“Some Animals Are More Equal than Others”

To mark the publication of a new print of George Orwell’s Animal Farm: A Fairy Story the Guardian carries what I suspect is the introduction by Christopher Hitchens.

In Zimbabwe, as the rule of Robert Mugabe’s kleptocratic clique became ever more exorbitant, an opposition newspaper took the opportunity to reprint Animal Farm in serial form. It did so without comment, except that one of the accompanying illustrations showed Napoleon the dictator wearing the trademark black horn-rimmed spectacles of Zimbabwe’s own leader. The offices of the newspaper were soon afterwards blown up by a weapons-grade bomb, but before too long Zimbabwean children, also, will be able to appreciate the book in its own right.

In the Islamic world, many countries continue to ban Animal Farm, ostensibly because of its emphasis on pigs. Clearly this can not be the whole reason – if only because the porcine faction is rendered in such an unfavourable light – and under the theocratic despotism of Iran it is forbidden for reasons having to do with its message of “revolution betrayed”.

Needless to say I think it’s a book everyone should have read…

  • JaneJeffers

    I re-read Animal Farm and 1984 a few months ago. The difference in quality was very striking.

    Animal Farm is heavy-handed, tedious and overly didactic. In extreme contrast to 1984 it fails as novel, story or piece of literary art.

  • Ulick

    Oh we didn’t see that coming Pete. zzzzzz……

  • PrivateBob

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that Gerry Adams has read Animal Farm.

    Have to admit that I don’t see the connection you’re trying to make..Gerry Adams’ life and actions are somehow related to the allegorical failure of dictatorial regimes in general and Communist Russia in particular..?

  • articles

    Just in passing the Soviet Union did regard itself as democratic, those best placed to interpret Marxist-leninism governed in the interests of the majority. In other words political leadership and doctrinal authority were fused in an elite.

  • Rina

    Having lived in the Soviet Union for 23 years and for 20 years in the West, I am now fully convinced that the late Orwell has described in this book the country he knew the best: his native Britain. Unlike most people on this forum who know absolutely nothing of life in USSR except for what they have been told by their propaganda (and literature selected by their propagandists), I actually can compare both systems from my own experience. And you know what? I have never been as free and happy in my life as I was in the USSR. And I was an ordinary person, without any party apparatchiks in the family. It’s amazing though how people who don’t know anything about life in other countries, have arrogance to think that they know it all. Nobody in the world is as brainwashed and able to think only within narrow lines as the Westerners. Do not take it as an offence, please. I feel sorry for you, even though some say that the ignorance is blessed.

  • articles

    I suggest that you give Rina editorial access and a roving commission to blog/comment on any aspect of political life in this neck of the woods. An obvious starting point, and for no other reason, would be at the top with the two major power blocs here at present DUP and SF.

  • Michaelhenry

    like the pigs at orwells farm the crown pigs still have a law, yes law which forbids catholics from the crown, english law allows bin laden to join the crown, but no catholics.

  • Reader

    Rina: I actually can compare both systems from my own experience. And you know what? I have never been as free and happy in my life as I was in the USSR.
    In your view, how did such a happy and successful system fall?

  • lidia

    Orwell’s 1984 is a piece of sadistic porn (and not very good of that), while AF, written with goal to understand (?) USSR history tells NOTHING about such little event of this history as Great Patriotic War (i.e. WWII).

    Orwell was (and still is) a durling of imperialism (including “left” one) and not for nothing – from the beginning of his adult life till his last breath he served it (maybe with some hiatus, but I am not so sure). He NEVER said much against UK imperialism, and praised and whitewashed it constantly.

    I am from USSR as well, so I agree with Rina.

  • lidia

    By the way it is telling in itself that Hitchens – the person who is a great apologist for Western imperialism – wrote such things about Orwell’s “masterpiece”, and even more telling, that Pete has not any problems to cite Hitchens as an authority.

  • International Graves Association

    So Orwell was a “durling of imperialism”?
    You talk about the “Great Patriotic War”. I’ll have you know Orwell was an officer in the paramilitary wing of an outfit called Workers’ Party for Marxist Unity. How many fascists have you killed yourself? Were you wounded in action as well?

