Wednesday, July 14, 2004


The Anti-Chomskyite has been delving into George Orwell and finding echo after echo in the conflict in the World War II generation between liberal-left people who supported a war against a perceived evil and their pacifist peers who saw little differenct between Britain and Nazi Germany.

A poet (at least he's identified as such) by the name of D.S. Savage had written this, as part of a long letter:

Orwell dislikes the French intellectuals licking up Hitler's crumbs, but what's the difference between them and our intellectuals who are licking up Churchill's? ... I can only speak for myself, of course, but surely the "defence of democracy" is best served by defending one's own concrete liberties, not by equating democracy with Britain, and allowing all democracy to be destroyed in order that we may fight better - for "Britain"; and Orwell should not need to be told what, or who, "Britain" now is.

Sound familiar? Anti-Chomskyite thinks so. I agree.

And this, from Orwell's reply, is a gem:

Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, "he that is not with me is against me." The idea that you can somehow remain aloof from and superior to the struggle, while living on food which British sailors have to risk their lives to bring you, is a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security. ... In so far as it takes effect at all, pacifist propaganda can only be effective against those countries where a certain amount of freedom of speech is still permitted; in other words it is helpful to totalitarianism.