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The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell Volume II: My Country ight or Left !"#$%!

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by George Orwell Edited by Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus a.b.e-book v3.0 / Notes at EOF 'ac( Co)er: "He was a man, like Lawrence, whose personality shines out in e erything he said or wrote!" "" #yril #onnolly George Orwell re$uested in his will that no biography o% him should be written! &his collection o% essays, re iews, articles, and letters which he wrote between the ages o% se enteen and %orty"si' (when he died) is arranged in chronological order! &he %our olumes pro ide at once a wonder%ully intimate impression o%, and a "splendid monument" to, one o% the most honest and indi idual writers o% this century "" a man who %orged a uni$ue literary manner %rom the process o% thinking aloud, who possessed an unerring gi%t %or going straight to the point, and who ele ated political writing to an art! &he second olume principally co ers the two years when George Orwell worked as a &alks Assistant (and later *roducer) in the Indian section o% the +!+!#! At the same time he was writing %or Horizon, New Statesman and other periodicals! His war"time diaries are included here!

*enguin +ooks Ltd, Harmondsworth, ,iddlese', England *enguin +ooks Australia Ltd, -ingwood, .ictoria, Australia /irst published in England by Seeker 0 1arburg 2345 *ublished in *enguin +ooks 2367 -eprinted 2362 #opyright 8 Sonia +rownell Orwell, 2345 ,ade and printed in Great +ritain by Ha9ell 1atson 0 .iney Ltd, Aylesbury, +ucks Set in Linotype &imes &his book is sold sub:ect to the condition that it shall not, by way o% trade or otherwise, be lent, re"sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher;s prior consent in any %orm o% binding or co er other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subse$uent purchaser

Contents
Acknowledgements A Note on t e Editing 23<7 2! =ew 1ords >! -e iew o% !ein "am#$ by Adol% Hitler ?! =otes on the 1ay <! Letter to -ayner Heppenstall @! -e iew o% %ersonal &ecord by Aulian Green 4! Letter to -ayner Heppenstall 6! BAutobiographical =oteC 5! -e iew o% ' e 'otalitarian Enem( by /ran9 +orkenau 3! Letter to the Editor o% 'ime and 'ide 27! Letter to Aohn Lehmann 22! *rophecies o% /ascism 2>! Letter to Aames Laughlin 2?! #harles -eade 2<! &he *roletarian 1riter 2@! -e iew o% )and$all by =e il Shute, etc! 23<2 24! London Letter to %artisan &eview 26! &he Lion and the Dnicorn 25! Letter to the -e erend Iorwerth Aones 23! London Letter to %artisan &eview >7! &he /rontiers o% Art and *ropaganda >2! &olstoy and Shakespeare >>! &he ,eaning o% a *oem >?! Literature and &otalitarianism ><! Letter to Eorothy *lowman >@! 1ells, Hitler and the 1orld State >4! London Letter to %artisan &eview >6! &he Art o% Eonald ,cGill >5! =o, =ot One 23<> >3! London Letter to %artisan &eview ?7! -udyard Fipling ?2! &he -edisco ery o% Europe ?>! &he +ritish #risisG London Letter to %artisan &eview ??! -e iew o% ' e Sword and t e Sickle by ,ulk -a: Anand ?<! *aci%ism and the 1ar ?@! London Letter to %artisan &eview ?4! -e iew o% *+rnt Norton, East -oker, ' e .r( Salvages by &! S! Eliot ?6! An Dnpublished Letter to the Editor o% ' e 'imes ?5! +!+!#! Internal ,emorandum ?3! Letter to &! S! Eliot <7! -e iew o% ' e *ritis /a( in /ar$are by +! H! Liddell Hart <2! Looking +ack on the Spanish 1ar <>! Letter to George 1oodcock

23<? <?! 1!+!Heats <<! Letter %rom England to %artisan &eview <@! *amphlet Literature <4! London Letter to %artisan &eview <6! Literature and the Le%t <5! )etter to an American 0isitor by Obadiah Hornbooke and As One Non--ombatant to Anot er <3! Letter to Ale' #om%ort @7! Letter to -ayner Heppenstall @2! -e iew o% *eggar !( Neig bo+r by Lionel /ielden @>! Letter to L! /! -ushbrook"1illiams @?! Letter to *hilip -ah @<! 1ho Are the 1ar #riminalsI @@! ,ark &wain "" &he Licensed Aester @4! *oetry and the ,icrophone /ar-time .iaries @6! 1ar"time EiaryG >5 ,ay 23<7">5 August 23<2 @5! 1ar"time EiaryG 2< ,arch 23<>"2@ =o ember 23<> A##endi1 23 *ooks b( or containing contrib+tions b( 4eorge Orwell A##endi1 223 - ronolog(

*c(nowledgements
&he editors wish to e'press their grate%ul thanks to the %ollowing institutions and libraries, their trustees, curators and sta%%s %or their co"operation and aluable help and %or making copies o% Orwell material a ailableG Sir /rank /rancis, Eirector and *rincipal Librarian o% the +ritish ,useum (%orG IIG ?6J IIIG 27@J I.G 5)J Er Aohn E! Gordan, #urator o% the Henry 1! and Albert A! +erg #ollection o% the =ew Hork *ublic Library, Astor, Leno' and &ilden /oundations (%orG 2G25, >>, >?, ?2, ??, ?4, ?5, <5, @7"@>, @<, @5, 47, 42, 6?, 6@, 64, 54, 3>, 35, 275, 22>, 224, 2>2, 2><, 2>5, 2??, 2?3, 2<7, 2<2, 2<4, 2@<J IIIG @?, 36, 274J I.G >3, @3, 3>, 3@, 277, 274, 276, 227, 22@, 2>2, 2>4, 2?4, 2?6, 2<>, 2<<, 2@3, 24<, 24@)J Er 1arren -oberts, Eirector o% the Humanities -esearch #enter, Dni ersity o% &e'as (%orG IG 4@, 44, 63, 27>, 2>>, 2>?, 242J IIG <, 4, 27, @7J IIIG @>)J S! #! Sutton, Librarian and Feeper o% India O%%ice -ecords (%orG IG 22@)J -obert L! #ollison, Librarian o% the +!+!#! Library (%orG IIG ?5, ?3, @>)J Er G! #handler, Librarian o% Li erpool #ity Library (%orG 2G 3<)J 1ilbur Smith, Head o% the Eepartment o% Special #ollections, Library o% the Dni ersity o% #ali%ornia, Los Angeles (%orG IG 5<)J Anne Abley, Librarian o% St Anthony;s #ollege, O'%ord (%orG I.G ?2, ?>)J and A! 1! Scott, Librarian o% Dni ersity #ollege, London, %or the material in the George Orwell Archi e! 1e are also deeply indebted to all those recipients o% letters %rom Orwell, or their e'ecutors, who ha e been kind enough to make a ailable the correspondence published in these olumes! 1e would like to thank the %ollowing publications %or permission to reproduce material %irst published in their pagesG -ommentar(5 Enco+nter5 the Evening Standard5 Forward5 )i$e5 the )istener5 the )ondon !agazine5 the !anc ester Evening News5 the New )eader (=!H!)J the New Statesman and Nation5 the New 6orker5 the New 6ork 'imes *ook &eview5 the Observer5 %artisan &eview5 %eace News5 the Socialist )eader5 'ime and 'ide5 ' e 'imes5 'rib+ne5 /iadomosci. 1e would like to thank the %ollowing %or allowing us to use material whose copyright they ownG

the e'ecutors o% the late /rank -ichards %or his ;-eply to George Orwell; in Horizon5 H! 1! 1ilson 0 #o! %or Orwell;s entry in 'wentiet -ent+r( A+t ors5 George Allen 0 Dnwin Ltd %or "&he -edisco ery o% Europe" %rom 'alking to 2ndia5 *ro%essor George 1oodcock and E! S! Sa age %or their contributions to the contro ersy "*aci%ism and the 1ar" in %artisan &eview5 Er Ale' #om%ort %or his contribution to the same contro ersy and %or his "Letter to an American .isitor" in 'rib+ne5 1illiam #ollins Sons 0 #o! Ltd %or ' e Englis %eo#le5 the e'ecutors o% the late Aames Agate %or his contribution to the contro ersy in the !anc ester Evening News5 the e'ecutors o% Gerard ,anley Hopkins and the O'%ord Dni ersity *ress %or "/eli' -andal"J Elek +ooks Ltd %or the Introduction to Aack London;s )ove o$ )i$e5 Eyre 0 Spottiswoode Ltd %or the Introduction to Leonard ,errick;s ' e %osition o$ %egg( Har#er and the e'ecutors o% the late Fonni Killiacus %or his letters to 'rib+ne. 1e would like to thank the %ollowing %or their co"operation and in aluable helpJ ,rs E elyn Anderson, the Hon! Ea id Astor, /rank E! +arber, Eennis #eilings, Er Ale' #om%ort, Aack #ommon, Lettice #ooper, Sta%%ord #ottman, Humphrey Eakin, ,rs Aohn Eeiner, ,rs 1illiam Eunn, ,rs &! S! Eliot, Er ,cEonald Emslie, /aber and /aber Ltd, ,r and ,rs /rancis /ier9, -oy /uller, &! -! /y el, Li ia Gollanc9, .ictor Gollanc9 Ltd, ,rs Arthur Goodman, A! S! /! Gow, Aames Hanley, -ayner Heppenstall, Ine9 Holden, ,rs Humphrey House, ,rs Lydia Aackson, /rank Aellinek, Er Shirley E! Aones, Aon Fimche, Eenys Fing"/arlow, Arthur Foestler, ,rs Georges Fopp, Aames Laughlin, /! A! Lea, Aohn Lehmann, Aohn ,c=air, ,ichael ,eyer, Henry ,iller, -aymond ,ortimer, ,rs ,iddleton ,urry, ,rs -osalind Obermeyer, Laurence O;Shaughnessy, %artisan &eview, *ro%essor -! S! *eters, -uth /itter, Aoyce *ritchard, *hilip -ah , Sir Herbert -ead, .ernon -ichards, the -e ! Herbert -ogers, the Hon! Sir Ste en -unciman, +renda Salkeld, Aohn Sceats, -oger Senhouse, Stephen Spender, Oli er Stallybrass, *ro%essor Gleb Stru e, Aulian Symons, /! A! 1arburg and *ro%essor George 1oodcock! 1e would also like to thankG Angus #alder (%or allowing us to consult his unpublished thesis on the #ommon 1ealth *arty)J Howard /ink (%or allowing us to consult his unpublished - ronolog( o$ Orwell7s )oci and Activities85 and I! -! 1ilson (whose 4eorge Orwell3 Some !aterials $or a *ibliogra# (, School o% Librarianship, London Dni ersity, 23@?, was indispensable)! /inally, this edition would not ha e been possible but %or the patient and understanding editorial help o% Aubrey Ea is and the support and help o% the Library sta%% o% Dni ersity #ollege London, particularly that o% A! 1! Scott, the Librarian, ,argaret Skerl, Faren +ishop, ,rs ,ichael Fraushaar and ,rs Gordon Leitch!

* +ote on the Editing


&he contents are arranged in order o% publication e'cept where the time lag between writing and appearance in print is unusually large, when we ha e chosen the date o% writing! &here are one or two rare e'ceptions to this rule, generally made %or the sake o% illustrating the de elopment in Orwell;s thought, but a note at the end o% each article or re iew states when, and in which publication, it appeared %irst! I% it was not published or the date o% writing has determined its position, the date o% writing is gi en! 1here there is no mention o% a periodical at the end o% an article, it has ne er been published be%ore! "1hy I 1rite", written in 23<4, has been placed at the beginning o% .olume I, as it seems a suitable introduction to the whole collection! 1here an article was reprinted in the ma:or collections o% his writing, this has been indicated and the %ollowing abbre iations used %or the arious booksG -.E., -ollected Essa(s5 -r.E., -ritical Essa(s5 ...., .ickens, .ali and Ot ers5 E.6.E., England 6o+r England5 2 .' ./.,2nside t e / ale5 O.&.,' e Orwell &eader5 S.E., S ooting an Ele# ant5 S.9., S+c /ere t e 9o(s. Any title in s$uare brackets at the head o% an article or re iew has been supplied

by us! All the others are either Orwell;s own or those o% the editors o% the publication in $uestion! He certainly wrote his own titles %or his 'rib+ne piecesG some o% the others read as i% he had written them but with most it is hard to tell and there is no way o% %inally checking! Only when the article has ne er been printed be%ore ha e we had the manuscript to work %rom and none o% these were re ised by Orwell as they would ha e been had he published them! 1ith e erything else we ha e had to use the te't as it appeared in print! As anyone who has e er done any :ournalism or book re iewing knows, this means the te't which appears here may well be slightly, i% not ery, di%%erent %rom the te't Orwell originally wrote! Editors cut, printers make errors which are not thought o% as ery important in :ournalism, and it is only when the writer wants to reprint his pieces in book %orm that he bothers to restore the cuts, correct the errors and generally prepare them to sur i e in more lasting %ormG the reader there%ore should bear in mind that they might well be ery di%%erent i% Orwell had re ised them %or re"publication! +oth to these pre iously printed essays and :ournalism and to the hitherto unpublished articles and diaries we ha e gi en a uni%orm style in spelling, $uotation marks and punctuation! &he letters were written, nearly always in haste, with scant attention to style and hardly any to punctuationJ but throughout them we ha e corrected spelling mistakes, regulari9ed the punctuation and ha e put book and periodical titles in italics! In a %ew cases postscripts o% an unimportant nature ha e been omitted without indication! Otherwise cuts in both the letters and the :ournalism ha e been indicated by three dots, with a %ourth dot to indicate a period! &he same method was used by Orwell %or indicating omissions when abridging e'cerpts he was $uoting in re iews and essays, but as we ha e not made cuts in any o% these e'cerpts there should be no con%usion between our cuts and Orwell;s own! Orwell;s "As I *lease" column o%ten consisted o% two or more sections each de oted to a speci%ic topic! 1hene er one o% the sel%"contained sections has been entirely omitted, this has not been indicated, but any cut made within a section is indicated by the usual three or %our dots! George Orwell ne er legally changed his name %rom Eric +lair and all the %riends he made when young knew him and addressed him as Eric +lair! Later on new %riends and ac$uaintances knew him and addressed him as George Orwell! In his letters he signs himsel% by the name his correspondent used! His earlier articles were signed E! A! +lair or Eric +lair and we ha e indicated these! /rom the moment this name is dropped in his published writing it is entirely signed George Orwell! 1here a %ootnote deals with a period or a situation in which he would ha e looked upon himsel% primarily as Eric +lair we ha e re%erred to him by this name! As this is an Anglo"American edition, many o% the %ootnotes ha e been pro ided %or the bene%it o% American readers and contain in%ormation we know to be %amiliar to English readers! 1e ha e put in the minimum o% %ootnotes! &his is largely because o% the great di%%iculty o% annotating the history o% the period during which he wrote! It is still too recent %or standard histories o% it to e'ist and the e ents and people he discussed are o%ten still the sub:ects o% %ierce polemic making it di%%icult to gi e an "ob:ecti e" %ootnote! 1e ha e only %ootnoted the te't in some detail where he talks about people or e ents in his personal li%e or where there is a re%erence to some topic about which the reader could %ind nothing in any e'isting book o% re%erence! &he numbers in the cross"re%erences in the

%ootnotes re%er to items, not pages! &HE EEI&O-S

!"#$

!, +ew -ords At present the %ormation o% new words is a slow process (I ha e read somewhere that English gains about si' and loses about %our words a year) and no new words are deliberately coined e'cept as names %or material ob:ects! Abstract words are ne er coined at all, though old words (e!g! "condition", "re%le'", etc!) are sometimes twisted into new meanings %or scienti%ic purposes! 1hat I am going to suggest here is that it would be $uite %easible to in ent a ocabulary, perhaps amounting to se eral thousands o% words, which would deal with parts o% our e'perience now practically unamenable to language! &here are se eral ob:ections to the idea, and I will deal with these as they arise! &he %irst step is to indicate the kind o% purpose %or which new words are needed! E eryone who thinks at all has noticed that our language is practically useless %or describing anything that goes on inside the brain! &his is so generally recogni9ed that writers o% high skill (e!g! &rollope and ,ark &wain) will start their autobiographies by saying that they do not intend to describe their inner li%e, because it is o% its nature indescribable! So soon as we are dealing with anything that is not concrete or isible (and e en there to a great e'tent "" look at the di%%iculty o% describing anyone;s appearance) we %ind that words are no liker to the reality than chessmen to li ing beings! &o take an ob ious case which will not raise side"issues, consider a dream! How do you describe a dreamI #learly you never describe it, because no words that con ey the atmosphere o% dreams e'ist in our language! O% course, you can gi e a crude appro'imation o% some o% the ma:or %acts in a dream! Hou can say "I dreamed that I was walking down -egent Street with a porcupine wearing a bowler hat" etc!, but this is no real description o% the dream! And e en i% a psychologist interprets your dream in terms o% "symbols", he is still going largely by guessworkJ %or the real $uality o% the dream, the $uality that ga e the porcupine its sole signi%icance, is outside the world o% words! In %act, describing a dream is like translating a poem into the language o% one o% +ohn;s cribsJ it is a paraphrase which is meaningless unless one knows the original! I chose dreams as an instance that would not be disputed, but i% it were only dreams that were indescribable, the matter might not be worth bothering about! +ut, as has been pointed out o er and o er again, the waking mind is not so di%%erent %rom the dreaming mind as it appears "" or as we like to pretend that it appears! It is true that most

o% our waking thoughts are "reasonable" "" that is, there e'ists in our minds a kind o% chessboard upon which thoughts mo e logically and erballyJ we use this part o% our minds %or any straight%orward intellectual problem, and we get into the habit o% thinking (i!e! thinking in our chessboard moments) that it is the whole o% the mind! +ut ob iously it is not the whole! &he disordered, un" erbal world belonging to dreams is ne er $uite absent %rom our minds, and i% any calculation were possible I dare say it would be %ound that $uite hal% the olume o% our waking thoughts were o% this order! #ertainly the dream" thoughts take a hand e en when we are trying to think erbally, they in%luence the erbal thoughts, and it is largely they that make our inner li%e aluable! E'amine your thought at any casual moment! &he main mo ement in it will be a stream o% nameless things "" so nameless that one hardly knows whether to call them thoughts, images or %eelings! In the %irst place there are the ob:ects you see and the sounds you hear, which are in themsel es describable in words, but which as soon as they enter your mind become something $uite di%%erent and totally indescribable!2 And besides this there is the dream"li%e which your mind unceasingly creates %or itsel% "" and though most o% this is tri ial and soon %orgotten, it contains things which are beauti%ul, %unny, etc! beyond anything that e er gets into words! In a way this un" erbal part o% your mind is e en the most important part, %or it is the source o% nearly all motives. All likes and dislikes, all aesthetic %eeling, all notions o% right and wrong (aesthetic and moral considerations are in any case ine'tricable) spring %rom %eelings which are generally admitted to be subtler than words! 1hen you are asked "1hy do you do, or not do, so and soI" you are in ariably aware that your real reason will not go into words, e en when you ha e no wish to conceal itJ conse$uently you rationali9e your conduct, more or less dishonestly! I don;t know whether e eryone would admit this, and it is a %act that some people seem unaware o% being in%luenced by their inner li%e, or e en o% ha ing any inner li%e! I notice that many people ne er laugh when they are alone, and I suppose that i% a man does not laugh when he is alone his inner li%e must be relati ely barren! Still, e ery at all indi idual man has an inner li%e, and is aware o% the practical impossibility o% understanding others or being understood "" in general, o% the star"like isolation in which human beings li e! =early all literature is an attempt to escape %rom this isolation by roundabout means, the direct means (words in their primary meanings) being almost useless!
2! ;&he mind, that ocean where each kind Eoth straight its own resemblance %ind, Het it creates, transcending these, /ar other worlds and other seas,; etc! BAuthor;s %ootnote!C

"Imaginati e" writing is as it were a %lank"attack upon positions that are impregnable %rom the %ront! A writer attempting anything that is not coldly "intellectual" can do ery little with words in their primary meanings! He gets his e%%ect, i% at all, by using words in a tricky roundabout way, relying on their cadences and so %orth, as in speech he would rely upon tone and gesture! In the case o% poetry this is too well known to be worth arguing about! =o one with the smallest understanding o% poetry supposes that
The mortal moon hath her eclipse endured, And the sad augurs mock their own presage

really means what the words "mean" in their dictionary"sense! (&he couplet is said to re%er to Lueen Eli9abeth ha ing got o er her grand climacteric sa%ely!) &he dictionary" meaning has, as nearly always, somet ing to do with the real meaning, but not more than the "anecdote" o% a picture has to do with its design! And it is the same with prose, m+tatis m+tandis. #onsider a no el, e en a no el which has ostensibly nothing to do with the inner li%e "" what is called a "straight story"! #onsider !anon )esca+t. 1hy does the author in ent this long rigmarole about an un%aith%ul girl and a runaway abbMI +ecause he has a certain %eeling, ision, whate er you like to call it, and knows, possibly a%ter e'periment, that it is no use trying to con ey this ision by describing it as one would describe a cray%ish %or a book o% 9oology! +ut by not describing it, by in enting something else (in this case a picares$ue no elG in another age he would choose another %orm) he can con ey it, or part o% it! &he art o% writing is in %act largely the per ersion o% words, and I would e en say that the less ob ious this per ersion is, the more thoroughly it has been done! /or a writer who seems to twist words out o% their meanings (e!g! Gerard ,anley Hopkins) is really, i% one looks closely, making a desperate attempt to use them straight%orwardly! 1hereas a writer who seems to ha e no tricks whate er, %or instance the old ballad writers, is making an especially subtle %lank"attack, though, in the case o% the ballad writers, this is no doubt unconscious! O% course one hears a lot o% cant to the e%%ect that all good art is "ob:ecti e" and e ery true artist keeps his inner li%e to himsel%! +ut the people who say this do not mean it! All they mean is that they want the inner li%e to be e'pressed by an e'ceptionally roundabout method, as in the ballad or the "straight story"! &he weakness o% the roundabout method, apart %rom its di%%iculty, is that it usually %ails! /or anyone who is not a considerable artist (possibly %or them too) the lumpishness o% words results in constant %alsi%ication! Is there anyone who has e er written so much as a lo e letter in which he %elt that he had said e'actly what he intendedI A writer %alsi%ies himsel% both intentionally and unintentionally! Intentionally, because the accidental $ualities o% words constantly tempt and %righten him away %rom his true meaning! He gets an idea, begins trying to e'press it, and then, in the %right%ul mess o% words that generally results, a pattern begins to %orm itsel% more or less accidentally! It is not by any means the pattern he wants, but it is at any rate not ulgar or disagreeableJ it is "good art"! He takes it, because "good art" is a more or less mysterious gi%t %rom hea en, and it seems a pity to waste it when it presents itsel%! Is not anyone with any degree o% mental honesty conscious o% telling lies all day long, both in talking and writing, simply because lies will %all into artistic shape when truth will notI Het i% words represented meanings as %ully and accurately as height multiplied by base represents the area o% a parallelogram, at least the necessit( %or lying would ne er e'ist! And in the mind o% reader or hearer there are %urther %alsi%ications, because, words not being a direct channel o% thought, he constantly sees meanings which are not there! A good illustration o% this is our supposed appreciation o% %oreign poetry! 1e know %rom the 0ie Amo+re+se d+ .octe+r /atson stu%% o% %oreign critics, that true understanding o% %oreign literature is almost impossibleJ yet $uite ignorant people pro%ess to get, do get, ast pleasure out o% poetry in %oreign and e en dead languages! #learly the pleasure they deri e may come %rom something the writer ne er intended, possibly %rom something that would make him s$uirm in his gra e i% he knew it was attributed to him! I say to mysel% 0i1i #+ellis n+#er idone+s, and I

repeat this o er and o er %or %i e minutes %or the beauty o% the word idone+s. Het, considering the gul% o% time and culture, and my ignorance o% Latin, and the %act that no one e en knows how Latin was pronounced, is it possible that the e%%ect I am en:oying is the e%%ect Horace was trying %orI It is as though I were in ecstasies o er the beauty o% a picture, and all because o% some splashes o% paint which had accidentally got on to the can as two hundred years a%ter it was painted! =otice, I am not saying that art would necessarily impro e i% words con eyed meaning more reliably! /or all I know art thri es on the crudeness and agueness o% language! I am only critici9ing words in their supposed %unction as ehicles o% thought! And it seems to me that %rom the point o% iew o% e'actitude and e'pressi eness our language has remained in the Stone Age! &he solution I suggest is to in ent new words as deliberately as we would in ent new parts %or a motor"car engine! Suppose that a ocabulary e'isted which would accurately e'press the li%e o% the mind, or a great part o% it! Suppose that there need be no stulti%ying %eeling that li%e is ine'pressible, no :iggery"pokery with artistic tricksJ e'pressing one;s meaning simply BbeingC a matter o% taking the right words and putting them in place, like working out an e$uation in algebra! I think the ad antages o% this would be ob ious! It is less ob ious, though, that to sit down and deliberately coin words is a common"sense proceeding! +e%ore indicating a way in which satis%actory words might be coined, I had better deal with the ob:ections which are bound to arise! I% you say to any thinking person "Let us %orm a society %or the in ention o% new and subtler words", he will %irst o% all ob:ect that it is the idea o% a crank, and then probably say that our present words, properly handled, will meet all di%%iculties! (&his last, o% course, is only a theoretical ob:ection! In practice e eryone recogni9es the inade$uacy o% language "" consider such e'pressions as "1ords %ail", "It wasn;t what he said, it was the way he said it", etc!) +ut %inally he will gi e you an answer something like thisG ;&hings cannot be done in that pedantic way! Languages can only grow slowly, like %lowersJ you can;t patch them up like pieces o% machinery! Any made-+# language must be characterless and li%eless "" look at Esperanto, etc! &he whole meaning o% a word is in its slowly"ac$uired associations", etc! In the %irst place, this argument, like most o% the arguments produced when one suggests changing anything, is a long"winded way o% saying that what is must be! Hitherto we ha e ne er set oursel es to the deliberate creation o% words, and all li ing languages ha e grown slowly and hapha9ardJ t ere$ore language cannot grow otherwise! At present, when we want to say anything abo e the le el o% a geometrical de%inition, we are obliged to do con:uring tricks with sounds, associations, etc!J t ere$ore this necessity is inherent in the nature o% words! &he non se:+it+r is ob ious! And notice that when I suggest abstract words I am only suggesting an e'tension o% our present practice! /or we do now coin concrete words! Aeroplanes and bicycles are in ented, and we in ent names %or them, which is the natural thing to do! It is only a step to coining names %or the now unnamed things that e'ist in the mind! Hou say to me "1hy do you dislike ,r SmithI" and I say "+ecause he is a liar, coward, etc!," and I am almost certainly gi ing the wrong reason! In my own mind the answer runs "+ecause he is a NNNNNN kind o% man", NNNNNN standing %or something which I understand, and you would understand i% I could tell it you! 1hy not %ind a name %or NNNNNNI &he only di%%iculty is to agree about w at we are naming! +ut long be%ore this di%%iculty arises, the reading, thinking type o% man will ha e recoiled %rom such an idea as the in ention o% words! He will produce arguments like the

one I indicated abo e, or others o% a more or less sneering, $uestion"begging kind! In reality all these arguments are humbug! &he recoil comes %rom a deep unreasoned instinct, superstitious in origin! It is the %eeling that any direct rational approach to one;s di%%iculties, any attempt to sol e the problems o% li%e as one would sol e an e$uation, can lead nowhere "" more, is de%initely +nsa$e. One can see this idea e'pressed e erywhere in a roundabout way! All the bosh that is talked about our national genius %or "muddling through", and all the s$uashy godless mysticism that is urged against any hardness and soundness o% intellect, mean a+ $ond that it is sa$er not to t ink. &his %eeling starts, I am certain, in the common belie% o% children that the air is %ull o% a enging demons waiting to punish presumption!> In adults the belie% sur i es as a %ear o% too rational thinking! I the Lord thy God am a :ealous God, pride comes be%ore a %all, etc! "" and the most dangerous pride is the %alse pride o% the intellect! Ea id was punished because he numbered the people "" i!e! because he used his intellect scienti%ically! &hus such an idea as, %or instance, ectogenesis, apart %rom its possible e%%ects upon the health o% the race, %amily li%e, etc!, is %elt to be in itsel$ blasphemous! Similarly any attack on such a %undamental thing as language, an attack as it were on the ery structure o% our own minds, is blasphemy and there%ore dangerous! &o re%orm language is practically an inter%erence with the work o% God "" though I don;t say that anyone would put it $uite in these words! &his ob:ection is important, because it would pre ent most people %rom e en considering such an idea as the re%orm o% language! And o% course the idea is useless unless undertaken by large numbers! /or one man, or a cli$ue, to try and make up a language, as I belie e Aames Aoyce is now doing, is as absurd as one man trying to play %ootball alone! 1hat is wanted is se eral thousands o% gi%ted but normal people who would gi e themsel es to word"in ention as seriously as people now gi e themsel es to Shakespearean research! Gi en these, I belie e we could work wonders with language!
>! &he idea is that the demons will come down on you %or being too sel%"con%ident! &hus children belie e that i% you hook a %ish and say "Got him" be%ore he is landed, he will escapeJ that i% you put your pads on be%ore it is your turn to bat you will be out %irst ball, etc! Such belie%s o%ten sur i e in adults! Adults are only less superstitious than children in proportion as they ha e more power o er their en ironment! In predicaments where e eryone is powerless (e!g! war, gambling) e eryone is superstitious! BAuthor;s %ootnote!C

=ow as to the means! One sees an instance o% the success%ul in ention o% words, though crude and on a small scale, among the members o% large %amilies! All large %amilies ha e two or three words peculiar to themsel es "" words which they ha e made up and which con ey subtili9ed, non"dictionary meanings! &hey say ",r Smith is a NNNNNN kind o% man", using some home"made word, and the others understand per%ectlyJ here then, within the limits o% the %amily, e'ists an ad:ecti e %illing one o% the many gaps le%t by the dictionary! 1hat makes it possible %or the %amily to in ent these words is the basis o% their common e'perience! 1ithout common e'perience, o% course, no word can mean anything! I% you say to me "1hat does bergamot smell likeI" I say "Something like erbena", and so long as you know the smell o% erbena you are somewhere near understanding me! &he method o% in enting words, there%ore, is the method o% analogy based on unmistakable common knowledgeJ one must ha e standards that can be re%erred to without any chance o% misunderstanding, as one can re%er to a physical thing like the smell o% erbena! In e%%ect it must come down to gi ing words a physical (probably

isible) e'istence! ,erely talking about de%initions is %utileJ one can see this whene er it is attempted to de%ine one o% the words used by literary critics (e!g! "sentimental",? " ulgar", "morbid", etc!)! All meaningless "" or rather, ha ing a di%%erent meaning %or e eryone who uses them! 1hat is needed is to s ow a meaning in some unmistakable %orm, and then, when arious people ha e identi%ied it in their own minds and recogni9ed it as worth naming, to gi e it a name! &he $uestion is simply o% %inding a way in which one can gi e thought an ob:ecti e e'istence!
?! I once began making a list o% writers whom the critics called "sentimental"! In the end it included nearly e ery English writer! &he word is in %act a meaningless symbol o% hatred, like the bron9e tripods in Homer which were gi en to guests as a symbol o% %riendship! BAuthor;s %ootnote!C

&he thing that suggests itsel% immediately is the cinematograph! E eryone must ha e noticed the e'traordinary powers that are latent in the %ilm "" the powers o% distortion, o% %antasy, in general o% escaping the restrictions o% the physical world! I suppose it is only %rom commercial necessity that the %ilm has been used chie%ly %or silly imitations o% stage plays, instead o% concentrating as it ought on things that are beyond the stage! *roperly used, the %ilm is the one possible medium %or con eying mental processes! A dream, %or instance, as I said abo e, is totally indescribable in words, but it can $uite well be represented on the screen! Hears ago I saw a %ilm o% Eouglas /airbanks;, part o% which was a representation o% a dream! ,ost o% it, o% course, was silly :oking about the dream where you ha e no clothes on in public, but %or a %ew minutes it really was like a dream, in a manner that would ha e been impossible in words, or e en in a picture, or, I imagine, in music! I ha e seen the same kind o% thing by %lashes in other %ilms! /or instance in .r -aligari -- a %ilm, howe er, which was %or the most part merely silly, the %antastic element being e'ploited %or its own sake and not to con ey any de%inite meaning! I% one thinks o% it, there is ery little in the mind that could not some ow be represented by the strange distorting powers o% the %ilm! A millionaire with a pri ate cinematograph, all the necessary props and a troupe o% intelligent actors could, i% he wished, make practically all o% his inner li%e known! He could e'plain the real reasons o% his actions instead o% telling rationali9ed lies, point out the things that seemed to him beauti%ul, pathetic, %unny, etc! "" things that an ordinary man has to keep locked up because there are no words to e'press them! In general, he could make other people understand him! O% course, it is not desirable that any one man, short o% a genius, should make a show o% his inner li%e! 1hat is wanted is to disco er the now nameless %eelings that men ha e in common. All the power%ul moti es which will not go into words and which are a cause o% constant lying and misunderstanding, could be tracked down, gi en isible %orm, agreed upon, and named! I am sure that the %ilm, with its almost limitless powers o% representation, could accomplish this in the hands o% the right in estigators, though putting thoughts into isible shape would not always be easy "" in %act, at %irst it might be as di%%icult as any other art! A note on the actual %orm new words ought to take! Suppose that se eral thousands o% people with the necessary time, talents and money undertook to make additions to languageJ suppose that they managed to agree upon a number o% new and necessary wordsJ they would still ha e to guard against producing a mere .olapuk which would drop out o% use as soon as it was in ented! It seems to me probable that a word, e en a not yet e'isting 1ord, has as it were a natural %orm "" or rather, arious natural

%orms in arious languages! I% languages were truly e'pressi e there would be no need to play upon the sounds o% words as we do now, but I suppose there must always be some correlation between the sound o% a word and its meaning! An accepted (I belie e) and plausible theory o% the origin o% language is this! *rimiti e man, be%ore he had words, would naturally rely upon gesture, and like any other animal he would cry out at the moment o% gesticulating, in order to attract attention! =ow one instincti ely makes the gesture that is appropriate to one;s meaning, and all parts o% the body %ollow suit including the tongue! Hence, certain tongue"mo ements "" i!e! certain sounds "" would come to be associated with certain meanings! In poetry one can point to words which, apart %rom their direct meanings, regularly con ey certain ideas by their sound! &husG "Eeeper than did e er #l+mmet sound" (Shakespeare "" more than once I think)! "*ast the #l+nge o$ #l+mmet; (A! E! Housman)! "&he un#l+mbed, salt, estranging sea" (,atthew Arnold), etc! #learly, apart %rom direct meanings, the sound plum" or plun" has something to do with bottomless oceans! &here%ore in %orming new words one would ha e to pay attention to appropriateness o% sound as well as e'actitude o% meaning! It would not do, as at present, to clip a new word o% any real no elty by making it out o% old ones, but it also would not do to make it out o% a mere arbitrary collection o% letters! One would ha e to determine the natural %orm o% the word! Like agreeing upon the actual meanings o% the words, this would need the cooperation o% a large number o% people! I ha e written all this down hastily, and when I read through it I see that there are weak patches in my argument and much o% it is commonplace! &o most people in any case the whole idea o% re%orming language would seem either dilettantish or crankish! Het it is worth considering what utter incomprehension e'ists between human beings "" at least between those who are not deeply intimate! At present, as Samuel +utler said, the best art (i!e! the most per%ect thought"trans%erence) must be ;li ed; %rom one person to another! It need not be so i% our language were more ade$uate! It is curious that when our knowledge, the complication o% our li es and there%ore (I think it must %ollow) our minds, de elop so %ast, language, the chie% means o% communication, should scarcely stir! /or this reason I think that the idea o% the deliberate in ention o% words is at least worth thinking o er! 1ritten 23<7I

., e)iew Mein Kampf /y *dolf 0itler 1una/ridged translation2 It is a sign o% the speed at which e ents are mo ing that Hurst and +lackett;s une'purgated edition o% !ein "am#$, published only a year ago, is edited %rom a pro" Hitler angle! &he ob ious intention o% the translator;s pre%ace and notes is to tone down the book;s %erocity and present Hitler in as kindly a light as possible! /or at that date Hitler was still respectable! He had crushed the German labour mo ement, and %or that the property"owning classes were willing to %orgi e him almost anything! +oth Le%t and

-ight concurred in the ery shallow notion that =ational Socialism was merely a ersion o% #onser atism! &hen suddenly it turned out that Hitler was not respectable a%ter all! As one result o% this, Hurst and +lackett;s edition was reissued in a new :acket e'plaining that all pro%its would be de oted to the -ed #ross! =e ertheless, simply on the internal e idence o% !ein "am#$, it is di%%icult to belie e that any real change has taken place in Hitler;s aims and opinions! 1hen one compares his utterances o% a year or so ago with those made %i%teen years earlier, a thing that strikes one is the rigidity o% his mind, the way in which his world" iew doesn7t de elop! It is the %i'ed ision o% a monomaniac and not likely to be much a%%ected by the temporary manoeu res o% power politics! *robably, in Hitler;s own mind, the -usso"German *act represents no more than an alteration o% time" table! &he plan laid down in !ein "am#$ was to smash -ussia %irst, with the implied intention o% smashing England a%terwards! =ow, as it has turned out, England has got to be dealt with %irst, because -ussia was the more easily bribed o% the two! +ut -ussia;s turn will come when England is out o% the picture "" that, no doubt, is how Hitler sees it! 1hether it will turn out that way is o% course a di%%erent $uestion! Suppose that Hitler;s programme could be put into e%%ect! 1hat he en isages, a hundred years hence, is a continuous state o% >@7 million Germans with plenty o% "li ing room" (i!e! stretching to A%ghanistan or thereabouts), a horrible brainless empire in which, essentially, nothing e er happens e'cept the training o% young men %or war and the endless breeding o% %resh cannon"%odder! How was it that he was able to put this monstrous decision acrossI It is easy to say that at one stage o% his career he was %inanced by the hea y industrialists, who saw in him the man who would smash the Socialists and #ommunists! &hey would not ha e backed him, howe er, i% he had not talked a great mo ement into e'istence already! Again, the situation in Germany, with its se en million unemployed, was ob iously %a ourable %or demagogues! +ut Hitler could not ha e succeeded against his many ri als i% it had not been %or the attraction o% his own personality, which one can %eel e en in the clumsy writing o% !ein "am#$, and which is no doubt o erwhelming when one hears his speeches! I should like to put it on record that I ha e ne er been able to dislike Hitler! E er since he came to power "" till then, like nearly e eryone, I had been decei ed into thinking that he did not matter "" I ha e re%lected that I would certainly kill him i% I could get within reach o% him, but that I could %eel no personal animosity! &he %act is that there is something deeply appealing about him! One %eels it again when one sees his photographs "" and I recommend especially the photograph at the beginning o% Hurst and +lackett;s edition, which shows Hitler in his early +rownshirt days! It is a pathetic, dog"like %ace, the %ace o% a man su%%ering under intolerable wrongs! In a rather more manly way it reproduces the e'pression o% innumerable pictures o% #hrist cruci%ied, and there is little doubt that that is how Hitler sees himsel%! &he initial personal cause o% his grie ance against the uni erse can only be guessed atJ but at any rate the grie ance is there! He is the martyr, the ictim! *rometheus chained to the rock, the sel%"sacri%icing hero who %ights single"handed against impossible odds! I% he were killing a mouse he would know how to make it seem like a dragon! One %eels, as with =apoleon, that he is %ighting against destiny, that he can7t win, and yet that he somehow deser es to! &he attraction o% such a pose is o% course enormousJ hal% the %ilms that one sees turn upon some such theme! Also he has grasped the %alsity o% the hedonistic attitude to li%e! =early all western

thought since the last war, certainly all "progressi e" thought, has assumed tacitly that human beings desire nothing beyond ease, security and a oidance o% pain! In such a! iew o% li%e there is no room, %or instance, %or patriotism and the military irtues! &he Socialist who %inds his children playing with soldiers is usually upset, but he is ne er able to think o% a substitute %or the tin soldiersJ tin paci%ists somehow won;t do! Hitler, because in his own :oyless mind he %eels it with e'ceptional strength, knows that human beings don7t only want com%ort, sa%ety, short working"hours, hygiene, birth"control and, in general, common senseJ they also, at least intermittently, want struggle and sel%"sacri%ice, not to mention drums, %lags and loyalty"parades! Howe er they may be as economic theories, /ascism and =a9ism are psychologically %ar sounder than any hedonistic conception o% li%e! &he same is probably true o% Stalin;s militari9ed ersion o% Socialism! All three o% the great dictators ha e enhanced their power by imposing intolerable burdens on their peoples! 1hereas Socialism, and e en capitalism in a more grudging way, ha e said to people "I o%%er you a good time," Hitler has said to them "I o%%er you struggle, danger and death," and as a result a whole nation %lings itsel% at his %eet! *erhaps later on they will get sick o% it and change their minds, as at the end o% the last war! A%ter a %ew years o% slaughter and star ation "Greatest happiness o% the greatest number" is a good slogan, but at this moment "+etter an end with horror than a horror without end" is a winner! =ow that we are %ighting against the man who coined it, we ought not to underrate its emotional appeal! New Englis /eekl(, >2 ,arch 23<7

&, +otes on the -ay -eading ,r! ,alcolm ,uggeridge;s brilliant and depressing book, ' e ' irties, I thought o% a rather cruel trick I once played on a wasp! He was sucking :am on my plate, and I cut him in hal%! He paid no attention, merely went on with his meal, while a tiny stream o% :am trickled out o% his se ered oesophagus! Only when he tried to %ly away did he grasp the dread%ul thing that had happened to him! It is the same with modern man! &he thing that has been cut away is his soul, and there was a period "" twenty years, perhaps "" during which he did not notice it! It was absolutely necessary that the soul should be cut away! -eligious belie%, in the %orm in which we had known it, had to be abandoned! +y the nineteenth century it was already in essence a lie, a semi"conscious de ice %or keeping the rich rich and the poor poor! &he poor were to be contented with their po erty, because it would all be made up to them in the world beyond the gra e, usually pictured as something mid"way between Few Gardens and a :eweller;s shop! &en thousand a year %or me, two pounds a week %or you, but we are all the children o% God! And through the whole %abric o% capitalist society there ran a similar lie, which it was absolutely necessary to rip out! #onse$uently there was a long period during which nearly e ery thinking man was in some sense a rebel, and usually a $uite irresponsible rebel! Literature was largely

the literature o% re olt or o% disintegration! Gibbon, .oltaire, -ousseau, Shelley, +yron, Eickens, Stendhal, Samuel +utler, Ibsen, Kola, /laubert, Shaw, Aoyce "" in one way or another they are all o% them destroyers, wreckers, saboteurs! /or two hundred years we had sawed and sawed and sawed at the branch we were sitting on! And in the end, much more suddenly than anyone had %oreseen, our e%%orts were rewarded, and down we came! +ut un%ortunately there had been a little mistake! &he thing at the bottom was not a bed o% roses a%ter all, it was a cesspool %ull o% barbed wire! It is as though in the space o% ten years we had slid back into the Stone Age! Human types supposedly e'tinct %or centuries, the dancing der ish, the robber chie%tain, the Grand In$uisitor, ha e suddenly reappeared, not as inmates o% lunatic asylums, but as the masters o% the world! ,echani9ation and a collecti e economy seemingly aren;t enough! +y themsel es they lead merely to the nightmare we are now enduringG endless war and endless under%eeding %or the sake o% war, sla e populations toiling behind barbed wire, women dragged shrieking to the block, cork"lined cellars where the e'ecutioner blows your brains out %rom behind! So it appears that amputation o% the soul isn7t :ust a simple surgical :ob, like ha ing your appendi' out! &he wound has a tendency to go septic! &he gist o% ,r ,uggeridge;s book is contained in two te'ts %rom Ecclesiastes3 ".anity o% anities, saith the preacherJ all is anity" and "/ear God, and keep His commandmentsG %or this is the whole duty o% man"! It is a iewpoint that has gained a lot o% ground lately, among people who would ha e laughed at it only a %ew years ago! 1e are li ing in a nightmare precisely beca+se we ha e tried to set up an earthly paradise! 1e ha e belie ed in "progress", trusted to human leadership, rendered unto #aesar the things that are God;s "" that appro'imately is the line o% thought! Dn%ortunately ,r ,uggeridge shows no sign o% belie ing in God himsel%! Or at least he seems to take it %or granted that this belie% is anishing %rom the human mind! &here is not much doubt that he is right there, and i% one assumes that no sanction can e er be e%%ecti e e'cept the supernatural one, it is clear what %ollows! &here is no wisdom e'cept in the %ear o% GodJ but nobody %ears GodJ there%ore there is no wisdom! ,an;s history reduces itsel% to the rise and %all o% material ci ili9ations, one &ower o% +abel a%ter another! In that case we can be pretty certain what is ahead o% us! 1ars and yet more wars, re olutions and counter"re olutions, Hitlers and super"Hitlers "" and so downwards into abysses which are horrible to contemplate, though I rather suspect ,r ,uggeridge o% en:oying the prospect! It must be about thirty years since ,r Hilaire +elloc, in his book ' e Servile State, %oretold with astonishing accuracy the things that are happening now! +ut un%ortunately he had no remedy to o%%er! He could concei e nothing between sla ery and a return to small"ownership, which is ob iously not going to happen and in %act cannot happen! &here is BlittleC $uestion now o% a erting a collecti ist society! &he only $uestion is whether it is to be %ounded on willing cooperation or on the machine"gun! &he Fingdom o% Hea en, old style, has de%initely %ailed, but on the other hand ",ar'ist realism" has also %ailed, whate er it may achie e materially! Seemingly there is no alternati e e'cept the thing that ,r ,uggeridge and ,r /!A! .oigt, and the others who think like them, so earnestly warn us againstG the much"derided "Fingdom o% Earth", the

concept o% a society in which men know that they are mortal and are ne ertheless willing to act as brothers! +rotherhood implies a common %ather! &here%ore it is o%ten argued that men can ne er de elop the sense o% a community unless they belie e in God! &he answer is that in a hal%"conscious way most o% them ha e de eloped it already! ,an is not an indi idual, he is only a cell in an e erlasting body, and he is dimly aware o% it! &here is no other way o% e'plaining why it is that men will die in battle! It is nonsense to say that they only do it because they are dri en! I% whole armies had to be coerced, no war could e er be %ought! ,en die in battle "" not gladly, o% course, but at any rate oluntarily "" because o% abstractions called "honour", "duty", "patriotism" and so %orth! All that this really means is that they are aware o% some organism greater than themsel es, stretching into the %uture and the past, within which they %eel themsel es to be immortal! "1ho dies i% England li eI" sounds like a piece o% bombast, but i% you alter "England" to whate er you pre%er, you can see that it e'presses one o% the main moti es o% human conduct! *eople sacri%ice themsel es %or the sake o% %ragmentary communities "" nation, race, creed, class "" and only become aware that they are not indi iduals in the ery moment when they are %acing bullets! A ery slight increase o% consciousness, and their sense o% loyalty could be trans%erred to humanity itsel%, which is not an abstraction! ,r Aldous Hu'ley;s *rave New /orld was a good caricature o% the hedonistic Dtopia, the kind o% thing that seemed possible and e en imminent be%ore Hitler appeared, but it had no relation to the actual %uture! 1hat we are mo ing towards at this moment is something more like the Spanish In$uisition, and probably %ar worse, thanks to the radio and the secret police! &here is ery little chance o% escaping it unless we can reinstate the belie% in human brotherhood without the need %or a "ne't world" to gi e it meaning! It is this that leads innocent people like the Eean o% #anterbury to imagine that they ha e disco ered true #hristianity in So iet -ussia! =o doubt they are only the dupes o% propaganda, but what makes them so willing to be decei ed is their knowledge that the Fingdom o% Hea en has somehow got to be brought on to the sur%ace o% the earth! 1e ha e got to be the children o% God, e en though the God o% the *rayer +ook no longer e'ists! &he ery people who ha e dynamited our ci ili9ation ha e sometimes been aware o% this! ,ar';s %amous saying that "religion is the opium o% the people" is habitually wrenched out o% its conte't and gi en a meaning subtly but appreciably di%%erent %rom the one he ga e it! ,ar' did not say, at any rate in that place, that religion is merely a dope handed out %rom abo eJ he said that it is something the people create %or themsel es to supply a need that he recogni9ed to be a real one! "-eligion is the sigh o% the soul in a soulless world! -eligion is the opium o% the people!" 1hat is he saying e'cept that man does not li e by bread alone, that hatred is not enough, that a world worth li ing in cannot be %ounded on "realism" and machine"gunsI I% he had %oreseen how great his intellectual in%luence would be, perhaps he would ha e said it more o%ten and more loudly! 'ime and 'ide, 4 April 23<7

#, Letter to ayner 0e33enstall &he Stores 1allington =r +aldock, Herts! 22 April 23<7 Eear -ayner,< Eid those photos come to anythingI I% so, I;d be ery obliged i% you;d send me any that seemed worth reproducing and let me know what the negati es etc! cost! I; e :ust had a thing %rom some kind o% American literary / o7s / o@ wanting to put me in, with photo, and I suppose I;d better comply as it;s all an ad ert!
<! -ayner Heppenstall (2322" ), no elist, poet and critic, whose works include ' e *laze o$ Noon and Fo+r Absentees, met Orwell in the spring o% 23?@ through -ichard -ees and their %riendship continued until Orwell;s death! @! Stanley A! Funit9 and Howard Haycra%t, 'wentiet -ent+r( A+t ors (=ew Hork 23<>)! See 6!