  • Brian MacAodh

    When Orwell died, Stalin was still sending hundrends of thousands of people a year to the gulags. He wasn’t around to experience the “softer” side of Bolshevism that followed his death.

  • lidia

    yes, Orwell IS darling of imperilaism, just check what non”leftist” imperialists write about him – they praiss him to heaven, and I suppose they know better 🙂

    Now, I was NOT fighting Nazis, my grandfather was (he died near Leningrad), but I neigher served in British colonial police, nor I was ratting to “cripto-reds and faggots” on my deathbed. I also NEVER song praises to ANY imperialism, including UK’s one, while Orwell had done all of those and some more.

  • lidia

    When Orwell died, UK imperialism was still mass-murdering, robbing and torturing non-white people (and sometimes even white, like Irish) all over the world, need I start to list? Guess what, UK imperialism (which Orwell called “democracy” and other fancy names) STILL do it, just NOW.

  • Alias
  • Neil

    Needless to say I think it’s a book everyone should have read…

    Or:

    All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others…

  • Brian MacAodh

    Lidia

    The soviet union was nothing if not imperialistic. They grabbed half of Europe. Ran torture chambers in each country. Killed 20K polish officers in one fell swoop. Commmitted genocide on the Ukranians (and others).

    Compared to them, the British Empire almost looks paternal. I’m no defender of the British Empire, but no reasonable person can compare the UK of the same period to the monstrous crimes committed under Stalin.

  • Henry94

    Orwell did get it wrong in Animal Farm. The problem was not that “the pigs became like humans” but that without a price signals the farm couldn’t function.

    The communist leaders did not become all that corrupt and most of them lived frugal lives compared to our own political class. The problem was that communism didn’t work, couldn’t work and killing hundreds of millions of people couldn’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

    If Orwell was writing today I suggest he would have the pigs running for election and promising to “maintain services” on the farm while borrowing billions to keep the show on the road.

  • lidia

    “They grabbed half of Europe. Ran torture chambers in each country.”

    Yes, USA is doing it now, with the help of Orwell’s beloved UK. They also mass-murder Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis and a lot more. They also call it “democracy”, just as Orwell did.

    “Killed 20K polish officers in one fell swoop. Commmitted genocide on the Ukranians (and others)”- both propaganda originated from Nazis, but of course, who are Brian MacAodh to question it if USA and UK imperialism told him it is true?

    In short, Brian MacAodh knows as much about pro-imperialist prop as Orwell did, and is whitewashing UK imperialsm in the same manner (not a big surprise, really)

  • lidia

    “The problem was that communism didn’t work, couldn’t work and killing hundreds of millions of people couldn’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear.”

    of course, capitalism DOES work, because its killing hundreds of millions of people (including in the USSR and other communist states) DOES pay handsomly to SOME capitalist states and their imperialist citizens, Orwell including – they really are doing well, getting their part of imperialsm’s spoils.

    Haity or Bangladesh are CAPITALIST. And in former USSR now people (a vast majority) fair MUCH worse than during USSR.

  • lidia

    To defenders of UK imperialism (then and now) I could recommend to start from here

    http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2005/12/27/how-britain-denies-its-holocausts/

    Not much, but it is a good point to get go.

    Then one could ask about full list of Chrchill crimes (including “I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes” in Iraq)

    By the way, I know that some defenders of UK imperialist and ratting Orwell has not even pathetic answers, so they stood down to inane “joke” – a clear sign what they and their values are.

  • old school

    Brian, the British in 1942-44 carried out genocide in the Bengal province of India killing up to 8 million civilians. Churchill robbed the food supply of an entire peoples to feed his surrended-monkey troops in Singapore. What he didn’t steal he burnt.No different from Ukraine, and statistically greater than the other holocaust.
    The massacre of the Polish offices happened when the Communists and British were allies. That makes the British at least implicit.
    The fact that the British then lied about the massacre, maliciously blamed the Germans, and kept up the pretence for 50 years shows the banality of the evil

  • lidia

    As a matter of fact, USSR killed about 3 500 Polish military officers and politicians (all right-wingers)- they were tried and found guilty , for ex, in mass-murdering Russian POW in the beginning of 1920th. All others were murdered by Nazis,who then started their propaganda about Katyn.

