George Orwell’s Letter on Why He Wrote ‘1984’

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George Orwell is about as close to a literary hero as I have. Aldous Huxley is also a favorite for similar reasons. Both were “liberals,” basically modern liberals, who still had a sense of the spirit which drove the liberals of the years before them. Liberals who understood that individuality and questioning are vital to a just society. That lock stepism whether, Left, Right, or other led to human destruction. Indeed to the destruction of the human spirit.

Orwell still had too much love for economic centralization. He still believed in the “middle road.” But his time was a time when humans thought they could engineer everything. We hadn’t yet learned that human action, which is highly influenced by the observer effect, makes such engineering basically impossible. (My old – and brilliant – astronomy professor was the one who first introduced this concept to me.)  So we’ll give him a pass.

(From The Daily Beast)

From Orwell’s letter –

Secondly there is the fact that the intellectuals are more totalitarian in outlook than the common people. On the whole the English intelligentsia have opposed Hitler, but only at the price of accepting Stalin. Most of them are perfectly ready for dictatorial methods, secret police, systematic falsification of history2 etc. so long as they feel that it is on ‘our’ side. Indeed the statement that we haven’t a Fascist movement in England largely means that the young, at this moment, look for their fuhrer elsewhere.

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