Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Forster on Orwell

EM Forster on George Orwell, who had just died. [From an article entitled 'George Orwell' published in 1950 and included in Two Cheers for Democracy]

A true liberal, he hoped to help through small things. Programmes mean progroms.

All nations are odious, but some are less odious than others, and by this stony, unlovely path he reaches patriotism. To some of us, this seems the cleanest way to reach it...In the world of politics we see no salvation, we are not to be diddled, but prefer the less bad to the more bad, and so become patriots, while keeping our brains and hearts intact.

Like most of us, he does not define liberty, but being a liberal he thinks there is more of it here than in Stalin's Russian or in Franco's Spain, and that we need still more of it, rather than less, if our national tradition is to continue.

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