    The same Nazis started to tell tales about “Ukrainian genocide”, while in reality it was a class war in villages, in which a lot of people died, but it was NOT a colonial mass-murder which UK was pefrorming before and then in India and beyond.

  • lidia

    this is Nazi’s poster about katyn

    http://content.foto.mail.ru/mail/kolyamba77/_blogs/i-349.jpg

    One could pay attention to faces of “communsts”

    Of course, Nazis were the best friends of Poles 🙂

    Their puppets (Ukrainian nationalists, who were busy repeating Nazi’s propaganda about “genocide” of Ukrainians) mass-murdered both Poles and Jews (and also anti-Nazi Ukrainians and their children)

  • Brian MacAodh

    only 3500 officers? Are you kidding? Maybe on ther first day of that month. The total was over 21000. I guess the NVKD records were incomplete or inaccurate.

    I was talking about the starvation of the Ukranian people the early 30s not the misery of WW II. Also, let us not forget the other million or so killed in political purges in the late 20s as the Soviet Union decided to no longer tolerate Ukraine’s national identity and culture. The same thing happened in other areas of Soviet Union who attempted to maintain their culture instead of the Russian.

    I doubt all 10 millin or so Ukranians were simply victims of a “class war” 15 years after the Soviet state was set up.

    As for Britain in India, I offer no defense or excuse for their colonial actions. But it certainly was different than the Ukraine famine I spoke of. There was no World War going on. And I still maintain that Britain from 1920-1989 had a much better human rights record than the Soviet Unions.

    Wow,I never thought I would find myself defending Britain on this board.

  • old school

    Lidia, are you denying the Communists were responsible for Katyn?
    Are you another who describes the 2 million cases of rape and paedohilia in Germany by Communists and British troops as “payback”?

  • lidia

    Brian MacAodh, sure, Nazis told the truth, why whould they lie? 🙂

    Now, “starvation of the Ukranian people the early 30s” was the same class war I mentioned, and you one more are repeating Nazi prop, just like Ukrainian puppets of Nazis.

    10 millions? Why not 100, why not 200? And your “doubt” are without ANY knowlege. Please, read a bit about the epoch, and, preferably, NOT Nazi or CIA sourses (they are mostly the same, though).

    And, before and after WWII UK imperialism was starving non-whites (even Orwell admitted in his prefice to AF that there WERE then starvations in India – then UK colony)

    But I guess starving non-whites is OK?

    Of course, you SHOULD defend UK imperialism (I bet you have NOT read even the article meager facts I pointed to), just like “leftist’ Orwell did. After all was said and done, the Irish are mostly sold out for their part of UK spoils robbed from non-whites. They become “whites”, just like before did their brethen in USA, which started to climb up stepping on Natives, Blacks, Chicanos and others.

  • lidia

    “Lidia, are you denying the Communists were responsible for Katyn?”

    I deny Nazi propaganda about it, that was recycled (like a lot of other lies and criminals) by USA and UK imperialism)

    “2 million cases of rape and paedohilia in Germany by Communists and British troops” – from what those numbers come?

  • lidia

    Fraud, Famine and Fascism
    The Ukrainian Genocide Myth from Hitler to Harvard

    http://rationalrevolution.net/special/library/famine.htm

    for people who is really interested in facts, and not in Nazi prop.

  • old school

    Lidia there were 2 million cases of rape and paedophilia by German women and girls in the post war years by Commies, British etc..
    Thats just the reported cases. This was information collated by the post War authorities so it’s not “nazi propaganda”
    Not a single war crime case was taken against any allied soldier.
    On Katyn the US and UK propagated the lie that Germany was responsible. This was only squashed after the fall of Communism.
    How many more atrocities attributed to Germany was actually committed by Soviets or Alies.
    How many Jews for example actually died from Communist or Allies?

  • lidia

    In 1929th there still were “kulaks” in USSR, a capitalist farmers. They were exploiting others, and were a threat not only to the Soviet rule, but to the future of USSR peoples as a whole. The same years were the time when UK (yes, UK) were threatening war against USSR, and the threat was very real.

