Ed Driscoll

Speaking Of Orwell

National Review’s Rick Brookhiser chiding fellow columnist John Derbyshire for his love of sandals led me to this passage from Orwell’s 1937 book, The Road to Wigan Pier:

We have reached a stage when the very word ‘Socialism’ calls up, on the one hand, a picture of aeroplanes, tractors, and huge glittering factories of glass and concrete; on the other, a picture of vegetarians with wilting beards, of Bolshevik commissars (half gangster, half gramophone), of earnest ladies in sandals, shock-headed Marxists chewing polysyllables, escaped Quakers, birth-control fanatics, and Labour Party backstairs-crawlers. Socialism, at least in this island, does not smell any longer of revolution and the overthrow of tyrants; it smells of crankishness, machine-worship, and the stupid cult of Russia. Unless you can remove that smell, and very rapidly, Fascism may win.

God, that’s remarkable. And in so many ways, remarkably current.