Thursday, December 27, 2007

Orwell's Still Got Our Number

Sound familiar? The more things change, the more they stay the same. This is from an Orwell essay on Kipling, from 1942, 65 years ago:

All left-wing parties in the highly industrialised countries are at bottom a sham, because they make it their business to fight against something which they do not really wish to destroy. They have internationalist aims, and at the same time they struggle to keep up a standard of life with which those aims are incompatible. We all live by robbing Asiatic coolies, and those of us who are "enlightened" all maintain that those coolies ought to be set free; but our standard of living, and hence our "enlightenment", demands that the robbery shall continue.
--George Orwell, p. 400 of his Essays.

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1 comment:

Namit said...

Inimitable Orwell! I thought of updating his idea a bit:

Most liberals in America are at bottom dishonest, because we oppose something we do not really wish to destroy: rising corporate wealth and power. Being liberals, we yearn for greater equality and peace in the world, even as our lifestyles and retirement mutual funds are wholly invested in disparity-raising corporations and the global arms industry. We criticize the sweat-shops that corporations run abroad, the jobs they outsource, and the cheap Chinese toys they import, but we want prices to remain low at Sears and its profits to rise.