    Without “collectivisation” in 1929-1932, Hitler would easily win against defensless USSR, because UK and USA were only happy to unlish him against their class foe, opening him way to East (and betraying the Czechs and the Poles, the later, by the way, got their dole from Nazis’ rape of Czechoslovakia, before Nazis got them as well)

  • old school

    Funny how it’s acceptable to call the Ukrainian genocide a “myth” but try using that word to describe the Jew Holocaust.

  • International Graves Association

    So you have not fought fascists yourself. And yet you spit on the grave of a patriot who fought for the revolution… based on what Hitchens and such scum are saying, no less. Have you no shame?

    If his comrades hadn’t been killed by Stalin’s henchmen as well as by fascists, he might have had a better disposition towards the USSR. But I guess one shouldn’t expect you to understand if you never fought for anything.

  • lidia

    I see that old school is different from Brian MacAodh – he prefers Nazi’s props WITHOUT whitewashing UK 🙂

    But s/he, just like Brian MacAodh, does NOT support Nazi’s climes with some real sourses.

    I am not sure who is worse. For me, Nazis and UK imperialism both come from one root – imperilaist colonialist capitalsim. Their fight was but a familly feud – they both wanted plunder all non-whites land without rivales. The only difference – Hitler did in Europe what UK did mostly OUT of Europe, and Hitler was denounced (by his so-criminals like Churchill and others), while mass-murderer and torturer Churchill is still a hero for UK lesser imperialsts (i.e. “avarege UK people”)

  • lidia

    “And yet you spit on the grave of a patriot” – yes, the patriot of UK colonial empire, sure. Some of anti-Stalinists, like Trotski, for ex, had NO illusions about UK “democracy”, Orwell simple make up with his heritage – i.e. imperialist colonialist supporters of UK.

    Now, Hitchens were cited NOT by me, but by Pete, who think it is OK to cite one imperialist apologist’s prise to another 🙁

  • International Graves Association

    The only reason you hate Orwell is that he served in a Trotskyist division and now you dare to bring up Trotsky against him! If he’d served in a Stalinist unit, you’d never write such garbage.

  • Brian MacAodh

    Lidia

    Why do you keep referring to Nazi propaganda? During the perestroika and afterwards the records were opened up. Over 20000 Polish POW’s were killed. This mass murder was signed off at the highest levels of the Soviet government. Which is no surprise, of course.
    Did the Dresden bombings not happen either because the Nazi’s used that destruction as propaganda?

    I used 10 million as that is generally the high end of scholarly estimates…as you or Old School used 8 million for the Bengali famine. (never saw a number that high). Either way, lets just say millions.

    I have no love for the British empire, but nor do I for Stalinist USSR. Nor am I an imperialist.

    As for swallowing propaganda, it seems to me that the Soviet Union committed no evil in your eyes.

    “In the fall of 1932, on orders from Moscow, government troops came to villages requisitioning grain to meet Stalin’s unrealistic quotas. At gunpoint they took away grain, even when peasants did not have enough for themselves. Those peasants who had no grain were deprived of other food stocks. Those who resisted were shot. Then a Jan. 22nd, 1933 directive from Stalin and Molotov sealed off Ukrainian borders to prevent famished peasants from escaping.”

    Were the millions who died all ‘kulaks’? What about those who died in the famine during the Russian civil war? It’s conveniant when everyone of the tens of millions killed or murdered can be written off as “capitalists” or “counterrevolutionaries”.

    I have a questions for you….
    Was every victim of Stalin’s regime a capitalist or “enemy of the people”?

  • articles

    To my mind we have to go back to basics.

    Quite simply Marxist – Leninism offers nothing less than a scientific analysis of the past and the future with all that that entails. Inevitability, causality, predictability, certainty.

    In contrast liberal democracy has inbuilt within the notion of doubt ie that you, I , he, she, grandma, parish committees, entire governments could be wrong with all that that entails. Events dear boys, events; cock ups, uncertainty.

