Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

A Reading from the Book of George

Peter and others blogs have linked to Michael Kelly’s spendid vivisection of the so-called "anti-war" march last weekend. I thought, since it is the centennial of George Orwell’s birth, that it would be worthwhile to recall some of Orwell’s observations about supposed pacifists and anti-British sentiment in Britain during World War II. (This year is the centennial of Orwell’s birth, and I have made it a winter reading project to read his collected works, which I picked up used several years ago.)

This, from The Lion and the Unicorn in 1941, which sounds very much like a description of the American Left today:

"In intention, at any rate, the English intelligentsia are Europeanized. They take their cookery from Paris and their opinions form Moscow. In the general patriotism of the country they form a sort of island of dissident thought. England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionable true, that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during ’God Save the King’ that stealing from a poor box."

Stay tuned; I’ll have further excerpts as the days and weeks go by.

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