Hope all goes well with you! I;m here alone, Eileen4 coming down at weekends when she can! &hey are working her to death in that o%%ice6 and I want to get her out o% it i% possible, but at present nothing is transpiring about a :ob %or me! I ha en;t touched my no el5 but am kept ery busy doing re iews which help to keep the wol% a %ew paces %rom the backdoor! Also with the garden, spring sowing being in %ull swing! I am aiming to raise 4 cwt o% potatoes against the %amine I %oresee ne't winter! Eid you go to the Easter con%erence at Langham3 by any chanceI &hey asked me to speak, I couldn;t get away, but sent a lecture27 to be read by someone else, attacking paci%ism %or all I was worth! I don;t know how they liked it and would like to hear %rom someone who was there! *lease gi e my lo e to ,argaret!22 I hope she is going on OF! Hours, Eric
4! Eileen +lair, Orwell;s wi%e! 6! &he #ensorship Eepartment! 5! A pro:ected Saga in three parts which was ne er begun seriously! See I, 2@3! 3! &he Adelphi #entre at Langham, Esse', an o%%shoot o% the Adel# i maga9ine, %ounded in 23?4 %or Summer Schools, con%erences etc! to promote Socialist studies! At this time it was dominated by ,a' *lowman, an ardent paci%ist! 27! &his has not been preser ed! 22! ,rs -ayner Heppenstall!

*S! I had some publications by some +/s who call themsel es the Apocalyptic school to re iew recently and took the opportunity o% gi ing a boost to Eylan,2? whose stu%% I ha e decided I really like in a way!
2>

2>! New A#ocal(#se, an ant olog( o$ criticism, #oems and stories, 23<7, representing a neo"-omantic

mo ement centred round the poets Henry &reece and A! /! Hendry! 2?! Eylan &homas!

4, e)iew Personal Record 1928-1939 /y Julian Green, translated /y Jocelyn Godefroi Aulian Green;s diaries, which ten years ago or e en %i e years ago might ha e seemed comparati ely commonplace, are at this moment o% the greatest interest! 1hat they really record is the twilight o% the aesthetic age, the last gasp o% the culti ated second"generaion rentier. 1ith his e'treme sensiti eness and his almost e%%eminate manner o% writing, ,r Green is a %igure particularly representati e o% the nineteen" twenties, o% the period when simply to preser e your aesthetic integrity seemed a su%%icient return %or li ing on inherited money! Although the diary records isits to London, to arious parts o% Europe, and to America (,r Green is o% American origin though he writes in /rench), one has the %eeling o% being all the while in *aris, the *aris o% old yellow"%aced houses and green plane trees, and also o% %irst nights, pri ate iews and interminable literary con ersations with Gide, Gertrude Stein and ,adame de =oailles! E erything is recorded with the restless sensiti eness o% the writer, who translates his e'perience into literature almost as automatically as a cow turns grass into milkG
December 19th. A gas-lamp burning behind the glass door of a concierge's room at the end of a winter's day, with darkness overhead -- what a lovely opening for a novel! Today, for a whole hour, I had nothing but this admirable picture in my mind. February 2nd. At ersailles. . . . As I looked at the ivy-leaves with their dainty pale yellow borders, I had a moment of sadness at the thought that, till my life's end, things as lovely as they will be there for me to see and I shall have no time to describe them.

He writes much o% his work, and his di%%iculties with his work (like the ma:ority o% writers he ne er %eels in the mood %or writing, and yet his books somehow get %inished), o% his dreams, which seem to a%%ect his waking li%e considerably, and o% his remembered childhood in the golden age "be%ore the war"! =early all his thoughts ha e a nostalgic tinge! +ut what gi es them their special interest is that he is %ar too intelligent to imagine that his way o% li%e or his scheme o% alues will last %or e er! &otally uninterested in politics, he is ne ertheless able to see, e en as early as the nineteen"twenties, that the age o% liberalism is ending and that wars, re olutions and dictatorships are :ust round the corner! E erything is cracking and collapsing! &he shadow o% Hitler %lits almost constantly across the pagesG
!e are going to see life changing under our very eyes. "verything that gives us pleasure will be taken from us. . . . I am growing accustomed to the idea of vanishing from sight, together with all that I love in this world# for it seems reasonable to suppose that we are approaching the end of a long era. $ow long shall we sleep%. . . &aris is living in a sort of latent panic. . . . In the "urope of '()* murder inevitably and fatally leads to other murder. $ow far can this go without the outbreak of war%. . . The war rumours continue as before. "veryone's daily life seems to be saturated with these feelings of apprehension. . . . The +hineland has been reoccupied. . . . I was

asked to say something on the wireless about Minuit. As if that were of the slightest importance with things as they are at the moment! ,ut one has to go on pretending. . .

&he %eeling o% %utility and impermanence, o% hanging about in a draughty room and waiting %or the guns to begin to shoot, which has haunted many o% us during the past se en years, is present e erywhere, and it grows stronger as the diary mo es towards 23?3! *erhaps e en the possession o% this %eeling depends upon being o% a certain age (Aulian Green is not $uite %orty), young enough to e'pect something %rom li%e and old enough to remember "be%ore the war"! It is a %act that the people who are now twenty do not appear to notice that the world is %alling into ruins! +ut what is attracti e in this diary is its complete impenitence, its re%usal to mo e with the times! It is the diary o% a ci ili9ed man who reali9es that barbarism is bound to triumph, but who is unable to stop being ci ili9ed! A new world is coming to birth, a world in which there will be no room %or him! He has too much ision to %ight against itJ on the other hand, he makes no pretence o% liking it! As it is e'actly that pretence that has been the stock"in"trade o% the younger intelligentsia during the last %ew years, the ghostly sincerity o% this book is deeply appealing! It has the charm o% the ine%%ectual, which is so out"o%"date as to wear an air o% no elty! 'ime and 'ide, 2? April 23<7

5, Letter to ayner 0e33enstall &he Stores 1allington =r +aldock, Herts! 24 April 23<7 Eear -ayner, &housands o% congratulations on the kid! I hope and trust both are doing well! *lease gi e ,argaret all the best and my congratulations! 1hat a wonder%ul thing to ha e a kid o% one;s own, I; e always wanted one so! +ut -ayner, don;t a%%lict the poor little brat with a #eltic sort o% name that nobody knows how to spell! She;ll grow up psychic or something! *eople always grow up like their names! It took me nearly thirty years to work o%% the e%%ects o% being called Eric! I% I wanted a girl to grow up beauti%ul I;d call her Eli9abeth, and i% I wanted her to be honest and a good cook I;d choose something like ,ary or Aane! &he trouble is that i% you called her Eli9abeth e eryone would think you;d done it a%ter the $ueen, as she presumably will be some day! &hanks %or the photos but you didn;t tell me what the negati es etc! cost! I chose the ones marked ? and @ to send to the people! I thought the one marked ? the best likeness, but naturally I know my own %ace best %rom the %ront! Let;s hope the photo will ha e the desired e%%ect! Seeing that it;s %or people at the other end o% the world I don;t

know why one shouldn;t send a photo o% some nice"looking boy in the Air /orce or something! I am a%raid I de%initely lack glamour, because I get $uite a lot o% letters %rom readers nowadays, but it;s always %rom people snootily pointing out some mistake I; e made and ne er %rom young women telling me I;m a sheik! I had some wonder%ul letters once %rom a midwi%e, and I wrote back not telling her I was married, but in the end to Eileen;s great glee she turned out to be ?@ and ha e < children! I don;t know when I;ll be in town! I am buried under books I keep re iewing and not getting on with my own book! God knows whether it will e er get written or whether such things as publishing no els will still be happening two years hence! All the best! Hours Eric

6, 7*uto/iogra3hical +ote8 I was born in 237? at ,otihari, +engal, the second child o% an Anglo"Indian %amily! I was educated at Eton, 2326">2, as I had been lucky enough to win a scholarship, but I did no work there and learned ery little, and I don;t %eel that Eton has been much o% a %ormati e in%luence in my li%e! /rom 23>> to 23>6 I ser ed with the Indian Imperial *olice in +urma! I ga e it up partly because the climate had ruined my health, partly because I already had ague ideas o% writing books, but mainly because I could not go on any longer ser ing an imperialism which I had come to regard as ery largely a racket! 1hen I came back to Europe I li ed %or about a year and a hal% in *aris, writing no els and short stories which no one would publish! A%ter my money came to an end I had se eral years o% %airly se ere po erty during which I was, among other things, a dish"washer, a pri ate tutor and a teacher in cheap pri ate schools! /or a year or more I was also a part"time assistant in a London bookshop, a :ob which was interesting in itsel% but had the disad antage o% compelling me to li e in London, which I detest! +y about 23?@ I was able to li e on what I earned by writing, and at the end o% that year I mo ed into the country and set up a small general store! It barely paid its way, but it taught me things about the trade which would be use%ul i% I e er made a enture in that direction again! I was married in the summer o% 23?4! At the end o% the year I went to Spain to take part in the #i il 1ar, my wi%e %ollowing soon a%terwards! I ser ed %our months on the Aragon %ront with the *!O!D!,! militia and was rather badly wounded, but luckily with no serious a%ter"e%%ects! Since that, e'cept %or spending a winter in ,orocco, I cannot honestly say that I ha e done anything e'cept write books and raise hens and egetables! 1hat I saw in Spain, and what I ha e seen since o% the inner working o% le%t"wing political parties, ha e gi en me a horror o% politics! I was %or a while a member o% the Independent Labour *arty, but le%t them at the beginning o% the present war because I considered that they were talking nonsense and proposing a line o% policy that could only make things easier %or Hitler! In sentiment I am de%initely "le%t", but I belie e that a writer can only remain honest i% he keeps %ree o% party labels!

&he writers I care most about and ne er grow tired o% are Shakespeare, Swi%t, /ielding, Eickens, #harles -eade, Samuel +utler, Kola, /laubert and, among modern writers, Aames Aoyce, &! S! Eliot and E! H! Lawrence! +ut I belie e the modern writer who has in%luenced me most is Somerset ,augham, whom I admire immensely %or his power o% telling a story straight%orwardly and without %rills! Outside my work the thing I care most about is gardening, especially egetable gardening! I like English cookery and English beer, /rench red wines, Spanish white wines, Indian tea, strong tobacco, coal %ires, candlelight and com%ortable chairs! I dislike big towns, noise, motor cars, the radio, tinned %ood, central heating and "modern" %urniture! ,y wi%e;s tastes %it in almost per%ectly with my own! ,y health is wretched, but it has ne er pre ented me %rom doing anything that I wanted to, e'cept, so %ar, %ight in the present war! I ought perhaps to mention that though this account that I ha e gi en o% mysel% is true, George Orwell is not my real name! I am not at the moment writing a no el, chie%ly owing to upsets caused by the war! +ut I am pro:ecting a long no el in three parts, to be called either ' e )ion and t e <nicorn or ' e =+ick and t e .ead, and hope to produce the %irst part by some time in 23<2! %+blications3 .own and O+t in %aris and )ondon (23??)! *+rmese .a(s (published in America be%ore being published in a slightly bowdleri9ed %orm in England, 23?<)! A -lerg(man7s .a+g ter (23?@)! "ee# t e As#idistra Fl(ing (23?4)! ' e &oad to /igan %ier (23?6)! Homage to -atalonia (23?5)! -oming +# $or Air (23?3)! 2nside t e / ale (23<7)! 1ritten 26 April 23<7 %or 'wentiet -ent+r( A+t ors, ed! Stanley A! Funit9 and H! Haycra%t, =!H!, 1!H! 1ilson 0 #o!, 23<>

9, e)iew The Totalitarian Enemy /y :, 'or(enau Although this is not one o% Er +orkenau;s best books, it contains a study o% the nature o% totalitarianism which deser es and in %act needs to be widely read at this moment! 1e cannot struggle against /ascism unless we are willing to understand it, a thing which both le%t"wingers and right"wingers ha e conspicuously %ailed to do "" basically, o% course, because they dared not! Dntil the signing o% the -usso"German *act, the assumption made on both sides was that the =a9i rMgime was in no way re olutionary! =ational Socialism was simply capitalism with the lid o%%, Hitler was a dummy with &hyssen pulling the strings "" that was the o%%icial theory, pro ed in many a pamphlet by ,r Aohn Strachey and tacitly accepted by ' e 'imes. +limps and Le%t +ook #lub members alike swallowed it whole,

both o% them ha ing, so to speak, a ested interest in ignoring the real %acts! Luite naturally the propertied classes wanted to belie e that Hitler would protect them against +olshe ism, and e$ually naturally the Socialists hated ha ing to admit that the man who had slaughtered their comrades was a Socialist himsel%! Hence, on both sides, the %rantic e%%orts to e'plain away the more and more striking resemblance between the German and -ussian rMgimes! &hen came the eye"opener o% the Hitler"Stalin pact! Suddenly the scum o% the earth and the blood"stained butcher o% the workers (%or so they had described one another) were marching arm in arm, their %riendship "cemented in blood", as Stalin cheerily e'pressed it! &herea%ter the Strachey"+limp thesis became untenable! =ational Socialism is a %orm o% Socialism, is emphatically re olutionary, does crush the property owner :ust as surely as it crushes the worker! &he two rMgimes, ha ing started %rom opposite ends, are rapidly e ol ing towards the same system "" a %orm o% oligarchical collecti ism! And at the moment, as Er +orkenau points out, it is Germany that is mo ing towards -ussia, rather than the other way about! It is there%ore nonsense to talk about Germany "going +olshe ik" i% Hitler %alls! Germany is going +olshe ik beca+se o% Hitler and not in spite o% him! &he $uestion that really arises is not so much how the =a9is could start out to sa e the world %rom +olshe ism and end by becoming +olshe ik, as how they could do it without losing either their power or their sel%"con%idence! Er +orkenau points to two reasons, one economic, the other psychological! /rom the %irst the aim o% the =a9is was to turn Germany into a war"machine, and to subordinate e erything else to that purpose! +ut a country, and especially a poor country, which is waging or preparing %or "total" war must be in some sense socialistic! 1hen the State has taken complete control o% industry, then the so"called capitalist is reduced to the status o% a manager, and when consumption goods are so scarce and so strictly rationed that you cannot spend a big income e en i% you earn one, then the essential structure o% Socialism already e'ists, plus the com%ortless e$uality o% war"#ommunism! Simply in the interest o% e%%iciency the =a9is %ound themsel es e'propriating, nationali9ing, destroying the ery people they had set out to sa e! It did not bother them, because their aim was simply power and not any particular %orm o% society! &hey would :ust as soon be -eds as 1hites, pro ided that it le%t them on top! I% the %irst step is to smash the Socialists to the tune o% anti",ar'ist slogans "" well and good, smash the Socialists! I% the ne't step is to smash the capitalists to the tune o% ,ar'ist slogans "" well and good, smash the capitalists! It is all"in wrestling, and the only rule is to win! -ussia since 23>5 shows distinctly similar re ersals o% policy, always tending to keep the ruling cli$ue in power! As %or the hate"campaigns in which totalitarian rMgimes ceaselessly indulge, they are real enough while they last, but are simply dictated by the needs o% the moment! Aews, *oles, &rotskyists, English, /rench, #9echs, Eemocrats, /ascists, ,ar'ists "" almost anyone can %igure as *ublic Enemy =o! 2! Hatred can be turned in any direction at a moment;s notice, like a plumber;s blow"%lame! On the strategic aspects o% the war Er +orkenau is less satis%actory! He is too optimistic about the probable attitude o% Italy, about the probable military e%%ects o% the -usso"German *act, about the solidarity o% the home %ront and, abo e all, about the power o% the present Go ernment to win the war and win the peace! +asically, as he sees and points out, what we ha e got to do is to put our own house in order "" to oppose a humaner, %reer %orm o% collecti ism to the purge"and"censorship ariety! 1e could do it rapidly, almost easily, but it needs the eye o% %aith to see the present Go ernment doing it!

I hope that Er +orkenau will write a longer and better book on appro'imately the same sub:ect! &he present one, in spite o% some brilliant passages, seems to ha e been hastily written and has %aults o% arrangement! =e ertheless Er +orkenau is one o% the most aluable gi%ts that Hitler has made to England! In a period when nearly all books on current politics ha e been compounded o% lies, or %olly, or both, his has been one o% the %ew sane oices heard in the land, and long may it continue! 'ime and 'ide, < ,ay 23<7

", Letter to the Editor of Time and Tide Sir, It is almost certain that England will be in aded within the ne't %ew days or weeks, and a large"scale in asion by sea"borne troops is $uite likely! At such a time our slogan should be A-, &HE *EO*LE! I am not competent to deal with the wider $uestions o% repelling the in asion, but I submit that the campaign in /rance and the recent ci il war in Spain ha e made two %acts clear! One is that when the ci il population is unarmed, parachutists, cyclists and stray tanks can not only work %ear%ul ha oc but draw o%% large bodies o% regular troops who should be opposing the main enemy! &he other %act (demonstrated by the Spanish war) is that the ad antages o% arming the population outweigh the danger o% putting weapons into the wrong hands! +y"elections since the war started ha e shown that only a tiny minority among the common people o% England are disa%%ected, and most o% these are already marked down! A-, &HE *EO*LE is in itsel% a ague phrase, and I do not, o% course, know what weapons are a ailable %or immediate distribution! +ut there are at any rate se eral things that can and should be done now, i!e! within the ne't three daysG 2! Hand"grenades! &hese are the only modern weapon o% war that can be rapidly and easily manu%actured, and they are one o% the most use%ul! Hundreds o% thousands o% men in England are accustomed to using hand"grenades and would be only too ready to instruct others! &hey are said to be use%ul against tanks and will be absolutely necessary i% enemy parachutists with machine"guns manage to establish themsel es in our big towns! I had a %ront"seat iew o% the street %ighting in +arcelona in ,ay 23?6, and it con inced me that a %ew hundred men with machine"guns can paralyse the li%e o% a large city, because o% the %act that a bullet will not penetrate an ordinary brick wall! &hey can be blasted out with artillery, but it is not always possible to bring a gun to bear! On the other hand, the early street %ighting in Spain showed that armed men can be dri en out o% stone buildings with grenades or e en sticks o% dynamite i% the right tactics are used! >! Shotguns! &here is talk o% arming some o% the Local Ee%ence .olunteer contingents with shotguns! &his may be necessary i% all the ri%les and +ren guns are needed %or the regular troops! +ut in that case the distribution should be made now and all weapons should be immediately re$uisitioned %rom the gunsmiths; shops! &here was talk o% doing this weeks ago, but in %act many gunsmiths; windows show rows o% guns which

are not only useless where they are, but actually a danger, as these shops could easily be raided! &he powers and limitations o% the shotgun (with buckshot, lethal up to about si'ty yards) should be e'plained to the public o er the radio! ?! +locking %ields against aircra%t landings! &here has been much talk o% this, but it has only been done sporadically! &he reason is that it has been le%t to oluntary e%%ort, i!e! to people who ha e insu%%icient time and no power o% re$uisitioning materials! In a small thickly populated country like England we could within a ery %ew days make it impossible %or an aeroplane to land anywhere e'cept at an aerodrome! All that is needed is the labour! Local authorities should there%ore ha e powers to conscript labour and re$uisition such materials as they re$uire! <! *ainting out place"names! &his has been well done as regards signposts, but there are e erywhere shop"%ronts, tradesmen;s ans etc!, bearing the name o% their locality! Local authorities should ha e the power to en%orce the painting"out o% these immediately! &his should include the brewers; names on public houses! ,ost o% these are con%ined to a %airly small area, and the Germans are probably methodical enough to know this! @! -adio sets! E ery Local Ee%ence .olunteer head$uarters should be in possession o% a radio recei ing set, so that i% necessary it can recei e its orders o er the air! It is %atal to rely on the telephone in a moment o% emergency! As with weapons, the Go ernment should not hesitate to re$uisition what it needs! All o% these are things that could be done within the space o% a ery %ew days! ,eanwhile, let us go on repeating A-, &HE *EO*LE, in the hope that more and more oices will take it up! /or the %irst time in decades we ha e a Go ernment with imagination,2< and there is at least a chance that they will listen!
2<! On 27 ,ay the #hamberlain Go ernment had %allen and 1inston #hurchill became *rime ,inister at the head o% a #oalition Go ernment!

I am, etc! George Orwell 'ime and 'ide, >> Aune 23<7

!$, Letter to John Lehmann 25 Eorset #hambers #hag%ord Street I or *lace =12 4 Auly 23<7 Eear Lehmann,2@ &hanks %or your two letters, which arri ed in one en elope! I am ery sorry I ha e written nothing %or you a%ter promising I would! I began something, then the war started

to get serious! I :ust can;t write with this kind o% thing going on! I ha e written nothing e'cept book re iews etc! %or a long time past, and also my time has been rather %illed up with helping with the L!E!.!24 1hat is so terrible about this kind o% situation is to be able to do nothing! &he go t won;t use me in any capacity, not e en a clerk, and I ha e %ailed to get into the army because o% my lungs! It is a terrible thing to %eel onesel% useless and at the same time on e ery side to see hal%wits and pro%ascists %illing important :obs! Howe er, things are mo ing a little! I was in%ormed at the 1!O!26 that it is no longer held against a man to ha e %ought in the Spanish ci il war! O% course you can use the elephant sketch25 again i% you like! &wo guineas would be ery handsome! As to the photo re%erred to in your other letter, does it ha e to be a real portrait or will a snap doI I don;t photograph well as a rule! &he enclosed was taken %or a carte d;identitM or something and is a ery good likeness, but I don;t know whether it would enlarge! In case I ha e to be properly photographed my address is as abo e, at any rate %or the ne't week or so! I ha e been li ing in London because I am now doing theatre criticism %or 'ime > 'ide.
2@! Aohn Lehmann (2376" ), poet, critic and publisher! /ounder and editor o% New /riting, a literary maga9ine committed to anti"/ascism, 23?4"<4, and later %irst editor o% the )ondon !agazine, 23@<! 24! &he Local Ee%ence .olunteers, which later became the Home Guard, consisted o% ci ilians %ormed into military detachments against the possibility o% in asion! 26! 1ar O%%ice! 25! "Shooting an Elephant"! See I, 55!

Hours George Orwell

!!, ;ro3hecies of :ascism &he reprinting o% Aack London;s ' e 2ron Heel brings within general reach a book which has been much sought a%ter during the years o% /ascist aggression! Like others o% Aack London;s books it has been widely read in Germany, and it has had the reputation o% being an accurate %orecast o% the coming o% Hitler! In reality it is not that! It is merely a tale o% capitalist oppression, and it was written at a time when arious things that ha e made /ascism possible "" %or instance, the tremendous re i al o% nationalism "" were not easy to %oresee! 1here London did show special insight, howe er, was in reali9ing that the transition to Socialism was not going to be automatic or e en easy! &he capitalist class was not going to "perish o% its own contradictions" like a %lower dying at the end o% the season! &he capitalist class was $uite cle er enough to see what was happening, to sink its own di%%erences and counterattack against the workersJ and the resulting struggle would be the most bloody and unscrupulous the world had e er seen! It is worth comparing ' e 2ron Heel with another imaginati e no el o% the %uture which was written somewhat earlier and to which it owes something, H! G! 1ells;s ' e Slee#er /akes. +y doing so one can see both London;s limitations and also the ad antage

to be en:oyed in not being, like 1ells, a %ully ci ili9ed man! As a book, ' e 2ron Heel is hugely in%erior! It is clumsily written, it shows no grasp o% scienti%ic possibilities, and the hero is the kind o% human gramophone who is now disappearing e en %rom Socialist tracts! +ut because o% his own streak o% sa agery London could grasp something that 1ells apparently could not, and that is that hedonistic societies do not endure! E eryone who has e er read ' e Slee#er /akes remembers it! It is a ision o% a glittering, sinister world in which society has hardened into a caste system and the workers are permanently ensla ed! It is also a world without purpose in which the upper castes %or whom the workers toil are completely so%t, cynical and %aithless! &here is no consciousness o% any ob:ect in li%e, nothing corresponding to the %er our o% the re olutionary or the religious martyr! In Aldous Hu'ley;s *rave New /orld, a sort o% post"war parody o% the 1ellsian Dtopia, these tendencies are immensely e'aggerated! Here the hedonistic principle is pushed to its utmost, the whole world has turned into a -i iera hotel! +ut though *rave New /orld was a brilliant caricature o% the present (the present o% 23?7), it probably casts no light on the %uture! =o society o% that kind would last more than a couple o% generations, because a ruling class which thought principally in terms o% a "good time" would soon lose its itality! A ruling class has got to ha e a strict morality, a $uasi" religious belie% in itsel%, a mysti$ue! London was aware o% this, and though he describes the caste o% plutocrats who rule the world %or se en centuries as inhuman monsters, he does not describe them as idlers or sensualists! &hey can only maintain their position while they honestly belie e that ci ili9ation depends on themsel es alone, and there%ore in a di%%erent way they are :ust as bra e, able and de oted as the re olutionaries who oppose them! In an intellectual way London accepted the conclusions o% ,ar'ism, and he imagined that the "contradictions" o% capitalism, the unconsumable surplus and so %orth, would persist e en a%ter the capitalist class had organi9ed themsel es into a single corporate body! +ut temperamentally he was ery di%%erent %rom the ma:ority o% ,ar'ists! 1ith his lo e o% iolence and physical strength, his belie% in "natural aristocracy", his animal"worship and e'altation o% the primiti e, he had in him what one might %airly call a /ascist strain! &his probably helped him to understand :ust how the possessing class would beha e when once they were seriously menaced! It is :ust here that ,ar'ian Socialists ha e usually %allen short! &heir interpretation o% history has been so mechanistic that they ha e %ailed to %oresee dangers that were ob ious to people who had ne er heard the name o% ,ar'! It is sometimes urged against ,ar' that he %ailed to predict the rise o% /ascism! I do not know whether he predicted it or not "" at that date he could only ha e done so in ery general terms "" but it is at any rate certain that his %ollowers %ailed to see any danger in /ascism until they themsel es were at the gate o% the concentration camp! A year or more a$ter Hitler had risen to power o%%icial ,ar'ism was still proclaiming that Hitler was o% no importance and "Social /ascism" (i!e! democracy) was the real enemy! London would probably not ha e made this mistake! His instincts would ha e warned him that Hitler was dangerous! He knew that economic laws do not operate in the same way as the law o% gra ity, that they can be held up %or long periods by people who, like Hitler, belie e in their own destiny! ' e 2ron Heel and ' e Slee#er /akes are both written %rom the popular standpoint! *rave New /orld, though primarily an attack on hedonism, is also by

implication an attack on totalitarianism and caste rule! It is interesting to compare them with a less well"known Dtopia which treats the class struggle %rom the upper or rather the middle"class point o% iew, Ernest +ramah;s ' e Secret o$ t e )eag+e. ' e Secret o$ t e )eag+e was written in 2376, when the growth o% the labour mo ement was beginning to terri%y the middle class, who wrongly imagined that they were menaced %rom below and not %rom abo e! As a political %orecast it is tri ial, but it is o% great interest %or the light it casts on the mentality o% the struggling middle class! &he author imagines a Labour go ernment coming into o%%ice with so huge a ma:ority that it is impossible to dislodge them! &hey do not, howe er, introduce a %ull Socialist economy! &hey merely continue to operate capitalism %or their own bene%it by constantly raising wages, creating a huge army o% bureaucrats and ta'ing the upper classes out o% e'istence! &he country is there%ore "going to the dogs" in the %amiliar mannerJ moreo er in their %oreign politics the Labour Go ernment beha e rather like the =ational Go ernment between 23?2 and 23?3! Against this there arises a secret conspiracy o% the middle and upper classes, the manner o% their re olt is ery ingenious, pro ided that one looks upon capitalism as something internalG it is the method o% the consumers; strike! O er a period o% two years the upper"class conspirators secretly hoard %uel"oil and con ert coal"burning plant to oil"burningJ then they suddenly boycott the principal +ritish industry, the coal industry! &he miners are %aced with a situation in which they will be able to sell no coal %or two years! &here is ast unemployment and distress, ending in ci il war, in which (thirty years be%ore General /rancoO) the upper classes recei e %oreign aid! A%ter their ictory they abolish the trade unions and institute a "strong" non"parliamentary rMgime "" in other words a rMgime that we should now describe as /ascist! &he tone o% the book is good"natured, as it could a%%ord to be at that date, but the trend o% thought is unmistakable! 1hy should a decent and kindly writer like Ernest +ramah %ind the crushing o% the proletariat a pleasant isionI It is simply the reaction o% a struggling class which %elt itsel% menaced not so much in its economic position as in its code o% conduct and way o% li%e! One can see the same purely social antagonism to the working class in an earlier writer o% much greater calibre, George Gissing! &ime, and Hitler, ha e taught the middle classes a great deal, and perhaps they will not again side with their oppressors against their natural allies! +ut whether they do so or not depends partly on how they are handled, and the stupidity o% Socialist propaganda, with its constant baiting o% the "petty bourgeois", has a lot to answer %or! 'rib+ne, 2> Auly 23<7

!., Letter to James Laughlin 25 Eorset #hambers #hag%ord Street I or *lace =12

24 Auly 23<7 Eear ,r Laughlin,23 ,any thanks %or your letter, which I ha e only :ust recei ed! Hes, you may certainly reprint the Henry ,iller essay!>7 I;m not sure how my contract with my publisher stands, and I ha e written to him, but I know he won;t ob:ect! 1hen I; e heard %rom him I;ll send you another line con%irming this! I trust neither letter will be torpedoed on the way!
23! Aames Laughlin, American publisher o% =ew Eirections books, editor and writer! >7! "Inside the 1hale" %rom the book o% this title! See I, 24<!

I wonder whether by any chance you know where Henry ,iller is! I ha en;t heard %rom him since about the beginning o% 23?3! 1hen this book came out he asked me through someone in England to send him a copy at some American address, and I did so, but ne er heard whether it got there! His %riend Al%red *erles is o er here and has :oined the +ritish army! As you say, all these pro:ects about books may be blown to pieces by the war! Hitler entered *aris a week or two be%ore a book o% mine was due to be reprinted there, and comically enough a %ew days later I got a demand %or income ta' which I had been counting on this reprint to pay! I ha e practically gi en up writing e'cept %or :ournalism! I can;t write with this sort o% business going on, and in a %ew months there is going to be such a se ere paper shortage that ery %ew books will be published! In any case I %eel that literature as we ha e known it is coming to an end! &hings look rather black at the moment! 1e are all on our toes waiting %or an in asion which $uite possibly won;t happen! *ersonally I am much more a%raid o% Hitler mopping up north A%rica and the near East and then making a peace o%%er! I actually rather hope that the in asion will happen! &he local morale is e'tremely good, and i% we are in aded we shall at any rate get rid once and %or all o% the gang who had got us into this mess! Howe er, I e'pect you are better in%ormed about European a%%airs than I am! I will send the con%irmation o% this letter within a %ew days! &hanks %or writing! Hours sincerely George Orwell

!&, Charles eade Since #harles -eade;s books are published in cheap editions one can assume that he still has his %ollowing, but it is unusual to meet anyone who has oluntarily read him! In most people his name seems to e oke, at most, a ague memory o% "doing" ' e -loister and t e Heart as a school holiday task! It is his bad luck to be remembered by this particular book, rather as ,ark &wain, thanks to the %ilms, is chie%ly remembered by A -onnectic+t 6ankee in "ing Art +r7s -o+rt. -eade wrote se eral dull books, and ' e -loister and t e Heart is one o% them! +ut he also wrote three no els which I personally would back to outli e the entire works o% ,eredith and George Eliot, besides some

brilliant long"short stories such as A 9ack o$ All 'rades and ' e A+tobiogra# ( o$ a ' ie$. 1hat is the attraction o% -eadeI At bottom it is the same charm as one %inds in -! Austin /reeman;s detecti e stories or Lieutenant"#ommander Gould;s collections o% curiosities "" the charm o% useless knowledge! -eade was a man o% what one might call penny"encyclopaedic learning! He possessed ast stocks o% disconnected in%ormation which a li ely narrati e gi%t allowed him to cram into books which would at any rate pass as no els! I% you ha e the sort o% mind that takes a pleasure in dates, lists, catalogues, concrete details, descriptions o% processes, :unk"shop windows and back numbers o% the E1c ange and !art, the sort o% mind that likes knowing e'actly how a medie al catapult worked or :ust what ob:ects a prison cell o% the eighteen"%orties contained, then you can hardly help en:oying -eade! He himsel%, o% course, did not see his work in $uite this light! He prided himsel% on his accuracy and compiled his books largely %rom newspaper cuttings, but the strange %acts which he collected were subsidiary to what he would ha e regarded as his "purpose"! /or he was a social re%ormer in a %ragmentary way, and made igorous attacks on such di erse e ils as blood"letting, the treadmill, pri ate asylums, clerical celibacy and tight"lacing! ,y own %a ourite has always been Fo+l %la(, which as it happens is not an attack on anything in particular! Like most nineteenth"century no els Fo+l %la( is too complicated to be summari9ed, but its central story is that o% a young clergyman, -obert *en%old, who is un:ustly con icted o% %orgery, is transported to Australia, absconds in disguise, and is wrecked on a desert island together with the heroine! Here, o% course, -eade is in his element! O% all men who e er li ed, he was the best %itted to write a desert"island story! Some desert"island stories, o% course, are worse than others, but none is altogether bad when it sticks to the actual concrete details o% the struggle to keep ali e! A list o% the ob:ects in a shipwrecked man;s possession is probably the surest winner in %iction, surer e en than a trial scene! =early thirty years a%ter reading the book I can still remember more or less e'actly what things the three heroes o% +allantyne;s -oral 2sland possessed between them! (A telescope, si' yards o% whipcord, a penkni%e, a brass ring and a piece o% hoop iron!) E en a dismal book like &obinson -r+soe, so unreadable as a whole that %ew people e en know that the second part e'ists, becomes interesting when it describes #rusoe;s e%%orts to make a table, gla9e earthenware and grow a patch o% wheat! -eade, howe er, was an e'pert on desert islands, or at any rate he was ery well up in the geography te'tbooks o% the time! ,oreo er he was the kind o% man who would ha e been at home on a desert island himsel%! He would ne er, like #rusoe, ha e been stumped by such an easy problem as that o% lea ening bread and, unlike +allantyne, he knew that ci ili9ed men cannot make %ire by rubbing sticks together! &he hero o% Fo+l %la(, like most o% -eade;s heroes, is a kind o% superman! He is hero, saint, scholar, gentleman, athlete, pugilist, na igator, physiologist, botanist, blacksmith and carpenter all rolled into one, the sort o% compendium o% all the talents that -eade honestly imagined to be the normal product o% an English uni ersity! =eedless to say, it is only a month or two be%ore this wonder%ul clergyman has got the desert island running like a 1est End hotel! E en be%ore reaching the island, when the last sur i ors o% the wrecked ship are dying o% thirst in an open boat, he has shown his ingenuity by constructing a distilling apparatus with a :ar, a hot"water bottle and a piece o% tubing! +ut his best stroke o% all is the way in which he contri es to lea e the island! He himsel%, with a price on his head, would be glad enough to remain, but the heroine, Helen -ollestone,

who has no idea that he is a con ict, is naturally an'ious to escape! She asks -obert to turn his "great mind" to this problem! &he %irst di%%iculty, o% course, is to disco er e'actly where the island is! Luckily, howe er, Helen is still wearing her watch, which is still keeping Sydney time! +y %i'ing a stick in the ground and watching its shadow -obert notes the e'act moment o% noon, a%ter which it is a simple matter to work out the longitude "" %or naturally a man o% his calibre would know the longitude o% Sydney! It is e$ually natural that he can determine the latitude within a degree or two by the nature o% the egetation! +ut the ne't di%%iculty is to send a message to the outside world! A%ter some thought -obert writes a series o% messages on pieces o% parchment made %rom seals; bladders, with ink obtained %rom cochineal insects! He has noticed that migrant birds o%ten use the island as a stopping"place, and he %i'es on ducks as the likeliest messengers, because e ery duck is liable to be shot sooner or later! +y a stratagem o%ten used in India he captures a number o% ducks, ties a message to each o% their legs and lets them go! /inally, o% course, one o% the ducks takes re%uge on a ship, and the couple are rescued, but e en then the story is barely hal% %inished! &here %ollow enormous rami%ications, plots and counterplots, intrigues, triumphs and disasters, ending with the indication o% -obert, and wedding bells! In any o% -eade;s three best books, Fo+l %la(, Hard -as and 2t 2s Never 'oo )ate to !end, it is not %air to say that the sole interest is in the technical detail! His power o% descripti e writing, especially o% describing iolent action, is also ery striking, and on a serial"story le el he is a wonder%ul contri er o% plots! Simply as a no elist it is impossible to take him seriously, because he has no sense whate er o% character or o% probability, but he himsel% had the ad antage o% belie ing in e en the absurdest details o% his own stories! He wrote o% li%e as he saw it, and maay .ictorians saw it in the same wayG that is, as a series o% tremendous melodramas, with irtue triumphant e ery time! O% all the nineteenth"century no elists who ha e remained readable, he is perhaps the only one who is completely in tune with his own age! /or all his uncon entionality, his "purpose", his eagerness to e'pose abuses, he ne er makes a %undamental criticism! Sa e %or a %ew sur%ace e ils he sees nothing wrong in an ac$uisiti e society, with its e$uation o% money and irtue, its pious millionaires and erastian clergymen! *erhaps nothing gi es one his measure better than the %act that in introducing -obert *en%old, at the beginning o% Fo+l %la(, he mentions that he is a scholar and a cricketer and only thirdly and almost casually adds that he is a priest! &hat is not to say that -eade;s social conscience was not sound so %ar as it went, and in se eral minor ways he probably helped to educate public opinion! His attack on the prison system in 2t 2s Never 'oo )ate to !end is rele ant to this day, or was so till ery recently, and in his medical theories he is said to ha e been a long way ahead o% his time! 1hat he lacked was any notion that the early railway age, with the special scheme o% alues appropriate to it, was not going to last %or e er! &his is a little surprising when one remembers that he was the brother o% 1inwood -eade! Howe er hastily and unbalanced 1inwood -eade;s !art(rdom o$ !an may seem now, it is a book that shows an astonishing width o% ision, and it is probably the unacknowledged grandparent o% the "outlines" so popular today! #harles -eade might ha e written an "outline" o% phrenology, cabinet"making or the habits o% whales, but not o% human history! He was simply a middle"class gentleman with a little more conscience than most, a scholar who happened to pre%er popular science to the classics! Aust %or that reason he is one o% the

best "escape" no elists we ha e! Fo+l %la( and Hard -as would be good books to send to a soldier enduring the miseries o% trench war%are, %or instance! &here are no problems in them, no genuine "messages", merely the %ascination o% a gi%ted mind %unctioning within ery narrow limits, and o%%ering as complete a detachment %rom real li%e as a game o% chess or a :igsaw pu99le! New Statesman and Nation, 26 August 23<7