    Given that both systems are capable of excess which system is better geared for uncovering excess and better geared for addressing the causes as well as the symptoms. I don’t think it is a moot point.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Brian MacAodh: “Why do you keep referring to Nazi propaganda? During the perestroika and afterwards the records were opened up. Over 20000 Polish POW’s were killed. This mass murder was signed off at the highest levels of the Soviet government. Which is no surprise, of course. ”

    Not to mention that the Russians themselves have been coming to grips with the deed…

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1264278/Putin-Russian-politician-pay-tribute-22-000-Polish-officers-murdered-Stalins-orders.html

    “The Poles were killed because Stalin did not want a military caste capable of challenging Moscow’s rule in the part of Poland it claimed for itself after the Nazi invasion in 1939.”

    Stalin was looking ahead, making way for a Soviet satellite empire / buffer between the Rodina and the Germans, having discovered that the plains of Poland weren’t that much of a deterrent to mechanized invasion.

  • lidia

    After perestroika – it means that after USA (and UK) imperialism got upper hand in former USSR. The results, by the way, was a skyrocketing of death and deseases, violent crimes and abuse of drugs. In the most “liberated” former USSR republics, as in Latvia, but not only, SS-men were honored while anti-Nazi fighter were jailed. In short, “After perestroika” was a jolly time, and, of course, the new rulers of former USSR mostly obeyed USA/UK imperialism in repeating their anti-communist and anti-Russian propaganda. They lied, just like Bush and Blair lied.

  • lidia

    “The Poles were killed because Stalin did not want a military caste capable of challenging Moscow’s rule in the part of Poland it claimed for itself after the Nazi invasion in 1939.”

    “the part of Poland” WAS (and is) Ukraina and Belorussia, which right-wing and imperialist-lackeys Poland rukers occupied after the WWII. It is still a part of moder day Ukraina and Belorussia – one could look at map.

    Now, Poland is FREE (never mind that a lot of its land was given it by Stalin after the WWII, and without Stalin Poland would have but Warsow and Krakov, never mind that it was Soviet spldiers who died to rid Poland of Nazis). And WHAT free Poland does? Yes, it is busy by murdering Iraqis and Afghanians on behalf of USA and UK imperialism. Such freedom

  • lidia

    “The only reason you hate Orwell is that he served in a Trotskyist division” – so what? While he was doing it, Trotski said (and it is a fact) that if “democratic” UK invade “facistic” Brazil, communists should defend Brazil, becuase all UK “democracy” means imperialism and colonialism. I agree with him.

    Now, BEFORE Orwell served in good company, he served UK colonialism in Byrma, and in his stories after virtually blamed natives on his own (and UK) sins. Then, USSR DID help Republican Spaine, while UK rulers did nothing and even indirectly helped facists. Was it a reason to Orwell to start hate UK imperialism? Not at all. After WWII, when UK colonialism returned to its business as usual, mass-murdering colonail peoples, did Orwell said a word against? No, he supported it to the hilt, see his preface to Ukraininan translation of the same AF. That UK “democracy” was not democracy at all to the 90% of its subjects did not bother him the smallest. In short, if he ever was a leftist, he was imperialist one, he did NOTHING to stop UK crimes against non-whites which were (and are) the same and even worse that Nazi’s ones.

  • lidia

    Articles knows NOTHING about Marxism. Marxism is very well aware that people could be wrong. Marxism aslo explanes why. For ex, class conciousness of UK “leftists” is imperialist and colonialist one, because they are liveing off generosity of UK imperialism. Only if a leftist starts to question his good life and asks from where it come, could he stop making errors and start to see stright. Thus s/he is taking another side in this class war – the side of downtrodden and reisting, and s/he would be right.

    Now, about “systems”. Soviet system, as a lot more alternative to capitalism and imperialism ones before, during and after was NEVER free to develop itself. It was under constant attacks (yes, from UK as well). It endured for enough time to prove that people could live a decent without plundering less fortunate ones, and even help them. because of it, it was attacked, slandered and ruined by Western imperialism (Hitler was unable to do it, even though USA and UK helped him in this). But, as I said, it was neither first, not the last try. Just now in Venesuela people are denying imperialism, and the same old good USA and UK call them names and try to ruin them. Better luck to Venesuela and others!

  • articles

    “Marxism is very well aware that people could be wrong. Marxism aslo explanes why.”

