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The Mentality of the English Left Wing Intelligentsia – “The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius” from “Fifty Orwell Essays” – George Orwell

October 29th, 2011 · No Comments · Australian Labor Party, Criticism, Culture, Economics, Political Communication, Politics, Progressive Politics, Socialism

The mentality of the English left-wing intelligentsia can be studied in half a dozen weekly and monthly papers. The immediately striking thing about all these papers is their generally negative, querulous attitude, their complete lack at all times of any constructive suggestion. There is little in them except the irresponsible carping of people who have never been and never expect to be in a position of power.

Another marked characteristic is the emotional shallowness of people who live in a world of ideas and have little contact with physical reality. Many intellectuals of the Left were flabbily pacifist up to 1935, shrieked for war against Germany in the years 1935-9, and then promptly cooled off when the war started. It is broadly though not precisely true that the people who were most ‘anti-Fascist’ during the Spanish Civil War are most defeatist now.

Probably my favourite Orwell quote.

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