VIDEO: George Orwell and 1984: How Freedom Dies – By: Academy of Ideas

George Orwell and 1984: How Freedom Dies – Watch on YouTube for COMMENTS

Academy of Ideas – 2,353,213 views – Dec 30, 2017 – 3 years ago — Comment by the Creator of this video

I have noticed in the comments that some people are suggesting I misinterpreted Orwell’s view of socialism – specifically that he didn’t advocate a centrally planned economy. But as David Ramsay Steele explains in his book Orwell Your Orwell, in the 1930s and 1940s to be a democratic socialist meant something quite different than it does today.

.
Firstly, here is Orwell defining socialism:
   

“Socialism is usually defined as common ownership of the means of production. Crudely: the State, representing the whole nation, owns everything, and everyone is a State employee.” (George Orwell, Complete Works Volume XII, page 410)
.
And here are a few passages from David Ramsey Steele’s book which explain Orwell’s position:
“To be a socialist in 1936 [the year Orwell became a socialist] meant favoring the swift abolition of private ownership of factories, mines, big farms, railroads, and banks. . . After 1950, to quickly convey to someone … Orwell’s political orientation, you would have to say: “he became an extreme, hard-core, left-wing socialist”.”
.
“Orwell always dismissed anarchism as utterly impracticable. He briefly mentioned anarchism in 1945, in his review of a book by his friend the anarchist Herbert Reed. Here, as against Reed, Orwell asserts that anarchy is incompatible with high living standards because modern industry requires “a planned, centralized society.”
.
“For Orwell, socialism is a planned society by definition, as contrasted with capitalism, which is by definition unplanned. So closely was socialism identified with planning that socialists would sometimes use a phrase like “a planned society” as a synonym for socialism, and Orwell himself does this too.”
.
“Democracy too is part of Orwell’s picture of socialism, though when he employs the term “democracy,” he is usually referring to civil liberties rather than to decisions by majority vote – not that he rejects majoritarian rule, but that when he talks about “democracy,” this is not uppermost in his mind.”
I highly recommend reading Steele’s book if you want a thorough introduction to Orwell’s ideas: http://amzn.to/2CwU8qI
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: