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Tuesday, 28 November 2017


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Speaking from "over here", we on the Right refer to Orwell and "1984" as interesting and that dystopian world can't possible happen to us. On the Left, they spent eight years under B. Hussein Obama using "1984" as a how to book instead of the warning it is meant to be. Now, the Reaction to those 8 years is at hand and the unwind is beginning which has caused the Left to remember "1984" as if it was brand new and only began to unfold eleven months ago. The Left has no ability what-so-ever to see themselves as they are and have been. When we in America begin to clean up our own culture and restore those institutions which support a civil society, then we may find some serious people who can write honestly about complex issues. As of now, those issues must not be spoken of in any way except the approved ways that our PC minders will allow.

Maybe Britain has some similar problems? But Trump was elected President!? Ain't that the irony of it all?

I've always thought of him as a decent minor novelist (Keep the Aspidistra Flying, Coming Up for Air, etc.) but thought that his political writing was fairly juvenile. 1984 I remember has lengthy passages of tedious geo-political scene-setting, and none of it is a patch on our greatest dystopian novel, Huxley's Brave New World. My pet theory is that people read Orwell when they are teenagers because it is fairly easy to read and shocks their Auntie Brenda, and then look back on it with fondness like looking back on their first kiss.

The American Interest link doesn't seem to work David...

Link not working David.

I would like to read this and then possibly comment...

The article can be found on several sites by searching.

Judah makes a straw man argument while pretending to be a brave iconoclast, presumably to help sell his article by way of a controversial angle. '1984' is a classic not because it accurately describes colonialism or the future, but because it illustrates the language of politics in an interesting way and warns against the evils of authoritarianism. Judah also launches ad hominem attacks on Orwell by applying modern prejudices to early 20th century prose, which is a cheap form of political correctness. '1984' is certainly worth reading, as is Huxley's 'Brave New World'.

Ok David, found the article.

Not being Jewish myself and I must say it is some time since I read Down and Out I did not particularly notice by the anti-semitism the writer complains about. That wouldn't endear me to any author but to some extent anti-semitism was a product of its time and he was hardly alone in including snide comments or unpleasant inferences.

I suspect that it is entirely possible that in 70 years when they go trawling through blog posts, tweets, op-eds written in the last 10-15 years they will find much which offends the ear which currently kind of passes unnoticed.

As for some of the other of his more follish predictions - FFS the man was a socialist and so of course he talked an awful lot of crap.

However it think is foolish to deny that 1984 is a very great distopian novel. It is widely read because readers appreciate its extraordinary quality. The article writer would like us to be more concerned about other distopias - personally I disagree with his priorities, and think that Orwell, considering that he was writing before the computer was even invented, was extremely astute in imagining how big state politics would grow as a result of the war and enabled by the politics of fear and the practicalities of mass comunication.

Concepts such as doublethink, wrongthink and rewriting history are perhaps rather close to home for modern leftists. Constant surveillance - it's probably already here given that we know that it is possibly remotely to activate phone and laptop webcams remotely and use them for covert surveillance.

Arguably the only thing he got wrong is the extent to which the population are enthusiastically participating in their "enslavement" (possibly a bigger word than really justified but not by much).

Finally, and possibly above all Orwell was a supreme stylist (unlike your article writer, about whom nobody will remember in 70 years time) whose pellucid prose graces an ugly century.

I agree by the way with your commenter above regarding Brave New World - another very fine and prescient work.

I think more people should read Orwell and Huxley, and be scared of their visions, recognise the parallels with our current reality and at the very least aspire to match the quality of their writing.

Arts and Letters interesting site.

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