George Orwell - a closet conservative?

Discussion of various public figures

Re: George Orwell - a closet conservative?

Postby Connor » 31 Aug 2012, 06:32

Here is yet another British conservative weighing in on Orwell and where he belongs on the political spectrum.

I think he makes a pretty convincing case that Orwell belongs more to the modern-day right than the left. The Western left has evolved to be something rather different in the 21st Century than the "Old Left" that he supported.

Were he alive today, I'm positive that George Orwell would at least be a critic of political correctness, and especially the speech codes that are entwined with it. Isn't it all simply "Newspeak" and "Doublethink" come to life? Not only would he not support this aspect of the modern-day Left - he's probably turning in his grave!

Oh, and Darian - to answer your question: George Orwell once wrote an essay about Jonathan Swift called "Politics vs. Literature" in which he described Swift's views as "Tory Anarchist." He then went on to believe that "Tory Anarchist" was a good label for himself. I can't go into much detail though, because I haven't actually read that essay yet!


PS - Has anyone read an article yet where a conservative agrees with the BBC that Orwell was "too left-wing"? So far, I've only heard denunciations.
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Re: George Orwell - a closet conservative?

Postby Elliott » 31 Aug 2012, 12:02

Ana wrote:Anyway, I agree, Elliott, but you know that already. :-) My BrooWaha article incidentally has now been published.

Ana is referring to this article, Homage to Orwell.
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Re: George Orwell - a closet conservative?

Postby Gavin » 10 Feb 2013, 15:09

BBC Radio 4 is playing a dramatisation of 1984 - on air now. I suppose the irony is lost on them.

It's actually part of their "The Real George Orwell" season. About one programme on the iPlayer

The BBC wrote:"What led avowed socialist George Orwell to write a book beloved of the Right?"


It sounds a bit like "What led this apparently normal teenager to murder his parents?" doesn't it? Ah, the BBC..
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Re: George Orwell - a closet conservative?

Postby Elliott » 10 Feb 2013, 17:17

Their description of his Down and Out in Paris and London is even more slanted:

Down and out in London, Orwell meets a couple of pavement artists and considers society's attitude to those who are forced to beg.


It's years since I read the book, but I seem to recall that it wasn't nearly that one-sided. I'm sure he talks about people, including upper-class types, who took to begging voluntarily - what we would nowadays call "a lifestyle choice".
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