Totalitarianism Essay

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There is the additional argument – supporting the case that the novel is more about England and less about the Soviet Union and Germany – suggesting that Ingsoc might also be seen as a thinly disguised indictment of England’s pre- and postwar governments in general, and the British Labour party in particular.

Excerpts of Orwell’s journalistic endeavours tend to support this view. 124) that while “he continued to be an opponent of capitalism [Orwell nonetheless] remained dissatisfied with the Labour Government’s restraint and moderation”.

Fighting for the Republican insurrectionists – themselves a motley and diverse collection of anti-Fascists and politicised trade unions – Orwell’s semi-autobiographical account describes the internecine dissent between supposed Republican and Communists allies, including deplorable examples of Communist deceit in backing the war, as well as intellectual dishonesty in reporting the war.

“Describing himself as a soldier of a revolutionary army defending democracy against Fascism, Orwell got down to business in ‘setting the record straight’.

is often seen as – is more a diatribe highlighting the perversions to which a centralised ideology/economy is liable to adopt.

In addition, the novel is an attempt to expose the increasing Communist-appeasing tendencies and associated ‘poisonous influences’ gestating within England’s increasingly elitist and hierarchical Left during the 1940s.

He was scathing of the “scandalous distortion of news from Spain in favour of the Stalinists by the liberal English press” (Woodcock, 1967, p. Or as the author so succinctly put it himself: “the romantic warmongering muck that our left-wingers were spilling at that time” (1970, p. His conclusion was that intellectuals in general, and Britain’s socialist movement in particular, were being seduced by totalitarian ideas and models., recounting with horror (and with hindsight) the depths to which the truth suffered in wartime reportage within the British press: “I saw great battles reported where there had been no fighting, and complete silence where hundreds of men had been killed” (Orwell, 1970, p. Any ensuing novel or writing on the subject naturally becomes immediate and personal and says as much, if not more, about the prevailing social climate, and in Orwell’s mind, an extrapolation of ideological tendencies at the time.

Such candour did not endear him at all to many of his democratic socialist colleagues. 658) that “Orwell was vilified by the fashionable and sentimental Left in England who knew nothing of the truth and had no desire to be told it”. Again, England can be seen as the prime source in much of Orwell’s critique, derived particularly from his 1941-43 wartime employment as a Talks Producer with the BBC.

Such fear of state abduction was meant to breed absolute ideological obedience.

And Stalin practiced this with widespread precision, as did Big Brother: “Syme had vanished,” says Orwell’s narrator.


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