!#, The ;roletarian -riter Eiscussion between George Orwell and Eesmond Hawkins Hawkins3 I ha e always doubted i% there is such a thing as proletarian literature "" or e er could be! &he %irst $uestion is what people mean by it! 1hat do (o+ mean by itI Hou would e'pect it to mean literature written speci%ically %or the proletariat, and read by them, but does itI Orwell3 =o, ob iously not! In that case the most de%initely proletarian literature would be some o% our morning papers! +ut you can see by the e'istence o% publications like New /riting, or the Dnity &heatre, %or instance, that the term has a sort o% meaning, though un%ortunately there are se eral di%%erent ideas mi'ed up in it! 1hat people mean by it, roughly speaking, is a literature in which the iewpoint o% the working class, which is supposed to be completely di%%erent %rom that o% the richer classes, gets a hearing! And that, o% course, has got mi'ed up with Socialist propaganda! I don;t think the people who throw this e'pression about mean literature written b( proletarians! 1! H! Ea ies was a proletarian, but he would not be called a proletarian writer! *aul *otts would be called a proletarian writer, but he is not a proletarian! &he reason why I am doubt%ul o% the whole conception is that I don;t belie e the proletariat can create an independent literature while they are not the dominant class! I belie e that their literature is and must be bourgeois literature with a slightly di%%erent slant! A%ter all, so much that is supposed to be new is simply the old standing on its head! &he poems that were written about the Spanish #i il 1ar, %or instance, were simply a de%lated ersion o% the stu%% that -upert +rooke and #o! were writing in 232<! Hawkins3 Still, I think one must admit that the cult o% proletarian literature "" whether the theory is right or not "" has had some e%%ect! Look at writers like Aames Hanley, %or instance, or Aack Hilton, or Aack #ommon! &hey ha e something new to say "" something at any rate that could not $uite be said by anyone who had the ordinary middle"class upbringing! O% course there was a tremendous amount o% cant about proletarian literature in the years a%ter the Slump, when +loomsbury went all ,ar'ist, and #ommunism became %ashionable! +ut the thing had really started earlier! I should say it started :ust be%ore the last war, when /ord ,ado' /ord, the editor o% the Englis &eview, met E! H! Lawrence and saw in him the portent o% a new class %inding e'pression in literature! Lawrence;s Sons and )overs really did break new ground! It recorded a kind

o% e'perience that simply had not got into print be%ore! And yet it was an e'perience that had been shared by millions o% people! &he $uestion is why it had ne er been recorded earlier! 1hy would you say there had been no books like Sons and )overs be%ore that timeI Orwell3 I think it is simply a matter o% education! A%ter all, though Lawrence was the son o% a coal miner he had had an education that was not ery di%%erent %rom that o% the middle class! He was a uni ersity graduate, remember! +e%ore a certain date "" roughly speaking, be%ore the nineties, when the Education Act began to take e%%ect "" ery %ew genuine proletarians could writeG that is, write with enough %acility to produce a book or a story! On the other hand the pro%essional writers knew nothing about proletarian li%e! One %eels this e en with a really radical writer like Eickens! Eickens does not write about the working classJ he does not know enough about them! He is %or the working class, but he %eels himsel% completely di%%erent %rom them "" %ar more di%%erent than the a erage middle"class person would %eel nowadays! Hawkins3 &hen, a%ter all, the appearance o% the proletariat as a class capable o% producing books means a %resh de elopment o% literature "" completely new sub:ect" matter, and a new slant on li%eI Orwell3 Hes, e'cept in so %ar as the e'perience o% all classes in society tends to become more and more alike! I maintain that the class distinctions in a country like England are now so unreal that they cannot last much longer! /i%ty years ago or e en twenty years ago a %actory worker and a small pro%essional man, %or instance, were ery di%%erent kinds o% creature! =owadays they are ery much alike, though they may not reali9e it! &hey see the same %ilms and listen to the same radio programmes, and they wear ery similar clothes and li e in ery similar houses! 1hat used to be called a proletarian "" what ,ar' would ha e meant by a proletarian "" only e'ists now in the hea y industries and on the land! All the same, there;s no doubt that it was a big step %orward when the $acts o% working"class li%e were %irst got onto paper! I think it has done something to push %iction back towards realities and away %rom the o er"ci ili9ed stu%% that Galsworthy and so %orth used to write! I think possibly the %irst book that did this was ' e &agged-'ro+sered % ilant ro#ists5 which has always seemed to me a wonder%ul book, although it is ery clumsily written! It recorded things that were e eryday e'perience but which simply had not been noticed be%ore "" :ust as, so it is said, no one be%ore AE 2577 e er noticed that the sea was blue! And Aack London was another pioneer in the same line! Hawkins3 And how about language and techni$ueI #yril #onnolly, you may remember, said last week that the great inno ations in literature ha e been made in techni$ue rather than in content! As an e'ample, he said that there is nothing new in Aoyce e'cept his techni$ue! +ut surely these re olutionary proletarians ha e not shown much interest in techni$ueI Some o% them seem to be little di%%erent in manner %rom the pious morali9ing lady no elists o% the last century! &heir re olt is entirely in content, in theme "" is that soI Orwell3 I think in the main that;s true! It;s a %act that written English is much more collo$uial now than it was twenty years ago, and that;s all to the good! +ut we; e borrowed much more %rom America than %rom the speech o% the English working class! As %or techni$ue, one o% the things that strikes one about the proletarian writers, or the people who are called proletarian writers, is how conser ati e they are! 1e might make

an e'ception o% Lionel +rittain;s H+nger and )ove. +ut i% you look through a olume o% New /riting or the )e$t &eview you won;t %ind many e'periments! Hawkins3 &hen we come back to thisG that what is called proletarian literature stands or %alls by its sub:ect"matter! &he mysti$ue behind these writers, I suppose, is the class war, the hope o% a better %uture, the struggle o% the working class against miserable li ing conditions! Orwell3 Hes, proletarian literature is mainly a literature o% re olt! It can;t help being so! Hawkins3 And my $uarrel with it has always been that it is too much dominated by political considerations! I belie e politicians and artists do not go well together! &he goal o% a politician is always limited, partial, short"term, o er"simpli%ied! It has to be, to ha e any hope o% reali9ation! As a principle o% action, it cannot a%%ord to consider its own imper%ections and the possible irtues o% its opponents! It cannot a%%ord to dwell on the pathos and the tragedy o% all human endea our! In short, it must e'clude the ery things that are aluable in art! 1ould you agree there%ore that when proletarian literature becomes literature it ceases to be proletarian "" in the political senseI Or that when it becomes propaganda it ceases to be literatureI Orwell3 I think that;s putting it too crudely! I ha e always maintained that e ery artist is a propagandist! I don;t mean a political propagandist! I% he has any honesty or talent at all he cannot be that! ,ost political propaganda is a matter o% telling lies, not only about the %acts but about your own %eelings! +ut e ery artist is a propagandist in the sense that he is trying, directly or indirectly, to impose a ision o% li%e that seems to him desirable! I think we are broadly agreed about the ision o% li%e that proletarian literature is trying to impose! As you said :ust now, the mysti$ue behind it is the class war! &hat is something realJ at any rate, it is something that is belie ed in! *eople will die %or it as well as write about it! Luite a lot o% people died %or it in Spain! ,y point about proletarian literature is that though it has been important and use%ul so %ar as it went, it isn;t likely to be permanent or to be the beginning o% a new age in literature! It is %ounded on the re olt against capitalism, and capitalism is disappearing! In a Socialist state, a lot o% our le%t"wing writers "" people like Edward Dpward, #hristopher #audwell, Alec +rown, Arthur #alder",arshall and all the rest o% them "" who ha e speciali9ed in attacking the society they li e in, would ha e nothing to attack! Aust to re ert %or a moment to a book I mentioned abo e, Lionel +rittain;s H+nger and )ove. &his was an outstanding book and I think in a way it is representati e o% proletarian literature! 1ell, what is it aboutI It is about a young proletarian who wishes he wasn;t a proletarian! It simply goes on and on about the intolerable conditions o% working"class li%e, the %act that the roo% leaks and the sink smells and all the rest o% it! =ow, you couldn;t %ound a literature on the %act that the sink smells! As a con ention it isn;t likely to last so long as the siege o% &roy! And behind this book, and lots o% others like it, you can see what is really the history o% a proletarian writer nowadays! &hrough some accident "" ery o%ten it is simply due to ha ing a long period on the dole "" a young man o% the working class gets a chance to educate himsel%! &hen he starts writing books, and naturally he makes use o% his early e'periences, his su%%erings under po erty, his re olt against the e'isting system, and so %orth! +ut he isn;t really creating an independent literature! He writes in the bourgeois manner, in the middle"class dialect! He is simply the black sheep o% the bourgeois %amily, using the old methods %or slightly di%%erent purposes! Eon;t mistake me!

I;m not saying that he can;t be as good a writer as anyone elseJ but i% he is, it won;t be because he is a working man but because he is a talented person who has learnt to write well! So long as the bourgeoisie are the dominant class, literature must be bourgeois! +ut I don;t belie e that they will be dominant much longer, or any other class either! I belie e we are passing into a classless period, and what we call proletarian literature is one o% the signs o% the change! +ut I don;t deny %or an instant the good that it has done "" the itali9ing e%%ect o% getting working"class e'perience and working"class alues on to paper! Hawkins3 And, o% course, as a positi e gain, it has le%t behind $uite a lot o% good books! Orwell3 Oh yes, lots! Aack London;s book ' e &oad, Aack Hilton;s -aliban S rieks, Aim *helan;s prison books, George Garrett;s sea stories, *ri ate -ichards;s Old Soldier Sa ib, Aames Hanley;s 4re( - ildren -- to name :ust a %ew! Hawkins3 All this time we ha e said nothing about the literature that the proletariat does read "" not so much the daily papers, but the weeklies, the twopennies! Orwell3 Hes, I should say that the small weekly press is much more representati e! *apers like Home - at or the E1c ange and !art, and -age-*irds, %or instance! Hawkins3 And the literature that really comes out o% the people themsel es "" we ha e said nothing about that! &ake, %or instance, the camp"%ire ballads o% the men who built the #anadian *aci%ic -ailwayJ the sea shantiesJ =egro poems like "Stagolee"J and the old street broadsheets "" especially the ones about e'ecutions, the sort o% thing that must ha e inspired Fipling;s "Eanny Eee er"! And epitaphs, limericks, ad ertisement :ingles "" sticking simply to poetry, those are the special literature o% the proletariat, aren;t theyI Orwell3 Hes, and don;t %orget the :okes on the comic coloured postcards, especially Eonald ,cGill;s! I;m particularly attached to those! And abo e all the songs that the soldiers made up and sang %or themsel es in the last war! And the army songs %or bugle calls and military marches "" those are the real popular poetry o% our time, like the ballads in the ,iddle Ages! It;s a pity they are always unprintable! Hawkins3 Hes, but I;m a%raid now we are dri%ting into %olk literature, and it seems to me that we must keep the two things distinct! /rom what you say I imagine that this word "proletarian" is going to be $uite meaningless i% you detach it %rom re olutionary politics! Orwell3 Hes, the term "proletariat" is a political term belonging solely to the industrial age! Hawkins3 1ell, I think we are completely in agreement that the theory o% a separate proletarian literature :ust doesn;t work! /or all its apparent di%%erence it comes within the %ramework o% what you call bourgeois writing! Orwell3 +y "bourgeois" and "bourgeoisie" I don;t mean merely the people who buy and sell things! I mean the whole dominant culture o% our time! Hawkins3 I% we agree about that, we ha e still got to assess the contribution that these so"called proletarian writers ha e made! +ecause it is a contribution and it would be absurd to pass that o er in disposing o% the theory! Orwell3 I think they ha e made two kinds o% contribution! One is that they ha e to some e'tent pro ided new sub:ect"matter, which has also led other writers who are not o%

the working class to look at things which were under their noses, but not noticed, be%ore! &he other is that they ha e introduced a note o% what you might call crudeness and itality! &hey ha e been a sort o% oice in the gallery, pre enting people %rom becoming too toney and too ci ili9ed! Hawkins3 And then there;s another contribution, which you yoursel% mentioned earlier, and that is language! &! S! Eliot stressed the importance o% constantly drawing newly minted words into the language, and in recent years it is pre"eminently %rom the working class that new words and phrases ha e come! It may be %rom the %ilm or the street or through any channel, but the proletarian writer deser es credit %or gi ing modern English much o% its raciness and colour! Orwell3 1ell, o% course, the $uestion is whether it has got much colourO +ut the thing you can say %or the typical prose o% the last ten years is that it has not got many %rills or unnecessary ad:ecti es! It;s plain! It is rather $uestionable whether the sort o% prose that has de eloped in this way is suitable %or e'pressing ery subtle thoughts, but it is e'cellent %or describing action, and it is a good antidote to the o er"re%ined type o% prose which used to be %asionable "" ery good in its way, o% course, but tending to emasculate the language altogether! Hawkins3 1ell, to conclude "" it looks as i% the slogan o% proletarian literature has made a nice rallying"point %or some work that was well worth ha ing and it has been a %ocus %or working"class writers, whether they were re olutionary or not, either in techni$ue or in politics or in sub:ect! +ut the phrase itsel% as a critical term is irtually useless! Orwell3 It has had a certain use as a label %or a rather heterogeneous literature belonging to a transition period, but I do agree with you that %or there to be what could really be called a proletarian literature the proletariat would ha e to be the dominant class! Hawkins3 Hes, and in assuming that it would certainly ha e to change its character! And that still lea es open the $uestion we ha e only :ust touched on "" how %ar can politics be introduced into art without spoiling the artI +roadcast in the Home Ser ice o% the +!+!#!, 4 Eecember 23<7J printed in the )istener, 23 Eecember 23<7!

!4, e)iew Landfall /y +e)il <hute= Nailcr ncher /y *l/ert Cohen, translated from the :rench /y Vy)yan 0olland It is commonly said that e ery human being has in him the material %or one good book, which is true in the same sense as it is true that e ery block o% stone contains a statue! 1hat is perhaps more to the point is that anyone able to hold a pen can write a %airly good no el o% the unpretentious kind, i% only at some period o% his li%e he has managed to escape %rom literary society! &here is no lack nowadays o% cle er writersJ the

trouble is that such writers are so cut o%% %rom the li%e o% their time as to be unable to write about ordinary people! A "distinguished" modern no el almost always has some kind o% artist or near"artist as its hero! &here is, howe er, one e'perience that happens to nearly all human beings alike, and that is war! &he "intellectual" has a chance o% seeing war at close $uarters as he will ne er see, %or instance, stockbroking or marine insurance, and good war"books are in conse$uence %airly common! &he present war, owing to its peculiar character, has not yet produced a literature o% its own, but ,r =e il Shute;s )and$all is a beginning! It is a straight%orward, con incing story, and I shall keep an eye open %or ,r Shute;s books in %uture! 1hat makes it interesting is that it brings out the essential peculiarity o% war, the mi'ture o% heroism and meanness! &he whole story turns upon the :ealousy between the na y and air %orce o er the control o% the #oastal #ommand! &he hero, a young airman, is accused o% bombing and sinking a +ritish submarine! He has not in %act done so, but is %ound guilty by a board o% in$uiry composed o% na al o%%icers who are %aintly pre:udiced against him! Later in the book he is e'onerated by a roundabout but curiously con incing chain o% circumstances in which the chie% link is a dirty :oke about contracepti es! &he way in which the author handles him shows what an ad antage it is %or a thinking man to li e sometimes on e$ual terms with men who are not "thinking"! &he young airman is completely unintellectual! His hobbies are getting di%%icult stations on the wireless and %itting together model ships o% which he buys the parts ready"made! He is conducting a %lirtation with a barmaid, whom he %inally marries, and there are whole chapters o% the kind o% con ersation that one hears %lung to and %ro across saloon bars, %ull o% do+bles entendres and "Oo, aren;t you aw%ulO" +ut the author treats none o% this ironically! He sees the young airman;s point o% iew, because, presumably, he has at some time shared his e'periences! He can stand inside him as well as outside him and reali9e that he is heroic as well as childish, competent as well as silly! &he result is a good, simple story, pleasantly %ree %rom cle erness, and at times genuinely mo ing! Nailcr+nc er, on the other hand, is one o% the most pretentious no els I ha e read %or a long time! It is an enormous, deliberately %arcical story about some semi"imbecile Aews, %irst in the Greek island o% #ephalonia and later in Swit9erland! 1hat is chie%ly remarkable in it is the length and disgustingness o% its scatological passages! As soon as I came on the %irst o% these I turned back to the blurb on the dust":acket, well knowing what ad:ecti e I should %ind, and, sure enough, there it was "" "-abelaisian"! It is curious that this word is in ariably used as a term o% praise! 1e are %ore er being told that whereas pornography is reprehensible, "hearty -abelaisian humour" (meaning a preoccupation with the 1!#!) is per%ectly all right! &his is partly, perhaps, because -abelais is nowadays seldom read! So %ar %rom being "healthy" as is always alleged, he is an e'ceptionally per erse, morbid writer, a case %or psycho"analysis! +ut people who lead strict li es ha e dirty minds, and -abelais had a considerable underground reputation in .ictorian times! Archdeacon Grantly read him on the sly, it will be remembered, and the bachelor in +rowning;s poem possessed "a little edition o% -abelais"! *erhaps the only way o% making him respectable was to maintain that there is something "normal" and "hearty" in coprophilia, and the legend has sur i ed into an age when %ew people ha e glanced at his dirtier passages! At any rate "-abelaisian" is a correct description o% Nailcr+nc er. I% you like scatology, this is the book %or youJ i% you don;t, I should steer clear o% it, %or long passages in it are calculated to make any ordinary person physically sick!

New Statesman and Nation, 6 Eecember 23<7

!"#!

!5, London Letter to Partisan Re!ie"!


2! %artisan &eview, most in%luential o% American le%t"wing literary maga9ines, was started by the #ommunist "Aohn -eed #lub" in =!H!#! in 23?<! *ublication was suspended %or most o% 23?6, and resumed at the end o% that year, becoming more literary and politically more &rotskyist in sympathy! 1illiam *hillips and *hilip -ah ha e edited it since 23?<!

B/rom this date until the summer o% 23<4 George Orwell wrote a regular London letter %or %artisan &eview!C London, =12 England ? Aanuary 23<2 Eear Editors, As I am writing this letter in answer to a pri ately addressed one o% your own, perhaps I had better start by $uoting what you said, so as to make clear what $uestions I am trying to answerG
There are things the news reports do not tell us. -or instance, what's happening under the surface in the way of politics% Among the labour groups% !hat is the general mood, if there is such a thing, among writers, artists and intellectuals% !hat transmutations have their lives and their preoccupations suffered%

1ell, as to the political situation, I think it is true to say that at the moment we are in the middle o% a backwash which is not going to make ery much ultimate di%%erence! &he reactionaries, which means roughly the people who read ' e 'imes, had a bad scare in the summer, but they sa ed themsel es by the skin o% their teeth, and they are now consolidating their position against the new crisis which is likely to arise in the spring! In the summer what amounted to a re olutionary situation e'isted in England, though there was no one to take ad antage o% it! A%ter twenty years o% being %ed on sugar and water the nation had suddenly reali9ed what its rulers were like, and there was a widespread readiness %or sweeping economic and social changes, combined with absolute determination to pre ent in asion! At that moment, I belie e, the opportunity e'isted to isolate the moneyed class and swing the mass o% the nation behind a policy in which resistance to Hitler and destruction!o% class"pri ilege were combined! #lement

Greenberg;s remark in his article in Horizon, that the working class is the only class in England that seriously means to de%eat Hitler, seems to me $uite untrue! &he bulk o% the middle class are :ust as anti"Hitler as the working class, and their morale is probably more reliable! &he %act which Socialists, especially when they are looking at the English scene %rom the outside, seldom seem to me to grasp, is that the patriotism o% the middle classes is a thing to be made use o%! &he people who stand to attention during "God Sa e the Fing" would readily trans%er their loyalty to a Socialist rMgime, i% they were handled with the minimum o% tact! Howe er, in the summer months no one saw the opportunity, the Labour leaders (with the possible e'ception o% +e in) allowed themsel es to be made the tame cats o% the Go ernment, and when the in asion %ailed to come o%% and the air raids were less terrible than e eryone had e'pected, the $uasi"re olutionary mood ebbed away! At present the -ight are counter"attacking! ,argesson;s entry into the #abinet "" the nearest e$ui alent possible to bringing #hamberlain out o% his gra e "" was a swi%t cash"in on 1a ell;s ictory in Egypt! &he campaign in the ,editerranean is not %inished, but e ents there ha e :usti%ied the #onser ati es as against the Le%t and they can be e'pected to take ad antage o% it! It is not impossible that one or two le%tish newspapers will be suppressed be%ore long! Suppression o% the .ail( /orker is said to ha e been mooted already in the #abinet! +ut this swing o% the pendulum is not itally important unless one belie es, as I do not "" and I doubt whether many people under %i%ty belie e it either "" that England can win the war without passing through re olution and go straight back to pre"23?3 "normality", with three million unemployed etc! etc! +ut at present there does not e%%ecti ely e'ist any policy between being patriotic in the "Fing and #ountry" style and being pro"Hitler! I% another wa e o% anti"capitalist %eeling arri ed it could at the moment only be canali9ed into de%eatism! At the same time there is little sign o% this in England, though the morale is probably worse in the industrial towns than elsewhere! In London, a%ter %our months o% almost ceaseless bombing, morale is %ar better than a year ago when the war was stagnant! &he only people who are o ertly de%eatist are ,osley;s %ollowers, the #ommunists and the paci%ists! &he #ommunists still possess a %ooting in the %actories and may some time stage a come"back by %omenting grie ances about working hours etc! +ut they ha e di%%iculty in getting their working"class %ollowers to accept a de%initely pro" Hitler policy, and they had to pipe down during the desperate days in the summer! 1ith the general public their in%luence is nil, as one can see by the otes in the by"elections, and the power%ul hold they had on the press in the years 23?@"3 has been completely broken! ,osley;s +lackshirts ha e ceased to e'ist as a legal organi9ation, but they probably deser e to be taken more seriously than the #ommunists, i% only because the tone o% their propaganda is more acceptable to soldiers, sailors and airmen! =o le%t"wing organi9ation in England has e er been able to gain a %ooting in the armed %orces! &he /ascists ha e, o% course, tried to put the blame %or both the war and the discom%ort caused by the air raids on to the Aews, and during the worst o% the East End bombings they did succeed in raising a mutter o% antisemitism, though only a %aint one! &he most interesting de elopment o% the anti"war %ront has been the interpretation o% the paci%ist mo ement by /ascist ideas, especially antisemitism! A%ter Eick Sheppard;s death +ritish paci%ism seems to ha e su%%ered a moral collapseJ it has not produced any signi%icant gesture nor e en many martyrs, and only about %i%teen per cent o% the membership o% the *eace *ledge Dnion now appear to be acti e! +ut many o% the sur i ing paci%ists now spin a

line o% talk indistinguishable %rom that o% the +lackshirts ("Stop this Aewish war" etc!), and the actual membership o% the *!*!D!> and the +ritish Dnion? o erlap to some e'tent! *ut all together, the arious pro"Hitler organi9ations can hardly number 2@7,777 members, and they are not likely to achie e much by their own e%%orts, but they might play an important part at a time when a go ernment o% the *Mtain type was contemplating surrender! &here is some reason to think that Hitler does not want ,osley;s organi9ation to grow too strong! Lord Haw"Haw, the most e%%ecti e o% the English"language German broadcasters, has been identi%ied with %aircertainty as Aoyce, a member o% the split"o%% /ascist party and a ery bitter personal enemy o% ,osley!
>! *eace *ledge Dnion! ?! +ritish Dnion o% /ascists led by Sir Oswald ,osley!

Hou ask also about the intellectual li%e o% England, the arious currents o% thought in the literary world etc! I think the dominating %actors are theseG a! &he complete destruction, owing to the -usso"German *act, o% the le%t"wing "anti"/ascist" orthodo'y o% the past %i e years! b! &he %act that physically %it people under thirty"%i e are mostly in the army, or e'pect soon to be so! c! &he increase in book"consumption owing to the boredom o% war, together with the unwillingness o% publishers to risk money on unknown writers! d! &he bombing (o% which more presently "" but I should say here that it is less terri%ying and more o% a nuisance than you perhaps imagine)! &he -usso"German *act not only brought the Stalinists and near"Stalinists into the pro"Hitler position, but it also put an end to the game o% "I told you so" which the le%t" wing writers had been so pro%itably playing %or %i e years past! "Anti"/ascism" as interpreted by the News - ronicle, the New Statesman and the Le%t +ook #lub had depended on the belie% "" I think it was also hal%"consciously a hope "" that no +ritish go ernment would e er stand up to Hitler! 1hen the #hamberlain Go ernment %inally went to war it took the wind out o% the le%t"wingers; sails by putting into e%%ect the policy which they themsel es had been demanding! In the %ew days be%ore war was declared it was e'tremely amusing to watch the beha iour o% orthodo' *opular /ronters, who were e'claiming dole%ully "It;s going to be another ,unich", although in %act it had been ob ious %or months past that war was ine itable! &hese people were in reality o#ing %or another ,unich, which would allow them to continue with their #assandra role without ha ing to %ace the %acts o% modern war! I was recently in ery se ere trouble %or saying in print that those who were most ;anti"/ascist; during the period 23?@"3 were most de%eatist now! =e ertheless I belie e that this is broadly true, and not only o% the Stalinists! It is a %act that as soon as war began all the %ire went out o% orthodo' ;anti"/ascism;! All the stu%% about /ascist atrocities, denunciations o% #hamberlain, etc!, which it had been completely impossible to get away %rom in any highbrow maga9ine in peace time, suddenly came to an end, and %ar more %uss has been made among the le%t"wing intelligentsia about the internment o% German re%ugees than about anything done by the enemy! Euring the Spanish #i il 1ar the le%t"wing intellectuals %elt that this was "their" war and that they were in%luencing e ents in it to some e'tent! In so %ar as they e'pected the war against Germany to happen they imagined that it would be a sort o% enlarged ersion o% the war in Spain, a le%t"wing war in which poets and no elists could be important %igures! O%

course, it is nothing o% the kind! It is an all"in modern war %ought mainly by technical e'perts (airmen etc!) and conducted by people who are patriotic according to their lights but entirely reactionary in outlook! At present there is no %unction in it %or intellectuals! /rom the start the Go ernment ha e more or less %rankly gone on the principle o% "keeping the -eds out o% it", and it was not till a%ter the disaster in /rance that they began to allow men known to ha e %ought in Spain to :oin the army! #onse$uently the chie% acti ity among le%t"wing writers is a rather petti%ogging criticism which turns into a kind o% dismay when England wins a ictory, because this always %alsi%ies their predictions! In the summer the le%t"wing intelligentsia were completely de%eatist, %ar more so than they allowed to appear in print! At the moment when England seemed likely to be in aded one well"known le%t"wing writer actually wanted to discourage the idea o% mass resistance, on the ground that the Germans would beha e more leniently i% not opposed! &here was also a mo e on %oot, with an eye to the coming =a9i occupation, to get the Scotland Hard Special +ranch to destroy the political dossiers which, no doubt, most o% us possess! All this was in marked contrast to the attitude o% the common people, who either had not woken up to the %act that England was in danger, or were determined to resist to the last ditch! +ut certain le%t"wing writers and lecturers who had %ought in Spain, notably &om 1intringham, did a lot to stem the tide o% de%eatism! *ersonally I consider it all to the good that the con%ident war"mongering mood o% the *opular /ront period, with its lying propaganda and its horrible atmosphere o% orthodo'y, has been destroyed! +ut it has le%t a sort o% hole! =obody knows what to think, nothing is being started! It is ery di%%icult to imagine any new "school" o% literature arising at a moment when the youngish writers ha e had their uni erse punctured and the ery young are either in the army or kept!out o% print by lack o% paper! ,oreo er the economic %oundations o% literature are shi%ting, %or the highbrow literary maga9ine, depending ultimately on leisured people who ha e been brought up in a minority culture, is becoming less and less possible! Horizon is a sort o% modern democrati9ed ersion o% this (compare its general tone with that o% the -riterion o% ten years ago), and e en Horizon keeps going only with di%%iculty! On the other hand the reading public is increasing and the intellectual le el o% the popular press has taken a tremendous bound upwards since the outbreak o% war! +ut hardly any good books are appearing! =o els are still being published in great numbers, but they are o% a trashiness that passes belie%! Only the mentally dead are capable o% sitting down and writing no els while this nightmare is going on! &he conditions that made it possible %or Aoyce and Lawrence to do their best work during the war o% 232<"25 (i!e! the consciousness that presently the world would be sane again) no longer e'ist! &here is such a doubt about the continuity o% ci ili9ation as can hardly ha e e'isted %or hundreds o% years, and meanwhile there are the air raids, which make continuous intellectual li%e ery di%%icult! I don;t mean because o% physical danger! It is true that by this time e eryone in London has had at least one "pro idential escape" "" these so common that it is now considered bad %orm to talk about them "" but the actual casualties are ery %ew and e en the damage, though enormous, is mostly locali9ed to the #ity o% London and the East End slums! +ut the disorgani9ation o% transport, communications, etc! causes endless incon enience! One seems to spend hal% one;s time trying to buy a sack o% coal because the electricity has %ailed, or trying to put through telephone calls on a wire that has gone dead, or wandering about looking %or a bus "" and this is a miserably cold, slushy winter! &he night li%e o% London has almost

ceased, not because o% the bombs but because o% the shrapnel, which is o%ten plenti%ul enough to make it dangerous to go out a%ter dusk! &he mo ies close early and theatres ha e stopped altogether, e'cept %or a %ew matinMes! Only the pubs are much as usual, in spite o% the now enormous price o% beer! On nights when the raids are bad the dea%ening racket o% the guns makes it di%%icult to work! It is a time in which it is hard to settle down to anything and e en the writing o% a silly newspaper article takes twice as long as usual! I wonder whether, e en in what I ha e said, I e'aggerate the seriousness o% the air raidsI It is worth remembering that at the worst period o% the blit9 it was calculated that only %i%teen per cent o% London;s population were sleeping in shelters! &he number is added to by those whose homes are destroyed by bombs, but also constantly decreased by those who grow gradually callous! 1hen all is said and done one;s main impression is the immense stolidity o% ordinary people, the widespread ague consciousness that things can ne er be the same again, and yet, together with that, the tendency o% li%e to slip back into the %amiliar pattern! On the day in September when the Germans broke through and set the docks on %ire, I think %ew people can ha e watched those enormous %ires without %eeling that this was the end o% an epoch! One seemed to %eel that the immense changes through which our society has got to pass were going to happen there and then! +ut to an astonishing e'tent things ha e slipped back to normal! I will end with a %ew e'tracts %rom my diary, to try and gi e you some idea o% the atmosphereG
The aeroplanes come back and back, every few minutes. It is .ust like in an eastern country, when you keep thinking you have killed the last mos/uito inside your net, and every time, as soon as you have turned the light out, another starts droning. . . . The commotion made by the mere passage of a bomb through the air is astonishing. The whole house shakes, enough to rattle ob.ects on the table. !hy it is that the electric lights dip when a bomb passes close by, nobody seems to know. . . . 01ford 2treet yesterday, from 01ford 3ircus up to the 4arble Arch, completely empty of traffic, and only a few pedestrians, with the late afternoon sun shining straight down the empty roadway and glittering on innumerable fragments of broken glass. 0utside 5ohn 6ewis's, a pile of plaster dress models, very pink and realistic, looking so like a pile of corpses that one could have mistaken them for that at a little distance. 5ust the same sight in ,arcelona, only there it was plaster saints from desecrated churches. . . . +egular features of the time7 neatly swept-up piles of glass, litter of stone and splinters of flint, smell of escaping gas, knots of sightseers waiting at the cordons where there are une1ploded bombs. . . . 8ondescript people wandering about, having been evacuated from their houses because of delayed-action bombs. 9esterday two girls stopping me in the street, very elegant in appearance e1cept that their faces were filthily dirty7 :&lease, sir, can you tell us where we are%:. . . . !ithal, huge areas of 6ondon almost normal, and everyone /uite happy in the daytime, never seeming to think about the coming night, like animals which are unable to foresee the future so long as they have a bit of food and a place in the sun.

#yril #onnolly and Stephen Spender send all the best! Good luck to America! Hours sincerely George Orwell %artisan &eview, ,arch"April 23<2

&he Lion and the DnicornG Socialism and the English Genius was #+blis ed in )ondon b( Seeker > /arb+rg on ?@ Febr+ar( ?@A?. ' is was t e $irst vol+me in t e series, t e Searc lig t *ooks, edited b( '.&. F(vel and 4eorge Orwell.

!6, The Lion and the >nicorn : <ocialism and the English Genius *A-& IG E=GLA=E HOD- E=GLA=E I As I write, highly ci ili9ed human beings are %lying o erhead, trying to kill me! &hey do not %eel any enmity against me as an indi idual, nor I against them! &hey are "only doing their duty", as the saying goes! ,ost o% them, I ha e no doubt, are kind" hearted law"abiding men who would ne er dream o% committing murder in pri ate li%e! On the other hand, i% one o% them succeeds in blowing me to pieces with a well"placed bomb, he will ne er sleep any the worse %or it! He is ser ing his country, which has the power to absol e him %rom e il! One cannot see the modern world as it is unless one recogni9es the o erwhelming strength o% patriotism, national loyalty! In certain circumstances it can break down, at certain le els o% ci ili9ation it does not e'ist, but as a #ositive %orce there is nothing to set beside it! #hristianity and international Socialism are as weak as straw in comparison with it! Hitler and ,ussolini rose to power in their own countries ery largely because they could grasp this %act and their opponents could not! Also, one must admit that the di isions between nation and nation are %ounded on real di%%erences o% outlook! &ill recently it was thought proper to pretend that all human beings are ery much alike, but in %act anyone able to use his eyes knows that the a erage o% human beha iour di%%ers enormously %rom country to country! &hings that could happen in one country could not happen in another! Hitler;s Aune purge, %or instance, could not ha e happened in England! And, as western peoples go, the English are ery highly di%%erentiated! &here is a sort o% backhanded admission o% this in the dislike which nearly all %oreigners %eel %or our national way o% li%e! /ew Europeans can endure li ing in England, and e en Americans o%ten %eel more at home in Europe! 1hen you come back to England %rom any %oreign country, you ha e immediately the sensation o% breathing a di%%erent air! E en in the %irst %ew minutes do9ens o% small things conspire to gi e you this %eeling! &he beer is bitterer, the coins are hea ier, the grass is greener, the ad ertisements are more blatant! &he crowds in the big towns, with their mild knobby %aces, their bad teeth and gentle manners, are di%%erent %rom a European crowd! &hen the astness o% England swallows you up, and you lose %or a while your %eeling that the whole nation has a single identi%iable character! Are there really such things as nationsI Are we not %orty"si' million indi iduals, all di%%erentI And the di ersity o% it, the chaosO &he clatter o% clogs in the Lancashire mill towns, the to"and"%ro

o% the lorries on the Great =orth -oad, the $ueues outside the Labour E'changes, the rattle o% pin"tables in the Soho pubs, the old maids biking to Holy #ommunion through the mists o% the autumn morning "" all these are not only %ragments, but c aracteristic %ragments, o% the English scene! How can one make a pattern out o% this muddleI +ut talk to %oreigners, read %oreign books or newspapers, and you are brought back to the same thought! Hes, there is something distincti e and recogni9able in English ci ili9ation! It is a culture as indi idual as that o% Spain! It is somehow bound up with solid break%asts and gloomy Sundays, smoky towns and winding roads, green %ields and red pillar"bo'es! It has a %la our o% its own! ,oreo er it is continuous, it stretches into the %uture and the past, there is something in it that persists, as in a li ing creature! 1hat can the England o% 23<7 ha e in common with the England o% 25<7I +ut then, what ha e you in common with the child o% %i e whose photograph your mother keeps on the mantelpieceI =othing, e'cept that you happen to be the same person! And abo e all, it is (o+r ci ili9ation, it is (o+. Howe er much you hate it or laugh at it, you will ne er be happy away %rom it %or any length o% time! &he suet puddings and the red pillar"bo'es ha e entered into your soul! Good or e il, it is yours, you belong to it, and this side the gra e you will ne er get away %rom the marks that it has gi en you! ,eanwhile England, together with the rest o% the world, is changing! And like e erything else it can change only in certain directions, which up to a point can be %oreseen! &hat is not to say that the %uture is %i'ed, merely that certain alternati es are possible and others not! A seed may grow or not grow, but at any rate a turnip seed ne er grows into a parsnip! It is there%ore o% the deepest importance to try and determine what England is, be%ore guessing what part England can #la( in the huge e ents that are happening! II =ational characteristics are not easy to pin down, and when pinned down they o%ten turn out to be tri ialities or seem to ha e no conne'ion with one another! Spaniards are cruel to animals, Italians can do nothing without making a dea%ening noise, the #hinese are addicted to gambling! Ob iously such things don;t matter in themsel es! =e ertheless, nothing is causeless, and e en the %act that Englishmen ha e bad teeth can tell something about the realities o% English li%e! Here are a couple o% generali9ations about England that would be accepted by almost all obser ers! One is that the English are not gi%ted artistically! &hey are not as musical as the Germans or Italians, painting and sculpture ha e ne er %lourished in England as they ha e in /rance! Another is that, as Europeans go, the English are not intellectual! &hey ha e a horror o% abstract thought, they %eel no need %or any philosophy or systematic "world" iew"! =or is this because they are "practical", as they are so %ond o% claiming %or themsel es! One has only to look at their methods o% town planning and water supply, their obstinate clinging to e erything that is out o% date and a nuisance, a spelling system that de%ies analysis, and a system o% weights and measures that is intelligible only to the compilers o% arithmetic books, to see how little they care about mere e%%iciency! +ut they ha e a certain power o% acting without taking thought! &heir world"%amed hypocrisy "" their double"%aced attitude towards the Empire, %or instance ""

is bound up with this! Also, in moments o% supreme crisis the whole nation can suddenly draw together and act upon a species o% instinct, really a code o% conduct which is understood by almost e eryone, though ne er %ormulated! &he phrase that Hitler coined %or the Germans, "a sleep"walking people", would ha e been better applied to the English! =ot that there is anything to be proud o% in being called a sleep"walker! +ut here it is worth noting a minor English trait which is e'tremely well marked though not o%ten commented on, and that is a lo e o% %lowers! &his is one o% the %irst things that one notices when one reaches England %rom abroad, especially i% one is coming %rom southern Europe! Eoes it not contradict the English indi%%erence to the artsI =ot really, because it is %ound in people who ha e no aesthetic %eelings whate er! 1hat it does link up with, howe er, is another English characteristic which is so much a part o% us that we barely notice it, and that is the addiction to hobbies and spare"time occupations, the #rivateness o% English li%e! 1e are a nation o% %lower"lo ers, but also a nation o% stamp"collectors, pigeon"%anciers, amateur carpenters, coupon"snippers, darts" players, crossword"pu99le %ans! All the culture that is most truly nati e centres round things which e en when they are communal are not o%%icial "" the pub, the %ootball match, the back garden, the %ireside and the "nice cup o% tea"! &he liberty o% the indi idual is still belie ed in, almost as in the nineteenth century! +ut this has nothing to do with economic liberty, the right to e'ploit others %or pro%it! It is the liberty to ha e a home o% your own, to do what you like in your spare time, to choose your own amusements instead o% ha ing them chosen %or you %rom abo e! &he most hate%ul o% all names in an English ear is =osey *arker! It is ob ious, o% course, that e en this purely pri ate liberty is a lost cause! Like all other modern people, the English are in process o% being numbered, labelled, conscripted, "co"ordinated"! +ut the pull o% their impulses is in the other direction, and the kind o% regimentation that can be imposed on them will be modi%ied in conse$uence! =o party rallies, no Houth ,o ements, no coloured shirts, no Aew"baiting or "spontaneous" demonstrations! =o Gestapo either, in all probability! +ut in all societies the common people must li e to some e'tent against the e'isting order! &he genuinely popular culture o% England is something that goes on beneath the sur%ace, uno%%icially and more or less %rowned on by the authorities! One thing one notices i% one looks directly at the common people, especially in the big towns, is that they are not puritanical! &hey are in eterate gamblers, drink as much beer as their wages will permit, are de oted to bawdy :okes, and use probably the %oulest language in the world! &hey ha e to satis%y these tastes in the %ace o% astonishing, hypocritical laws (licensing laws, lottery acts, etc! etc!) which are designed to inter%ere with e erybody but in practice allow e erything to happen! Also, the common people are without de%inite religious belie%, and ha e been so %or centuries! &he Anglican #hurch ne er had a real hold on them, it was simply a preser e o% the landed gentry, and the =oncon%ormist sects only in%luenced minorities! And yet they ha e retained a deep tinge o% #hristian %eeling, while almost %orgetting the name o% #hrist! &he power"worship which is the new religion o% Europe, and which has in%ected the English intelligentsia, has ne er touched the common people! &hey ha e ne er caught up with power politics! &he "realism" which is preached in Aapanese and Italian newspapers would horri%y them! One can learn a good deal about the spirit o% England %rom the comic coloured postcards that you see in the windows o% cheap stationers; shops! &hese things are a sort o% diary upon which the English people ha e unconsciously recorded themsel es! &heir old"%ashioned outlook,

their graded snobberies, their mi'ture o% bawdiness and hypocrisy, their e'treme gentleness, their deeply moral attitude to li%e, are all mirrored there! &he gentleness o% the English ci ili9ation is perhaps its most marked characteristic! Hou notice it the instant you set %oot on English soil! It is a land where the bus conductors are good"tempered and the policemen carry no re ol ers! In no country inhabited by white men is it easier to sho e people o%% the pa ement! And with this goes something that is always written o%% by European obser ers as "decadence" or hypocrisy, the English hatred o% war and militarism! It is rooted deep in history, and it is strong in the lower"middle class as well as the working class! Successi e wars ha e shaken it but not destroyed it! 1ell within li ing memory it was common %or "the redcoats" to be booed at in the streets and %or the landlords o% respectable public houses to re%use to allow soldiers on the premises! In peace time, e en when there are two million unemployed, it is di%%icult to %ill the ranks o% the tiny standing army, which is o%%icered by the county gentry and a speciali9ed stratum o% the middle class, and manned by %arm labourers and slum proletarians! &he mass o% the people are without military knowledge or tradition, and their attitude towards war is in ariably de%ensi e! =o politician could rise to power by promising them con$uests or military "glory", no Hymn o% Hate has e er made any appeal to them! In the last war the songs which the soldiers made up and sang o% their own accord were not enge%ul but humorous and mock"de%eatist!< &he only enemy they e er named was the sergeant"ma:or!
<! /or e'ampleG "I don;t want to :oin the bloody Army, I don;t want to go unto the warJ I want no more to roam, I;d rather stay at home, Li ing on the earnings o% a whore!" +ut it was not in that spirit that they %ought! BAuthor;s %ootnote!C