    Exactly my point. Thank you.

    “Articles knows NOTHING about Marxism.”

    Only too happy to agree. My reading has revealed enormous ignorance on my part.

  • lidia

    WHAT point? Does “liberal democracy” (what does it mean, anyway) is NOT interested why people could be wrong? If so, it sounds even more pathetic then I thought 🙂

  • articles

    My point. No room for error, no room for uncertainty as in “This why you’re wrong”

    In our tradition uncertainty is recognised as part of the human condition, cherished and defended.

  • lidia

    Brian MacAodh, I will try to beleiev that you are NOT conscious imperialist, and only a victim of imperialist propaganda. So I will try to answer you.

    1)”I used 10 million as that is generally the high end of scholarly estimates…”

    WHICH scholars? Do you know that some people claim that Staling murdered 60 000 000? Are you AWARE how many Ukrainians existed then? beleive me, with your 10 millions they will be non-existing now.

    2)”Was every victim of Stalin’s regime a capitalist or “enemy of the people”?”

    And was every victim of EVERY class war an enemy? By the way, if you are NOT for UK imperialism, why not analyse its crimes against USSR (i.e. support of one side in such war)? Do you know ANYTHING about it?

    Now, I admit that I could NOT really believe that you are NOT a supporter of UK imperialism – mostly because you keep up supporting and whitewasing it and repeating its propaganda 🙁

    I even could not blame you. It is NOT good for one’s health to stay up against ruling regime in “democratic” capitalist states, while rewards (for whites) are plenty I even have a bit of problem myself, being an anti-Zionist Jew in Israel.

  • lidia

    “In our tradition uncertainty is recognised as part of the human condition, cherished and defended.”

    yes, I see HOW defened here are “uncertainty” of Stalin being a monster while UK being a force for good 🙂

    By the way, it reminds me about such claimes by Orwell:

    “Yet one must remember that England is not completely democratic. It is also a capitalist country with great class privileges and (even now, after a war that has tended to equalise everybody) with great differences in wealth. But nevertheless it is a country in which people have lived together for several hundred years without major conflict, in which the laws are relatively just and official news and statistics can almost invariably be believed, and, last but not least, in which to hold and to voice minority views does not involve any mortal danger. In such an atmosphere the man in the street has no real understanding of things like concentration camps, mass deportations, arrests without trial, press censorship, etc. Everything he reads about a country like the USSR is automatically translated into English terms, and he quite innocently accepts the lies of totalitarian propaganda. Up to 1939, and even later, the majority of English people were incapable of assessing the true nature of the Nazi régime in Germany, and now, with the Soviet régime, they arc still to a large extent under the same sort of illusion.”

    He was trying to enlighten Ukrainians , back then.

    I admit that I CANNOT read it without laughing out loud. Just reread “it it is a country in which people have lived together for several hundred years without major conflict, in which the laws are relatively just and official news and statistics can almost invariably be believed, and, last but not least, in which to hold and to voice minority views does not involve any mortal danger.” As if UK was ONLY England, and NOT all their colonies. And about “official news and statistics can almost invariably be believed” -haha, I have not studied “official news and statistics” of UK in 1947, but I (and everyone who has at least one eye or one ear) knows very well WHAT means UK “official news and statistics”, for ex, during preparations and while imperialist agressive war against Iraq – just ONE example.

    So, good luck with your preaching of “our tradition uncertainty”

  • lidia

    “man in the street has no real understanding of things like concentration camps, mass deportations, arrests without trial, press censorship”

    “concentration camps” – the invention of Brits, if man of the streat does not know about it, it is his/her ignorance, not the UK goodness

    “mass deportations” – yes, sure, OUT of Europe UK did it all the time, one more opint of ignorance

    “arrests without trial” – in Israel such arrests (and incarceration) are commonplace (mostly to non-Jews) and it is a UK-mandate age law, which is in use even now.

    “press censorship” I wonder WHAT about press in all UK colonies, including then Nothern Ireland?

    Of course, Orwell was a big lier, in fiction as well as in non-fiction. He did it the sake of UK imperialism.

