost certainly we are moving into an age of totalitarian dictatorships- an age in which freedom of thought will be at first a deadly sin and later on a meaningless abstraction. The autonomous individual is going to be stamped out of existence. But this means that literature, in the form in which we know it, must suffer at least a temporary death.
Consider for instance some comfortable English professor defending Russian totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, ‘I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so’. Probably, therefore, he will say something like this: ‘While freely conceding that the Soviet regime exhibits certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigors which the Russian people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement.’
Deconstruction of the West and anti-patriotic sentiment by leftist ideology is not something new in the Modern USA (originating at the intellectual institution known as the Frankfurt School). Orwell was also attuned to it in his day:
All through the critical years many left-wingers were chipping away at English morale, trying to spread an outlook that was sometimes squashily pacifist, sometimes violently pro-Russian, but always anti-British….If the English people suffered for several years a real weakening of morale, so that the Fascist nations judged that they were ‘decadent’ and that it was safe to plunge into war, the intellectual sabotage from the Left was partly responsible…Given the stagnation of the Empire the military middle class must have decayed in any case, but the spread of a shallow Leftism hastened the process…It is clear that the special position of the English intellectuals during the past ten years, as purely negative creatures, was a by-product of ruling class stupidity.
Society could not use them, and they have not got it in them to see the devotion to one’s country implies ‘for better or worse’…high brows took for granted, as though it were a law of nature, the divorce between patriotism and intelligence. If you were a patriot you publicly thanked God that you were ‘not brainy’. If you were an intellectual you sniggered at the Union Jack and regarded physical courage as barbarous…A modern nation cannot afford either of them. Patriotism and intelligence will have to come together again.
In reference to the dangers of where leftist thought may lead and the predictions of the mass killings that followed, from Marxist writing to French Intellectuals, such as Sartre, influencing Pol Pot to the every expansion of leftist ideology in the USA today. Again, Orwell was able to identity the dangers of left-wing thought:
So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot.
Ironically, not much has changed in Orwell’s critique of the left and its failures. It can fully be applied to what we are witnessing in the USA today.
I encourage you all to realize that Orwell was not a leftist; he denounced the left, the Socialist, the statist, and favored individualism in all its forms. He was an opponent of big government in all forms ranging from Fascism to Communism. So next time someone uses Orwell as a tool for their political agenda, just remember:
In our time it is broadly true that political writing is bad writing. Where it is not true, it will generally be found that the writer is some kind of rebel, expressing his private opinions and not a ‘party line’.