In England all the boasting and %lag"wagging, the "-ule +ritannia" stu%%, is done by small minorities! &he patriotism o% the common people is not ocal or e en conscious! &hey do not retain among their historical memories the name o% a single military ictory! English literature, like other literatures, is %ull o% battle"poems, but it is worth noticing that the ones that ha e won %or themsel es a kind o% popularity are always a tale o% disasters and retreats! &here is no popular poem about &ra%algar or 1aterloo, %or instance! Sir Aohn ,oore;s army at #orunna, %ighting a desperate rearguard action be%ore escaping o erseas (:ust like EunkirkO) has more appeal than a brilliant ictory! &he most stirring battle"poem in English is about a brigade o% ca alry which charged in the wrong direction! And o% the last war, the %our names which ha e really engra ed themsel es on the popular memory are ,ons, Hpres, Gallipoli and *asschendaele, e ery time a disaster! &he names o% the great battles that %inally broke the German armies are simply unknown to the general public! &he reason why the English anti"militarism disgusts %oreign obser ers is that it ignores the e'istence o% the +ritish Empire! It looks like sheer hypocrisy! A%ter all, the English ha e absorbed a $uarter o% the earth and held on to it by means o% a huge na y! How dare they then turn round and say that war is wickedI It is $uite true that the English are hypocritical about their Empire! In the working class this hypocrisy takes the %orm o% not knowing that the Empire e'ists! +ut their dislike o% standing armies is a per%ectly sound instinct! A na y employs comparati ely

%ew people, and it is an e'ternal weapon which cannot a%%ect home politics directly! ,ilitary dictatorships e'ist e erywhere, but there is no such thing as a na al dictatorship! 1hat English people o% nearly all classes loathe %rom the bottom o% their hearts is the swaggering o%%icer type, the :ingle o% spurs and the crash o% boots! Eecades be%ore Hitler was e er heard o%, the word "*russian" had much the same signi%icance in England as "=a9i" has today! So deep does this %eeling go that %or a hundred years past the o%%icers o% the +ritish army, in peace time, ha e always worn ci ilian clothes when o%% duty! One rapid but %airly sure guide to the social atmosphere o% a country is the parade" step o% its army! A military parade is really a kind o% ritual dance, something like a ballet, e'pressing a certain philosophy o% li%e! &he goose"step, %or instance, is one o% the most horrible sights in the world, %ar more terri%ying than a di e"bomber! It is simply an a%%irmation o% naked powerJ contained in it, $uite consciously and intentionally, is the ision o% a boot crashing down on a %ace! Its ugliness is part o% its essence, %or what it is saying is "Hes, I am ugly, and you daren;t laugh at me", like the bully who makes %aces at his ictim! 1hy is the goose"step not used in EnglandI &here are, hea en knows, plenty o% army o%%icers who would be only too glad to introduce some such thing! It is not used because the people in the street would laugh! +eyond a certain point, military display is only possible in countries where the common people dare not laugh at the army! &he Italians adopted the goose"step at about the time when Italy passed de%initely under German control, and, as one would e'pect, they do it less well than the Germans! &he .ichy go ernment, i% it sur i es, is bound to introduce a sti%%er parade"ground discipline into what is le%t o% the /rench army! In the +ritish army the drill is rigid and complicated, %ull o% memories o% the eighteenth century, but without de%inite swaggerJ the march is merely a %ormali9ed walk! It belongs to a society which is ruled by the sword, no doubt, but a sword which must ne er be taken out o% the scabbard! And yet the gentleness o% English ci ili9ation is mi'ed up with barbarities and anachronisms! Our criminal law is as out"o%"date as the muskets in the &ower! O er against the =a9i Storm &rooper you ha e got to set that typically English %igure, the hanging :udge, some gouty old bully with his mind rooted in the nineteenth century, handing out sa age sentences! In England people are still hanged by the neck and %logged with the cat o; nine tails! +oth o% these punishments are obscene as well as cruel, but there has ne er been any genuinely popular outcry against them! *eople accept them (and Eartmoor, and +orstal) almost as they accept the weather! &hey are part o% "the law", which is assumed to be unalterable! Here one comes upon an all"important English traitG the respect %or constitutionalism and legality, the belie% in "the law" as something abo e the State and abo e the indi idual, something which is cruel and stupid, o% course, but at any rate incorr+#tible. It is not that anyone imagines the law to be :ust! E eryone knows that there is one law %or the rich and another %or the poor! +ut no one accepts the implications o% this, e eryone takes it %or granted that the law, such as it is, will be respected, and %eels a sense o% outrage when it is not! -emarks like "&hey can;t run me inJ I ha en;t done anything wrong", or "&hey can;t do thatJ it;s against the law", are part o% the atmosphere o% England! &he pro%essed enemies o% society ha e this %eeling as strongly as anyone else! One sees it in prison"books like 1il%red ,acartney;s /alls Have !o+t s or Aim *helan;s 9ail 9o+rne(, in the solemn idiocies that take place at the trials o% conscientious ob:ectors,

in letters to the papers %rom eminent ,ar'ist pro%essors, pointing out that this or that is a "miscarriage o% +ritish :ustice"! E eryone belie es in his heart that the law can be, ought to be, and, on the whole, will be impartially administered! &he totalitarian idea that there is no such thing as law, there is only power, has ne er taken root! E en the intelligentsia ha e only accepted it in theory! An illusion can become a hal%"truth, a mask can alter the e'pression o% a %ace! &he %amiliar arguments to the e%%ect that democracy is ":ust the same as" or ":ust as bad as" totalitarianism ne er take account o% this %act! All such arguments boil down to saying that hal% a loa% is the same as no bread! In England such concepts as :ustice, liberty and ob:ecti e truth are still belie ed in! &hey may be illusions, but they are ery power%ul illusions! &he belie% in them in%luences conduct, national li%e is di%%erent because o% them! In proo% o% which, look about you! 1here are the rubber truncheons, where is the castor oilI &he sword is still in the scabbard, and while it stays there corruption cannot go beyond a certain point! &he English electoral system, %or instance, is an all but open %raud! In a do9en ob ious ways it is gerrymandered in the interest o% the moneyed class! +ut until some deep change has occurred in the public mind, it cannot become com#letel( corrupt! Hou do not arri e at the polling booth to %ind men with re ol ers telling you which way to ote, nor are the otes miscounted, nor is there any direct bribery! E en hypocrisy is a power%ul sa%eguard! &he hanging :udge, that e il old man in scarlet robe and horse"hair wig, whom nothing short o% dynamite will e er teach what century he is li ing in, but who will at any rate interpret the law according to the books and will in no circumstances take a money bribe, is one o% the symbolic %igures o% England! He is a symbol o% the strange mi'ture o% reality and illusion, democracy and pri ilege, humbug and decency, the subtle network o% compromises, by which the nation keeps itsel% in its %amiliar shape! III I ha e spoken all the while o% "the nation", "England", "+ritain", as though %orty" %i e million souls could somehow be treated as a unit! +ut is not England notoriously two nations, the rich and the poorI Eare one pretend that there is anything in common between people with P277,777 a year and people with P2 a weekI And e en 1elsh and Scottish readers are likely to ha e been o%%ended because I ha e used the word "England" o%tener than "+ritain", as though the whole population dwelt in London and the Home #ounties and neither north nor west possessed a culture o% its own! One gets a better iew o% this $uestion i% one considers the minor point %irst! It is $uite true that the so"called races o% +ritain %eel themsel es to be ery di%%erent %rom one another! A Scotsman, %or instance, does not thank you i% you call him an Englishman! Hou can see the hesitation we %eel on this point by the %act that we call our islands by no less than si' di%%erent names, England, +ritain, Great +ritain, the +ritish Isles, the Dnited Fingdom and, in ery e'alted moments, Albion! E en the di%%erences between north and south England loom large in our own eyes! +ut somehow these di%%erences %ade away the moment that any two +ritons are con%ronted by a European! It is ery rare to meet a %oreigner, other than an American, who can distinguish between English and Scots or e en English and Irish! &o a /renchman, the +reton and the Au ergnat seem ery

di%%erent beings, and the accent o% ,arseilles is a stock :oke in *aris! Het we speak o% "/rance" and "the /rench", recogni9ing /rance as an entity, a single ci ili9ation, which in %act it is! So also with oursel es! Looked at %rom the outside, e en the cockney and the Horkshireman ha e a strong %amily resemblance! And e en the distinction between rich and poor dwindles somewhat when one regards the nation %rom the outside! &here is no $uestion about the ine$uality o% wealth in England! It is grosser than in any European country, and you ha e only to look down the nearest street to see it! Economically, England is certainly two nations, i% not three or %our! +ut at the same time the ast ma:ority o% the people $eel themsel es to be a single nation and are conscious o% resembling one another more than they resemble %oreigners! *atriotism is usually stronger than class"hatred, and always stronger than any kind o% internationalism! E'cept %or a brie% moment in 23>7 (the "Hands o%% -ussia" mo ement) the +ritish working class ha e ne er thought or acted internationally! /or two and a hal% years they watched their comrades in Spain slowly strangled, and ne er aided them by e en a single strike!@ +ut when their own country (the country o% Lord =u%%ield and ,r ,ontagu =orman) was in danger, their attitude was ery di%%erent! At the moment when it seemed likely that England might be in aded, Anthony Eden appealed o er the radio %or Local Ee%ence .olunteers! He got a $uarter o% a million men in the %irst twenty"%our hours, and another million in the subse$uent month! One has only to compare these %igures with, %or instance, the number o% conscientious ob:ectors to see how ast is the strength o% traditional loyalties compared with new ones!
@! It is true that they aided them to a certain e'tent with money! Still, the sums raised %or the arious aid" Spain %unds would not e$ual %i e per cent o% the turno er o% the %ootball pools during the same period! BAuthor;s %ootnote!C

In England patriotism takes di%%erent %orms in di%%erent classes, but it runs like a connecting thread through nearly all o% them! Only the Europeani9ed intelligentsia are really immune to it! As a positi e emotion it is stronger in the middle class than in the upper class "" the cheap public schools, %or instance, are more gi en to patriotic demonstrations than the e'pensi e ones "" but the number o% de%initely treacherous rich men, the La al"Luisling type, is probably ery small! In the working class patriotism is pro%ound, but it is unconscious! &he working man;s heart does not leap when he sees a Dnion Aack! +ut the %amous "insularity" and "'enophobia" o% the English is %ar stronger in the working class than in the bourgeoisie! In all countries the poor are more national than the rich, but the English working class are outstanding in their abhorrence o% %oreign habits! E en when they are obliged to li e abroad %or years they re%use either to accustom themsel es to %oreign %ood or to learn %oreign languages! =early e ery Englishman o% working"class origin considers it e%%eminate to pronounce a %oreign word correctly! Euring the war o% 232<"25 the English working class were in contact with %oreigners to an e'tent that is rarely possible! &he sole result was that they brought back a hatred o% all Europeans, e'cept the Germans, whose courage they admired! In %our years on /rench soil they did not e en ac$uire a liking %or wine! &he insularity o% the English, their re%usal to take %oreigners seriously, is a %olly that has to be paid %or ery hea ily %rom time to time! +ut it plays its part in the English mysti$ue, and the intellectuals who ha e tried to break it down ha e generally done more harm than good! At bottom it is the same $uality in the English character that repels the tourist and keeps out the in ader!

Here one comes back to two English characteristics that I pointed out, seemingly at random, at the beginning o% the last chapter! One is the lack o% artistic ability! &his is perhaps another way o% saying that the English are outside the European culture! /or there is one art in which they ha e shown plenty o% talent, namely literature! +ut this is also the only art that cannot cross %rontiers! Literature, especially poetry, and lyric poetry most o% all, is a kind o% %amily :oke, with little or no alue outside its own language" group! E'cept %or Shakespeare, the best English poets are barely known in Europe, e en as names! &he only poets who are widely read are +yron, who is admired %or the wrong reasons, and Oscar 1ilde, who is pitied as a ictim o% English hypocrisy! And linked up with this, though not ery ob iously, is the lack o% philosophical %aculty, the absence in nearly all Englishmen o% any need %or an ordered system o% thought or e en %or the use o% logic! Dp to a point, the sense o% national unity is a substitute %or a "world" iew"! Aust because patriotism is all but uni ersal and not e en the rich are unin%luenced by it, there can be moments when the whole nation suddenly swings together and does the same thing, like a herd o% cattle %acing a wol%! &here was such a moment, unmistakably, at the time o% the disaster in /rance! A%ter eight months o% aguely wondering what the war was about, the people suddenly knew what they had got to doG %irst, to get the army away %rom Eunkirk, and secondly to pre ent in asion! It was like the awakening o% a giant! LuickO EangerO &he *hilistines be upon thee, SamsonO And then the swi%t unanimous action "" and then, alas, the prompt relapse into sleep! In a di ided nation that would ha e been e'actly the moment %or a big peace mo ement to arise! +ut does this mean that the instinct o% the English will always tell them to do the right thingI =ot at all, merely that it will tell them to do the same thing! In the 23?2 General Election, %or instance, we all did the wrong thing in per%ect unison! 1e were as single"minded as the Gadarene swine! +ut I honestly doubt whether we can say that we were sho ed down the slope against our will! It %ollows that +ritish democracy is less o% a %raud than it sometimes appears! A %oreign obser er sees only the huge ine$uality o% wealth, the un%air electoral system, the go erning"class control o er the press, the radio and education, and concludes that democracy is simply a polite name %or dictatorship! +ut this ignores the considerable agreement that does un%ortunately e'ist between the leaders and the led! Howe er much one may hate to admit it, it is almost certain that between 23?2 and 23<7 the =ational Go ernment represented the will o% the mass o% the people! It tolerated slums, unemployment and a cowardly %oreign policy! Hes, but so did public opinion! It was a stagnant period, and its natural leaders were mediocrities! In spite o% the campaigns o% a %ew thousand le%t"wingers, it is %airly certain that the bulk o% the English people were behind #hamberlain;s %oreign policy! ,ore, it is %airly certain that the same struggle was going on in #hamberlain;s mind as in the minds o% ordinary people! His opponents pro%essed to see in him a dark and wily schemer, plotting to sell England to Hitler, but it is %ar likelier that he was merely a stupid old man doing his best according to his ery dim lights! It is di%%icult otherwise to e'plain the contradictions o% his policy, his %ailure to grasp any o% the courses that were open to him! Like the mass o% the people, he did not want to pay the price either o% peace or o% war! And public opinion was behind him all the while, in policies that were completely incompatible with one another! It was behind him when he went to ,unich, when he tried

to come to an understanding with -ussia, when he ga e the guarantee to *oland, when he honoured it, and when he prosecuted the war hal%"heartedly! Only when the results o% his policy became apparent did it turn against himJ which is to say that it turned against its own lethargy o% the past se en years! &hereupon the people picked a leader nearer to their mood, #hurchill, who was at any rate able to grasp that wars are not won without %ighting! Later, perhaps, they will pick another leader who can grasp that only Socialist nations can %ight e%%ecti ely! Eo I mean by all this that England is a genuine democracyI =o, not e en a reader o% the .ail( 'elegra# could $uite swallow that! England is the most class"ridden country under the sun! It is a land o% snobbery and pri ilege, ruled largely by the old and silly! +ut in any calculation about it one has got to take into account its emotional unity, the tendency o% nearly all its inhabitants to %eel alike and act together in moments o% supreme crisis! It is the only great country in Europe that is not obliged to dri e hundreds o% thousands o% its nationals into e'ile or the concentration camp! At this moment, a%ter a year o% war, newspapers and pamphlets abusing the Go ernment, praising the enemy and clamouring %or surrender are being sold on the streets, almost without inter%erence! And this is less %rom a respect %or %reedom o% speech than %rom a simple perception that these things don;t matter! It is sa%e to let a paper like %eace News be sold, because it is certain that ninety"%i e per cent o% the population will ne er want to read it! &he nation is bound together by an in isible chain! At any normal time the ruling class will rob, mismanage, sabotage, lead us into the muckJ but let popular opinion really make itsel% heard, let them get a tug %rom below that they cannot a oid %eeling, and it is di%%icult %or them not to respond! &he le%t"wing writers who denounce the whole o% the ruling class as "pro"/ascist" are grossly o er"simpli%ying! E en among the inner cli$ue o% politicians who brought us to our present pass, it is doubt%ul whether there were any conscio+s traitors! &he corruption that happens in England is seldom o% that kind! =early always it is more in the nature o% sel%"deception, o% the right hand not knowing what the le%t hand doeth! And being unconscious, it is limited! One sees this at its most ob ious in the English press! Is the English press honest or dishonestI At normal times it is deeply dishonest! All the papers that matter li e o%% their ad ertisements, and the ad ertisers e'ercise an indirect censorship o er news! Het I do not suppose there is one paper in England that can be straight%orwardly bribed with hard cash! In the /rance o% the &hird -epublic all but a ery %ew o% the newspapers could notoriously be bought o er the counter like so many pounds o% cheese! *ublic li%e in England has ne er been o#enl( scandalous! It has not reached the pitch o% disintegration at which humbug can be dropped! England is not the :ewelled isle o% Shakespeare;s much"$uoted message, nor is it the in%erno depicted by Er Goebbels! ,ore than either it resembles a %amily, a rather stu%%y .ictorian %amily, with not many black sheep in it but with all its cupboards bursting with skeletons! It has rich relations who ha e to be kow"towed to and poor relations who are horribly sat upon, and there is a deep conspiracy o% silence about the source o% the %amily income! It is a %amily in which the young are generally thwarted and most o% the power is in the hands o% irresponsible uncles and bedridden aunts! Still, it is a %amily! It has its pri ate language and its common memories, and at the approach o% an enemy it closes its ranks! A %amily with the wrong members in control "" that, perhaps, is as near as one can come to describing England in a phrase!

I. *robably the battle o% 1aterloo was won on the playing"%ields o% Eton, but the opening battles o% all subse$uent wars ha e been lost there! One o% the dominant %acts in English li%e during the past three $uarters o% a century has been the decay o% ability in the ruling class! In the years between 23>7 and 23<7 it was happening with the speed o% a chemical reaction! Het at the moment o% writing it is still possible to speak o% a ruling class! Like the kni%e which has had two new blades and three new handles, the upper %ringe o% English society is still almost what it was in the mid nineteenth century! A%ter 25?> the old land"owning aristocracy steadily lost power, but instead o% disappearing or becoming a %ossil they simply intermarried with the merchants, manu%acturers and %inanciers who had replaced them, and soon turned them into accurate copies o% themsel es! &he wealthy shipowner or cotton"miller set up %or himsel% an alibi as a country gentleman, while his sons learned the right mannerisms at public schools which had been designed %or :ust that purpose! England was ruled by an aristocracy constantly recruited %rom par enus! And considering what energy the sel%"made men possessed, and considering that they were buying their way into a class which at any rate had a tradition o% public ser ice, one might ha e e'pected that able rulers could be produced in some such way! And yet somehow the ruling class decayed, lost its ability, its daring, %inally e en its ruthlessness, until a time came when stu%%ed shirts like Eden or Hali%a' could stand out as men o% e'ceptional talent! As %or +aldwin, one could not e en digni%y him with the name o% stu%%ed shirt! He was simply a hole in the air! &he mishandling o% England;s domestic problems during the nineteen"twenties had been bad enough, but +ritish %oreign policy between 23?2 and 23?3 is one o% the wonders o% the world! 1hyI 1hat had happenedI 1hat was it that at e ery decisi e moment made e ery +ritish statesman do the wrong thing with so unerring an instinctI &he underlying %act was that the whole position o% the moneyed class had long ceased to be :usti%iable! &here they sat, at the centre o% a ast empire and a world"wide %inancial network, drawing interest and pro%its and spending them "" on whatI It was %air to say that li%e within the +ritish Empire was in many ways better than li%e outside it! Still, the Empire was underde eloped, India slept in the ,iddle Ages, the Eominions lay empty, with %oreigners :ealously barred out, and e en England was %ull o% slums and unemployment! Only hal% a million people, the people in the country houses, de%initely bene%ited %rom the e'isting system! ,oreo er, the tendency o% small businesses to merge together into large ones robbed more and more o% the moneyed class o% their %unction and turned them into mere owners, their work being done %or them by salaried managers and technicians! /or long past there had been in England an entirely %unctionless class, li ing on money that was in ested they hardly knew where, the "idle rich", the people whose photographs you can look at in the 'atler and the *(stander, always supposing that you want to! &he e'istence o% these people was by any standard un:usti%iable! &hey were simply parasites, less use%ul to society than his %leas are to a dog! +y 23>7 there were many people who were aware o% all this! +y 23?7 millions

were aware o% it! +ut the +ritish ruling class ob iously could not admit to themsel es that their use%ulness was at an end! Had they done that they would ha e had to abdicate! /or it was not possible %or them to turn themsel es into mere bandits, like the American millionaires, consciously clinging to un:ust pri ileges and beating down opposition by bribery and tear"gas bombs! A%ter all, they belonged to a class with a certain tradition, they had been to public schools where the duty o% dying %or your country, i% necessary, is laid down as the %irst and greatest o% the #ommandments! &hey had to $eel themsel es true patriots, e en while they plundered their countrymen! #learly there was only one escape %or them "" into stupidity! &hey could keep society in its e'isting shape only by being +nable to grasp that any impro ement was possible! Ei%%icult though this was, they achie ed it, largely by %i'ing their eyes on the past and re%using to notice the changes that were going on round them! &here is much in England that this e'plains! It e'plains the decay o% country li%e, due to the keeping"up o% a sham %eudalism which dri es the more spirited workers o%% the land! It e'plains the immobility o% the public schools, which ha e barely altered since the eighties o% the last century! It e'plains the military incompetence which has again and again startled the world! Since the %i%ties e ery war in which England has engaged has started o%% with a series o% disasters, a%ter which the situation has been sa ed by people comparati ely low in the social scale! &he higher commanders, drawn %rom the aristocracy, could ne er prepare %or modern war, because in order to do so they would ha e had to admit to themsel es that the world was changing! &hey ha e always clung to obsolete methods and weapons, because they ine itably saw each war as a repetition o% the last! +e%ore the +oer 1ar they prepared %or the Kulu 1ar, be%ore the 232< %or the +oer 1ar, and be%ore the present war %or 232<! E en at this moment hundreds o% thousands o% men in England are being trained with the bayonet, a weapon entirely useless e'cept %or opening tins! It is worth noticing that the na y and, latterly, the air %orce, ha e always been more e%%icient than the regular army! +ut the na y is only partially, and the air %orce hardly at all, within the ruling"class orbit! It must be admitted that so long as things were peace%ul the methods o% the +ritish ruling class ser ed them well enough! &heir own people mani%estly tolerated them! Howe er un:ustly England might be organi9ed, it was at any rate not torn by class war%are or haunted by secret police! &he Empire was peace%ul as no area o% comparable si9e has e er been! &hroughout its ast e'tent, nearly a $uarter o% the earth, there were %ewer armed men than would be %ound necessary by a minor +alkan state! As people to li e under, and looking at them merely %rom a liberal, negative standpoint, the +ritish ruling class had their points! &hey were pre%erable to the truly modern men, the =a9is and /ascists! +ut it had long been ob ious that they would be helpless against any serious attack %rom the outside! &hey could not struggle against =a9ism or /ascism, because they could not understand them! =either could they ha e struggled against #ommunism, i% #ommunism had been a serious %orce in western Europe! &o understand /ascism they would ha e had to study the theory o% Socialism, which would ha e %orced them to reali9e that the economic system by which they li ed was un:ust, ine%%icient and out"o%"date! +ut it was e'actly this %act that they had trained themsel es ne er to %ace! &hey dealt with /ascism as the ca alry generals o% 232< dealt with the machine"guns "" by ignoring it! A%ter years o% aggression and massacres, they had grasped only one %act, that Hitler and ,ussolini

were hostile to #ommunism! &here%ore, it was argued, they m+st be %riendly to the +ritish di idend"drawer! Hence the truly %rightening spectacle o% #onser ati e ,!*!s wildly cheering the news that +ritish ships, bringing %ood to the Spanish -epublican go ernment, had been bombed by Italian aeroplanes! E en when they had begun to grasp that /ascism was dangerous, its essentially re olutionary nature, the huge military e%%ort it was capable o% making, the sort o% tactics it would use, were $uite beyond their comprehension! At the time o% the Spanish #i il 1ar, anyone with as much political knowledge as can be ac$uired %rom a si'penny pamphlet on Socialism knew that, i% /ranco won, the result would be strategically disastrous %or EnglandJ and yet generals and admirals who had gi en their li es to the study o% war were unable to grasp this %act! &his ein o% political ignorance runs right through English o%%icial li%e, through #abinet ministers, ambassadors, consuls, :udges, magistrates, policemen! &he policeman who arrests the "red" does not understand the theories the "red" is preachingJ i% he did his own position as bodyguard o% the moneyed class might seem less pleasant to him! &here is reason to think that e en military espionage is hopelessly hampered by ignorance o% the new economic doctrines and the rami%ications o% the underground parties! &he +ritish ruling class were not altogether wrong in thinking that /ascism was on their side! It is a %act that any rich man, unless he is a Aew, has less to %ear %rom /ascism than %rom either #ommunism or democratic Socialism! One ought ne er to %orget this, %or nearly the whole o% German and Italian propaganda is designed to co er it up! &he natural instinct o% men like Simon, Hoare, #hamberlain etc! was to come to an agreement with Hitler! +ut "" and here the peculiar %eature o% English li%e that I ha e spoken o%, the deep sense o% national solidarity, comes in "" they could only do so by breaking up the Empire and selling their own people into semi"sla ery! A truly corrupt class would ha e done this without hesitation, as in /rance! +ut things had not gone that distance in England! *oliticians who would make cringing speeches about "the duty o% loyalty to our con$uerors" are hardly to be %ound in English public li%e! &ossed to and %ro between their incomes and their principles, it was impossible that men like #hamberlain should do anything but make the worst o% both worlds! One thing that has always shown that the English ruling class are morall( %airly sound, is that in time o% war they are ready enough to get themsel es killed! Se eral dukes, earls and what nots were killed in the recent campaign in /landers! &hat could not happen i% these people were the cynical scoundrels that they are sometimes declared to be! It is important not to misunderstand their moti es, or one cannot predict their actions! 1hat is to be e'pected o% them is not treachery, or physical cowardice, but stupidity, unconscious sabotage, an in%allible instinct %or doing the wrong thing! &hey are not wicked, or not altogether wickedJ they are merely unteachable! Only when their money and power are gone will the younger among them begin to grasp what century they are li ing in! . &he stagnation o% the Empire in the between"war years a%%ected e eryone in England, but it had an especially direct e%%ect upon two important sub"sections o% the middle class! One was the military and imperialist middle class, generally nicknamed the

+limps, and the other the le%t"wing intelligentsia! &hese two seemingly hostile types, symbolic opposites "" the hal%"pay colonel with his bull neck and diminuti e brain, like a dinosaur, the highbrow with his domed %orehead and stalk"like neck "" are mentally linked together and constantly interact upon one anotherJ in any case they are born to a considerable e'tent into the same %amilies! &hirty years ago the +limp class was already losing its itality! &he middle"class %amilies celebrated by Fipling, the proli%ic lowbrow %amilies whose sons o%%icered the army and na y and swarmed o er all the waste places o% the earth %rom the Hukon to the Irrawaddy, were dwindling be%ore 232<! &he thing that had killed them was the telegraph! In a narrowing world, more and more go erned %rom 1hitehall, there was e ery year less room %or indi idual initiati e! ,en like #li e, =elson, =icholson, Gordon would %ind no place %or themsel es in the modern +ritish Empire! +y 23>7 nearly e ery inch o% the colonial empire was in the grip o% 1hitehall! 1ell"meaning, o er"ci ili9ed men, in dark suits and black %elt hats, with neatly rolled umbrellas crooked o er the le%t %orearm, were imposing their constipated iew o% li%e on ,alaya and =igeria, ,ombasa and ,andalay! &he one"time empire builders were reduced to the status o% clerks, buried deeper and deeper under mounds o% paper and red tape! In the early twenties one could see, all o er the Empire, the older o%%icials, who had known more spacious days, writhing impotently under the changes that were happening! /rom that time onwards it has been ne't door to impossible to induce young men o% spirit to take any part in imperial administration! And what was true o% the o%%icial world was true also o% the commercial! &he great monopoly companies swallowed up hosts o% petty traders! Instead o% going out to trade ad enturously in the Indies one went to an o%%ice stool in +ombay or Singapore! And li%e in +ombay or Singapore was actually duller and sa%er than li%e in London! Imperialist sentiment remained strong in the middle class, chie%ly owing to %amily tradition, but the :ob o% administering the Empire had ceased to appeal! /ew able men went east o% Sue9 i% there was any way o% a oiding it! +ut the general weakening o% imperialism, and to some e'tent o% the whole +ritish morale, that took place during the nineteen"thirties, was partly the work o% the le%t"wing intelligentsia, itsel% a kind o% growth that had sprouted %rom the stagnation o% the Empire! It should be noted that there is now no intelligentsia that is not in some sense "le%t"! *erhaps the last right"wing intellectual was &! E! Lawrence! Since about 23?7 e eryone describable as an "intellectual" has li ed in a state o% chronic discontent with the e'isting order! =ecessarily so, because society as it was constituted had no room %or him! In an Empire that was simply stagnant, neither being de eloped nor %alling to pieces, and in an England ruled by people whose chie% asset was their stupidity, to be "cle er" was to be suspect! I% you had the kind o% brain that could understand the poems o% &! S! Eliot or the theories o% Farl ,ar', the higher"ups would see to it that you were kept out o% any important :ob! &he intellectuals could %ind a %unction %or themsel es only in the literary re iews and the le%t"wing political parties! &he mentality o% the English le%t"wing intelligentsia can be studied in hal% a do9en weekly and monthly papers! &he immediately striking thing about all these papers is their generally negati e, $uerulous attitude, their complete lack at all times o% any constructi e suggestion! &here is little in them e'cept the irresponsible carping o% people who ha e ne er been and ne er e'pect to be in a position o% power! Another marked characteristic

is the emotional shallowness o% people who li e in a world o% ideas and ha e little contact with physical reality! ,any intellectuals o% the Le%t were %labbily paci%ist up to 23?@, shrieked %or war against Germany in the years 23?@"3, and then promptly cooled o%% when the war started! It is broadly though not precisely true that the people who were most "anti"/ascist" during the Spanish #i il 1ar are most de%eatist now! And underlying this is the really important %act about so many o% the English intelligentsia "" their se erance %rom the common culture o% the country! In intention, at any rate, the English intelligentsia are Europeani9ed! &hey take their cookery %rom *aris and their opinions %rom ,oscow! In the general patriotism o% the country they %orm a sort o% island o% dissident thought! England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed o% their own nationality! In le%t"wing circles it is always %elt that there is something slightly disgrace%ul in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at e ery English institution, %rom horse racing to suet puddings! It is a strange %act, but it is un$uestionably true that almost any English intellectual would %eel more ashamed o% standing to attention during "God sa e the Fing" than o% stealing %rom a poor bo'! All through the critical years many le%t"wingers were chipping away at English morale, trying to spread an outlook that was sometimes s$uashily paci%ist, sometimes iolently pro"-ussian, but always anti"+ritish! It is $uestionable how much e%%ect this had, but it certainly had some! I% the English people su%%ered %or se eral years a real weakening o% morale, so that the /ascist nations :udged that they were "decadent" and that it was sa%e to plunge into war, the intellectual sabotage %rom the Le%t was partly responsible! +oth the New Statesman and the News - ronicle cried out against the ,unich settlement, but e en they had done something to make it possible! &en years o% systematic +limp"baiting a%%ected e en the +limps themsel es and made it harder than it had been be%ore to get intelligent young men to enter the armed %orces! Gi en the stagnation o% the Empire the military middle class must ha e decayed in any case, but the spread o% a shallow Le%tism hastened the process! It is clear that the special position o% the English intellectuals during the past ten years, as purely negative creatures, mere anti"+limps, was a by"product o% ruling"class stupidity! Society could not use them, and they had not got it in them to see that de otion to one;s country implies "%or better, %or worse"! +oth +limps and highbrows took %or granted, as though it were a law o% nature, the di orce between patriotism and intelligence! I% you were a patriot you read *lackwood7s !agazine and publicly thanked God that you were "not brainy"! I% you were an intellectual you sniggered at the Dnion Aack and regarded physical courage as barbarous! It is ob ious that this preposterous con ention cannot continue! &he +loomsbury highbrow, with his mechanical snigger, is as out"o%"date as the ca alry colonel! A modern nation cannot a%%ord either o% them! *atriotism and intelligence will ha e to come together again! It is the %act that we are %ighting a war, and a ery peculiar kind o% war, that may make this possible! .I One o% the most important de elopments in England during the past twenty years has been the upward and downward e'tension o% the middle class! It has happened on such a scale as to make the old classi%ication o% society into capitalists, proletarians and

petit bourgeois (small property"owners) almost obsolete! England is a country in which property and %inancial power are concentrated in ery %ew hands! /ew people in modern England own anything at all, e'cept clothes, %urniture and possibly a house! &he peasantry ha e long since disappeared, the independent shopkeeper is being destroyed, the small businessman is diminishing in numbers! +ut at the same time modern industry is so complicated that it cannot get along without great numbers o% managers, salesmen, engineers, chemists and technicians o% all kinds, drawing %airly large salaries! And these in turn call into being a pro%essional class o% doctors, lawyers, teachers, artists, etc! etc! &he tendency o% ad anced capitalism has there%ore been to enlarge the middle class and not to wipe it out as it once seemed likely to do! +ut much more important than this is the spread o% middle"class ideas and habits among the working class! &he +ritish working class are now better o%% in almost all ways than they were thirty years ago! &his is partly due to the e%%orts o% the trade unions, but partly to the mere ad ance o% physical science! It is not always reali9ed that within rather narrow limits the standard o% li%e o% a country can rise without a corresponding rise in real wages! Dp to a point, ci ili9ation can li%t itsel% up by its boot"tags! Howe er un:ustly society is organi9ed, certain technical ad ances are bound to bene%it the whole community, because certain kinds o% goods are necessarily held in common! A millionaire cannot, %or e'ample, light the streets %or himsel% while darkening them %or other people! =early all citi9ens o% ci ili9ed countries now en:oy the use o% good roads, germ"%ree water, police protection, %ree libraries and probably %ree education o% a kind! *ublic education in England has been meanly star ed o% money, but it has ne ertheless impro ed, largely owing to the de oted e%%orts o% the teachers, and the habit o% reading has become enormously more widespread! &o an increasing e'tent the rich and the poor read the same books, and they also see the same %ilms and listen to the same radio programmes! And the di%%erences in their way o% li%e ha e been diminished by the mass" production o% cheap clothes and impro ements in housing! So %ar as outward appearance goes, the clothes o% rich and poor, especially in the case o% women, di%%er %ar less than they did thirty or e en %i%teen years ago! As to housing, England still has slums which are a blot on ci ili9ation, but much building has been done during the past ten years, largely by the local authorities! &he modern council house, with its bathroom and electric light, is smaller than the stockbroker;s illa, but it is recogni9ably the same kind o% house, which the %arm labourer;s cottage is not! A person who has grown up in a council housing estate is likely to be "" indeed, isibly is -- more middle class in outlook than a person who has grown up in a slum! &he e%%ect o% all this is a general so%tening o% manners! It is enhanced by the %act that modern industrial methods tend always to demand less muscular e%%ort and there%ore to lea e people with more energy when their day;s work is done! ,any workers in the light industries are less truly manual labourers than is a doctor or a grocer! In tastes, habits, manners and outlook the working class and the middle class are drawing together! &he un:ust distinctions remain, but the real di%%erences diminish! &he old"style ;proletarian; "" collarless, unsha en and with muscles warped by hea y labour "" still e'ists, but he is constantly decreasing in numbersJ he only predominates in the hea y" industry areas o% the north o% England! A%ter 2325 there began to appear something that had ne er e'isted in England

be%oreG people o% indeterminate social class! In 2327 e ery human being in these islands could be "placed" in an instant by his clothes, manners and accent! &hat is no longer the case! Abo e all, it is not the case in the new townships that ha e de eloped as a result o% cheap motor cars and the southward shi%t o% industry! &he place to look %or the germs o% the %uture England is in light"industry areas and along the arterial roads! In Slough, Eagenham, +arnet, Letchworth, Hayes "" e erywhere, indeed, on the outskirts o% great towns "" the old pattern is gradually changing into something new! In those ast new wildernesses o% glass and brick the sharp distinctions o% the older kind o% town, with its slums and mansions, or o% the country, with its manor"houses and s$ualid cottages, no longer e'ist! &here are wide gradations o% income, but it is the same kind o% li%e that is being li ed at di%%erent le els, in labour"sa ing %lats or council houses, along the concrete roads and in the naked democracy o% the swimming"pools! It is a rather restless, cultureless li%e, centring round tinned %ood, %ict+re %ost, the radio and the internal combustion engine! It is a ci ili9ation in which children grow up with an intimate knowledge o% magnetoes and in complete ignorance o% the +ible! &o that ci ili9ation belong the people who are most at home in and most de%initely o$ the modern world, the technicians and the higher"paid skilled workers, the airmen and their mechanics, the radio e'perts, %ilm producers, popular :ournalists and industrial chemists! &hey are the indeterminate stratum at which the older class distinctions are beginning to break down! &his war, unless we are de%eated, will wipe out most o% the e'isting class pri ileges! &here are e ery day %ewer people who wish them to continue! =or need we %ear that as the pattern changes li%e in England will lose its peculiar %la our! &he new red cities o% Greater London are crude enough, but these things are only the rash that accompanies a change! In whate er shape England emerges %rom the war it will be deeply tinged with the characteristics that I ha e spoken o% earlier! &he intellectuals who hope to see it -ussiani9ed or Germani9ed will be disappointed! &he gentleness, the hypocrisy, the thoughtlessness, the re erence %or law and the hatred o% uni%orms will remain, along with the suet puddings and the misty skies! It needs some ery great disaster, such as prolonged sub:ugation by a %oreign enemy, to destroy a national culture! &he Stock E'change will be pulled down, the horse plough will gi e way to the tractor, the country houses will be turned into children;s holiday camps, the Eton and Harrow match will be %orgotten, but England will still be England, an e erlasting animal stretching into the %uture and the past, and, like all li ing things, ha ing the power to change out o% recognition and yet remain the same! *A-& IIG SHO*FEE*E-S A& 1AI I began this book to the tune o% German bombs, and I begin this second chapter in the added racket o% the barrage! &he yellow gun"%lashes are lighting the sky, the splinters are rattling on the housetops, and London +ridge is %alling down, %alling down, %alling down! Anyone able to read a map knows that we are in deadly danger! I do not mean that we are beaten or need be beaten! Almost certainly the outcome depends on our own will!