  • argosjohn

    Homage to Catalonia was a good book. It showed how untrustworthy and cynical the Bolshies were. The two Sticks here will no doubt soon bring up Sean Russell’s case. But no one died as a result of Russell’s “collaboration” with the Nazis, who were out the cost of a U boat run.
    Orwell is not a great novellist and his more famous books are, of course, rather one dimensional. But his message is great.

    His message is easily criticised. But we are the richer for it.

    Of coruse, many Soviets were happier in Soivet imperialist times. But most Germans were ok in Hitler’s pre war times. It does not make them right.

  • articles

    Forget Orwell think JS Mill

    If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
    John Stuart Mill

    Sadly we were unable to export liberal democracy {or indeed practise it in full), but curious how many colonies once independent adopted a form of democracy and thrived and the ones that didn’t struggled.

  • argosjohn

    articles: You are falling into the trap the two ex Soviets laid for you. Britain demolished democratic movements in Iran and Saudi Arabia and only started talking about democracy in Hong Kong before the Chinese took it over. No dogs or Chinese, remember?
    Britain was an imperialist bully and the bengal famine is right up there with the massacres of the Austrlian natives, who were only recognised as human beings in 1967.
    The Soviet apologists are also correct in saying that the sins of imperialism sit lightly on the shoulders of the (British and other) perpetrators.

    It is as sad seeing them quoting the social snob and hypocrite Karl Marx as it is seeing you quote that old self rightous prog, Mill. (I forget which one of the Mills got the nervous breakdown but they wetr both cut from the same cloth).

  • lidia

    “Of coruse, many Soviets were happier in Soivet imperialist times”

    And WHO were their victims then? Victims of UK Imperialism are well-known (not to Orwell and his grouppies, of course)

    “But his message is great.” – yes, you ARE richier for his defence of UK imperilaism, after all, it is robbing all the world and you have your dole 🙂

    WHAT Orwell said in his “good book” about UK role? WHAT UK did to support his case?

  • lidia

    “You are falling into the trap the two ex Soviets laid for you” NOT he is falling into a trap of his/her own making – i.e. imperialist ignorance and arrogance of white Brits.

  • argosjohn

    Lidia: You are changing the subject, not very successfully. Homage to Catalonia, probably his best book, was about how the Communists behaved cynically in the Spanish Civil war. Animal Farm was a satire on the Soviet system and had little to do with the IRA (alleged collaobrators like Russell included). Like 1984, another satire, it was well-timed.
    Wigan Pier, his book about England was about England and is probably forgettable.
    It is possible for a Brit to write a satire on the USSR without being sidetracked and sidetracking the reader about things British.

    Christopher Hitchens is a man who makes a good living writing and being sensatinalist. Like Richard Dawkins, he is not a serious character. I have contempt for Mr Hitchens. However, he is a gifted writer and if he points to shortcomings in Zimbwabwe 9an easy thing to do), that is not a bad thing, even if he is only pandering to the smug Guardian readers.

  • International Graves Association

    Lidia: You dare to reference Orwell’s preface to the Ukranian edition of AF as evidence that he backed UK imperialism! The only thing about imperialism in there is this: “made me hate imperalism”. Is there no end to your slanderous lies?
    The preface also explains how serving in a militia which was branded as Trotskyite forced him to understand the nature of Stalin’s regime. Because he survived to tell the story, you hate and slander him.
    What the preface does not say and that you pretend not to understand is that Orwell took up arms against an imperialist, democratic government while the USSR supported imperialism so as to please its democratic, imperialist allies.

  • Brian MacAodh

    (Hitler was unable to do it, even though USA and UK helped him in this)

    The USA gave the USSR massive amounts of material aid to help them in the face of the Nazi onslaught. The UK held out and refused a peace deal with Nazi Germany that would have left the USSR to face the Nazi juggernaut alone.
    Soviet historians even didn’t deny the importance of US aid in the dark early days of WW II.

    So, Lidia, tell me…why did the USSR attack Finland?

    If the Soviet empire and it’s satellite states were marxists paradises why did they have to build fences, walls, with guardtowers and watchdogs to keep people in? How come the minute it became apparent that soldiers would no longer fire on people trying to escape their great lives under Soviet rule then all of the states crumbled very quickly?