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:
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