+ut at this moment we are in the soup, %ull %athom %i e, and we ha e been brought there by %ollies which we are still committing and which will drown us altogether i% we do not mend our ways $uickly! 1hat this war has demonstrated is that pri ate capitalism "" that is, an economic system in which land, %actories, mines and transport are owned pri ately and operated solely %or pro%it "" does not work. It cannot deli er the goods! &his %act had been known to millions o% people %or years past, but nothing e er came o% it, because there was no real urge %rom below to alter the system, and those at the top had trained themsel es to be impenetrably stupid on :ust this point! Argument and propaganda got one nowhere! &he lords o% property simply sat on their bottoms and proclaimed that all was %or the best! Hitler;s con$uest o% Europe, howe er, was a # (sical debunking o% capitalism! 1ar, %or all its e il, is at any rate an unanswerable test o% strength, like a try"your"grip machine! Great strength returns the penny, and there is no way o% %aking the result! 1hen the nautical screw was %irst in ented, there was a contro ersy that lasted %or years as to whether screw"steamers or paddle"steamers were better! &he paddle"steamers, like all obsolete things, had their champions, who supported them by ingenious arguments! /inally, howe er, a distinguished admiral tied a screw"steamer and a paddle" steamer o% e$ual horsepower stern to stern and set their engines running! &hat settled the $uestion once and %or all! And it was something similar that happened on the %ields o% =orway and o% /landers! Once and %or all it was pro ed that a planned economy is stronger than a planless one! +ut it is necessary here to gi e some kind o% de%inition to those much"abused words, Socialism and /ascism! Socialism is usually de%ined as "common ownership o% the means o% production"! #rudelyG the State, representing the whole nation, owns e erything, and e eryone is a State employee! &his does not mean that people are stripped o% pri ate possessions such as clothes and %urniture, but it does mean that all producti e goods, such as land, mines, ships and machinery, are the property o% the State! &he State is the sole large"scale producer! It is not certain that Socialism is in all ways superior to capitalism, but it is certain that, unlike capitalism, it can sol e the problems o% production and consumption! At normal times a capitalist economy can ne er consume all that it produces, so that there is always a wasted surplus (wheat burned in %urnaces, herrings dumped back into the sea etc! etc!) and always unemployment! In time o% war, on the other hand, it has di%%iculty in producing all that it needs, because nothing is produced unless someone sees his way to making a pro%it out o% it! In a Socialist economy these problems do not e'ist! &he State simply calculates what goods will be needed and does its best to produce them! *roduction is only limited by the amount o% labour and raw materials! ,oney, %or internal purposes, ceases to be a mysterious all"power%ul thing and becomes a sort o% coupon or ration"ticket, issued in su%%icient $uantities to buy up such consumption goods as may be a ailable at the moment! Howe er, it has become clear in the last %ew years that "common ownership o% the means o% production" is not in itsel% a su%%icient de%inition o% Socialism! One must also add the %ollowingG appro'imate e$uality o% incomes (it need be no more than appro'imate), political democracy, and abolition o% all hereditary pri ilege, especially in education! &hese are simply the necessary sa%eguards against the reappearance o% a class" system! #entrali9ed ownership has ery little meaning unless the mass o% the people are

li ing roughly upon an e$ual le el, and ha e some kind o% control o er the go ernment! "&he State" may come to mean no more than a sel%"elected political party, and oligarchy and pri ilege can return, based on power rather than on money! +ut what then is /ascismI /ascism, at any rate the German ersion, is a %orm o% capitalism that borrows %rom Socialism :ust such %eatures as will make it e%%icient %or war purposes! Internally, Germany has a good deal in common with a Socialist state! Ownership has ne er been abolished, there are still capitalists and workers, and "" this is the important point, and the real reason why rich men all o er the world tend to sympathi9e with /ascism "" generally speaking the same people are capitalists and the same people workers as be%ore the =a9i re olution! +ut at the same time the State, which is simply the =a9i *arty, is in control o% e erything! It controls in estment, raw materials, rates o% interest, working hours, wages! &he %actory owner still owns his %actory, but he is %or practical purposes reduced to the status o% a manager! E eryone is in e%%ect a State employee, though the salaries ary ery greatly! &he mere e$$icienc( o% such a system, the elimination o% waste and obstruction, is ob ious! In se en years it has built up the most power%ul war machine the world has e er seen! +ut the idea underlying /ascism is irreconcilably di%%erent %rom that which underlies Socialism! Socialism aims, ultimately, at a world"state o% %ree and e$ual human beings! It takes the e$uality o% human rights %or granted! =a9ism assumes :ust the opposite! &he dri ing %orce behind the =a9i mo ement is the belie% in human ine:+alit(, the superiority o% Germans to all other races, the right o% Germany to rule the world! Outside the German -eich it does not recogni9e any obligations! Eminent =a9i pro%essors ha e "pro ed" o er and o er again that only nordic man is %ully human, ha e e en mooted the idea that non"nordic peoples (such as oursel es) can interbreed with gorillasO &here%ore, while a species o% war"Socialism e'ists within the German state, its attitude towards con$uered nations is %rankly that o% an e'ploiter! &he %unction o% the #9echs, *oles, /rench, etc! is simply to produce such goods as Germany may need, and get in return :ust as little as will keep them %rom open rebellion! I% we are con$uered, our :ob will probably be to manu%acture weapons %or Hitler;s %orthcoming wars "" with -ussia and America! &he =a9is aim, in e%%ect, at setting up a kind o% caste system, with %our main castes corresponding rather closely to those o% the Hindu religion! At the top comes the =a9i party, second come the mass o% the German people, third come the con$uered European populations! /ourth and last are to come the coloured peoples, the ;semi"apes; as Hitler calls them, who are to be reduced $uite openly to sla ery! Howe er horrible this system may seem to us, it works. It works because it is a planned system geared to a de%inite purpose, world"con$uest, and not allowing any pri ate interest, either o% capitalist or worker, to stand in its way! +ritish capitalism does not work, because it is a competiti e system in which pri ate pro%it is and must be the main ob:ecti e! It is a system in which all the %orces are pulling in opposite directions and the interests o% the indi idual are as o%ten as not totally opposed to those o% the State! All through the critical years +ritish capitalism, with its immense industrial plant and its unri alled supply o% skilled labour, was une$ual to the strain o% preparing %or war! &o prepare %or war on the modern scale you ha e got to di ert the greater part o% your national income to armaments, which means cutting down on consumption goods! A bombing plane, %or instance, is e$ui alent in price to %i%ty small motor cars, or eight

thousand pairs o% silk stockings, or a million loa es o% bread! #learly you can;t ha e man( bombing planes without lowering the national standard o% li%e! It is guns or butter, as ,arshal Goering remarked! +ut in #hamberlain;s England the transition could not be made! &he rich would not %ace the necessary ta'ation, and while the rich are still isibly rich it is not possible to ta' the poor ery hea ily either! ,oreo er, so long as #ro$it was the main ob:ect the manu%acturer had no incenti e to change o er %rom consumption goods to armaments! A businessman;s %irst duty is to his shareholders! *erhaps England needs tanks, but perhaps it pays better to manu%acture motor cars! &o pre ent war material %rom reaching the enemy is common sense, but to sell in the highest market is a business duty! -ight at the end o% August 23?3 the +ritish dealers were tumbling o er one another in their eagerness to sell Germany tin, rubber, copper and shellac "" and this in the clear, certain knowledge that war was going to break out in a week or two! It was about as sensible as selling somebody a ra9or to cut your throat with! +ut it was "good business"! And now look at the results! A%ter 23?< it was known that Germany was rearming! A%ter 23?4 e eryone with eyes in his head knew that war was coming! A%ter ,unich it was merely a $uestion o% how soon the war would begin! In September 23?3 war broke out! Eig t mont s later it was disco ered that, so %ar as e$uipment went, the +ritish army was barely beyond the standard o% 2325! 1e saw our soldiers %ighting their way desperately to the coast, with one aeroplane against three, with ri%les against tanks, with bayonets against tommy"guns! &here were not e en enough re ol ers to supply all the o%%icers! A%ter a year o% war the regular army was still short o% ?77,777 tin hats! &here had e en, pre iously, been a shortage o% uni%orms "" this in one o% the greatest woollen" goods producing countries in the worldO 1hat had happened was that the whole moneyed class, unwilling to %ace a change in their way o% li%e, had shut their eyes to the nature o% /ascism and modern war! And %alse optimism was %ed to the general public by the gutter press, which li es on its ad ertisements and is there%ore interested in keeping trade conditions normal! Hear a%ter year the +ea erbrook press assured us in huge headlines that &HE-E 1ILL +E =O 1A-, and as late as the beginning o% 23?3 Lord -othermere was describing Hitler as "a great gentleman"! And while England in the moment o% disaster pro ed to be short o% e ery war material e'cept ships, it is not recorded that there was any shortage o% motor cars, %ur coats, gramophones, lipstick, chocolates or silk stockings! And dare anyone pretend that the same tug"o%"war between pri ate pro%it and public necessity is not still continuingI England %ights %or her li%e, but business must %ight %or pro%its! Hou can hardly open a newspaper without seeing the two contradictory processes happening side by side! On the ery same page you will %ind the Go ernment urging you to sa e and the seller o% some useless lu'ury urging you to spend! Lend to Ee%end, but Guinness is Good %or Hou! +uy a Spit%ire, but also buy Haig and Haig, *ond;s /ace #ream and +lack ,agic #hocolates! +ut one thing gi es hope "" the isible swing in public opinion! I% we can sur i e this war, the de%eat in /landers will turn out to ha e been one o% the great turning"points in English history! In that spectacular disaster the working class, the middle class and e en a section o% the business community could see the utter rottenness o% pri ate capitalism! +e%ore that the case against capitalism had ne er been #roved. -ussia, the only de%initely Socialist country, was backward and %ar away! All criticism broke itsel% against the rat"trap %aces o% bankers and the brassy laughter o% stockbrokers! SocialismI

HaO haO haO 1here;s the money to come %romI HaO haO haO &he lords o% property were %irm in their seats, and they knew it! +ut a%ter the /rench collapse there came something that could not be laughed away, something that neither che$ue"books nor policemen were any use against "" the bombing! Kweee "" +OO, O 1hat;s thatI Oh, only a bomb on the Stock E'change! Kweee "" +OO,O Another acre o% somebody;s aluable slum"property gone west! Hitler will at any rate go down in history as the man who made the #ity o% London laugh on the wrong side o% its %ace! /or the %irst time in their li es the com%ortable were uncom%ortable, the pro%essional optimists had to admit that there was something wrong! It was a great step %orward! /rom that time onwards the ghastly :ob o% trying to con ince arti%icially stupe%ied people that a planned economy might be better than a %ree"%or"all in which the worst man wins "" that :ob will ne er be $uite so ghastly again! II &he di%%erence between Socialism and capitalism is not primarily a di%%erence o% techni$ue! One cannot simply change %rom one system to the other as one might install a new piece o% machinery in a %actory, and then carry on as be%ore, with the same people in positions o% control! Ob iously there is also needed a complete shi%t o% power! =ew blood, new men, new ideas "" in the true sense o% the word, a re olution! I ha e spoken earlier o% the soundness and homogeneity o% England, the patriotism that runs like a connecting thread through almost all classes! A%ter Eunkirk anyone who had eyes in his head could see this! +ut it is absurd to pretend that the promise o% that moment has been %ul%illed! Almost certainly the mass o% the people are now ready %or the ast changes that are necessaryJ but those changes ha e not e en begun to happen! England is a %amily with the wrong members in control! Almost entirely we are go erned by the rich, and by people who step into positions o% command by right o% birth! /ew i% any o% these people are consciously treacherous, some o% them are not e en %ools, but as a class they are $uite incapable o% leading us to ictory! &hey could not do it, e en i% their material interests did not constantly trip them up! As I pointed out earlier, they ha e been arti%icially stupe%ied! Luite apart %rom anything else, the rule o% money sees to it that we shall be go erned largely by the old "" that is, by people utterly unable to grasp what age they are li ing in or what enemy they are %ighting! =othing was more desolating at the beginning o% this war than the way in which the whole o% the older generation conspired to pretend that it was the war o% 232<"25 o er again! All the old duds were back on the :ob, twenty years older, with the skull plainer in their %aces! Ian Hay was cheering up the troops, +elloc was writing articles on strategy, ,aurois doing broadcasts, +airns%ather drawing cartoons! It was like a tea"party o% ghosts! And that state o% a%%airs has barely altered! &he shock o% disaster brought a %ew able men like +e in to the %ront, but in general we are still commanded by people who managed to li e through the years 23?2"3 without e en disco ering that Hitler was dangerous! A generation o% the unteachable is hanging upon us like a necklace o% corpses! As soon as one considers any problem o% this war "" and it does not matter whether it is the widest aspect o% strategy or the tiniest detail o% home organi9ation "" one

sees that the necessary mo es cannot be made while the social structure o% England remains what it is! Ine itably, because o% their position and upbringing, the ruling class are %ighting %or their own pri ileges, which cannot possibly be reconciled with the public interest! It is a mistake to imagine that war aims, strategy, propaganda and industrial organi9ation e'ist in watertight compartments! All are interconnected! E ery strategic plan, e ery tactical method, e en e ery weapon will bear the stamp o% the social system that produced it! &he +ritish ruling class are %ighting against Hitler, whom they ha e always regarded and whom some o% them still regard as their protector against +olshe ism! &hat does not mean that they will deliberately sell outJ but it does mean that at e ery decisi e moment they are likely to %alter, pull their punches, do the wrong thing! Dntil the #hurchill Go ernment called some sort o% halt to the process, they ha e done the wrong thing with an unerring instinct e er since 23?2! &hey helped /ranco to o erthrow the Spanish Go ernment, although anyone not an imbecile could ha e told them that a /ascist Spain would be hostile to England! &hey %ed Italy with war materials all through the winter o% 23?3"<7, although it was ob ious to the whole world that the Italians were going to attack us in the spring! /or the sake o% a %ew hundred thousand di idend drawers they are turning India %rom an ally into an enemy! ,oreo er, so long as the moneyed classes remain in control, we cannot de elop any but a de$ensive strategy! E ery ictory means a change in the stat+s :+o. How can we dri e the Italians out o% Abyssinia without rousing echoes among the coloured peoples o% our own EmpireI How can we e en smash Hitler without the risk o% bringing the German Socialists and #ommunists into powerI &he le%t"wingers who wail that "this is a capitalist war" and that "+ritish Imperialism" is %ighting %or loot ha e got their heads screwed on backwards! &he last thing the +ritish moneyed class wish %or is to ac$uire %resh territory! It would simply be an embarrassment! &heir war aim (both unattainable and unmentionable) is simply to hang on to what they ha e got! Internally, England is still the rich man;s *aradise! All talk o% "e$uality o% sacri%ice" is nonsense! At the same time as %actory"workers are asked to put up with longer hours, ad ertisements %or "+utler! One in %amily, eight in sta%%" are appearing in the press! &he bombed"out populations o% the East End go hungry and homeless while wealthier ictims simply step into their cars and %lee to com%ortable country houses! &he Home Guard swells to a million men in a %ew weeks, and is deliberately organi9ed %rom abo e in such a way that only people with pri ate incomes can hold positions o% command! E en the rationing system is so arranged that it hits the poor all the time, while people with o er P>,777 a year are practically una%%ected by it! E erywhere pri ilege is s$uandering good will! In such circumstances e en propaganda becomes almost impossible! As attempts to stir up patriotic %eeling, the red posters issued by the #hamberlain Go ernment at the beginning o% the war broke all depth"records! Het they could not ha e been much other than they were, %or how could #hamberlain and his %ollowers take the risk o% rousing strong popular %eeling against FascismB Anyone who was genuinely hostile to /ascism must also be opposed to #hamberlain himsel% and to all the others who had helped Hitler into power! So also with e'ternal propaganda! In all Lord Hali%a';s speeches there is not one concrete proposal %or which a single inhabitant o% Europe would risk the top :oint o% his little %inger! /or what war aim can Hali%a', or anyone like him, concei ably ha e, e'cept to put the clock back to 23??I It is only by re olution that the nati e genius o% the English people can be set %ree!

-e olution does not mean red %lags and street %ighting, it means a %undamental shi%t o% power! 1hether it happens with or without bloodshed is largely an accident o% time and place! =or does it mean the dictatorship o% a single class! &he people in England who grasp what changes are needed and are capable o% carrying them through are not con%ined to any one class, though it is true that ery %ew people with o er P>,777 a year are among them! 1hat is wanted is a conscious open re olt by ordinary people against ine%%iciency, class pri ilege and the rule o% the old! It is not primarily a $uestion o% change o% go ernment! +ritish go ernments do, broadly speaking, represent the will o% the people, and i% we alter our structure %rom below we shall get the go ernment we need! Ambassadors, generals, o%%icials and colonial administrators who are senile or pro"/ascist are more dangerous than #abinet ministers whose %ollies ha e to be committed in public! -ight through our national li%e we ha e got to %ight against pri ilege, against the notion that a hal%"witted public"schoolboy is better %or command than an intelligent mechanic! Although there are gi%ted and honest individ+als among them, we ha e got to break the grip o% the moneyed class as a whole! England has got to assume its real shape! &he England that is only :ust beneath the sur%ace, in the %actories and the newspaper o%%ices, in the aeroplanes and the submarines, has got to take charge o% its own destiny! In the short run, e$uality o% sacri%ice, "war"#ommunism", is e en more important than radical economic changes! It is ery necessary that industry should be nationali9ed, but it is more urgently necessary that such monstrosities as butlers and "pri ate incomes" should disappear %orthwith! Almost certainly the main reason why the Spanish -epublic could keep up the %ight %or two and a hal% years against impossible odds was that there were no gross contrasts o% wealth! &he people su%%ered horribly, but they all su%%ered alike! 1hen the pri ate soldier had not a cigarette, the general had not one either! Gi en e$uality o% sacri%ice, the morale o% a country like England would probably be unbreakable! +ut at present we ha e nothing to appeal to e'cept traditional patriotism, which is deeper here than elsewhere, but is not necessarily bottomless! At some point or another you ha e got to deal with the man who says "I should be no worse o%% under Hitler!" +ut what answer can you gi e him "" that is, what answer that you can e'pect him to listen to "" while common soldiers risk their li es %or two and si'pence a day, and %at women ride about in -olls"-oyce cars, nursing pekinesesI It is $uite likely that this war will last three years! It will mean cruel o erwork, cold dull winters, uninteresting %ood, lack o% amusements, prolonged bombing! It cannot but lower the general standard o% li ing, because the essential act o% war is to manu%acture armaments instead o% consumable goods! &he working class will ha e to su%%er terrible things! And they will su%%er them, almost inde%initely, pro ided that they know what they are %ighting %or! &hey are not cowards, and they are not e en internationally minded! &hey can stand all that the Spanish workers stood, and more! +ut they will want some kind o% proo% that a better li%e is ahead %or themsel es and their children! &he one sure earnest o% that is that when they are ta'ed and o erworked they shall see that the rich are being hit e en harder! And i% the rich s$ueal audibly, so much the better! 1e can bring these things about, i% we really want to! It is not true that public opinion has no power in England! It ne er makes itsel% heard without achie ing somethingJ it has been responsible %or most o% the changes %or the better during the past si' months! +ut we ha e mo ed with glacier"like slowness, and we ha e learned only

%rom disasters! It took the %all o% *aris to get rid o% #hamberlain and the unnecessary su%%ering o% scores o% thousands o% people in the East End to get rid or partially rid o% Sir Aohn Anderson! It is not worth losing a battle in order to bury a corpse! /or we are %ighting against swi%t e il intelligences, and time presses, and
history to the defeated 4ay say Alas! but cannot alter or pardon.

III Euring the last si' months there has been much talk o% "the /i%th #olumn"! /rom time to time obscure lunatics ha e been :ailed %or making speeches in %a our o% Hitler, and large numbers o% German re%ugees ha e been interned, a thing which has almost certainly done us great harm in Europe! It is o% course ob ious that the idea o% a large, organi9ed army o% /i%th #olumnists suddenly appearing on the streets with weapons in their hands, as in Holland and +elgium, is ridiculous! =e ertheless a /i%th #olumn danger does e'ist! One can only consider it i% one also considers in what way England might be de%eated! It does not seem probable that air bombing can settle a ma:or war! England might well be in aded and con$uered, but the in asion would be a dangerous gamble, and i% it happened and %ailed it would probably lea e us more united and less +limp"ridden than be%ore! ,oreo er, i% England were o errun by %oreign troops the English people would know that they had been beaten and would continue the struggle! It is doubt%ul whether they could be held down permanently, or whether Hitler wishes to keep an army o% a million men stationed in these islands! A go ernment o% NNNNN, NNNNN and NNNNN (you can %ill in the names) would suit him better! &he English can probably not be bullied into surrender, but they might $uite easily be bored, ca:oled or cheated into it, pro ided that, as at ,unich, they did not know that they were surrendering! It could happen most easily when the war seemed to be going well rather than badly! &he threatening tone o% so much o% the German and Italian propaganda is a psychological mistake! It only gets home on intellectuals! 1ith the general public the proper approach would be "Let;s call it a draw"! It is when a peace"o%%er along t ose lines is made that the pro"/ascists will raise their oices! +ut who are the pro"/ascistsI &he idea o% a Hitler ictory appeals to the ery rich, to the #ommunists, to ,osley;s %ollowers, to the paci%ists, and to certain sections among the #atholics! Also, i% things went badly enough on the Home /ront, the whole o% the poorer section o% the working class might swing round to a position that was de%eatist though not acti ely pro"Hitler! In this motley list one can see the daring o% German propaganda, its willingness to o%%er e erything to e erybody! +ut the arious pro"/ascist %orces are not consciously acting together, and they operate in di%%erent ways! &he #ommunists must certainly be regarded as pro"Hitler, and are bound to remain so unless -ussian policy changes, but they ha e not ery much in%luence! ,osley;s +lackshirts, though now lying ery low, are a more serious danger, because o% the %ooting they probably possess in the armed %orces! Still, e en in its palmiest days ,osley;s %ollowing can hardly ha e numbered @7,777! *aci%ism is a psychological

curiosity rather than a political mo ement! Some o% the e'tremer paci%ists, starting out with a complete renunciation o% iolence, ha e ended by warmly championing Hitler and e en toying with antisemitism! &his is interesting, but it is not important! "*ure" paci%ism, which is a by"product o% na al power, can only appeal to people in ery sheltered positions! ,oreo er, being negati e and irresponsible, it does not inspire much de otion! O% the membership o% the *eace *ledge Dnion, less than %i%teen per cent e en pay their annual subscriptions! =one o% these bodies o% people, paci%ists, #ommunists or +lackshirts, could bring a large"scale stop"the"war mo ement into being by their own e%%orts! +ut they might help to make things ery much easier %or a treacherous go ernment negotiating surrender! Like the /rench #ommunists, they might become the hal%"conscious agents o% millionaires! &he real danger is %rom abo e! One ought not to pay any attention to Hitler;s recent line o% talk about being the %riend o% the poor man, the enemy o% plutocracy, etc! etc! Hitler;s real sel% is in !ein "am#$, and in his actions! He has ne er persecuted the rich, e'cept when they were Aews or when they tried acti ely to oppose him! He stands %or a centrali9ed economy which robs the capitalist o% most o% his power but lea es the structure o% society much as be%ore! &he State controls industry, but there are still rich and poor, masters and men! &here%ore, as against genuine Socialism, the moneyed class ha e always been on his side! &his was crystal clear at the time o% the Spanish #i il 1ar, and clear again at the time when /rance surrendered! Hitler;s puppet go ernment are not working men, but a gang o% bankers, gaga generals and corrupt right"wing politicians! &hat kind o% spectacular, conscio+s treachery is less likely to succeed in England, indeed is %ar less likely e en to be tried! =e ertheless, to many payers o% superta' this war is simply an insane %amily s$uabble which ought to be stopped at all costs! One need not doubt that a "peace" mo ement is on %oot somewhere in high placesJ probably a shadow #abinet has already been %ormed! &hese people will get their chance not in the moment o% de%eat but in some stagnant period when boredom is rein%orced by discontent! &hey will not talk about surrender, only about peaceJ and doubtless they will persuade themsel es, and perhaps other people, that they are acting %or the best! An army o% unemployed led by millionaires $uoting the Sermon on the ,ount "" that is our danger! +ut it cannot arise when we ha e once introduced a reasonable degree o% social :ustice! &he lady in the -olls"-oyce car is more damaging to morale than a %leet o% Goering;s bombing planes! *A-& &H-EEG &HE E=GLISH -E.OLD&IO= I &he English re olution started se eral years ago, and it began to gather momentum when the troops came back %rom Eunkirk! Like all else in England, it happens in a sleepy, unwilling way, but it is happening! &he war has speeded it up, but it has also increased, and desperately, the necessity %or speed! *rogress and reaction are ceasing to ha e anything to do with party labels! I% one wishes to name a particular moment, one can say that the old distinction between -ight

and Le%t broke down when %ict+re %ost was %irst published! 1hat are the politics o% %ict+re %ostC Or o% -avalcade, or *riestley;s broadcasts, or the leading articles in the Evening StandardC =one o% the old classi%ications will %it them! &hey merely point to the e'istence o% multitudes o% unlabelled people who ha e grasped within the last year or two that something is wrong! +ut since a classless, ownerless society is generally spoken o% as "Socialism", we can gi e that name to the society towards which we are now mo ing! &he war and the re olution are inseparable! 1e cannot establish anything that a western nation would regard as Socialism without de%eating HitlerJ on the other hand we cannot de%eat Hitler while we remain economically and socially in the nineteenth century! &he past is %ighting the %uture and we ha e two years, a year, possibly only a %ew months, to see to it that the %uture wins! 1e cannot look to this or to any similar go ernment to put through the necessary changes o% its own accord! &he initiati e will ha e to come %rom below! &hat means that there will ha e to arise something that has ne er e'isted in England, a Socialist mo ement that actually has the mass o% the people behind it! +ut one must start by recogni9ing why it is that English Socialism has %ailed! In England there is only one Socialist party that has e er seriously mattered, the Labour *arty! It has ne er been able to achie e any ma:or change, because e'cept in purely domestic matters it has ne er possessed a genuinely independent policy! It was and is primarily a party o% the trade unions, de oted to raising wages and impro ing working conditions! &his meant that all through the critical years it was directly interested in the prosperity o% +ritish capitalism! In particular it was interested in the maintenance o% the +ritish Empire, %or the wealth o% England was drawn largely %rom Asia and A%rica! &he standard o% li ing o% the trade"union workers, whom the Labour *arty represented, depended indirectly on the sweating o% Indian coolies! At the same time the Labour *arty was a Socialist party, using Socialist phraseology, thinking in terms o% an old"%ashioned anti"imperialism and more or less pledged to make restitution to the coloured races! It had to stand %or the "independence" o% India, :ust as it had to stand %or disarmament and "progress" generally! =e ertheless e eryone was aware that this was nonsense! In the age o% the tank and the bombing plane, backward agricultural countries like India and the A%rican colonies can no more be independent than can a cat or a dog! Had any Labour go ernment come into o%%ice with a clear ma:ority and then proceeded to grant India anything that could truly be called independence, India would simply ha e been absorbed by Aapan, or di ided between Aapan and -ussia! &o a Labour go ernment in power, three imperial policies would ha e been open! One was to continue administering the Empire e'actly as be%ore, which meant dropping all pretensions to Socialism! Another was to set the sub:ect peoples "%ree", which meant in practice handing them o er to Aapan, Italy and other predatory powers, and incidentally causing a catastrophic drop in the +ritish standard o% li ing! &he third was to de elop a #ositive imperial policy, and aim at trans%orming the Empire into a %ederation o% Socialist states, like a looser and %reer ersion o% the Dnion o% So iet -epublics! +ut the Labour *arty;s history and background made this impossible! It was a party o% the trade unions, hopelessly parochial in outlook, with little interest in imperial a%%airs and no contacts among the men who actually held the Empire together! It would ha e had to hand the administration o% India and A%rica and the whole :ob o% imperial de%ence to men drawn

%rom a di%%erent class and traditionally hostile to Socialism! O ershadowing e erything was the doubt whether a Labour go ernment which meant business could make itsel% obeyed! /or all the si9e o% its %ollowing, the Labour *arty had no %ooting in the na y, little or none in the army or air %orce, none whate er in the #olonial Ser ices, and not e en a sure %ooting in the Home #i il Ser ice! In England its position was strong but not unchallengeable, and outside England all the points were in the hands o% its enemies! Once in power, the same dilemma would always ha e %aced itG carry out your promises, and risk re olt, or continue with the same policy as the #onser ati es, and stop talking about Socialism! &he Labour leaders ne er %ound a solution, and %rom 23?@ onwards it was ery doubt%ul whether they had any wish to take o%%ice! &hey had degenerated into a *ermanent Opposition! Outside the Labour *arty there e'isted se eral e'tremist parties, o% whom the #ommunists were the strongest! &he #ommunists had considerable in%luence in the Labour *arty in the years 23>7">4 and 23?@"3! &heir chie% importance, and that o% the whole le%t wing o% the Labour mo ement, was the part they played in alienating the middle classes %rom Socialism! &he history o% the past se en years has made it per%ectly clear that #ommunism has no chance in western Europe! &he appeal o% /ascism is enormously greater! In one country a%ter another the #ommunists ha e been rooted out by their more up"to"date enemies, the =a9is! In the English"speaking countries they ne er had a serious %ooting! &he creed they were spreading could appeal only to a rather rare type o% person, %ound chie%ly in the middle"class intelligentsia, the type who has ceased to lo e his own country but still %eels the need o% patriotism, and there%ore de elops patriotic sentiments towards -ussia! +y 23<7, a%ter working %or twenty years and spending a great deal o% money, the +ritish #ommunists had barely >7,777 members, actually a smaller number than they had started out with in 23>7! &he other ,ar'ist parties were o% e en less importance! &hey had not the -ussian money and prestige behind them, and e en more than the #ommunists they were tied to the nineteenth"century doctrine o% the class war! &hey continued year a%ter year to preach this out"o%"date gospel, and ne er drew any in%erence %rom the %act that it got them no %ollowers! =or did any strong nati e /ascist mo ement grow up! ,aterial conditions were not bad enough, and no leader who could be taken seriously was %orthcoming! One would ha e had to look a long time to %ind a man more barren o% ideas than Sir Oswald ,osley! He was as hollow as a :ug! E en the elementary %act that /ascism must not o%%end national sentiment had escaped him! His entire mo ement was imitated sla ishly %rom abroad, the uni%orm and the party programme %rom Italy and the salute %rom Germany, with the Aew"baiting tacked on as an a%terthought, ,osley ha ing actually started his mo ement with Aews among his most prominent %ollowers! A man o% the stamp o% +ottomley or Lloyd George could perhaps ha e brought a real +ritish /ascist mo ement into e'istence! +ut such leaders only appear when the psychological need %or them e'ists! A%ter twenty years o% stagnation and unemployment, the entire English Socialist mo ement was unable to produce a ersion o% Socialism which the mass o% the people could e en %ind desirable! &he Labour *arty stood %or a timid re%ormism, the ,ar'ists were looking at the modern world through nineteenth"century spectacles! +oth ignored agriculture and imperial problems, and both antagoni9ed the middle classes! &he su%%ocating stupidity o% le%t"wing propaganda had %rightened away whole classes o%

necessary people, %actory managers, airmen, na al o%%icers, %armers, white"collar workers, shopkeepers, policemen! All o% these people had been taught to think o% Socialism as something which menaced their li elihood, or as something seditious, alien, "anti"+ritish" as they would ha e called it! Only the intellectuals, the least use%ul section o% the middle class, gra itated towards the mo ement! A Socialist *arty which genuinely wished to achie e anything would ha e started by %acing se eral %acts which to this day are considered unmentionable in le%t"wing circles! It would ha e recogni9ed that England is more united than most countries, that the +ritish workers ha e a great deal to lose besides their chains, and that the di%%erences in outlook and habits between class and class are rapidly diminishing! In general, it would ha e recogni9ed that the old"%ashioned "proletarian re olution" is an impossibility! +ut all through the between"war years no Socialist programme that was both re olutionary and workable e er appearedJ basically, no doubt, because no one genuinely wanted any ma:or change to happen! &he Labour leaders wanted to go on and on, drawing their salaries and periodically swapping :obs with the #onser ati es! &he #ommunists wanted to go on and on, su%%ering a com%ortable martyrdom, meeting with endless de%eats and a%terwards putting the blame on other people! &he le%t"wing intelligentsia wanted to go on and on, sniggering at the +limps, sapping away at middle"class morale, but still keeping their %a oured position as hangers"on o% the di idend"drawers! Labour *arty politics had become a ariant o% #onser atism, "re olutionary" politics had become a game o% make" belie e! =ow, howe er, the circumstances ha e changed, the drowsy years ha e ended! +eing a Socialist no longer means kicking theoretically against a system which in practice you are %airly well satis%ied with! &his time our predicament is real! It is "the *hilistines be upon thee, Samson"! 1e ha e got to make our words take physical shape, or perish! 1e know ery well that with its present social structure England cannot sur i e, and we ha e got to make other people see that %act and act upon it! 1e cannot win the war without introducing Socialism, nor establish Socialism without winning the war! At such a time it is possible, as it was not in the peace%ul years, to be both re olutionary and realistic! A Socialist mo ement which can swing the mass o% the people behind it, dri e the pro"/ascists out o% positions o% control, wipe out the grosser in:ustices and let the working class see that they ha e something to %ight %or, win o er the middle classes instead o% antagoni9ing them, produce a workable imperial policy instead o% a mi'ture o% humbug and Dtopianism, bring patriotism and intelligence into partnership "" %or the %irst time, a mo ement o% such a kind becomes possible! II &he %act that we are at war has turned Socialism %rom a te'tbook word into a reali9able policy! &he ine%%iciency o% pri ate capitalism has been pro ed all o er Europe! Its in:ustice has been pro ed in the East End o% London! *atriotism, against which the Socialists %ought so long, has become a tremendous le er in their hands! *eople who at any other time would cling like glue to their miserable scraps o% pri ilege, will surrender them %ast enough when their country is in danger! 1ar is the greatest o% all agents o%

change! It speeds up all processes, wipes out minor distinctions, brings realities to the sur%ace! Abo e all, war brings it home to the indi idual that he is not altogether an indi idual! It is only because they are aware o% this that men will die on the %ield o% battle! At this moment it is not so much a $uestion o% surrendering li%e as o% surrendering leisure, com%ort, economic liberty, social prestige! &here are ery %ew people in England who really want to see their country con$uered by Germany! I% it can be made clear that de%eating Hitler means wiping out class pri ilege, the great mass o% middling people, the P4 a week to P>,777 a year class, will probably be on our side! &hese people are $uite indispensable, because they include most o% the technical e'perts! Ob iously the snobbishness and political ignorance o% people like airmen and na al o%%icers will be a ery great di%%iculty! +ut without those airmen, destroyer commanders, etc! etc! we could not sur i e %or a week! &he only approach to them is through their patriotism! An intelligent Socialist mo ement will +se their patriotism, instead o% merely insulting it, as hitherto! +ut do I mean that there will no oppositionI O% course not! It would be childish to e'pect anything o% the kind! &here willl be a bitter political struggle, and there will be unconscious and hal%" conscious sabotage e erywhere! At some point or other it may be necessary to use iolence! It is easy to imagine a pro"/ascist rebellion breaking out in, %or instance, India! 1e shall ha e to %ight against bribery, ignorance and snobbery! &he bankers and the larger businessmen, the landowners and di idend"drawers, the o%%icials with their prehensile bottoms, will obstruct %or all they are worth! E en the middle classes will writhe when their accustomed way o% li%e is menaced! +ut :ust because the English sense o% national unity has ne er disintegrated, because patriotism is %inally stronger than class" hatred, the chances are that the will o% the ma:ority will pre ail! It is no use imagining that one can make %undamental changes without causing a split in the nationJ but the treacherous minority will be %ar smaller in time o% war than it would be at any other time! &he swing o% opinion is isibly happening, but it cannot be counted on to happen %ast enough o% its own accord! &his war is a race between the consolidation o% Hitler;s empire and the growth o% democratic consciousness! E erywhere in England you can see a ding"dong battle ranging to and %ro "" in *arliament and in the Go ernment, in the %actories and the armed %orces, in the pubs and the air"raid shelters, in the newspapers and on the radio! E ery day there are tiny de%eats, tiny ictories! ,orrison %or Home Secretary "" a %ew yards %orward! *riestley sho ed o%% the air "" a %ew yards back! It is a struggle between the groping and the unteachable, between the young and the old, between the li ing and the dead! +ut it is ery necessary that the discontent which undoubtedly e'ists should take a purpose%ul and not merely obstructi e %orm! It is time %or t e #eo#le to de%ine their war aims! 1hat is wanted is a simple, concrete programme o% action, which can be gi en all possible publicity, and round which public opinion can group itsel%! I suggest that the %ollowing si'"point programme is the kind o% thing we need! &he %irst three points deal with England;s internal policy, the other three with the Empire and the worldG 2! =ationali9ation o% land, mines, railways, banks and ma:or industries! >! Limitation o% incomes, on such a scale that the highest ta'"%ree income in +ritain does not e'ceed the lowest by more than ten to one!

?! -e%orm o% the educational system along democratic lines! <! Immediate Eominion status %or India, with power to secede when the war is o er! @! /ormation o% an Imperial General #ouncil, in which the coloured peoples are to be represented! 4! Eeclaration o% %ormal alliance with #hina, Abyssinia and all other ictims o% the /ascist powers! &he general tendency o% this programme is unmistakable! It aims $uite %rankly at turning this war into a re olutionary war and England into a Socialist democracy! I ha e deliberately included in it nothing that the simplest person could not understand and see the reason %or! In the %orm in which I ha e put it, it could be printed on the %ront page o% the .ail( !irror. +ut %or the purposes o% this book a certain amount o% ampli%ication is needed! 2! Nationalization. One can "nationali9e" industry by the stroke o% a pen, but the actual process is slow and complicated! 1hat is needed is that the ownership o% all ma:or industry shall be %ormally ested in the State, representing the common people! Once that is done it becomes possible to eliminate the class o% mere owners who li e not by irtue o% anything they produce but by the possession o% title"deeds and share certi%icates! State" ownership implies, there%ore, that nobody shall li e without working! How sudden a change in the conduct o% industry it implies is less certain! In a country like England we cannot rip down the whole structure and build again %rom the bottom, least o% all in time o% war! Ine itably the ma:ority o% industrial concerns will continue with much the same personnel as be%ore, the one"time owners or managing directors carrying on with their :obs as State employees! &here is reason to think that many o% the smaller capitalists would actually welcome some such arrangement! &he resistance will come %rom the big capitalists, the bankers, the landlords and the idle rich, roughly speaking the class with o er P>,777 a year "" and e en i% one counts in all their dependants there are not more than hal% a million o% these people in England! =ationali9ation o% agricultural land implies cutting out the landlord and the tithe drawer, but not necessarily inter%ering with the %armer! It is di%%icult to imagine any reorgani9ation o% English agriculture that would not retain most o% the e'isting %arms as units, at any rate at the beginning! &he %armer, when he is competent, will continue as a salaried manager! He is irtually that already, with the added disad antage o% ha ing to make a pro%it and being permanently in debt to the bank! 1ith certain kinds o% petty trading, and e en the small"scale ownership o% land, the State will probably not inter%ere at all! It would be a great mistake to start by ictimi9ing the smallholder class, %or instance! &hese people are necessary, on the whole they are competent, and the amount o% work they do depends on the %eeling that they are "their own masters"! +ut the State will certainly impose an upward limit to the ownership o% land (probably %i%teen acres at the ery most), and will ne er permit any ownership o% land in town areas! /rom the moment that all producti e goods ha e been declared the property o% the State, the common people will %eel, as they cannot %eel now, that the State is t emselves. &hey will be ready then to endure the sacri%ices that are ahead o% us, war or no war! And e en i% the %ace o% England hardly seems to change, on the day that our main industries are %ormally nationali9ed the dominance o% a single class will ha e been broken! /rom then onwards the emphasis will be shi%ted %rom ownership to management, %rom

pri ilege to competence! It is $uite possible that State"ownership will in itsel% bring about less social change than will be %orced upon us by the common hardships o% war! +ut it is the necessary %irst step without which any real reconstruction is impossible! >! 2ncomes. Limitation o% incomes implies the %i'ing o% a minimum wage, which implies a managed internal currency based simply on the amount o% consumption, goods a ailable! And this again implies a stricter rationing scheme than is now in operation! It is no use at this stage o% the world;s history to suggest that all human beings should ha e e1actl( e$ual incomes! It has been shown o er and o er again that without some kind o% money reward there is no incenti e to undertake certain :obs! On the other hand the money reward need not be ery large! In practice it is impossible that earnings should be limited $uite as rigidly as I ha e suggested! &here will always be anomalies and e asions! +ut there is no reason why ten to one should not be the ma'imum normal ariation! And within those limits some sense o% e$uality is possible! A man with P? a week and a man with P2,@77 a year can %eel themsel es %ellow creatures, which the Euke o% 1estminster and the sleepers on the Embankment benches cannot! ?! Ed+cation. In wartime, educational re%orm must necessarily be promise rather than per%ormance! At the moment we are not in a position to raise the school"lea ing age or increase the teaching sta%%s o% the elementary schools! +ut there are certain immediate steps that we could take towards a democratic educational system! 1e could start by abolishing the autonomy o% the public schools and the older uni ersities and %looding them with State"aided pupils chosen simply on grounds o% ability! At present, public" school education is partly a training in class pre:udice and partly a sort o% ta' that the middle classes pay to the upper class in return %or the right to enter certain pro%essions! It is true that that state o% a%%airs is altering! &he middle classes ha e begun to rebel against the e'pensi eness o% education, and the war will bankrupt the ma:ority o% the public schools i% it continues %or another year or two! &he e acuation is also producing certain minor changes! +ut there is a danger that some o% the older schools, which will be able to weather the %inancial storm longest, will sur i e in some %orm or another as %estering centres o% snobbery! As %or the 27,777 "pri ate" schools that England possesses, the ast ma:ority o% them deser e nothing e'cept suppression! &hey are simply commercial undertakings, and in many cases their educational le el is actually lower than that o% the elementary schools! &hey merely e'ist because o% a widespread idea that there is something disgrace%ul in being educated by the public authorities! &he State could $uell this idea by declaring itsel% responsible %or all education, e en i% at the start this were no more than a gesture! 1e need gestures as well as actions! It is all too ob ious that our talk o% "de%ending democracy" is nonsense while it is a mere accident o% birth that decides whether a gi%ted child shall or shall not get the education it deser es! A. 2ndia. 1hat we must o%%er India is not "%reedom", which, as I ha e said earlier, is impossible, but alliance, partnership "" in a word, e$uality! +ut we must also tell the Indians that they are %ree to secede, i% they want to! 1ithout that there can be no e$uality o% partnership, and our claim to be de%ending the coloured peoples against /ascism will ne er be belie ed! +ut it is a mistake to imagine that i% the Indians were %ree to cut themsel es adri%t they would immediately do so! 1hen a +ritish go ernment o$$ers them unconditional independence, they will re%use it! /or as soon as they ha e the power to secede the chie% reasons %or doing so will ha e disappeared! A complete se erance o% the two countries would be a disaster %or India no less

than %or England! Intelligent Indians know this! As things are at present, India not only cannot de%end itsel%, it is hardly e en capable o% %eeding itsel%! &he whole administration o% the country depends on a %ramework o% e'perts (engineers, %orest o%%icers, railwaymen, soldiers, doctors) who are predominantly English and could not be replaced within %i e or ten years! ,oreo er, English is the chie% lingua %ranca and nearly the whole o% the Indian intelligentsia is deeply anglici9ed! Any trans%erence to %oreign rule "" %or i% the +ritish marched out o% India the Aapanese and other powers would immediately march in "" would mean an immense dislocation! =either the Aapanese, the -ussians, the Germans nor the Italians would be capable o% administering India e en at the low le el o% e%%iciency that is attained by the +ritish! &hey do not possess the necessary supplies o% technical e'perts or the knowledge o% languages and local conditions, and they probably could not win the con%idence o% indispensable go"betweens such as the Eurasians! I% India were simply "liberated", i!e! depri ed o% +ritish military protection, the %irst result would be a %resh %oreign con$uest, and the second a series o% enormous %amines which would kill millions o% people within a %ew years! 1hat India needs is the power to work out its own constitution without +ritish inter%erence, but in some kind o% partnership that ensures its military protection and technical ad ice! &his is unthinkable until there is a Socialist go ernment in England! /or at least eighty years England has arti%icially pre ented the de elopment o% India, partly %rom %ear o% trade competition i% India industries were too highly de eloped, partly because backward peoples are more easily go erned than ci ili9ed ones! It is a commonplace that the a erage Indian su%%ers %ar more %rom his own countrymen than %rom the +ritish! &he petty Indian capitalist e'ploits the town worker with the utmost ruthlessness, the peasant li es %rom birth to death in the grip o% the money"lender! +ut all this is an indirect result o% the +ritish rule, which aims hal%"consciously at keeping India as backward as possible! &he classes most loyal to +ritain are the princes, the landowners and the business community "" in general, the reactionary classes who are doing %airly well out o% the stat+s :+o. &he moment that England ceased to stand towards India in the relation o% an e'ploiter, the balance o% %orces would be altered! =o need then %or the +ritish to %latter the ridiculous Indian princes, with their gilded elephants and cardboard armies, to pre ent the growth o% the Indian trade unions, to play o%% ,oslem against Hindu, to protect the worthless li%e o% the money"lender, to recei e the salaams o% toadying minor o%%icials, to pre%er the hal%"barbarous Gurkha to the educated +engali! Once check that stream o% di idends that %lows %rom the bodies o% Indian coolies to the banking accounts o% old ladies in #heltenham, and the whole sahib"nati e ne'us, with its haughty ignorance on one side and en y and ser ility on the other, can come to an end! Englishmen and Indians can work side by side %or the de elopment o% India, and %or the training o% Indians in all the arts which, so %ar, they ha e been systematically pre ented %rom learning! How many o% the e'isting +ritish personnel in India, commercial or o%%icial, would %all in with such an arrangement "" which would mean ceasing once and %or all to be "sahibs" "" is a di%%erent $uestion! +ut, broadly speaking, more is to be hoped %rom the younger men and %rom those o%%icials (ci il engineers, %orestry and agriculture e'perts, doctors, educationists) who ha e been scienti%ically educated! &he higher o%%icials, the pro incial go ernors, commissioners, :udges, etc! are hopelessJ but they are also the most easily replaceable! &hat, roughly, is what would be meant by Eominion status i% it were o%%ered to

India by a Socialist go ernment! It is an o%%er o% partnership on e$ual terms until such time as the world has ceased to be ruled by bombing planes! +ut we must add to it the unconditional right to secede! It is the only way o% pro ing that we mean what we say! And what applies to India applies, m+tatis m+tandis, to +urma, ,alaya and most o% our A%rican possessions! @ and 4 e'plain themsel es! &hey are the necessary preliminary to any claim that we are %ighting this war %or the protection o% peace%ul peoples against /ascist aggression! Is it impossibly hope%ul to think that such a policy as this could get a %ollowing in EnglandI A year ago, e en si' months ago, it would ha e been, but not now! ,oreo er "" and this is the peculiar opportunity o% this moment "" it could be gi en the necessary publicity! &here is now a considerable weekly press, with a circulation o% millions, which would be ready to populari9e "" i% not e1actl( the programme I ha e sketched abo e, at any rate some policy along those lines! &here are e en three or %our daily papers which would be prepared to gi e it a sympathetic hearing! &hat is the distance we ha e tra elled in the last si' months! +ut is such a policy reali9ableI &hat depends entirely on oursel es! Some o% the points I ha e suggested are o% the kind that could be carried out immediately, others would take years or decades and e en then would not be per%ectly achie ed! =o political programme is e er carried out in its entirety! +ut what matters is that that or something like it should be our declared policy! It is always the direction that counts! It is o% course $uite hopeless to e'pect the present Go ernment to pledge itsel% to any policy that implies turning this war into a re olutionary war! It is at best a go ernment o% compromise, with #hurchill riding two horses like a circus acrobat! +e%ore such measures as limitation o% incomes become e en thinkable, there will ha e to be a complete shi%t o% power away %rom the old ruling class! I% during this winter the war settles into another stagnant period, we ought in my opinion to agitate %or a General Election, a thing which the &ory *arty machine will make %rantic e%%orts to pre ent! +ut e en without an election we can get the go ernment we want, pro ided that we want it urgently enough! A real sho e %rom below will accomplish it! As to who will be in that go ernment when it comes, I make no guess! I only know that the right men will be there when the people really want them, %or it is mo ements that make leaders and not leaders mo ements! 1ithin a year, perhaps e en within si' months, i% we are still uncon$uered, we shall see the rise o% something that has ne er e'isted be%ore, a speci%ically Englis Socialist mo ement! Hitherto there has been only the Labour *arty, which was the creation o% the working class but did not aim at any %undamental change, and ,ar'ism, which was a German theory interpreted by -ussians and unsuccess%ully transplanted to England! &here was nothing that really touched the heart o% the English people! &hroughout its entire history the English Socialist mo ement has ne er produced a song with a catchy tune "" nothing like )a !arseillaise or )a -+c+rac a, %or instance! 1hen a Socialist mo ement nati e to England appears, the ,ar'ists, like all others with a ested interest in the past, will be its bitter enemies! Ine itably they will denounce it as "/ascism"! Already it is customary among the more so%t"boiled intellectuals o% the Le%t to declare that i% we %ight against the =a9is we shall "go =a9i" oursel es! &hey might almost e$ually well say that i% we %ight =egroes we shall turn black! &o "go =a9i" we should ha e to ha e the history o% Germany behind us! =ations do not escape %rom their past

merely by making a re olution! An English Socialist go ernment will trans%orm the nation %rom top to bottom, but it will still bear all o er it the unmistakable marks o% our own ci ili9ation, the peculiar ci ili9ation which I discussed earlier in this book! It will not be doctrinaire, nor e en logical! It will abolish the House o% Lords, but $uite probably will not abolish the ,onarchy! It will lea e anachronisms and loose ends e erywhere, the :udge in his ridiculous horsehair wig and the lion and the unicorn on the soldier;s cap"buttons! It will not set up any e'plicit class dictatorship! It will group itsel% round the old Labour *arty and its mass %ollowing will be in the trade unions, but it will draw into it most o% the middle class and many o% the younger sons o% the bourgeoisie! ,ost o% its directing brains will come %rom the new indeterminate class o% skilled workers, technical e'perts, airmen, scientists, architects and :ournalists, the people who %eel at home in the radio and %erro"concrete age! +ut it will ne er lose touch with the tradition o% compromise and the belie% in a law that is abo e the State! It will shoot traitors, but it will gi e them a solemn trial be%orehand and occasionally it will ac$uit them! It will crush any open re olt promptly and cruelly, but it will inter%ere ery little with the spoken and written word! *olitical parties with di%%erent names will still e'ist, re olutionary sects will still be publishing their newspapers and making as little impression as e er! It will disestablish the #hurch, but will not persecute religion! It will retain a ague re erence %or the #hristian moral code, and %rom time to time will re%er to England as "a #hristian country"! &he #atholic #hurch will war against it, but the =oncon%ormist sects and the bulk o% the Anglican #hurch will be able to come to terms with it! It will show a power o% assimilating the past which will shock %oreign obser ers and sometimes make them doubt whether any re olution has happened! +ut all the same it will ha e done the essential thing! It will ha e nationali9ed industry, scaled down incomes, set up a classless educational system! Its real nature will be apparent %rom the hatred which the sur i ing rich men o% the world will %eel %or it! It will aim not at disintegrating the Empire but at turning it into a %ederation o% Socialist states, %reed not so much %rom the +ritish %lag as %rom the money"lender, the di idend" drawer and the wooden"headed +ritish o%%icial! Its war strategy will be totally di%%erent %rom that o% any property"ruled state, because it will not be a%raid o% the re olutionary a%ter"e%%ects when any e'isting rMgime is brought down! It will not ha e the smallest scruple about attacking hostile neutrals or stirring up nati e rebellion in enemy colonies! It will %ight in such a way that e en i% it is beaten its memory will be dangerous to the ictor, as the memory o% the /rench -e olution was dangerous to ,etternich;s Europe! &he dictators will %ear it as they could not %ear the e'isting +ritish rMgime, e en i% its military strength were ten times what it is! +ut at this moment, when the drowsy li%e o% England has barely altered, and the o%%ensi e contrast o% wealth and po erty still e'ists e erywhere, e en amid the bombs, why do I dare to say that all these things "will" happenI +ecause the time has come when one can predict the %uture in terms o% an "either "" or"! Either we turn this war into a re olutionary war (I do not say that our policy will be e1actl( what I ha e indicated abo e "" merely that it will be along those general lines) or we lose it, and much more besides! Luite soon it will be possible to say de%initely that our %eet are set upon one path or the other! +ut at any rate it is certain that with our present social structure we cannot win! Our real %orces, physical, moral or intellectual, cannot be mobili9ed!

