Fighting for the Republican insurrectionists – themselves a motley and diverse collection of anti-Fascists and politicised trade unions – Orwell’s semi-autobiographical account describes the internecine dissent between supposed Republican and Communists allies, including deplorable examples of Communist deceit in backing the war, as well as intellectual dishonesty in reporting the war.
“Describing himself as a soldier of a revolutionary army defending democracy against Fascism, Orwell got down to business in ‘setting the record straight’.
This broadcasting experience, combined with the intimate knowledge of the machinations of the Ministry of Information he had access to, left Orwell with enormous misgivings about the morality of propaganda, whatever the motives.
While acknowledging that all governments exercise a degree of ‘misinformation’ especially in times of war, Orwell’s reasonably close encounters of England’s efforts in this regard, nonetheless fuelled much of his attack on the distortion of truth and the abuse of language.
At the behest of the Duchess of Atholl, George Orwell (1903-1950) spoke at the League for European Freedom, a neo-conservative forum with whom the celebrated author shared a distinct disdain for Communism. In a brutal reminder of his political pedigree Orwell decried the League for its implied duplicity in attempting to defend European democracy on one hand yet say nothing about British imperialism on the other.
Orwell concluded: “I belong to the Left and must work inside it, much as I hate Russian totalitarianism and its poisonous influence in this country” (Orwell 1945, quoted in Woodcock, 1967, p. The sentence’s sentiment goes to the very intent of how the novel he’d been thinking seriously about writing came into being.Orwell had already ‘dumped on’ revolutionary Russia with his 1945 beastly allegorical fable, in that people simply disappeared in both the Soviet Union and Oceania.Consider the vanishing of Winston’s father, mother and sister and the fact that the only person Julia “had ever known who talked frequently of the days before the Revolution was a grandfather who had disappeared when she was eight”.These include the linguistic horror of Newspeak, Winston’s role within the Outer Party, and the suitably titled ‘Rewrite Squad’. 09), Orwell “felt that any connection with propaganda corrupted those who used it”.And as Syme – Winston’s comrade – rather sarcastically says (Orwell, 1949 (1989), p.To better appreciate the extent of Orwell’s preferred polity and the increasing disenchantment he felt towards it ever being realised, one must go to Spain.Here, he endured the perils of centralised authoritarianism first hand while fighting alongside anarchist separatists in Spain’s 1936-39 civil war.is often seen as – is more a diatribe highlighting the perversions to which a centralised ideology/economy is liable to adopt.In addition, the novel is an attempt to expose the increasing Communist-appeasing tendencies and associated ‘poisonous influences’ gestating within England’s increasingly elitist and hierarchical Left during the 1940s.At one stage Winston looks around the canteen imagining “the physical type set up by the Party as an ideal – tall muscular youths and deep-bosomed maidens, blond-haired, vital, sunburnt, carefree …” (1949, (1989), p.63).cannot be said to specifically satirise Stalinism or Nazism, individually or as an amalgam, though many commentators – including Hammond (1984) and Wilding (1980) – seem to suggest as much.