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Fading from Red to Pink – “Fifty Orwell Essays” – George Orwell

October 26th, 2011 · No Comments · Communism, Economics, Hypocrisy, Politics, Progressive Politics, UK Labour

In 1930 the English Communist Party was a tiny, barely legal organization whose main activity was libelling the Labour Party. But by 1935 the face of Europe had changed, and left-wing politics changed with it.

Hitler had risen to power and begun to rearm, the Russian five-year plans had succeeded, Russia had reappeared as a great military power. As Hitler’s three targets of attack were, to all appearances, Great Britain, France, and the U.S.S.R., the three countries were forced into a sort of uneasy RAPPROCHEMENT.

This meant that the English or French Communist was obliged to become a good patriot and imperialist—that is, to defend the very things he had been attacking for the past fifteen years. The Comintern slogans suddenly faded from red to pink. ‘World revolution’ and ‘Social-Fascism’ gave way to ‘Defence of democracy’ and ‘Stop Hitler’. The years 1935-9 were the period of anti-Fascism and the Popular Front, the heyday of the Left Book Club, when red Duchesses and ‘broadminded’ deans toured the battlefields of the Spanish war and Winston Churchill was the blue-eyed boy of the DAILY WORKER. Since then, of course, there has been yet another change of ‘line’.

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