III *atriotism has nothing to do with #onser atism! It is actually the opposite o% #onser atism, since it is a de otion to something that is always changing and yet is %elt to be mystically the same! It is the bridge between the %uture and the past! =o real re olutionary has e er been an internationalist! Euring the past twenty years the negati e, $ainDant outlook which has been %ashionable among English le%t"wingers, the sniggering o% the intellectuals; at patriotism and physical courage, the persistent e%%ort to chip away English morale and spread a hedonistic, what"do"I"get"out"o%"it attitude to li%e, has done nothing but harm! It would ha e been harm%ul e en i% we had been li ing in the s$uashy League o% =ations uni erse that these people imagined! In an age o% %uehrers and bombing planes it was a disaster! Howe er little we may like it, toughness is the price o% sur i al! A nation trained to think hedonistically cannot sur i e amid peoples who work like sla es and breed like rabbits, and whose chie% national industry is war! English Socialists o% nearly all colours ha e wanted to rnake a stand against /ascism, but at the same time they ha e aimed at making their own countrymen unwarlike! &hey ha e %ailed, because in England traditional loyalties are stronger than new ones! +ut in spite o% all the "anti"/ascist" heroics o% the le%t"wing press, what chance should we ha e stood when the real struggle with /ascism came, i% the a erage Englishman had been the kind o% creature that the New Statesman, the .ail( /orker or e en the News - ronicle wished to make himI Dp to 23?@ irtually all English le%t"wingers were aguely paci%ist! A%ter 23?@ the more ocal o% them %lung themsel es eagerly into the *opular /ront mo ement, which was simply an e asion o% the whole problem posed by /ascism! It set out to be "anti" /ascist" in a purely negati e way "" "against" /ascism without being "%or" any disco erable policy "" and underneath it lay the %labby idea that when the time came the -ussians would do our %ighting %or us! It is astonishing how this illusion %ails to die! E ery week sees its spate o% letters to the press, pointing out that i% we had a go ernment with no &ories in it the -ussians could hardly a oid coming round to our side! Or we are to publish high"sounding war aims Evide books like <nser "am#$, A H+ndred !illion Allies -- 2$ /e - oose, etc!), whereupon the European populations will in%allibly rise on our behal%! It is the same idea all the time "" look abroad %or your inspiration, get someone else to do your %ighting %or you! Dnderneath it lies the %right%ul in%eriority comple' o% the English intellectual, the belie% that the English are no longer a martial race, no longer capable o% enduring! In truth there is no reason to think that anyone will do our %ighting %or us yet awhile, e'cept the #hinese, who ha e been doing it %or three years already!4 &he -ussians may be dri en to %ight on our side by the %act o% a direct attack, but they ha e made it clear enough that they will not stand up to the German army i% there is any way o% a oiding it! In any case they are not likely to be attracted by the spectacle o% a le%t"wing go ernment in England! &he present -ussian rMgime must almost certainly be hostile to any re olution in the 1est! &he sub:ect peoples o% Europe will rebel when Hitler begins to totter, but not earlier! Our potential allies are not the Europeans but on the one hand the Americans, who will need a year to mobili9e their resources e en i% +ig +usiness can be

brought to heel, and on the other hand the coloured peoples, who cannot be e en sentimentally on our side till our own re olution has started! /or a long time, a year, two years, possibly three years, England has got to be the shock"absorber o% the world! 1e ha e got to %ace bombing, hunger, o erwork, in%luen9a, boredom and treacherous peace o%%ers! ,ani%estly it is a time to sti%%en morale, not to weaken it! Instead o% taking the mechanically anti"+ritish attitude which is usual on the Le%t, it is better to consider what the world would really be like i% the English"speaking culture perished! /or it is childish to suppose that the other English"speaking countries, e en the D!S!A!, will be una%%ected i% +ritain is con$uered!
4! 1ritten be%ore the outbreak o% the war in Greece! BAuthor;s %ootnote!C

Lord Hali%a', and all his tribe, belie e that when the war is o er things will be e'actly as they were be%ore! +ack to the cra9y pa ement o% .ersailles, back to "democracy", i!e! capitalism, back to dole $ueues and the -olls"-oyce cars, back to the grey top hats and the sponge"bag trousers, in saec+la saec+lor+m. It is o% course ob ious that nothing o% the kind is going to happen! A %eeble imitation o% it might :ust possibly happen in the case o% a negotiated peace, but only %or a short while! )aissez-$aire capitalism is dead!6 &he choice lies between the kind o% collecti e society that Hitler will set up and the kind that can arise i% he is de%eated!
6! It is interesting to notice that ,r Fennedy, D!S!A! Ambassador in London, remarked on his return to =ew Hork in October 23<7 that as a result o% the war "democracy is %inished"! +y "democracy", o% course, he meant pri ate capitalism! BAuthor;s %ootnote!C

I% Hitler wins this war he will consolidate his rule o er Europe, A%rica and the ,iddle East, and i% his armies ha e not been too greatly e'hausted be%orehand, he will wrench ast territories %rom So iet -ussia! He will set up a graded caste"society in which the German Herrenvolk ("master race" or "aristocratic race") will rule o er Sla s and other lesser peoples whose :ob it will be to produce low"priced agricultural products! He will reduce the coloured peoples once and %or all to outright sla ery! &he real $uarrel o% the /ascist powers with +ritish imperialism is that they know that it is disintegrating! Another twenty years along the present line o% de elopment, and India will be a peasant republic linked with England only by oluntary alliance! &he "semi"apes" o% whom Hitler speaks with such loathing will be %lying aeroplanes and manu%acturing machine"guns! &he /ascist dream o% a sla e empire will be at an end! On the other hand, i% we are de%eated we simply hand o er our own ictims to new masters who come %resh to the :ob and ha e not de eloped any scruples! +ut more is in ol ed than the %ate o% the coloured peoples! &wo incompatible isions o% li%e are %ighting one another! "+etween democracy and totalitarianism," says ,ussolini, "there can be no compromise!" &he two creeds cannot e en, %or any length o% time, li e side by side! So long as democracy e'ists, even in its ver( im#er$ect Englis $orm, totalitarianism is in deadly danger! &he whole English"speaking world is haunted by the idea o% human e$uality, and though it would be simply a lie to say that either we or the Americans ha e e er acted up to our pro%essions, still, the idea is there, and it is capable o% one day becoming a reality! /rom the English"speaking culture, i% it does not perish, a society o% %ree and e$ual human beings will ultimately arise! +ut it is precisely

the idea o% human e$uality "" the "Aewish" or "Audaeo"#hristian" idea o% e$uality "" that Hitler came into the world to destroy! He has, hea en knows, said so o%ten enough! &he thought o% a world in which black men would be as good as white men and Aews treated as human beings brings him the same horror and despair as the thought o% endless sla ery brings to us! It is important to keep in mind how irreconcilable these two iewpoints are! Some time within the ne't year a pro"Hitler reaction within the le%t"wing intelligentsia is likely enough! &here are premonitory signs o% it already! Hitler;s positi e achie ement appeals to the emptiness o% these people, and, in the case o% those with paci%ist leanings, to their masochism! One knows in ad ance more or less what they will say! &hey will start by re%using to admit that +ritish capitalism is e ol ing into something di%%erent, or that the de%eat o% Hitler can mean any more than a ictory %or the +ritish and American millionaires! And %rom that they will proceed to argue that, a%ter all, democracy is ":ust the same as" or ":ust as bad as" totalitarianism! &here is not m+c %reedom o% speech in EnglandJ there%ore there is no more than e'ists in Germany! &o be on the dole is a horrible e'perienceJ there%ore it is no worse to be in the torture"chambers o% the Gestapo! In general, two blacks make a white, hal% a loa% is the same as no bread! +ut in reality, whate er may be true about democracy and totalitarianism, it is not true that they are the same! It would not be true, e en i% +ritish democracy were incapable o% e ol ing beyond its present stage! &he whole conception o% the militari9ed continental state, with its secret police, its censored literature and its conscript labour, is utterly di%%erent %rom that o% the loose maritime democracy, with its slums and unemployment, its strikes and party politics! It is the di%%erence between land power and sea power, between cruelty and ine%%iciency, between lying and sel%"deception, between the S!S! man and the rent"collector! And in choosing between them one chooses not so much on the strength o% what they now are as o% what they are capable o% becoming. +ut in a sense it is irrele ant whether democracy, at its highest or at its lowest, is "better" than totalitarianism! &o decide that one would ha e to ha e access to absolute standards! &he only $uestion that matters is where one;s real sympathies will lie when the pinch comes! &he intellectuals who are so %ond o% balancing democracy against totalitarianism and "pro ing" that one is as bad as the other are simply %ri olous people who ha e ne er been sho ed up against realities! &hey show the same shallow misunderstanding o% /ascism now, when they are beginning to %lirt with it, as a year or two ago, when they were s$uealing against it! &he $uestion is not, "#an you make out a debating"society ;case; in %a our o% HitlerI" &he $uestion is, "Eo you genuinely accept that caseI Are you willing to submit to Hitler;s ruleI Eo you want to see England con$uered, or don;t youI" It would be better to be sure on that point be%ore %ri olously siding with the enemy! /or there is no such thing as neutrality in warJ in practice one must help one side or the other! 1hen the pinch comes, no one bred in the western tradition can accept the /ascist ision o% li%e! It is important to reali9e that now, and to grasp what it entails! 1ith all its sloth, hypocrisy and in:ustice, the English"speaking ci ili9ation is the only large obstacle in Hitler;s path! It is a li ing contradiction o% all the "in%allible" dogmas o% /ascism! &hat is why all /ascist writers %or years past ha e agreed that England;s power must be destroyed! England must be "e'terminated", must be "annihilated", must "cease to e'ist"! Strategically it would be possible %or this war to end with Hitler in secure possession o% Europe, and with the +ritish Empire intact and +ritish sea"power barely a%%ected! +ut

idelogically it is not possibleJ were Hitler to make an o%%er along those lines, it could only be treacherously, with a iew to con$uering England indirectly or renewing the attack at some more %a ourable moment! England cannot possibly be allowed to remain as a sort o% %unnel through which deadly ideas %rom beyond the Atlantic %low into the police states o% Europe! And turning it round to our point o% iew, we see the astness o% the issue be%ore us, the all"importance o% preser ing our democracy more or less as we ha e known it! +ut to #reserve is always to e1tend. &he choice be%ore us is not so much between ictory and de%eat as between re olution and apathy! I% the thing we are %ighting %or is altogether destroyed, it will ha e been destroyed partly by our own act! It could happen that England could introduce the beginnings o% Socialism, turn this war into a re olutionary war, and still be de%eated! &hat is at any rate thinkable! +ut, terrible as it would be %or anyone who is now adult, it would be %ar less deadly than the "compromise peace" which a %ew rich men and their hired liars are hoping %or! &he %inal ruin o% England could only be accomplished by an English go ernment acting under orders %rom +erlin! +ut that cannot happen i% England has awakened be%orehand! /or in that case the de%eat would be unmistakable, the struggle would continue, the idea would sur i e! &he di%%erence between going down %ighting, and surrendering without a %ight, is by no means a $uestion o% "honour" and schoolboy heroics! Hitler said once that to acce#t de%eat destroys the soul o% a nation! &his sounds like a piece o% claptrap, but it is strictly true! &he de%eat o% 2567 did not lessen the world"in%luence o% /rance! &he &hird -epublic had more in%luence, intellectually, than the /rance o% =apoleon III! +ut the sort o% peace that *Mtain, La al and #o! ha e accepted can only be purchased by deliberately wiping out the national culture! &he .ichy Go ernment will en:oy a spurious independence only on condition that it destroys the distincti e marks o% /rench cultureG republicanism, secularism, respect %or the intellect, absence o% colour pre:udice! 1e cannot be +tterl( de%eated i% we ha e made our re olution be%orehand! 1e may see German troops marching down 1hitehall, but another process, ultimately deadly to the German power"dream, will ha e been started! &he Spanish people were de%eated, but the things they learned during those two and a hal% memorable years will one day come back upon the Spanish /ascists like a boomerang! A piece o% Shakespearean bombast was much $uoted at the beginning o% the war! E en ,r #hamberlain $uoted it once, i% my memory does not decei e meG
3ome the four corners of the world in arms And we shall shock them7 naught shall make us rue If "ngland to herself do rest but true.

It is right enough, i% you interpret it rightly! +ut England has got to be true to hersel%! She is not being true to hersel% while the re%ugees who ha e sought our shores are penned up in concentration camps, and company directors work out subtle schemes to dodge their E'cess *ro%its &a'! It is goodbye to the 'atler and the *(stander, and %arewell to the lady in the -olls"-oyce car! &he heirs o% =elson and o% #romwell are not in the House o% Lords! &hey are in the %ields and the streets, in the %actories and the armed %orces, in the %our"ale bar and the suburban back gardenJ and at present they are still kept under by a generation o% ghosts! #ompared with the task o% bringing the real England to the sur%ace, e en the winning o% the war, necessary though it is, is secondary! +y re olution we become more oursel es, not less! &here is no $uestion o% stopping short,

striking a compromise, sal aging "democracy", standing still! =othing e er stands still! 1e must add to our heritage or lose it, we must grow greater or grow less, we must go %orward or backward! I belie e in England, and I belie e that we shall go %orward! *art o% England 6o+r England with the title ' e &+ling -lass appeared in Horizon, Eecember 23<7! England 6o+r England was reprinted in S.9.5 E.6.E.5 O.&.

!9, Letter to the e)erend Iorwerth Jones 222 Lang%ord #ourt Abbey -oad London =1S 5 April 23<2 Eear ,r Aones,5 ,any thanks %or your letter!3 *erhaps in one or two cases I e'pressed mysel% rather ambiguously and can make things clearer by answering some o% your $ueries!
5! A #ongregational minister! 3! In his letter the -e ! Iorwerth Aones had asked %or the ampli%ication o% certain points Orwell had made in ' e )ion and t e <nicorn.

2! "&he D!S!A! will need a year to mobili9e its resources e en i% +ig +usiness can be brought to heel!" Hou comment that it is the strikers who are holding up production! &hat is so, o% course, but I was trying to look deeper than the immediate obstruction! &he sort o% e%%ort that a nation at war now needs can only be made i% bot labo+r and ca#ital are conscripted! Dltimately what is needed is that labour should be as much under discipline as the armed %orces! &his condition practically obtains in the D!S!S!-! and the totalitarian countries! +ut it is only practicable i% all classes are disciplined alike, otherwise there is constant resentment and social %riction, showing itsel% in strikes and sabotage! In the long run I think the hardest people to bring to heel will be the businessmen, who ha e most to lose by the passing o% the present system and in some cases are consciously pro"Hitler! +eyond a certain point they will struggle against the loss o% their economic %reedom, and as long as they do so the causes o% labour unrest will e'ist! >! 1ar aims! O% course I am in %a our o% declaring our war aims, though there is a danger in proclaiming any ery detailed scheme %or post"war reconstruction! In that Hitler, who is not troubled by any intention o% keeping his promises, will make a higher bid as soon as our war aims are declared! All II protested against in the book was the idea that propaganda wit o+t a display o% military strength can achie e anything! Acland;s book <nser "am#$,27 which I re%erred to, seemed to assume that i% we told the Germans we wanted a :ust peace they would stop %ighting! &he same idea is being put about,

though in this case not in good %aith, by the *eople;s #on ention22 crowd (*ritt2> and #o!)!
27! See ?@! 22! &he *eople;s #on ention, organi9ed in Aanuary 23<2 by the #ommunists, was ostensibly %ounded to %ight %or public rights, higher wages, better air"raid precautions etc! and %riendship with the D!S!S!-!, but some historians say its true purpose was to agitate against the war e%%ort! In Auly 23<2, a%ter -ussia;s entry into the war, it immediately called %or a Second /ront! +y 23<> it had suspended acti e work! 2>! E! =! *ritt (2556" ), L!#!, Labour ,!*! 23?@"<7, then, on his e'pulsion %rom the *arty %or policy disagreements, Independent Socialist ,!*! until 23@7! 1ell known as a barrister and %er ent supporter o% le%t"wing causes and the So iet Dnion!

?! A pro"/ascist rebellion in India! I wasn;t thinking o% a rebellion primarily by Indians, I was thinking o% the +ritish community in India! A +ritish general attempting a /ascist coup d;Mtat would probably use India as his :umping"o%% place, as /ranco used ,orocco! O% course it isn;t a likelihood at this stage o% the war, but one has got to think o% the %uture! I% an attempt to impose open naked /ascism upon +ritain is e er made, I think coloured troops are almost certain to be used! <! Gandhi and paci%ism! *erhaps I ought not to ha e implied that paci%ists are always people who as individ+als ha e led sheltered li es, though it is a %act that "pure" paci%ists usually belong to the middle classes and ha e grown up in somewhat e'ceptional circumstances! +ut it is a %act that paci%ism as a mo ement barely e'ists e'cept in communities where people don;t %eel %oreign in asion and con$uest to be likely! &hat is why paci%ist mo ements are always %ound in maritime countries (there is e en I belie e a %airly considerable paci%ist mo ement in Aapan)! Go ernment cannot be conducted on "pure" paci%ist lines, because any go ernment which re%used in all circumstances to use %orce could be o erthrown by anyone, e en any indi idual, who was willing to use %orce! *aci%ism re%uses to %ace the problem o% go ernment and paci%ists think always as people who will ne er be in a position o% control, which is why I call them irresponsible! Gandhi has been regarded %or twenty years by the Go ernment o% India as one o% its right"hand men! I know what I am talking about "" I used to be an o%%icer in the Indian police! It was always admitted in the most cynical way that Gandhi made it easier %or the +ritish to rule India, because his in%luence was always against taking any action that would make any di%%erence! &he reason why Gandhi when in prison is always treated with such lenience, and small concessions sometimes made when he has prolonged one o% his %asts to a dangerous e'tent, is that the +ritish o%%icials are in terror that he may die and be replaced by someone who belie es less in "soul %orce" and more in bombs! Gandhi is o% course personally $uite honest and unaware o% the way in which he is made use o%, and his personal integrity makes him all the more use%ul! I won;t undertake to say that his methods will not succeed in the long run! One can at any rate say that by pre enting iolence and there%ore pre enting relations being embittered beyond a certain point, he has made it more likely that the problem o% India will ultimately be settled in a peace%ul way! +ut it is hard to belie e that the +ritish will e er be got out o% India by those means, and certainly the +ritish on the spot don;t think so! As to the con$uest o% England, Gandhi would certainly ad ise us to let the Germans rule here rather than %ight against them "" in %act he did ad ocate :ust that! And i% Hitler con$uered England he would, I imagine, try to bring into being a nationwide paci%ist mo ement, which would pre ent serious resistance and there%ore make it easier %or him to rule! &hank you %or

writing! Hours sincerely George Orwell

!", London Letter to Partisan Re!ie" London =15 2@ April 23<2 Eear Editors, As you see by the abo e date, I only recei ed your letter a month a%ter it was sent, so there is not much hope o% my getting a reply to you by >7 April! I e'pect this will reach you be%ore Aune, howe er! I will try to make some sort o% answer to all your $uestions, but I should go o er the allotted space i% I answered them all in %ull, so I will concentrate on the ones I know most about! Hou don;t mention anything in my pre ious letter ha ing been blacked out by the censor, so I presume I can speak %airly %reely!2?
2?! &he +ritish #ensorship +ureau later noti%ied Orwell it e'cised %rom his letter o% 2@ April a re%erence to the possible lynching o% German airmen who baled out!

2! / at is t e level and tone o$ t e #o#+lar #ress t ese da(sC How m+c real in$ormation abo+t t e war e$$ort comes o+tC How $+ll( are strikes and labo+r tro+bles re#ortedC .ebates in %arliamentC How dominant is t e #ro#aganda noteC 2s t is #ro#aganda mostl( anti-H+n and Fingoistic $lag-waving as in t e last war, or is it more anti-FascistC / at abo+t t e radioC -inemaC &he tone o% the popular press has impro ed out o% recognition during the last year! &his is especially notable in the .ail( !irror and S+nda( %ictorial ("tabloid" papers o% ast circulation, read largely by the army), and the +ea erbrook papers, the .ail( E1#ress, S+nda( E1#ress and Evening Standard. E'cept %or the .ail( !ail and certain Sunday papers these used to be the most lowbrow section o% the press, but they ha e all grown politically serious, while preser ing their "stunt" make"up, with screaming headlines, etc! All o% them print articles which would ha e been considered hopelessly abo e their readers; heads a couple o% years ago, and the !irror and the Standard are noticeably "le%t"! &he Standard is the least important o% +ea erbrook;s three papers, and he has apparently taken his eye o%% it and le%t its direction almost entirely to young :ournalists o% le%t"wing iews who are allowed to say what they like so long as they don;t attack the boss directly! =early the whole o% the press is now "le%t" compared with what it was be%ore Eunkirk "" e en ' e 'imes mumbles about the need %or centrali9ed ownership and greater social e$uality "" and to %ind any straight"%orward e'pression o% reactionary opinions, i!e! reactionary in the old pre"/ascist sense, you now ha e to go to obscure weekly and monthly papers, mostly #atholic papers! &here is an element o% eyewash in all this, but it is partly due to the %act that the decline in the trade in consumption goods has robbed the ad ertisers o% much o% their power o er editorial policy! Dltimately this

will bankrupt the newspapers and compel the State to take them o er, but at the moment they are in an interim period when they are controlled by :ournalists rather than ad ertisers, which is all to the good %or the short time it will last! As to accuracy o% news, I belie e this is the most truth%ul war that has been %ought in modern times! O% course one only sees enemy newspapers ery rarely, but in our own papers there is certainly nothing to compare with the %right%ul lies that were told on both sides in 232<"25 or in the Spanish #i il 1ar! I belie e that the radio, especially in countries where listening"in to %oreign broadcasts is not %orbidden, is making large"scale lying more and more di%%icult! &he Germans ha e now sunk the +ritish na y se eral times o er in their published pronouncements, but don;t otherwise seem to ha e lied much about ma:or e ents! 1hen things are going badly our own Go ernment lies in a rather stupid way, withholding in%ormation and being aguely optimistic, but generally has to come out with the truth within a %ew days! I ha e it on ery good authority that reports o% air"battles etc! issued by the Air ,inistry are substantially truth%ul, though o% course %a ourably coloured! As to the other two %ighting ser ices I can;t speak! I doubt whether labour troubles are really %ully reported! =ews o% a large"scale strike would probably ne er be suppressed, but I think you can take it that there is a strong tendency to pipe down on labour %riction, and also on the discontent caused by billeting, e acuation, separation allowances %or soldiers; wi es etc! etc! Eebates in *arliament are probably not misrepresented in the press, but with a House %ull o% deadheads they are growing less and less interesting and only about %our newspapers now gi e them prominence! *ropaganda enters into our li es more than it did a year ago, but not so grossly as it might! &he %lag"wa ing and Hun"hating is absolutely nothing to what it was in 232<" 25, but it is growing! I think the ma:ority opinion would now be that we are %ighting the German people and not merely the =a9is! .ansittart;s hate"Germany pamphlet, *lack &ecord, sold like hot cakes! It is idle to pretend that this is simply something peculiar to the bourgeoisie! &here ha e been ery ugly mani%estations o% it among the common people! Still, as wars go, there has been remarkably little hatred so %ar, at any rate in this country! =or is "anti"/ascism", o% the kind that was %ashionable during the *opular /ront period, a strong %orce yet! &he English people ha e ne er caught up with that! &heir war morale depends more on old"%ashioned patriotism, unwillingness to be go erned by %oreigners, and simple inability to grasp when they are in danger! I belie e that the +!+!#!, in spite o% the stupidity o% its %oreign propaganda and the unbearable oices o% its announcers, is ery truth%ul! It is generally regarded here as more reliable than the press! &he mo ies seem almost una%%ected by the war, i!e! in techni$ue and sub:ect"matter! &hey go on and on with the same treacly rubbish, and when they do touch on politics they are years behind the popular press and decades behind the a erage book! >! 2s t ere an( serio+s writing being doneC 2s t ere an( antiwar literat+re like *arb+sse etc. in t e last warC Over ere we ear t ere is a tendenc( towards romanticism and esca#ism in c+rrent *ritis writing. 2s t is tr+eC So %ar as I know, nothing o% conse$uence is being written, e'cept in %ragmentary %orm, diaries and short sketches %or instance! &he best no els I ha e read during the past year were either American or translations o% %oreign books written se eral years earlier! &here is much production o% anti"war literature, but o% a one"eyed irresponsible kind! &here is nothing corresponding to the characteristic war books o% 232<"25! All o% those in

their di%%erent ways depended on a belie% in the unity o% European ci ili9ation, and generally on a belie% in international working"class solidarity! &hat doesn;t e'ist any longer "" /ascism has killed it! =o one belie es any longer that a war can be stopped by the workers on both sides simultaneously re%using to %ight! &o be e%%ecti ely anti"war in England now one has to be pro"Hitler, and %ew people ha e the intellectual courage to be that, at any rate wholeheartedly! I don;t see why good books shouldn;t be written %rom the pro"Hitler angle, but none are appearing as yet! I don;t see any tendency to escapism in current literature, but I belie e that i% any ma:or work were now produced it wo+ld be escapist, or at any rate sub:ecti e! I in%er this %rom looking into my own mind! I% I could get the time and mental peace to write a no el now, I should want to write about the past, the pre"232< period, which I suppose comes under the heading o% "escapism"! ?! / at is t e morale o$ t e reg+lar arm( likeC 2s t ere an( tendenc( towards more democrac(C 2s it, so to s#eak, a +ritish arm( #rimaril(, or an anti"/ascist arm( -like t e )o(alist arm( in S#ainC I belie e that the morale o% the army is ery good in a %ighting sense but that there is much discontent about low separation allowances and class"pri ilege in the matter o% promotion, and that the troops in England are horribly bored by the long inaction, the dull, muddy camps where they ha e spent the winter while their %amilies were being bombed in the big towns, and the stupidity o% a military system which was designed %or illiterate mercenaries and is now being applied to %airly well"educated conscripts! It is still primarily a "non"political" +ritish army! +ut there are now regular classes in political instruction, and sub:ect to local ariation, depending on the commander o% the unit, there seems to be a good deal o% %reedom o% discussion! As to "tendency towards democracy", I should say that there is probably less than there was a year ago, but that i% one looks back %i e years the ad ance is enormous! On acti e ser ice the o%%icers now wear almost the same uni%orm as the men (battledress), and some o% them habitually wear this on home ser ice! &he practice o% saluting o%%icers in the street has largely lapsed! =ew dra%ts o% recruits all ha e to pass through the ranks and promotion is theoretically on merit alone, but the o%%icial claim, based on this, that the army is now entirely democratic should not be taken seriously! &he %ramework o% regular o%%icers is still there and newcomers tend to be promoted on social grounds, with, no doubt, an eye to political reliability! +ut all this will gradually change i% the war goes on! &he need %or able men will be too great, and the di%%erence between the middle class and the better"paid working class is now too small, %or at any rate the lower ranks o% the army to remain on a class basis! &he disasters now probably ahead o% us may push the process o% democrati9ation %orward, as the disaster in /landers did a year ago! <! /e read (o+r interesting article in a recent &ribune on t e Home 4+ards. -o+ld (o+ tell +s somet ing o$ t e #resent stat+s o$ t e movementC 2s /intring am t e moving $orce be ind it stillC 2s it mostl( a middle-class or a working-class arm(C How democratic is it toda(C &he Home Guard is the most anti"/ascist body e'isting in England at this moment, and at the same time is an astonishing phenomenon, a sort o% *eople;s Army o%%icered by +limps! &he rank and %ile are predominantly working class, with a strong middle"class seasoning, but practically all the commands are held by wealthy elderly men, a lot o% whom are utterly incompetent! &he Home Guard is a part"time %orce,

practically unpaid, and at the beginning it was organi9ed, I think consciously and intentionally, in such a way that a working"class person would ne er ha e enough spare time to hold any post abo e that o% sergeant! Aust recently the higher positions ha e been stu%%ed with retired generals, admirals and titled dugouts o% all kinds! *rincipal age" groups o% the rank and %ile are between thirty"%i e and %i%ty or under twenty! O%%icers %rom #ompany #ommander (#aptain) upwards are much older on a erage, sometimes as old as se enty! Gi en this set"up you can imagine the struggle that has gone on between the blimpocracy, wanting a parade"ground army o% pre"232< type, and the rank and %ile wanting, though less articulately, a more democratic type o% %orce speciali9ing in guerilla methods and weapons! &he contro ersy has ne er been o ertly political but has turned upon technical points o% organi9ation, discipline and tactics, all o% which, o% course, ha e political implications which are hal%"consciously grasped on both sides! &he 1ar O%%ice has been %airly open"minded and help%ul, but I think it is true to say that the higher ranks within the Home Guard ha e %ought steadily against a realistic iew o% war and that all e'perimentation and attempts at serious training ha e been due to proddings %rom below! 1intringham and some o% his associates are still at the Home Guard training school (started uno%%icially by the weekly %ict+re %ost and a%terwards taken o er by the 1ar O%%ice), but the 1intringham ("*eople;s Army") school o% thought has lost ground during the past si' months! It or something like it will probably gain ground again during the coming months, and 1intringham has had ery great in%luence, as thousands o% men %rom all parts o% the country ha e passed through his hands in three"day training courses! Although the Home Guard is now more similar to the regular army, or rather to the pre" war &erritorials, than it was when it began, it is much more democratic and consciously anti"/ascist than some o% its commanders would wish! It has se eral times been rumoured that the Go ernment was growing ner ous about it and contemplated disbanding it, but no mo e has been made to do this! A ery important point, technically necessary to a %orce o% this kind but only obtained a%ter a struggle, is that the men keep their ri%les and usually some ammunition in their own homes! &he o%%icers wear practically the same uni%orm as the men and there is no saluting o%% parade! Although the class nature o% the command is widely grasped there has not been much %riction! 1ithin the lower ranks the spirit is e'tremely democratic and comradely, with an absence o% snobbishness and class" uneasiness that would ha e been unthinkable ten years ago! I speak %rom e'perience here as I ser e in a mi'ed residential area where %actory"workers and $uite rich men march in the ranks together! In general the political outlook o% the men is old"%ashioned patriotism mi'ed up with ill"de%ined but genuine hatred o% the =a9is! Aews are numerous in the London units! In general, I think the danger o% the Home Guard being turned into a reactionary middle"class militia still e'ists, but that this is not now likely to happen! @! How aggressive and artic+late is big-b+siness reaction toda( Enot !osle(7s *lacks irts, b+t t e more solid and serio+s $orces o$ big ca#ital8C 6o+ mention a #olitical swing to t e rig t in t e - +rc ill 4overnment o$ late mont s. .oes t is mean t e $orces o$ organized b+siness are climbing back into t e saddleC I don;t know what is going on behind the scenes and can only answer this $uestion ery generally, thusG laissez-$aire capitalism is dead in England and can;t re i e unless the war ends within the ne't %ew months! #entrali9ed ownership and planned production are bound to come! &he whole $uestion is who is to be in control! &he recent rightward

swing means that we are being regimented by wealthy men and aristocrats rather than by representati es o% the common people! &hey will use their power to keep the structure o% go ernment on a class basis, manipulate ta'ation and rationing in their own %a our, and a oid a re olutionary war strategyJ but not to return to capitalism o% the old chaotic kind! &he swing o% the past si' months hasn;t meant more economic %reedom or pro%its %or the indi idual businessman "" $uite the contraryJ but it has meant that you are less likely to get an important :ob unless you ha e been to one o% the right schools! I ha e gi en elsewhere my reasons %or thinking that this tendency will change, but that as been the tendency since last autumn! 4! /o+ld (o+ sa( t at *evin and !orrison still command t e s+##ort o$ t e *ritis working classC Are t ere an( ot er )abo+r %art( #oliticians w o ave taken on new dimensions in t e co+rse o$ t e war -- ass+ming t ose two aveC 2s t e s o#-steward movement still growingC I know ery little o% industrial matters! I should say that +e in does command working"class support and ,orrison probably not! &here is a widespread %eeling that the Labour *arty as a whole has simply abdicated! &he only other Labour man whose reputation has grown is #ripps! I% #hurchill should go, #ripps and +e in are tipped as the likeliest men %or the premiership, with +e in e idently %a ourite! 6! How do (o+ e1#lain w at, over ere, seems to be t e remarkable amo+nt o$ democrac( and civil liberties #reserved d+ring t e warC )abo+r #ress+reC *ritis traditionC /eakness o$ t e +##er classesC "+ritish tradition" is a ague phrase, but I think it is the nearest answer! I suppose I shall seem to be gi ing mysel% a %ree ad ert, but may I draw attention to a recent book o% mine, ' e )ion and t e <nicorn (I belie e copies ha e reached the D!S!A!)I In it I pointed out that there is in England a certain %eeling o% %amily loyalty which cuts across the class system (also makes it easier %or the class system to sur i e, I am a%raid) and checks the growth o% political hatred! &here co+ld, I suppose, be a ci il war in England, but I ha e ne er met any English person able to imagine one! At the same time one ought not to o errate the amount o% %reedom o% the intellect e'isting here! &he position is that in England there is a great respect %or %reedom o% speech but ery little %or %reedom o% the press! Euring the past twenty years there has been much tampering, direct and indirect, with the %reedom o% the press, and this has ne er raised a %licker o% popular protest! &his is a lowbrow country and it is %elt that the printed word doesn;t matter greatly and that writers and such people don;t deser e much sympathy! On the other hand the sort o% atmosphere in which you daren;t talk politics %or %ear that the Gestapo may be listening isn;t thinkable in England! Any attempt to produce it would be broken not so much by conscious resistance as by the inability o% ordinary people to grasp what was wanted o% them! 1ith the working classes, in particular, grumbling is so habitual that they don;t know when they are grumbling! 1here unemployment can be used as a screw, men are o%ten a%raid o% e'pressing "red" opinions which might get round to the o erseer or the boss, but hardly anyone would bother, %or instance, about being o erheard by a policeman! I belie e that an organi9ation now e'ists %or political espionage in %actories, pubs, etc! and o% course in the army, but I doubt whether it can do more than report on the state o% public opinion and occasionally ictimi9e some indi idual held to be dangerous! A %oolish law was passed some time back making it a punishable o%%ence to say anything "likely to cause alarm and despondency" (or words to that e%%ect)! &here ha e been

prosecutions under it, a %ew score I should say, but it is practically a dead letter and probably the ma:ority o% people don;t know o% its e'istence! Hou can hardly go into a pub or railway carriage without hearing it technically in%ringed, %or ob iously one can;t discuss the war seriously without making statements which mig t cause alarm! *ossibly at some time a law will be passed %orbidding people to listen in to %oreign radio stations, but it will ne er be en%orceable! &he +ritish ruling class belie e in democracy and ci il liberty in a narrow and partly hypocritical way! At any rate they belie e in the letter o% the law and will sometimes keep to it when it is not to their ad antage! &hey show no sign o% de eloping a genuinely /ascist mentality! Liberty o% e ery kind must ob iously decline as a result o% war, but gi en the present structure o% society and social atmosphere there is a point beyond which the decline cannot go! +ritain may be %asci9ed %rom without or as a result o% some internal re olution, but the old ruling class can;t, in my opinion, produce a genuine totalitarianism o% their own! =ot to put it on any other grounds, they are too stupid! It is largely because they ha e been unable to grasp the %irst thing about the nature o% /ascism that we are in this mess at all! 5! From over ere, it looks as t o+g t ere ad been a ver( ra#id advance towards a totalitarian war econom( in t e last $ew mont s -- rationing s#reading wider, *evin7s conscri#tion o$ certain classes o$ workers, e1tension o$ government controls over b+siness. 2s t is im#ression correctC 2s t e tem#o growing more or less ra#idC How does t e man in t e street $eel abo+t t e e$$icienc( o$ t e war e$$ortC How m+c does e $eel in is dail( li$e t e e$$ect o$ t ese meas+resC Hes, the thing is already happening at great speed and will accelerate enormously in the coming months! In a ery little while we shall all be in uni%orm or doing some kind o% compulsory labour, and probably eating communally! I don;t belie e it will meet with much opposition so long as it hits all classes e$ually! &he rich will s$ueal, o% course "" at present they are mani%estly e ading ta'ation, and the rationing hardly a%%ects them "" but they will be brought to heel i% the predicament is really desperate! I don;t belie e that the ordinary man cares a damn about the totalitariani9ation o% our economy, as such! *eople like small manu%acturers, %armers and shopkeepers seem to accept their transition %rom small capitalists to State employees without much protest, pro ided that their li elihood is sa%eguarded! *eople in England hate the idea o% a Gestapo, and there has been a lot o% opposition, some o% it success%ul, to o%%icial snooping and persecution o% political dissidents, but I don;t belie e economic liberty has much appeal any longer! &he changeo er to a centrali9ed economy doesn;t seem to be altering people;s way o% li%e nearly so much as the shi%t o% population, and mingling o% classes, conse$uent on conscription and the bombing! +ut this may be less true in the industrial =orth, where on the whole people are working much harder in more trying conditions, and unemployment has practically ceased! 1hat the reaction will be when we begin to e'perience hunger, as we may within the ne't %ew months, I don;t prophesy! Apart %rom the bombing, and the o erworking o% certain categories o% workers, one cannot honestly say that this war has caused much hardship as yet! &he people still ha e more to eat than most European peoples would ha e in peacetime! 3! / at war aims does t e le$t-and-labo+r movement now agree onC How sang+ine are (o+ abo+t t ese aims being carried o+tC How m+c #ress+re is t ere now on t e 4overnment to #roclaim Socialist war aimsC On t e :+estion o$ war aims, o$

#olic( towards E+ro#e and 4erman( in t e event o$ victor(, does t ere seem to be an( radical di$$erence between t e )abo+r and 'or( members o$ t e - +rc ill 4overnmentC How de$inite are t e #lans $or t e ;social reb+ilding; o$ England a$ter t e warC I ha en;t space to answer this $uestion properly, but I think you can take it that the Labour *arty, as such, has now no policy genuinely independent o% the Go ernment! Some people e en think that the Le%t #onser ati es (Eden, and possibly #hurchill) are more likely to adopt a Socialist policy than the Labour men! &here are constant appeals to the Go ernment to declare its war aims, but these come %rom indi iduals and are not the o%%icial act o% the Labour *arty! &here is no sign that the Go ernment has any detailed or e en general post"war plan! =e ertheless the %eeling that a%ter the war "things will be di%%erent" is so widespread that though, o% course, the %uture England may be worse than that o% the past, a return to #hamberlain;s England is not thinkable e en i% it is technically possible! 27! /o+ld (o+ sa( t at t e masses, working-class and middle-class, are more or less ent +siasticall( be ind t e #resent 4overnment t an in !a( ?@A0C Are t e( more or less be ind t e war e$$ort in generalC So %ar as the Go ernment goes, less enthusiastically, but not ery greatly so! &his Go ernment came in with a degree o% popular support which is $uite unusual! In its home policy it has disappointed e'pectations, but not so grossly as go ernments usually do! #hurchill;s personal popularity will ha e waned somewhat, but he still has a bigger %ollowing than any premier o% the last twenty years! As to the war, I don;t belie e there is much ariation! *eople are %ed up, but nothing to what one might e'pect! +ut one can;t speak with certainty o% this till a%ter the coming crisis, which will be o% a di%%erent nature, less intelligible, perhaps harder to bear, than that o% a year ago! I hope that answers your $uestions! It is a bit o er the length you allowed me, I am a%raid! All well here, or %airly well! 1e had hell;s own bombing last night, huge %ires raging all o er the place and a racket o% guns that kept one awake hal% the night! +ut it doesn;t matter, the hits were chie%ly on theatres and %ashionable shops, and this morning it is a beauti%ul spring day, the almond trees are in blossom, postmen and milk carts wandering to and %ro as usual, and down at the corner the ine itable pair o% %at women gossiping beside the pillar"bo'! &he best o% luck to you all! %ostscri#t (2@ ,ay 23<2) &he chie% e ents since I wrote on 2@ April ha e been the +ritish de%eats in Libya and Greece, and the general worsening o% the situation in the ,iddle East, with Ira$ in re olt, Stalin e idently preparing to go into closer partnership with Hitler, and Earlan getting ready to let German troops into Syria! &here has also, within the last two days, been the mysterious arri al o% Hess, which has caused much amusement and speculation but which it is too early to comment on! &he $uestion that matters is whether the disastrous turn the war has taken will lead to a %urther growth o% democractic sentiment, as happened last year! I am a%raid one must say that the chances are against this! &he reason why the Eunkirk campaign and the collapse o% /rance impressed public opinion, and did a great deal o% good, was that these things were happening close at hand! &here was the immediate threat o% in asion, and there were the soldiers coming home in hundreds o% thousands to tell their %amilies how

they had been let down! &his time the thing is happening %ar away, in countries that the a erage person neither knows nor cares anything about "" the ordinary +ritish working man hasn;t the %aintest notion that the Sue9 #anal has anything to do with his own standard o% li ing "" and i% the troops who got away %rom Greece ha e tales to tell they are telling them in Egypt and *alestine! Also, no one e'pected the Greek campaign to be anything but a disaster! Long be%ore any o%%icial announcement was made it was known that we had troops in Greece, and I could %ind no one o% whate er kind who belie ed that the e'pedition would be success%ulJ on the other hand, nearly e eryone %elt that it was our duty to inter ene! It is generally recogni9ed that as yet, i!e! until we ha e an up"to"date army, we can;t %ight the Germans on the continent o% Europe, but at the same time "we couldn;t let the Greeks down"! &he English people ha e ne er been in%ected with power" worship and don;t %eel the %utility o% this sort o% gesture as a continental people probably would! I can see no sign anywhere o% any big swing o% opinion! In the parliamentary debate on the Greek campaign the attack on the Go ernment was led by en ious throw" outs like Lloyd George, and instead o% being a proper discussion the debate was easily twisted into a demand %or a ote o% con%idence, which on the whole the Go ernment deser es "" at any rate it deser es it in the sense that no alternati e go ernment is at present possible! &he repercussions which are probably happening in Australia, howe er, may do something towards democrati9ing the conduct o% the war! *eople here are beginning to say that the ne't le%tward push must come %rom America! It is suggested, %or instance, that -oose elt might make it a condition o% %urther help that the +ritish Go ernment do something about India! Hou are better able than I am to :udge whether this is likely! &he air raids continue! &o the ordinary people this is the part o% the war that matters, in %act it is the war, but their stolidity is surprising! &here was a sidelight on the popular mind which probably did not get into the American press, and which may interest you, in a recent by"election in +irmingham! A dissident #onser ati e who called himsel% a "reprisals candidate" ran against the Go ernment;s nominee! His claim was that we should concentrate on bombing German ci ilians to a enge what has been done here! #anon Stuart ,orris, one o% the leading lights in the *eace *ledge Dnion, also ran on a paci%ist ticket! &he respecti e slogans o% the three candidates were "+omb +erlin", "Stop the 1ar" and "+ack #hurchill"! &he go ernment man got about 2@,777 otes and the other two about 2,@77 each! &he whole poll was probably low, but considering the times we li e in I think these %igures are encouraging! George Orwell %artisan &eview, Auly"August 23<2

.$, The :rontiers of *rt and ;ro3aganda I am speaking on literary criticism, and in the world in which we are actually li ing that is almost as unpromising as speaking about peace! &his is not a peace%ul age, and it is not a critical age! In the Europe o% the last ten years literary criticism o% the older

kind "" criticism that is really :udicious, scrupulous, %air"minded, treating a work o% art as a thing o% alue in itsel% "" has been ne't door to impossible! I% we look back at the English literature o% the last ten years, not so much at the literature as at the pre ailing literary attitude, the thing that strikes us is that it has almost ceased to be aesthetic! Literature has been swamped by propaganda! I do not mean that all the books written during that period ha e been bad! +ut the characteristic writers o% the time, people like Auden and Spender and ,ac=eice, ha e been didactic, political writers, aesthetically conscious, o% course, but more interested in sub:ect"matter than in techni$ue! And the most li ely criticism has nearly all o% it been the work o% ,ar'ist writers, people like #hristopher #audwell and *hilip Henderson and Edward Dpward, who look on e ery book irtually as a political pamphlet and are %ar more interested in digging out its political and social implications than in its literary $ualities in the narrow sense! &his is all the more striking because it makes a ery sharp and sudden contrast with the period immediately be%ore it! &he characteristic writers o% the nineteen"twenties "" &! S! Eliot, %or instance, E9ra *ound, .irginia 1ool% "" were writers who put the main emphasis on techni$ue! &hey had their belie%s and pre:udices, o% course, but they were %ar more interested in technical inno ations than in any moral or meaning or political implication that their work might contain! &he best o% them all, Aames Aoyce, was a technician and ery little else, about as near to being a "pure" artist as a writer can be! E en E!H! Lawrence, though he was more o% a "writer with a purpose" than most o% the others o% his time, had not much o% what we should now call social consciousness! And though I ha e narrowed this down to the nineteen"twenties, it had really been the same %rom about 2537 onwards! &hroughout the whole o% that period, the notion that %orm is more important than sub:ect"matter, the notion o% "art %or art;s sake", had been taken %or granted! &here were writers who disagreed, o% course "" +ernard Shaw was one "" but that was the pre ailing outlook! &he most important critic o% the period, George Saintsbury, was a ery old man in the nineteen"twenties, but he had a power%ul in%luence up to about 23?7, and Saintsbury had always %irmly upheld the technical attitude to art! He claimed that he himsel% could and did :udge any book solely on its e'ecution, its manner, and was ery nearly indi%%erent to the author;s opinions! =ow, how is one to account %or this ery sudden change o% outlookI About the end o% the nineteen"twenties you get a book like Edith Sitwell;s book on *ope, with a completely %ri olous emphasis on techni$ue, treating literature as a sort o% embroidery, almost as though words did not ha e meaningsG and only a %ew years later you get a ,ar'ist critic like Edward Dpward asserting that books can be "good" only when they are ,ar'ist in tendency! In a sense both Edith Sitwell and Edward Dpward were representati e o% their period! &he $uestion is, why should their outlook be so di%%erentI I think one has got to look %or the reason in e'ternal circumstances! +oth the aesthetic and the political attitude to literature were produced, or at any rate conditioned by the social atmosphere o% a certain period! And now that another period has ended "" %or Hitler;s attack on *oland in 23?3 ended one epoch as surely as the great slump o% 23?2 ended another "" one can look back and see more clearly than was possible a %ew years ago the way in which literary attitudes are a%%ected by e'ternal e ents! A thing that strikes anyone who looks back o er the last hundred years is that literary criticism worth bothering about, and the critical attitude towards literature, barely e'isted in England

between roughly 25?7 and 2537! It is not that good books were not produced in that period! Se eral o% the writers o% that time, Eickens, &hackeray, &rollope and others, will probably be remembered longer than any that ha e come a%ter them! +ut there are no literary %igures in .ictorian England corresponding to /laubert, +audelaire, Gautier and a host o% others! 1hat now appears to us as aesthetic scrupulousness hardly e'isted! &o a mid".ictorian English writer, a book was partly something that brought him money and partly a ehicle %or preaching sermons! England was changing ery rapidly, a new moneyed class had come up on the ruins o% the old aristocracy, contact with Europe had been se ered, and a long artistic tradition had been broken! &he mid"nineteenth"century English writers were barbarians, e en when they happened to be gi%ted artists, like Eickens! +ut in the later part o% the century contact with Europe was re"established through ,atthew Arnold, *ater, Oscar 1ilde and arious others, and the respect %or %orm and techni$ue in literature came back! It is %rom then that the notion o% ;art %or art;s sake; "" a phrase ery much out o% %ashion, but still, I think, the best a ailable "" really dates! And the reason why it could %lourish so long, and be so much taken %or granted, was that the whole period between 2537 and 23?7 was one o% e'ceptional com%ort and security! It was what we might call the golden a%ternoon o% the capitalist age! E en the Great 1ar did not really disturb it! &he Great 1ar killed ten million men, but it did not shake the world as this war will shake it and has shaken it already! Almost e ery European between 2537 and 23?7 li ed in the tacit belie% that ci ili9ation would last %or e er! Hou might be indi idually %ortunate or un%ortunate, but you had inside you the %eeling that nothing would e er %undamentally change! And in that kind o% atmosphere intellectual detachment, and also dilettantism, are possible! It is that %eeling o% continuity, o% security, that could make it possible %or a critic like Saintsbury, a real old crusted &ory and High #hurchman, to be scrupulously %air to books written by men whose political and moral outlook he detested! +ut since 23?7 that sense o% security has ne er e'isted! Hitler and the slump shattered it as the Great 1ar and e en the -ussian -e olution had %ailed to shatter it! &he writers who ha e come up since 23?7 ha e been li ing in a world in which not only one;s li%e but one;s whole scheme o% alues is constantly menaced! In such circumstances detachment is not possible! Hou cannot take a purely aesthetic interest in a disease you are dying %romJ you cannot %eel dispassionately about a man who is about to cut your throat! In a world in which /ascism and Socialism were %ighting one another, any thinking person had to take sides, and his %eelings had to %ind their way not only into his writing but into his :udgements on literature! Literature had to become political, because anything else would ha e entailed mental dishonesty! One;s attachments and hatreds were too near the sur%ace o% consciousness to be ignored! 1hat books were abo+t seemed so urgently important that the way they were written seemed almost insigni%icant! And this period o% ten years or so in which literature, e en poetry, was mi'ed up with pamphleteering, did a great ser ice to literary criticism, because it destroyed the illusion o% pure aestheticism! It reminded us that propaganda in some %orm or other lurks in e ery book, that e ery work o% art has a meaning and a purpose "" a political, social and religious purpose "" that our aesthetic :udgements are always coloured by our pre:udices and belie%s! It debunked art %or art;s sake! +ut it also led %or the time being into a blind alley, because it caused countless young writers to try to tie their minds to a

political discipline which, i% they had stuck to it, would ha e made mental honesty impossible! &he only system o% thought open to them at that time was o%%icial ,ar'ism, which demanded a nationalistic loyalty towards -ussia and %orced the writer who called himsel% a ,ar'ist to be mi'ed up in the dishonesties o% power politics! And e en i% that was desirable, the assumptions that these writers built upon were suddenly shattered by the -usso"German *act! Aust as many writers about 23?7 had disco ered that you cannot really be detached %rom contemporary e ents, so many writers about 23?3 were disco ering that you cannot really sacri%ice your intellectual integrity %or the sake o% a political creed "" or at least you cannot do so and remain a writer! Aesthetic scrupulousness is not enough, but political rectitude is not enough either! &he e ents o% the last ten years ha e le%t us rather in the air, they ha e le%t England %or the time being without any disco erable literary trend, but they ha e helped us to de%ine, better than was possible be%ore, the %rontiers o% art and propaganda! A broadcast talk in the +!+!#! O erseas Ser ice, ?7 April 23<2J printed in the )istener, >3 ,ay 23<2!

.!, Tolstoy and <ha(es3eare Last week I pointed out that art and propaganda are ne er $uite separable, and that what are supposed to be purely aesthetic :udgements are always corrupted to some e'tent by moral or political or religious loyalties! And I added that in times o% trouble, like the last ten years, in which no thinking person can ignore what is happening round him or a oid taking sides, these underlying loyalties are pushed nearer to the sur%ace o% consciousness! #riticism becomes more and more openly partisan, and e en the pretence o% detachment becomes ery di%%icult! +ut one cannot in%er %rom that that there is no such thing as an aesthetic :udgement, that e ery work o% art is simply and solely a political pamphlet and can be :udged only as such! I% we reason like that we lead our minds into a blind alley in which certain large and ob ious %acts become ine'plicable! And in illustration o% this I want to e'amine one o% the greatest pieces o% moral, non"aesthetic criticism "" anti"aesthetic criticism, one might say "" that ha e e er been writtenG &olstoy;s essay on Shakespeare! &owards the end o% his li%e &olstoy wrote a terri%ic attack on Shakespeare, purporting to show not only that Shakespeare was not the great man he was claimed to be, but that he was a writer entirely without merit, one o% the worst and most contemptible writers the world has e er seen! &his essay caused tremendous indignation at the time, but I doubt whether it was e er satis%actorily answered! 1hat is more, I shall point out that in the main it was unanswerable! *art o% what &olstoy says is strictly true, and parts o% it are too much a matter o% personal opinion to be worth arguing about! I do not mean, o% course, that there is no detail in the essay which could not be answered! &olstoy contradicts himsel% se eral timesJ the %act that he is dealing with a %oreign language makes him misunderstand a great deal, and I think there is little doubt that his

hatred and :ealousy o% Shakespeare make him resort to a certain amount o% %alsi%ication, or at least wil%ul blindness! +ut all that is beside the point! In the main what &olstoy says is :usti%ied a%ter its %ashion, and at the time it probably acted as a use%ul correcti e to the silly adulation o% Shakespeare that was then %ashionable! &he answer to it is less in anything I can say than in certain things that &olstoy is %orced to say himsel%! &olstoy;s main contention is that Shakespeare is a tri ial, shallow writer, with no coherent philosophy, no thoughts or ideas worth bothering about, no interest in social or religious problems, no grasp o% character or probability, and, in so %ar as he could be said to ha e a de%inable attitude at all, with a cynical, immoral, worldly outlook on li%e! He accuses him o% patching his plays together without caring twopence %or credibility, o% dealing in %antastic %ables and impossible situations, o% making all his characters talk in an arti%icial %lowery language completely unlike that o% real li%e! He also accuses him o% thrusting anything and e erything into his plays "" solilo$uies, scraps o% ballads, discussions, ulgar :okes and so %orth "" without stopping to think whether they had anything to do with the plot, and also o% taking %or granted the immoral power politics and un:ust social distinctions o% the times he li ed in! +rie%ly, he accuses himsel% being a hasty, slo enly writer, a man o% doubt%ul morals, and, abo e all, o% not being a t inker. =ow, a good deal o% this could be contradicted! It is not true, in the sense implied by &olstoy, that Shakespeare is an immoral writer! His moral code might be di%%erent %rom &olstoy;s, but he ery de%initely as a moral code, which is apparent all through his work! He is much more o% a moralist than, %or instance, #haucer or +occaccio! He also is not such a %ool as &olstoy tries to make out! At moments, incidentally, one might say, he shows a ision which goes %ar beyond his time! In this conne'ion I would like to draw attention to the piece o% criticism which Farl ,ar' "" who, unlike &olstoy, admired Shakespeare "" wrote on 'imon o$ At ens. +ut once again, what &olstoy says is true on the whole! Shakespeare is not a thinker, and the critics who claimed that he was one o% the great philosophers o% the world were talking nonsense! His thoughts are simply a :umble, a rag"bag! He was like most Englishmen in ha ing a code o% conduct but no world" iew, no philosophical %aculty! Again, it is $uite true that Shakespeare cares ery little about probability and seldom bothers to make his characters coherent! As we know, he usually stole his plots %rom other people and hastily made them up into plays, o%ten introducing absurdities and inconsistencies that were not present in the original! =ow and again, when he happens to ha e got hold o% a %oolproo% plot "" !acbet , %or instance "" his characters are reasonably consistent, but in many cases they are %orced into actions which are completely incredible by any ordinary standard! ,any o% his plays ha e not e en the sort o% credibility that belongs to a %airy story! In any case we ha e no e idence that he himsel% took them seriously, e'cept as a means o% li elihood! In his sonnets he ne er e en re%ers to his plays as part o% his literary achie ement, and only once mentions in a rather shame%aced way that he has been an actor! So %ar &olstoy is :usti%ied! &he claim that Shakespeare was a pro%ound thinker, setting %orth a coherent philosophy in plays that were technically per%ect and %ull o% subtle psychological obser ation, is ridiculous! Only, what has &olstoy achie edI +y this %urious attack he ought to ha e demolished Shakespeare altogether, and he e idently belie es that he has done so! /rom the time when &olstoy;s essay was written, or at any rate %rom the time when it began to be widely read, Shakespeare;s reputation ought to ha e withered away! &he lo ers o% Shakespeare ought to ha e seen that their idol had been debunked, that in %act he had no

merits, and they ought to ha e ceased %orthwith to take any pleasure in him! +ut that did not happen! Shakespeare is demolished, and yet somehow he remains standing! So %ar %rom his being %orgotten as the result o% &olstoy;s attack, it is the attack itsel% that has been almost %orgotten! Although &olstoy is a popular writer in England, both the translations o% this essay are out o% print, and I had to search all o er London be%ore running one to earth in a museum! It appears, there%ore, that though &olstoy can e'plain away nearly e erything about Shakespeare, there is one thing that he cannot e'plain away, and that is his popularity! He himsel% is aware o% this, and greatly pu99led by it! I said earlier that the answer to &olstoy really lies in something he himsel% is obliged to say! He asks himsel% how it is that this bad, stupid and immoral writer Shakespeare is e erywhere admired, and %inally he can only e'plain it as a sort o% world"wide conspiracy to per ert the truth! Or it is a sort o% collecti e hallucination "" a hypnosis, he calls it "" by which e eryone e'cept &olstoy himsel% is taken in! As to how this conspiracy or delusion began, he is obliged to set it down to the machinations o% certain German critics at the beginning o% the nineteenth century! &hey started telling the wicked lie that Shakespeare is a good writer, and no one since has had the courage to contradict them! =ow, one need not spend ery long o er a theory o% this kind! It is nonsense! &he enormous ma:ority o% the people who ha e en:oyed watching Shakespeare;s plays ha e ne er been in%luenced by any German critics, directly or indirectly! /or Shakespeare;s popularity is real enough, and it is a popularity that e'tends to ordinary, by no means bookish people! /rom his li%etime onwards he has been a stage %a ourite in England, and he is popular not only in the English"speaking countries but in most o% Europe and parts o% Asia! Almost as I speak the So iet Go ernment are celebrating the three hundred and twenty"%i%th anni ersary o% his death, and in #eylon I once saw a play o% his being per%ormed in some language o% which I did not know a single word! One must conclude that there is something good "" something durable "" in Shakespeare which millions o% ordinary people can appreciate, though &olstoy happened to be unable to do so! He can sur i e e'posure o% the %act that he is a con%used thinker whose plays are %ull o% improbabilities! He can no more be debunked by such methods than you can destroy a %lower by preaching a sermon at it! And that, I think, tells one a little more about something I re%erred to last weekG the %rontiers o% art and propaganda! It shows one the limitation o% any criticism that is solely a criticism o% sub:ect and o% meaning! &olstoy critici9es Shakespeare not as a poet, but as a thinker and a teacher, and along those lines he has no di%%iculty in demolishing him! And yet all that he says is irrele antJ Shakespeare is completely una%%ected! =ot only his reputation but the pleasure we take in him remain :ust the same as be%ore! E idently a poet is more than a thinker and a teacher, though he has to be that as well! E ery piece o% writing has its propaganda aspect, and yet in any book or play or poem or what not that is to endure there has to be a residuum o% something that simply is not a%%ected by its moral or meaning "" a residuum o% something we can only call art! 1ithin certain limits, bad thought and bad morals can be good literature! I% so great a man as &olstoy could not demonstrate the contrary, I doubt whether anyone else can either! A broadcast talk in the +!+!#! O erseas Ser ice, 6 ,ay 23<2J printed in the )istener, @ Aune 23<2!

.., The Meaning of a ;oem I shall start by $uoting the poem called "/eli' -andal", by Gerard ,anley Hopkins, the well"known English poet "" he was a -oman #atholic priest "" who died in 253?G
-eli1 +andal the farrier, 0 is he dead then% my duty all ended, !ho have watched his mould of man, big-boned and hardy-handsome &ining, pining, till time when reason rambled in it and some -atal four disorders, fleshed there, all contended% 2ickness broke him. Impatient he cursed at first, but mended ,eing anointed and all# though a heavenlier heart began some 4onths earlier, since I had our sweet reprieve and ransom Tendered to him. Ah well, ;od rest him all road ever he offended! This seeing the sick endears them to us, us too it endears. 4y tongue had taught thee comfort, touch had /uenched thy tears, Thy tears that touched my heart, child, -eli1, poor -eli1 +andal# $ow far from then forethought of, all thy more boisterous years, !hen thou at the random grim forge, powerful amidst peers, <idst fettle for the great grey drayhorse his bright and battering sandal!

It is what people call a "di%%icult" poem "" I ha e a reason %or choosing a di%%icult poem, which I will come back to in a moment "" but no doubt the general dri%t o% its meaning is clear enough! /eli' -andal is a blacksmith "" a %arrier! &he poet, who is also his priest, has known him in the prime o% li%e as a big power%ul man, and then he has seen him dying, worn out by disease and weeping on his bed like a child! &hat is all there is to it, so %ar as the "story" o% the poem goes! +ut now to come back to the reason why I deliberately chose such an obscure and one might say mannered poem! Hopkins is what people call a writer;s writer! He writes in a ery strange, twisted style "" perhaps it is a bad style, reallyG at any rate, it would be a bad one to imitate "" which is not at all easy to understand but which appeals to people who are pro%essionally interested in points o% techni$ue! In criticisms o% Hopkins, there%ore, you will usually %ind all the emphasis laid on his use o% language and his sub:ect"matter ery lightly touched on! And in any criticism o% poetry, o% course, it seems natural to :udge primarily by the ear! /or in erse the words "" the sounds o% words, their associations, and the harmonies o% sound and association that two or three words together can set up "" ob iously matter more than they do in prose! Otherwise there would be no reason %or writing in metrical %orm! And with Hopkins, in particular, the strangeness o% his language and the astonishing beauty o% some o% the sound"e%%ects he manages to bring o%% seem to o ershadow e erything else! &he best touch, one might say the especial touch, in this poem is due to a erbal coincidence! /or the word that pins the whole poem together and gi es it %inally an air o%

ma:esty, a %eeling o% being tragic instead o% merely pathetic, is that %inal word "sandal" which no doubt only came into Hopkins;s mind because it happened to rhyme with -andal! I ought to perhaps add that the word "sandal" is more impressi e to an English reader than it would be to an oriental, who sees sandals e ery day and perhaps wears them himsel%! &o us a sandal is an e'otic thing, chie%ly associated with the ancient Greeks and -omans! 1hen Hopkins describes the carthorse;s shoe as a sandal, he suddenly con erts the cart"horse into a magni%icent mythical beast, something like a heraldic animal! And he rein%orces that e%%ect by the splendid rhythm o% the last line "" "Eidst %ettle %or the great grey drayhorse his bright and battering sandal" "" which is actually a he'ameter, the same metre in which Homer and .ergil wrote! +y combination o% sound and association he manages to li%t an ordinary illage death on to the plane o% tragedy! +ut that tragic e%%ect cannot simply e'ist in the oid, on the strength o% a certain combination o% syllables! One cannot regard a poem as simply a pattern o% words on paper, like a sort o% mosaic! &his poem is mo ing because o% its sound, its musical $ualities, but it is also mo ing because o% an emotional content which could not be there i% Hopkins;s philosophy and belie%s were di%%erent %rom what they were! It is the poem, %irst o% all, o% a #atholic, and secondly o% a man li ing at a particular moment o% time, the latter part o% the nineteenth century, when the old English agricultural way o% li%e "" the old Sa'on illage community "" was %inally passing away! &he whole %eeling o% the poem is #hristian! It is about death, and the attitude towards death aries in the great religions o% the world! &he #hristian attitude towards death is not that it is something to be welcomed, or that it is something to be met with stoical indi%%erence, or that it is something to be a oided as long as possibleJ but that it is something pro%oundly tragic which has to be gone through with! A #hristian, I suppose, i% he were o%%ered the chance o% e erlasting li%e on this earth would re%use it, but he would still %eel that death is pro%oundly sad! =ow this %eeling conditions Hopkins;s use o% words! I% it were not %or his special relationship as priest it would not, probably, occur to him to address the dead blacksmith as "child"! And he could not, probably, ha e e ol ed that phrase I ha e $uoted, "all thy boisterous years", i% he had not the special #hristian ision o% the necessity and the sadness o% death! +ut, as I ha e said, the poem is also conditioned by the %act that Hopkins li ed at the latter end o% the nineteenth century! He had li ed in rural communities when they were still distinctly similar to what they had been in Sa'on times, but when they were :ust beginning to break up under the impact o% the railway! &here%ore he can see a type like /eli' -andal, the small independent illage cra%tsman, in perspecti e, as one can only see something when it is passing away! He can admire him, %or instance, as an earlier writer probably could not ha e done! And that is why in speaking o% his work he can e ol e phrases like "the random grim %orge" and "power%ul amidst peers"! +ut one comes back to the technical consideration that a sub:ect o% this kind is ery much helped by Hopkins;s own peculiar style! English is a mi'ture o% se eral languages, but mainly Sa'on and =orman /rench, and to this day, in the country districts, there is a class distinction between the two! ,any agricultural labourers speak almost pure Sa'on! =ow, Hopkins;s own language is ery Sa'on, he tends to string se eral English words together instead o% using a single long Latin one, as most people do when they want to e'press a complicated thought, and he deliberately deri ed %rom the early English poets, the ones who come be%ore #haucer! In this poem, he e en uses se eral

dialect words, "road" %or way, and "%ettle" %or %i'! &he special power he has o% re"creating the atmosphere o% an English illage would not belong to him i% it were not %or the purely technical studies he had made, earlier in his li%e, o% the old Sa'on poets! It will be seen that the poem is a synthesis "" but more than a synthesis, a sort o% growing together "" o% a special ocabulary and a special religious and social outlook! &he two %use together, inseparably, and the whole is greater than the parts! I ha e tried to analyse this poem as well as I can in a short period, but nothing I ha e said can e'plain, or e'plain away, the pleasure I take in it! &hat is %inally ine'plicable, and it is :ust because it is ine'plicable that detailed criticism is worthwhile! ,en o% science can study the li%e"process o% a %lower, or they can split it up into its component elements, but any scientist will tell you that a %lower does not become less wonder%ul, it becomes more wonder%ul, i% you know all about it! A broadcast talk in the +!+!#! O erseas Ser ice, 2< ,ay 23<2J printed in the )istener, 2> Aune,23<2!

.&, Literature and Totalitarianism I said at the beginning o% my %irst talk that this is not a critical age! It is an age o% partisanship and not o% detachment, an age in which it is especially di%%icult to see literary merit in a book with whose conclusions you disagree! *olitics "" politics in the most general sense "" ha e in aded literature, to an e'tent that does not normally happen, and this has brought to the sur%ace o% our consciousness the struggle that always goes on between the indi idual and the community! It is when one considers the di%%iculty o% writing honest unbiased criticism in a time like ours that one begins to grasp the nature o% the threat that hangs o er the whole o% literature in the coming age! 1e li e in an age in which the autonomous indi idual is ceasing to e'ist "" or perhaps one ought to say, in which the indi idual is ceasing to ha e the illusion o% being autonomous! =ow, in all that we say about literature, and (abo e all) in all that we say about criticism, we instincti ely take the autonomous indi idual %or granted! &he whole o% modern European literature "" I am speaking o% the literature o% the past %our hundred years "" is built on the concept o% intellectual honesty, or, i% you like to put it that way, on Shakespeare;s ma'im, "&o thine own sel% be true"! &he %irst thing that we ask o% a writer is that he shall not tell lies, that he shall say what he really thinks, what he really %eels! &he worst thing we can say about a work o% art is that it is insincere! And this is e en truer o% criticism than o% creati e literature, in which a certain amount o% posing and mannerism, and e en a certain amount o% downright humbug, doesn;t matter so long as the writer is %undamentally sincere! ,odern literature is essentially an indi idual thing! It is either the truth%ul e'pression o% what one man thinks and %eels, or it is nothing! As I say, we take this notion %or granted, and yet as soon as one puts it into words one reali9es how literature is menaced! /or this is the age o% the totalitarian state, which does not and probably cannot allow the indi idual any %reedom whate er! 1hen one

mentions totalitarianism one thinks immediately o% Germany, -ussia, Italy, but I think one must %ace the risk that this phenomenon is going to be world"wide! It is ob ious that the period o% %ree capitalism is coming to an end and that one country a%ter another is adopting a centrali9ed economy that one can call Socialism or state capitalism according as one pre%ers! 1ith that the economic liberty o% the indi idual, and to a great e'tent his liberty to do what he likes, to choose his own work, to mo e to and %ro across the sur%ace o% the earth, comes to an end! =ow, till recently the implications o% this were not %oreseen! It was ne er %ully reali9ed that the disappearance o% economic liberty would ha e any e%%ect on intellectual liberty! Socialism was usually thought o% as a sort o% morali9ed liberalism! &he state would take charge o% your economic li%e and set you %ree %rom the %ear o% po erty, unemployment and so %orth, but it would ha e no need to inter%ere with your pri ate intellectual li%e! Art could %lourish :ust as it had done in the liberal"capitalist age, only a little more so, because the artist would not any longer be under economic compulsions! =ow, on the e'isting e idence, one must admit that these ideas ha e been %alsi%ied! &otalitarianism has abolished %reedom o% thought to an e'tent unheard o% in any pre ious age! And it is important to reali9e that its control o% thought is not only negati e, but positi e! It not only %orbids you to e'press "" e en to think "" certain thoughts, but it dictates what you s all think, it creates an ideology %or you, it tries to go ern your emotional li%e as well as setting up a code o% conduct! And as %ar as possible it isolates you %rom the outside world, it shuts you up in an arti%icial uni erse in which you ha e no standards o% comparison! &he totalitarian state tries, at any rate, to control the thoughts and emotions o% its sub:ects at least as completely as it controls their actions! &he $uestion that is important %or us isG can literature sur i e in such an atmosphereI I think one must answer shortly that it cannot! I% totalitarianism becomes world"wide and permanent, what we ha e known as literature must come to an end! And it will not do "" as may appear plausible at %irst "" to say that what will come to an end is merely the literature o% post"-enaissance Europe! &here are se eral ital di%%erences between totalitarianism and all the orthodo'ies o% the past, either in Europe or in the East! &he most important is that the orthodo'ies o% the past did not change, or at least did not change rapidly! In medie al Europe the #hurch dictated what you should belie e, but at least it allowed you to retain the same belie%s %rom birth to death! It did not tell you to belie e one thing on ,onday and another on &uesday! And the same is more or less true o% any orthodo' #hristian, Hindu, +uddhist or ,uslim today! In a sense his thoughts are circumscribed, but he passes his whole li%e within the same %ramework o% thought! His emotions are not tampered with! =ow, with totalitarianism, e'actly the opposite is true! &he peculiarity o% the totalitarian state is that though it controls thought, it does not %i' it! It sets up un$uestionable dogmas, and it alters them %rom day to day! It needs the dogmas, because it needs absolute obedience %rom its sub:ects, but it cannot a oid the changes, which are dictated by the needs o% power politics! It declares itsel% in%allible, and at the same time it attacks the ery concept o% ob:ecti e truth! &o take a crude, ob ious e'ample, e ery German up to September 23?3 had to regard -ussian +olshe ism with horror and a ersion, and since September 23?3 he has had to regard it with admiration and a%%ection! I% -ussia and Germany go to war, as they may well do within the ne't %ew years, another e$ually iolent change will ha e to take place! &he German;s emotional li%e, his lo es and

hatreds, are e'pected, when necessary, to re erse themsel es o ernight! I hardly need to point out the e%%ect o% this kind o% thing upon literature! /or writing is largely a matter o% %eeling, which cannot always be controlled %rom outside! It is easy to pay lip"ser ice to the orthodo'y o% the moment, but writing o% any conse$uence can only be produced when a man $eels the truth o% what he is sayingJ without that, the creati e impulse is lacking! All the e idence we ha e suggests that the sudden emotional changes which totalitarianism demands o% its %ollowers are psychologically impossible! And that is the chie% reason why I suggest that i% totalitarianism triumphs throughout the world, literature, as we ha e known it, is at an end! And, in %act, totalitarianism does seem to ha e had that e%%ect so %ar! In Italy literature has been crippled, and in Germany it seems almost to ha e ceased! &he most characteristic acti ity o% the =a9is is burning books! And e en in -ussia the literary renaissance we once e'pected has not happened, and the most promising -ussian writers show a marked tendency to commit suicide or disappear into prison! I said earlier that liberal capitalism is ob iously coming to an end, and there%ore I may ha e seemed to suggest that %reedom o% thought is also ine itably doomed! +ut I do not belie e this to be so, and I will simply say in conclusion that I belie e the hope o% literature;s sur i al lies in those countries in which liberalism has struck its deepest roots, the non"military countries, western Europe and the Americas, India and #hina! I belie e "" it may be no more than a pious hope "" that though a collecti i9ed economy is bound to come, those countries will know how to e ol e a %orm o% Socialism which is not totalitarian, in which %reedom o% thought can sur i e the disappearance o% economic indi idualism! &hat, at any rate, is the only hope to which anyone who cares %or literature can cling! 1hoe er %eels the alue o% literature, whoe er sees the central part it plays in the de elopment o% human history, must also see the li%e and death necessity o% resisting totalitarianism, whether it is imposed on us %rom without or %rom within! A broadcast talk in the +!+!#! O erseas Ser iceJ printed in the )istener, 23 Aune 23<2!

.#, Letter to ?orothy ;lowman 222 Lang%ord #ourt Abbey -oad London =1S >7 Aune 23<2 Eear Eorothy,2< I can;t say much about ,a';s2@ death! Hou know how it is, the seeming uselessness o% trying to o%%er any consolation when somebody is dead! ,y chie% sorrow is that he should ha e died while this beastly war is still going on! I had not seen him %or nearly two years, I deeply disagreed with him o er the issue o% paci%ism, but though I am sorry

about that you will perhaps understand when I say that I %eel that at bottom it didn;t matter! I always %elt that with ,a' the most %undamental disagreement didn;t alter one;s personal relationship in any way, not only because he was incapable o% any pettiness but also because one ne er seems able to %eel any resentment against an opinion which is sincerely held! I %elt that though ,a' and I held di%%erent opinions on nearly all speci%ic sub:ects, there was a sense in which I could agree with his ision o% li%e! I was ery %ond o% him, and he was always ery good to me! I% I remember rightly, he was the %irst English editor to print any writing o% mine, twel e years ago or more!
2<! Eorothy *lowman (2556"2346), widow o% ,a' *lowman! 2@! ,a' *lowman (255?"23<2), :ournalist and authorJ worked on the Adel# i 23>3"<2J 1arden o% the Adelphi #entre 23?5"<2J ardent supporter o% *eace *ledge Dnion %rom its %oundation in 23?<, and its General Secretary 23?6"5! *ublications include 2ntrod+ction to t e St+d( o$ *lake, A S+baltern on t e Somme and ' e Fait called %aci$ism. He encouraged Orwell in his early writing and was one o% the %irst to publish him! *lowman and his wi%e, Eorothy, always remained %riends o% Orwell;s!

&here is still the P?77 which I borrowed through you %rom my anonymous bene%actor!24 I hope this doesn;t embarrass you personally in any way! I can;t possibly repay it at this moment, though I hope you understand that I ha en;t abandoned the intention o% doing so! It is hard to make much more than a li ing nowadays! One can;t write books with this nightmare going on, and though I can get plenty o% :ournalistic and broadcasting work, it is rather a hand"to"mouth e'istence! 1e ha e been in London almost %rom the outbreak o% the war! 1e ha e kept on our cottage, but we let it %urnished and only manage to go down there ery occasionally! /or more than a year Eileen was working in the #ensorship Eepartment, but I ha e induced her to drop it %or a while, as it was upsetting her health! She is going to ha e a good rest and then perhaps get some less %utile and e'asperating work to do! I can;t :oin the army because I am medically graded as class E, but I am in the Home Guard (a sergeantO)! I ha en;t heard %rom -ichard -ees26 %or some time, but last time I heard %rom him he was a gunner on a coal boat!
24! L! H! ,yers, the no elist! An admirer o% Orwell;s work, he %irst met Orwell with ,a' and Eorothy *lowman in the Sanatorium at Ayles%ord in the summer o% 23?5! -eali9ing that Orwell needed to recuperate in a warm climate he lent him, anonymously, P?77 through Eorothy *lowman! Orwell always regarded this as a loan and as late as 23<4 was still unaware o% the source o% the money! See I., >6! 26! Sir -ichard -ees, +t (2377" ), painter, author and critic, whose writings include 4eorge Orwell3 F+gitive $rom t e -am# o$ 0ictor(, Simone /eil and A ' eor( o$ m( 'ime. /rom 23?7"?4 he edited the Adel# i and met Orwell as a young contributor! &hey remained close %riends until Orwell;s death! -ees was constant in his de otion, help and encouragement throughout the years!

Eileen sends her best lo e! *lease remember me also to *iers25 and e eryone! I gather %rom your card that *iers is now in England! I hope you succeed in keeping him out o% danger! &his is a rotten time to be ali e, but I think anyone o% *ier;s age has a chance o% seeing something better!
25! &he *lowmans; son!

Hours Eric +lair

.4, -ells, 0itler and the -orld <tate


In 4arch or April, say the wiseacres, there is to be a stupendous knockout blow at ,ritain. . . . !hat $itler has to do it with, I cannot imagine. $is ebbing and dispersed military resources are now probably not so very much greater than the Italians' before they were put to the test in ;reece and Africa. The ;erman air power has been largely spent. It is behind the times and its first-rate men are mostly dead or disheartened or worn out. In '('* the $ohen=ollern army was the best in the world. ,ehind that screaming little defective in ,erlin there is nothing of the sort. . . .9et our military :e1perts: discuss the waiting phantom. In their imaginations it is perfect in its e/uipment and invincible in discipline. 2ometimes it is to strike a decisive :blow: through 2pain and 8orth Africa and on, or march through the ,alkans, march from the <anube to Ankara, to &ersia, to India, or :crush +ussia:, or :pour: over the ,renner into Italy. The weeks pass and the phantom does none of these things -- for one e1cellent reason. It does not e1ist to that e1tent. 4ost of such inade/uate guns and munitions as it possessed must have been taken away from it and fooled away in $itler's silly feints to invade ,ritain. And its raw .erry-built discipline is wilting under the creeping reali=ation that the ,lit=kreig is spent, and the war is coming home to roost

&hese $uotations are not taken %rom the -avalr( =+arterl( but %rom a series o% newspaper articles by ,r H! G! 1ells, written at the beginning o% this year and now reprinted in a book entitled 4+ide to t e New /orld. Since they were written, the German army has o errun the +alkans and recon$uered #yrenaica, it can march through &urkey or Spain at such time as may suit it, and it has undertaken the in asion o% -ussia! How that campaign will turn out I do not know, but it is worth noticing that the German general sta%%, whose opinion is probably worth something, would not ha e begun it i% they had not %elt %airly certain o% %inishing it within three months! So much %or the idea that the German army is a bogey, its e$uipment inade$uate, its morale breaking down, etc! etc! 1hat has 1ells to set against the "screaming little de%ecti e in +erlin"I &he usual rigmarole about a 1orld State, plus the Sankey Eeclaration, which is an attempted de%inition o% %undamental human rights, o% anti"totalitarian tendency! E'cept that he is now especially concerned with %ederal world control o% air power, it is the same gospel as he has been preaching almost without interruption %or the past %orty years, always with an air o% angry surprise at the human beings who can %ail to grasp anything so ob ious! 1hat is the use o% saying that we need %ederal world control o% the airI &he whole $uestion is how we are to get it! 1hat is the use o% pointing put that a 1orld State is desirableI 1hat matters is that not one o% the %i e great military powers would think o% submitting to such a thing! All sensible men %or decades past ha e been substantially in agreement with what ,r 1ells saysJ but the sensible men ha e no power and, in too many cases, no disposition to sacri%ice themsel es! Hitler is a criminal lunatic, and Hitler

has an army o% millions o% men, aeroplanes in thousands, tanks in tens o% thousands! /or his sake a great nation has been willing to o erwork itsel% %or si' years and then to %ight %or two years more, whereas %or the common"sense, essentially hedonistic world" iew which ,r 1ells puts %orward, hardly a human creature is willing to shed a pint o% blood! +e%ore you can e en talk o% world reconstruction, or e en o% peace, you ha e got to eliminate Hitler, which means bringing into being a dynamic not necessarily the same as that o% the =a9is, but probably $uite as unacceptable to "enlightened" and hedonistic people! 1hat has kept England on its %eet during the past yearI In part, no doubt, some ague idea about a better %uture, but chie%ly the ata istic emotion o% patriotism, the ingrained %eeling o% the English"speaking peoples that they are superior to %oreigners! /or the last twenty years the main ob:ect o% English le%t"wing intellectuals has been to break this %eeling down, and i% they had succeeded, we might be watching the S!S! men patrolling the London streets at this moment! Similarly, why are the -ussians %ighting like tigers against the German in asionI In part, perhaps, %or some hal%"remembered ideal o% Dtopian Socialism, but chie%ly in de%ence o% Holy -ussia (the "sacred soil o% the /atherland", etc! etc!), which Stalin has re i ed in an only slightly altered %orm! &he energy that actually shapes the world springs %rom emotions "" racial pride, leader" worship, religious belie%, lo e o% war "" which liberal intellectuals mechanically write o%% as anachronisms, and which they ha e usually destroyed so completely in themsel es as to ha e lost all power o% action! &he people who say that Hitler is Antichrist, or alternati ely, the Holy Ghost, are nearer an understanding o% the truth than the intellectuals who %or ten dread%ul years ha e kept it up that he is merely a %igure out o% comic opera, not worth taking seriously! All that this idea really re%lects is the sheltered conditions o% English li%e! &he Le%t +ook #lub was at bottom a product o% Scotland Hard, :ust as the *eace *ledge Dnion is a product o% the na y! One de elopment o% the last ten years has been the appearance o% the "political book", a sort o% enlarged pamphlet combining history with political criticism, as an important literary %orm! +ut the best writers in this line "" &rotsky, -auschning, -osenberg, Silone, +orkenau, Foestler and others "" ha e none o% them been Englishmen, and nearly all o% them ha e been renegades %rom one or other e'tremist party, who ha e seen totalitarianism at close $uarters and known the meaning o% e'ile and persecution! Only in the English"speaking countries was it %ashionable to belie e, right up to the outbreak o% war, that Hitler was an unimportant lunatic and the German tanks made o% cardboard! ,r 1ells, it will be seen %rom the $uotations I ha e gi en abo e, belie es something o% the kind still! I do not suppose that either the bombs or the German campaign in Greece ha e altered his opinion! A li%elong habit o% thought stands between him and an understanding o% Hitler;s power! ,r 1ells, like Eickens, belongs to the non"military middle class! &he thunder o% guns, the :ingle o% spurs, the catch in the throat when the old %lag goes by, lea e him mani%estly cold! He has an in incible hatred o% the %ighting, hunting, swashbuckling side o% li%e, symboli9ed in all his early books by a iolent propaganda against horses! &he principal illain o% his O+tline o$ Histor( is the military ad enturer, =apoleon! I% one looks through nearly any book that he has written in the last %orty years one %inds the same idea constantly recurringG the supposed antithesis between the man o% science who is working towards a planned 1orld State and the reactionary who is trying to restore a disorderly past! In no els, Dtopias, essays, %ilms, pamphlets, the antithesis crops up,

always more or less the same! On the one side science, order, progress, internationalism, aeroplanes, steel, concrete, hygieneG on the other side war, nationalism, religion, monarchy, peasants, Greek pro%essors, poets, horses! History as he sees it is a series o% ictories won by the scienti%ic man o er the romantic man! =ow, he is probably right in assuming that a "reasonable", planned %orm o% society, with scientists rather than witch" doctors in control, will pre ail sooner or later, but that is a di%%erent matter %rom assuming that it is :ust round the corner! &here sur i es somewhere or other an interesting contro ersy which took place between 1ells and #hurchill at the time o% the -ussian -e olution! 1ells accuses #hurchill o% not really belie ing his own propaganda about the +olshe iks being monsters dripping with blood etc!, but o% merely %earing that they were going to introduce an era o% common sense and scienti%ic control, in which %lag"wa ers like #hurchill himsel% would ha e no place! #hurchill;s estimate o% the +olshe iks, howe er, was nearer the mark than 1ells;s! &he early +olshe iks may ha e been angels or demons, according as one chooses to regard them, but any any rate they were not sensible men! &hey were not introducing a 1ellsian Dtopia but a -ule o% the Saints, which, like the English -ule o% the Saints, was a military despotism enli ened by witchcra%t trials! &he same misconception reappears in an in erted %orm in 1ell;s attitude to the =a9is! Hitler is all the war"lords and witch"doctors in history rolled into one! &here%ore, argues 1ells, he is an absurdity, a ghost %rom the past, a creature doomed to disappear almost immediately! +ut un%ortunately the e$uation o% science with common sense does not really hold good! &he aeroplane, which was looked %orward to as a ci ili9ing in%luence but in practice has hardly been used e'cept %or dropping bombs, is the symbol o% that %act! ,odern Germany is %ar more scienti%ic than England, and %ar more barbarous! ,uch o% what 1ells has imagined and worked %or is physically there in =a9i Germany! &he order, the planning, the State encouragement o% science, the steel, the concrete, the aeroplanes, are all there, but all in the ser ice o% ideas appropriate to the Stone Age! Science is %ighting on the side o% superstition! +ut ob iously it is impossible %or 1ells to accept this! It would contradict the world" iew on which his own works are based! &he war"lords and the witch"doctors m+st %ail, the common"sense 1orld State, as seen by a nineteenth"century liberal whose heart does not leap at the sound o% bugles, m+st triumph! &reachery and de%eatism apart, Hitler cannot be a danger! &hat he should %inally win would be an impossible re ersal o% history, like a Aacobite restoration! +ut is it not a sort o% parricide %or a person o% my age (thirty"eight) to %ind %ault with H! G! 1ellsI &hinking people who were born about the beginning o% this century are in some sense 1ells;s own creation! How much in%luence any mere writer has, and especially a "popular" writer whose work takes e%%ect $uickly, is $uestionable, but I doubt whether anyone who was writing books between 2377 and 23>7, at any rate in the English language, in%luenced the young so much! &he minds o% all o% us, and there%ore the physical world, would be perceptibly di%%erent i% 1ells had ne er e'isted! Only, :ust the singleness o% mind, the one"sided imagination that made him seem like an inspired prophet in the Edwardian age, make him a shallow, inade$uate thinker now! 1hen 1ells was young, the antithesis between science and reaction was not %alse! Society was ruled by narrow"minded, pro%oundly incurious people, predatory businessmen, dull s$uires, bishops, politicians who could $uote Horace but had ne er heard o% algebra! Science was %aintly disreputable and religious belie% obligatory! &raditionalism, stupidity, snobbishness, patriotism, superstition and lo e o% war seemed to be all on the same sideJ

there was need o% someone who could state the opposite point o% iew! +ack in the nineteen"hundreds it was a wonder%ul e'perience %or a boy to disco er H! G! 1ells! &here you were, in a world o% pedants, clergymen and gol%ers, with your %uture employers e'horting you to "get on or get out", your parents systematically warping your se'ual li%e, and your dull"witted schoolmasters sniggering o er their Latin tagsJ and here was this wonder%ul man who could tell you about the inhabitants o% the planets and the bottom o% the sea, and who knew that the %uture was not going to be what respectable people imagined! A decade or so be%ore aeroplanes were technically %easible 1ells knew that within a little while men would be able to %ly! He knew that because he himsel% wanted to be able to %ly, and there%ore %elt sure that research in that direction would continue! On the other hand, e en when I was a little boy, at a time when the 1right brothers had actually li%ted their machine o%% the ground %or %i%ty"nine seconds, the generally accepted opinion was that i% God had meant us to %ly He would ha e gi en us wings! Dp to 232< 1ells, was in the main a true prophet! In physical details his ision o% the new world has been %ul%illed to a surprising e'tent! +ut because he belonged to the nineteenth century and to a non"military nation and class, he could not grasp the tremendous strength o% the old world which was symboli9ed in his mind by %o'"hunting &ories! He was, and still is, $uite incapable o% understanding that nationalism, religious bigotry and %eudal loyalty are %ar more power%ul %orces than what he himsel% would describe as sanity! #reatures out o% the Eark Ages ha e come marching into the present, and i% they are ghosts they are at any rate ghosts which need a strong magic to lay them! &he people who ha e shown the best understanding o% /ascism are either those who ha e su%%ered under it or those who ha e a /ascist streak in themsel es! A crude book like ' e 2ron Heel, written nearly thirty years ago, is a truer prophecy o% the %uture than either *rave New /orld or ' e S a#e o$ ' ings to -ome. I% one had to choose among 1ells;s own contemporaries a writer who could stand towards him as a correcti e, one might choose Fipling, who was not dea% to the e il oices o% power and military "glory"! Fipling would ha e understood the appeal o% Hitler, or %or that matter o% Stalin, whate er his attitude towards them might be! 1ells is too sane to understand the modern world! &he succession o% lower"middle"class no els which are his greatest achie ement stopped short at the other war and ne er really began again, and since 23>7 he has s$uandered his talents in slaying paper dragons! +ut how much it is, a%ter all, to ha e any talents to s$uander! Horizon, August 23<2J -r.E.5 ....5 -.E.

.5, London Letter to Partisan Re!ie" London 26 August 23<2 Eear Editors,

Hou asked me to send you another London letter, and though you le%t me %ree to choose what I should write about you added that your readers might be interested to hear some more about the Home Guard! I will gi e you some notes on the Home Guard, as much as I ha e space %or, but I think my main sub:ect this time ought to be the D!S!S!-!;s entry into the war! It has o ershadowed e erything in the last se en weeks, and I think it is now possible to make some sort o% rough analysis o% the state o% +ritish opinion! &HE A=GLO"SO.IE& ALLIA=#E &he most striking thing about the Anglo"So iet alliance has been its %ailure to cause any split in the country or any serious political repercussion whate er! It is true that Hitler;s in asion o% the D!S!S!-! took e eryone here ery much by surprise! I% the alliance had come about in 23?5 or 23?3, as it might ha e done, a%ter long and bitter contro ersies, with the *opular /ronters shouting on one side and the &ory press playing -ed -ussia %or all it was worth on the other, there would ha e been a %irst"rate political crisis, probably a General Election and certainly the growth o% an openly pro"=a9i party in *arliament, the army, etc! +ut by Aune 23<2 Stalin had come to appear as a ery small bogey compared with Hitler, the pro"/ascists had mostly discredited themsel es, and the attack happened so suddenly that the ad antages and disad antages o% a -ussian alliance had not e en had time to be discussed! One %act that this new turn o% the war has brought out is that there are now great numbers o% English people who ha e no special reaction towards the D!S!S!-! -ussia, like #hina or ,e'ico, is simply a mysterious country a long way away, which once had a re olution, the nature o% which has been %orgotten! All the hideous contro ersies about the purges, the /i e Hear *lans, the Dkraine %amine, etc! ha e simply passed o er the a erage newspaper"reader;s head! +ut as %or the rest, the people who ha e some de%inite pro"-ussian or anti"-ussian slant, they are split up into se eral sharply de%ined blocks, o% which the %ollowing are the ones that matterG ' e ric . &he real bourgeoisie are sub:ecti ely anti"-ussian, and cannot possibly become otherwise! &he e'istence o% large numbers o% wealthy parlour +olshe iks does not alter this %act, because these people in ariably belong to the decadent third"generation rentier class! &hose who are o$ the capitalist class would regard the destruction o% the So iet Dnion by Hitler with, at best, mi'ed %eelings! +ut it is an error to suppose that they are plotting direct treachery or that the hand%ul capable o% doing so are likely to gain control o% the State! #hurchill;s continuance in o%%ice is a guarantee against that! ' e working class. All the more thought%ul members o% the +ritish working class are mildly and aguely pro"-ussian! &he shock caused by the -ussian war against /inland was real enough, but it depended on the %act that nothing was happening at that time in the ma:or war, and it has been completely %orgotten! +ut it would probably be a mistake to imagine that the %act o% -ussia being in the war will in itsel% stimulate the +ritish working class to greater e%%orts and greater sacri%ices! In so %ar as strikes and wage disputes during the past two years ha e been due to deliberate trouble"making by the #ommunists, they will o% course cease, but it is doubt%ul whether the #ommunists ha e e er been able to do more than magni%y legitimate grie ances! &he grie ances will still be there, and %raternal messages %rom %ravda will not make much di%%erence to the %eelings

o% the dock"worker unloading during an air"raid or the tired munition"worker who has missed the last tram home! At one point or another the $uestion o% working"class loyalty to -ussia is likely to come up in some such %orm as thisG i% the Go ernment show signs o% letting the -ussians down, will the working class take steps to %orce a more acti e policy upon themI In that moment I belie e it will be %ound that though a sort o% loyalty to the So iet Dnion still e'ists "" must e'ist, so long as -ussia is the only country e en #retending to be a workers; state "" it is no longer a positi e %orce! &he ery %act that Hitler dares to make war on -ussia is proo% o% this! /i%teen years ago such a war would ha e been impossible %or any country e'cept perhaps Aapan, because the common soldiers could not ha e been trusted to use their weapons against the Socialist /atherland! +ut that kind o% loyalty has been gradually wasted by the nationalistic sel%ishness o% -ussian policy! Old"%ashioned patriotism is now a %ar stronger %orce than any kind o% internationalism, or any ideas about the Socialist /atherland, and this %act also will be re%lected in the strategy o% the war! ' e -omm+nists. I do not need to tell you anything about the shi%ts o% o%%icial #ommunist policy during the past two years, but I am not certain whether the mentality o% the #ommunist intelligentsia is $uite the same in the D!S!A! as here! In England the #ommunists whom it is possible to respect are %actory workers, but they are not ery numerous, and precisely because they are usually skilled workmen and loyal comrades they cannot always be rigidly %aith%ul to the "line"! +etween September 23?3 and Aune 23<2 they do not seem to ha e attempted any de%inite sabotage o% arms production, although the logic o% #ommunist policy demanded this! &he middle"class #ommunists, howe er, are a di%%erent proposition! &hey include most o% the o%%icial and uno%%icial leaders o% the party, and with them must be lumped the greater part o% the younger literary intelligentsia, especially in the uni ersities! As I ha e pointed out elsewhere, the "#ommunism" o% these people amounts simply to nationalism and leader"worship in their most ulgar %orms, trans%erred to the D!S!S!-! &heir importance at this moment is that with the entry o% -ussia into the war they may regain the in%luence in the press which they had between 23?@ and 23?3 and lost during the last two years! &he News - ronicle, a%ter the .ail( Herald the leading le%t"wing daily (circulation about 2,<77,777), is already busy whitewashing the men whom it was denouncing as traitors a little while back! &he so"called *eople;s #on ention, led by E! =! *ritt (*ritt is a Labour ,!*! but is always claimed by #ommunists as an "underground" member o% their party, e idently with truth) is still in e'istence but has abruptly re ersed its policy! I% the #ommunists are allowed the kind o% publicity that they were getting in 23?5, they will both consciously and unconsciously sow discord between +ritain and the D!S!S!-! 1hat they wish %or is not the destruction o% Hitler and the resettlement o% Europe, but a ulgar military triumph %or their adopted /atherland, and they will do their best to insult public opinion here by trans%erring as much as possible o% the prestige o% the war to -ussia, and by constantly casting doubts on +ritain;s good %aith! &he danger o% this kind o% thing ought not to be underrated! &he -ussians themsel es, howe er, probably grasp how the land lies and will act accordingly! I% we ha e a long war ahead o% us it is not to their ad antage that there should be disa%%ection in this country! +ut in so %ar as they can get a hearing, the +ritish #ommunists must be regarded as one o% the %orces acting against Anglo"-ussian unity! ' e -at olics. &here are supposed to be some two million #atholics in this country, the bulk o% them ery poor Irish labourers! &hey ote Labour and act as a sort o%

silent drag on Labour *arty policy, but are not su%%iciently under the thumb o% their priests to be /ascist in sympathy! &he importance o% the middle" and upper"class #atholics is that they are e'tremely numerous in the /oreign O%%ice and the #onsular Ser ice, and also ha e a good deal o% in%luence in the press, though less than %ormerly! &he "born" #atholics o% the old #atholic %amilies are less ultramontane and more ordinarily patriotic than the con erted intellectuals (-onald Fno', Arnold Lunn, etc! etc!), who ha e ery much the same mentality, m+tatis m+tandis, as the +ritish #ommunists! I suppose I need not repeat the history o% their pro"/ascist acti ities in the past! Since the outbreak o% war they ha e not dared to be openly pro"Hitler, but ha e done their propaganda indirectly by %ulsome praises o% *Mtain and /ranco! #ardinal Hinsley, %ounder o% the Sword o% the Spirit ,o ement (#atholic democracy), seems to be sincerely anti" =a9i according to his lights, but represents only one section o% #atholic opinion! As soon as Hitler in aded the D!S!S!-!, the #atholic press announced that we must take ad antage o% the respite that this ga e us, but "no alliance with godless -ussia"! Signi%icantly, the #atholic papers became much more anti"-ussian when it became apparent that the -ussians were resisting success%ully! =o one who has studied #atholic literature during the past ten years can doubt that the bulk o% the hierarchy and the intelligentsia would side with Germany as against -ussia i% they had a $uarter o% a chance! &heir hatred o% -ussia is really enomous, enough e en to disgust an anti"Stalinist like mysel%, though their propaganda is necessarily old"%ashioned (+olshe ik atrocities, nationali9ation o% women, etc!) and does not make much impression on working"class people! 1hen the -ussian campaign is settled one way or the other, i!e! when Hitler is in ,oscow or the -ussians show signs o% in ading Europe, they will come out openly on Hitler;s side, and they will certainly be to the %ore i% any plausible terms are suggested %or a compromise peace! I% anything corresponding to a *Mtain go ernment were established here, it would ha e to lean largely on the #atholics! &hey are the only really conscious, logical, intelligent enemies that democracy has got in England, and it is a mistake to despise them! So much %or the arious currents o% opinion! I began this letter some days ago, and since then the %eeling that we are not doing enough to help the -ussians has noticeably intensi%ied! &he %a ourite $uip now is that what we are gi ing -ussia is "all aid short o% war"! E en the +ea erbrook press repeats this! Also, since -ussia entered the war there has been a cooling"o%% in people;s %eelings towards the D!S!A! &he #hurchill" -oose elt declaration caused, I belie e, a good deal o% disappointment! 1here #hurchill had gone was an o%%icial secret but seems to ha e been widely known, and most people e'pected the outcome to be America;s entry into the war, or at least the occupation o% some more strategic points on the Atlantic! *eople are saying now that the -ussians are %ighting and the Americans are talking, and the saying that was current last year, "sympathy to #hina, oil to Aapan", begins to be repeated! &HE HO,E GDA-E &his %orce, then known as the Local Ee%ence .olunteers, was raised last spring in response to a radio appeal by Anthony Eden, %ollowing on the success o% the German parachute troops in Holland! It got a $uarter o% a million recruits in the %irst twenty"%our

hours! &he numbers are now somewhere between a million and a hal% and two millionsJ they ha e %luctuated during the past year, but with a tendency to increase! E'cept %or a small nucleus o% administrati e o%%icers and =!#!O! instructors attached %rom the regular army, it is entirely part"time and unpaid! Apart %rom training, the Home Guard relie es the army o% some o% its routine patrols, pickets on buildings, etc! and does a certain amount o% A!-!*!23 work! &he amount o% time gi en up to the Home Guard by ordinary members would ary between %i e and twenty"%i e hours a week! Since the whole thing is oluntary there is no way o% en%orcing attendance, but the habitual absentees are usually asked to resign, and the inacti e membership at any one time would not be more than ten per cent! In the case o% in asion the Home Guard will be put on the same disciplinary basis as the regular army and members will be paid %or their ser ices, all ranks recei ing the same rate o% payment! In the beginning the Home Guard was a heterogeneous %orce and structurally rather similar to the early Spanish militias, but it has been gradually brigaded on the lines o% the regular army, and all the ordinary contingents are a%%iliated to the regiments belonging to the locality! +ut %actories, railways and go ernment o%%ices ha e their own separate units, which are responsible only %or the de%ence o% their own premises!
23! Air -aid *recautions!

&he strategic idea o% the Home Guard is static de%ence in com#lete depth, i!e! %rom one coast o% England to the other! &he tactical idea is not so much to de%eat an in ader as to hold him up till the regular troops can get at him! It is not intended that the Home Guard shall manoeu re in large numbers or o er large areas! In practice it probably could not be operated in any larger unit than the company, and no one contingent could ad ance or retreat more than a %ew miles! &he intention is that any in ader who crosses any section o% the country will always, until he reaches the sea coast, ha e innumerable small bands o% enemies both behind and in %ront o% him! As to ow the in ader can best be resisted, theories ha e aried, chie%ly as a result o% obser ation o% the di%%erent campaigns abroad! At the beginning the intention was simply to deal with parachutists, but the e ents in /rance and the Low #ountries had caused an e'aggerated %ear o% /i%th #olumnists, and the authorities had e idently some notion o% turning the Home Guard into a sort o% au'iliary police %orce! &his idea came to nothing because the men who had :oined only wanted to %ight the Germans (in Aune 23<7 the in asion was e'pected to happen almost immediately), and in the chaotic conditions o% the time they had to do their organi9ing %or themsel es! 1hen enough weapons and uni%orms had been distributed to make the Home Guard look something like soldiers, the tendency was to turn them into ordinary in%antry o% the pre"blit9krieg type! &hen the success o% the Germans in getting their armoured di isions across the sea to Libya shi%ted the emphasis to anti"tank %ighting! Somewhat later the loss o% #rete showed what can be done by parachutists and airborne troops, and tactics %or dealing with them were worked out! /inally the struggle o% the -ussian guerillas behind the German lines led to a renewed emphasis on guerilla tactics and sabotage! All o% these successi e tendencies are re%lected in the oluminous literature, o%%icial and uno%%icial, which has already grown up round the Home Guard! &he Home Guard can by now be regarded as a serious %orce, capable o% strong resistance %or at any rate a short period! =o in ader could tra el more than a %ew miles through open country or more than a %ew hundred yards in the big towns without coming

upon a knot o% armed men! ,orale can be relied on absolutely, though willingness to commit sabotage and go on %ighting in theoretically occupied territory will probably ary according to the political comple'ion o% di%%erent units! &here are great and ob ious di%%iculties in the way o% keeping a %orce o% this kind in the %ield %or more than a week or two at a time, and i% there should be prolonged %ighting in England the Home Guard would probably be merged by degrees in the regular army and lose its local and oluntary character! &he other great di%%iculty is in the supply o% o%%icers! Although there is in theory no class discrimination, the Home Guard is in practice o%%icered on a class basis more completely than is the case in the regular army! =or is it easy to see how this could ha e been a oided, e en i% the wish to a oid it had been there! In any sort o% army people %rom the upper and middle classes will tend to get the positions o% command "" this happened in the early Spanish militias and had also happened in the -ussian #i il 1ar "" and in a spare"time %orce the a erage working man cannot possibly %ind enough time to do the administrati e routine o% a platoon"commander or company"commander! Also, the Go ernment makes no %inancial contribution, e'cept %or a token payment when men are on duty all night, and the pro ision o% weapons and uni%orms! One cannot command troops without constantly incurring small e'penses, and P@7 a year would be the ery minimum that any commissioned o%%icer spends on his unit! 1hat all this has meant in practice is that nearly all commands are held by retired colonels, people with "pri ate" incomes, or, at best, wealthy businessmen! A respectable proportion o% the o%%icers are too old to ha e caught up with the 232< war, let alone anything subse$uent! In the case o% prolonged %ighting it might be necessary to get rid o% as many as hal% the o%%icers! &he rank and %ile know how matters stand and would probably de ise some method o% electing their own o%%icers i% need be! &he election o% o%%icers is sometimes discussed among the lower ranks, but it has ne er been practised e'cept, I think, in some o% the %actory units! &he personnel o% the Home Guard is not $uite the same now as it was at the beginning! &he men who %locked into the ranks in the %irst %ew days were almost all o% them men who had %ought in the last war and were too old %or this one! &he weapons that were distributed, there%ore, went into the hands o% people who were more or less anti" /ascist but politically uneducated! &he only lea ening was a %ew class"conscious %actory" workers and a hand%ul o% men who had %ought in the Spanish #i il 1ar! &he Le%t as usual had %ailed to see its opportunity "" the Labour *arty could ha e made the Home Guard into its own organi9ation i% it had acted igorously in the %irst %ew days "" and in le%t"wing circles it was %ashionable to describe the Home Guard as a /ascist organi9ation! Later the idea that when weapons are being distributed it is as well to get hold o% some o% them began to sink in, and a certain number o% le%t"wing intellectuals %ound their way into the ranks! It has ne er been possible to get a big in%lu' %rom the Labour *arty, howe erJ the most willing recruits ha e always been the people whose political ideal would be #hurchill! &he chie% educati e %orce within the mo ement has been the training school which was started by &om 1intringham, Hugh Slater and others, especially in the %irst %ew months, be%ore they were taken o er by the 1ar O%%ice! &heir teaching was purely military, but with its insistence on guerilla methods it had re olutionary implications which were per%ectly well grasped by many o% the men who listened to it! &he #ommunist *arty %rom the %irst %orbade its members to :oin the Home Guard and conducted a icious campaign o% libel against 1intringham and #o! Euring recent

months the military call"up has almost stripped the Home Guard o% men between twenty and %orty, but at the same time there has been an in%lu' o% working"class boys o% about se enteen! ,ost o% them are $uite unpolitical in outlook and when asked their reason %or :oining say that they want to get some military training against the time when they are called up, three years hence! &his re%lects the %act that many English people can now hardly imagine a time when there will be no war! &here is also a %air number o% %oreigners in the Home Guard! In the panic period last year they were rigidly e'cluded! One o% my own %irst :obs was to go round paci%ying would"be members who had been re:ected because they were not o% +ritish e'traction on both sides! One man had been turned down because one o% his parents was a %oreigner and had not been naturali9ed till 237>! =ow these ideas ha e been dropped and the London units contain -ussians, #9echs, *oles, Indians, =egroes and AmericansJ no Germans or Italians, howe er! I will not swear that the pre ailing outlook in the Home Guard is more "le%t" than it was a year ago! It re%lects the general outlook o% the country, which %or a year past has turned this way and that like a door on its hinges! +ut the political discussions that one hears in canteens and guard rooms are much more intelligent than they were, and the social shake"up among men o% all classes who ha e now been %orced into close intimacy %or a considerable time has done a lot o% good! Dp to a point one can %oresee the %uture o% the Home Guard! E en should it become clear that no in asion is likely it will not be disbanded be%ore the end o% the war, and probably not then! It will play an important part i% there is any attempt at a *Mtain peace, or in any internal %ighting a%ter the war! It already e'erts a slight political in%luence on the regular army, and would e'ert more under acti e ser ice conditions! It %irst came into being precisely because England is a conser ati e country where the law" abidingness o% ordinary people can be relied upon, but once in being it introduces a political %actor which has ne er e'isted here be%ore! Somewhere near a million +ritish working men now ha e ri%les in their bedrooms and don;t in the least wish to gi e them up! &he possibilities contained in that %act hardly need pointing out! I see that I ha e written a lot more than I intended! I began this letter on the 26th August, and I end it on the >@th! &he -ussians and the +ritish ha e marched into Iran, and e eryone is delighted! 1e ha e had a goodish summer and the people ha e got some sunlight in their bones to help them through the winter! London has not had a real air raid %or nearly %our months! *arts o% the East End are simply %lattened out, and the #ity is a mass o% ruins with St *aul;s almost untouched, standing out o% it like an enormous rock, but the less"bombed parts o% London ha e been so completely cleaned up that you would hardly know they had e er been damaged! Standing on the roo% o% this tall block o% %lats I li e in and looking all round, I can see no bomb damage anywhere, e'cept %or a %ew churches whose spires ha e broken o%% in the middle, making them look like li9ards that ha e lost their tails! &here is no real %ood shortage, but the lack o% concentrated %oods (meat, bacon, cheese and eggs) causes serious under%eeding among hea y labourers, such as miners, who ha e to eat their midday meal away %rom home! &here is a chronic scarcity o% cigarettes and local shortages o% beer! Some tobacconists consider that the amount o% tobacco smoked has increased by %orty per cent since the war! 1ages ha e not kept up with prices, but on the other hand there is no unemployment, so that though the indi idual wage is lower than it was the %amily income tends to be higher! #lothes are %airly strictly rationed, but the crowds in the streets are not noticeably shabbier as yet! I

o%ten wonder how much we are all deteriorating under the in%luence o% war "" how much o% a shock one would get i% one could suddenly see the London o% three years ago side by side with this one! +ut it is a gradual process and we do not notice any change! I can hardly imagine the London skies without the barrage balloons, and should be sorry to see them go! Arthur Foestler, whose work is probably known to you, is a pri ate in the *ioneers! /ran9 +orkenau, author o% ' e S#anis -ock#it and ' e -omm+nist 2nternational, who was deported to Australia during the panic last year, is back in England! Louis ,ac=eice and 1illiam Empson are working %or the +!+!#! Eylan &homas is in the army! Arthur #alder",arshall has been made an o%%icer! &om 1intringham is once again an instructor in the Home Guard, a%ter resigning %or a period! ,eanwhile the -ussians acknowledge se en hundred thousand casualties, and the armies are con erging on Leningrad by the same roads as they %ollowed twenty"two years ago! I ne er thought I should li e to say "Good luck to #omrade Stalin", but so I do! Hours e er, George Orwell *!S! I must add a word about that appalling "message" to +ritish writers %rom the So iet no elist, Ale'ei &olstoy, with the old atrocity stories dug up %rom 232<, which appeared in the September Horizon. &hat is the %eature o% war that %rightens me, much worse than air raids! +ut I hope people in the D!S!A! won;t imagine that people here take that kind o% stu%% seriously! E eryone I know laughs when they hear that old one about the Germans being chained to their machine"guns! %artisan &eview, =o ember"Eecember 23<2

.6, The *rt of ?onald McGill 1ho does not know the "comics" o% the cheap stationer;s windows, the penny or twopenny coloured postcards with their endless succession o% %at women in tight bathing" dresses and their crude drawing and unbearable colours, chie%ly hedge"sparrow;s egg tint and *ost O%%ice redI &his $uestion ought to be rhetorical, but it is a curious %act that many people seem to be unaware o% the e'istence o% these things, or else to ha e a ague notion that they are something to be %ound only at the seaside, like nigger minstrels or peppermint rock! Actually they are on sale e erywhere "" they can be bought at nearly any 1oolworth;s, %or e'ample "" and they are e idently produced in enormous numbers, new series constantly appearing! &hey are not to be con%used with the arious other types o% comic illustrated postcard, such as the sentimental ones dealing with puppies and kittens or the 1endyish, sub"pornographic ones which e'ploit the lo e"a%%airs o% children! &hey are a genre o% their own, speciali9ing in ery "low" humour, the mother"in"law, baby;s nappy, policemen;s boots type o% :oke, and distinguishable %rom all the other kinds by ha ing no

artistic pretensions! Some hal%"do9en publishing houses issue them, though the people who draw them seem not to be numerous at any one time! I ha e associated them especially with the name o% Eonald ,cGill because he is not only the most proli%ic and by %ar the best o% contemporary postcard artists, but also the most representati e, the most per%ect in the tradition! 1ho Eonald ,cGill is, I do not know! He is apparently a trade name, %or at least one series o% postcards is issued simply as ;&he Eonald ,cGill #omics;, but he is also un$uestionably a real person with a style o% drawing which is recogni9able at a glance! Anyone who e'amines his postcards in bulk will notice that many o% them are not despicable e en as drawings, but it would be mere dilettantism to pretend that they ha e any direct aesthetic alue! A comic postcard is simply an illustration to a :oke, in ariably a "low" :oke, and it stands or %alls by its ability to raise a laugh! +eyond that it has only "ideological" interest! ,cGill is a cle er draughtsman with a real caricaturist;s touch in the drawing o% %aces, but the special alue o% his postcards is that they are so completely typical! &hey represent, as it were, the norm o% the comic postcard! 1ithout being in the least imitati e, they are e'actly what comic postcards ha e been any time these last %orty years, and %rom them the meaning and purpose o% the whole genre can be in%erred! Get hold o% a do9en o% these things, pre%erably ,cGill;s "" i% you pick out %rom a pile the ones that seem to you %unniest, you will probably %ind that most o% them are ,cGill;s "" and spread them out on a table! 1hat do you seeI Hour %irst impression is o% o erwhelming ulgarity! &his is $uite apart %rom the e er"present obscenity, and apart also %rom the hideousness o% the colours! &hey ha e an utter low"ness o% mental atmosphere which comes out not only in the nature o% the :okes but, e en more, in the grotes$ue, staring, blatant $uality o% the drawings! &he designs, like those o% a child, are %ull o% hea y lines and empty spaces, and all the %igures in them, e ery gesture and attitude, are deliberately ugly, the %aces grinning and acuous, the women monstrously parodied, with bottoms like Hottentots! Hour second impression, howe er, is o% inde%inable %amiliarity! 1hat do these things remind you o%I 1hat are they so likeI In the %irst place, o% course, they remind you o% the barely di%%erent postcards which you probably ga9ed at in your childhood! +ut more than this, what you are really looking at is something as traditional as Greek tragedy, a sort o% sub"world o% smacked bottoms and scrawny mothers"in"law which is a part o% western European consciousness! =ot that the :okes, taken one by one, are necessarily stale! =ot being debarred %rom smuttiness, comic postcards repeat themsel es less o%ten than the :oke columns in reputable maga9ines, but their basic sub:ect"matter, the kind o% :oke they are aiming at, ne er aries! A %ew are genuinely witty, in a ,a' ,illerish style! E'amplesG
:I like seeing e1perienced girls home.: :,ut I'm not e1perienced!: :9ou're not home yet!: :I've been struggling for years to get a fur coat. $ow did you get yours%: :I left off struggling.: 5udge7 :9ou are prevaricating, sir. <id you or did you not sleep with this woman%: 3o-respondent7 :8ot a wink, my lord!:

In general, howe er, they are not witty but humorous, and it must be said %or

,cGill;s postcards, in particular, that the drawing is o%ten a good deal %unnier than the :oke beneath it! Ob iously the outstanding characteristic o% comic postcards is their obscenity, and I must discuss that more %ully later! +ut I gi e here a rough analysis o% their habitual sub:ect"matter, with such e'planatory remarks as seem to be neededG Se1. ,ore than hal%, perhaps three $uarters, o% the :okes are se' :okes, ranging %rom the harmless to the all but unprintable! /irst %a ourite is probably the illegitimate baby! &ypical captionsG "#ould you e'change this lucky charm %or a baby;s %eeding" bottleI" "She didn;t ask me to the christening, so I;m not going to the wedding!" Also newlyweds, old maids, nude statues and women in bathing"dresses! All o% these are i#so $acto %unny, mere mention o% them being enough to raise a laugh! &he cuckoldry :oke is ery seldom e'ploited, and there are no re%erences to homose'uality! #on entions o% the se' :okeG a! ,arriage only bene%its the woman! E ery man is plotting seduction and e ery women is plotting marriage! =o woman e er remains unmarried oluntarily! b! Se'"appeal anishes at about the age o% twenty"%i e! 1ell"preser ed and good" looking people beyond their %irst youth are ne er represented! &he amorous honeymooning couple reappear as the grim" isaged wi%e and hapless, mustachioed, red" nosed husband, no intermediate stage being allowed %or! Home li$e. =e't to se', the henpecked husband is the %a ourite :oke! &ypical captionG "Eid they get an Q"ray o% your wi%e;s :aw at the hospitalI" "" "=o, they got a mo ing picture instead!" #on entionsG a! &here is no such thing as a happy marriage! b! =o man e er gets the better o% a woman in argument! .r+nkenness. +oth drunkenness and teetotalism are i#so $acto %unny! #on entions G a! All drunken men ha e optical illusions! b! Erunkenness is something peculiar to middle"aged men! Erunken youths or women are ne er represented! /.-. Fokes. &here is not a large number o% these! #hamberpots are i#so $acto %unny, and so are public la atories! A typical postcard, captioned "A /riend in =eed", shows a man;s hat blown o%% his head and disappearing down the steps o% a ladies; la atory! 2nter-working-class snobber(. ,uch in these postcards suggests that they are aimed at the better"o%% working class and poorer middle class! &here are many :okes turning on malapropisms, illiteracy, dropped aitches and the rough manners o% slum" dwellers! #ountless postcards show draggled hags o% the stage"charwoman type e'changing "unladylike" abuse! &ypical reparteeG "I wish you were a statue and I was a pigeonO" A certain number produced since the war treat e acuation %rom the anti"e acuee angle! &here are the usual :okes about tramps, beggars and criminals, and the comic maidser ant appears %airly %re$uently! Also the comic na y, bargee, etc!J but there are no

anti"trade"union :okes! +roadly speaking, e eryone with much o er or much under P@ a week is regarded as laughable! &he "swell" is almost as automatically a %igure o% %un as the slum"dweller! Stock $ig+res. /oreigners seldom or ne er appear! &he chie% locality :oke is the Scotsman, who is almost ine'haustible! &he lawyer is always a swindler, the clergyman always a ner ous idiot who says the wrong thing! &he "knut" or "masher" still appears, almost as in Edwardian days, in out"o%"date"looking e ening clothes and an opera hat, or e en with spats and a knobby cane! Another sur i al is the Su%%ragette, one o% the big :okes o% the pre"232< period and too aluable to be relin$uished! She has reappeared, unchanged in physical appearance, as the /eminist lecturer or &emperance %anatic! A %eature o% the last %ew years is the complete absence o% anti"Aew postcards! &he "Aew :oke", always somewhat more ill"natured than the "Scotch :oke", disappeared abruptly soon a%ter the rise o% Hitler! %olitics. Any contemporary e ent, cult or acti ity which has comic possibilities (%or e'ample, "%ree lo e", %eminism, A!-!*!, nudism) rapidly %inds its way into the picture postcards, but their general atmosphere is e'tremely old"%ashioned! &he implied political outlook is a radicalism appropriate to about the year 2377! At normal times they are not only not patriotic, but go in %or a mild guying o% patriotism, with :okes about "God sa e the Fing", the Dnion Aack, etc! &he European situation only began to re%lect itsel% in them at some time in 23?3, and %irst did so through the comic aspects o% A!-!*! E en at this date %ew postcards mention the war e'cept in A!-!*! :okes (%at woman stuck in the mouth o% Anderson shelter, wardens neglecting their duty while young woman undresses at window she had %orgotten to black out, etc! etc!)! A %ew e'press anti"Hitler sentiments o% a not ery indicti e kind! One, not ,cGill;s, shows Hitler, with the usual hypertrophied backside, bending down to pick a %lower! #aptionG "1hat would (o+ do, chumsI" &his is about as high a %light o% patriotism as any postcard is likely to attain! Dnlike the twopenny weekly papers, comic postcards are not the product o% any great monopoly company, and e idently they are not regarded as ha ing any importance in %orming public opinion! &here is no sign in them o% any attempt to induce an outlook acceptable to the ruling class! Here one comes back to the outstanding, all"important %eature o% comic postcards "" their obscenity! It is by this that e eryone remembers them, and it is also central to their purpose, though not in a way that is immediately ob ious! A recurrent, almost dominant moti% in comic postcards is the woman with the stuck"out behind! In perhaps hal% o% them, or more than hal%, e en when the point o% the :oke has nothing to do with se', the same %emale %igure appears, a plump " oluptuous" %igure with the dress clinging to it as tightly as another skin and with breasts or buttocks grossly o er"emphasi9ed, according to which way it is turned! &here can be no doubt that these pictures li%t the lid o%% a ery widespread repression, natural enough in a country whose women when young tend to be slim to the point o% skimpiness! +ut at the same time the ,cGill postcard "" and this applies to all other postcards in this genre "" is not intended as pornography but, a subtler thing, as a skit on pornography! &he Hottentot %igures o% the women are caricatures o% the Englishman;s secret ideal, not portraits o% it!

1hen one e'amines ,cGill;s postcards more closely, one notices that his brand o% humour only has meaning in relation to a %airly strict moral code! 1hereas in papers like Es:+ire, %or instance, or )a 0ie %arisienne, the imaginary background o% the :okes is always promiscuity, the utter breakdown o% all standards, the background o% the ,cGill postcard is marriage! &he %our leading :okes are nakedness, illegitimate babies, old maids and newly married couples, none o% which would seem %unny in a really dissolute or e en "sophisticated" society! &he postcards dealing with honeymoon couples always ha e the enthusiastic indecency o% those illage weddings where it is still considered screamingly %unny to sew bells to the bridal bed! In one, %or e'ample, a young bridegroom is shown getting out o% bed the morning a%ter his wedding night! "&he %irst morning in our own little home, darlingO" he is sayingJ "I;ll go and get the milk and paper and bring you a cup o% tea!" Inset is a picture o% the %ront doorstepJ on it are %our newspapers and %our bottles o% milk! &his is obscene, i% you like, but it is not immoral! Its implication "" and this is :ust the implication that Es:+ire or the New 6orker would a oid at all costs "" is that marriage is something pro%oundly e'citing and important, the biggest e ent in the a erage human being;s li%e! So also with :okes about nagging wi es and tyrannous mothers"in"law! &hey do at least imply a stable society in which marriage is indissoluble and %amily loyalty taken %or granted! And bound up with this is something I noted earlier, the %act that there are no pictures, or hardly any, o% good"looking people beyond their %irst youth! &here is the "spooning" couple and the middle"aged, cat"and"dog couple, but nothing in between! &he liaison, the illicit but more or less decorous lo e"a%%air which used to be the stock :oke o% /rench comic papers, is not a postcard sub:ect! And this re%lects, on a comic le el, the working"class outlook which takes it as a matter o% course that youth and ad enture "" almost, indeed, indi idual li%e "" end with marriage! One o% the %ew authentic class"di%%erences, as opposed to class"distinctions, still e'isting in England is that the working classes age ery much earlier! &hey do not li e less long, pro ided that they sur i e their childhood, nor do they lose their physical acti ity earlier, but they do lose ery early their youth%ul appearance! &his %act is obser able e erywhere, but can be most easily eri%ied by watching one o% the higher age groups registering %or military ser iceJ the middle" and upper"class members look, on a erage, ten years younger than the others! It is usual to attribute this to the harder li es that the working classes ha e to li e, but it is doubt%ul whether any such di%%erence now e'ists as would account %or it! ,ore probably the truth is that the working classes reach middle age earlier because they accept it earlier! /or to look young a%ter, say, thirty is largely a matter o% wanting to do so! &his generali9ation is less true o% the better"paid workers, especially those who li e in council houses and labour"sa ing %lats, but it is true enough e en o% them to point to a di%%erence o% outlook! And in this, as usual, they are more traditional, more in accord with the #hristian past than the well"to"do women who try to stay young at %orty by means o% physical :erks, cosmetics and a oidance o% child"bearing! &he impulse to cling to youth at all costs, to attempt to preser e your se'ual attraction, to see e en in middle age a %uture %or yoursel% and not merely %or your children, is a thing o% recent growth and has only precariously established itsel%! It will probably disappear again when our standard o% li ing drops and our birth"rate rises! "Houth;s a stu%% will not endure" e'presses the normal, traditional attitude! It is this ancient wisdom that ,cGill and his colleagues are re%lecting, no doubt unconsciously, when they allow %or no transition stage between the honeymoon couple and those glamourless %igures, ,um and

Ead! I ha e said that at least hal% ,cGill;s postcards are se' :okes, and a proportion, perhaps ten per cent, are %ar more obscene than anything else that is now printed in England! =ewsagents are occasionally prosecuted %or selling them, and there would be many more prosecutions i% the broadest :okes were not in ariably protected by double meanings! A single e'ample will be enough to show how this is done! In one postcard, captioned "&hey didn;t belie e her", a young woman is demonstrating, with her hands held apart, something about two %eet long to a couple o% open"mouthed ac$uaintances! +ehind her on the wall is a stu%%ed %ish in a glass case, and beside that is a photograph o% a nearly naked athlete! Ob iously it is not the %ish that she is re%erring to, but this could ne er be pro ed! =ow, it is doubt%ul whether there is any paper in England that would print a :oke o% this kind, and certainly there is no paper that does so habitually! &here is an immense amount o% pornography o% a mild sort, countless illustrated papers cashing in on women;s legs, but there is no popular literature speciali9ing in the " ulgar", %arcical aspect o% se'! On the other hand, :okes e'actly like ,cGill;s are the ordinary small change o% the re ue and music"hall stage, and are also to be heard on the radio, at moments when the censor happens to be nodding! In England the gap between what can be said and what can be printed is rather e'ceptionally wide! -emarks and gestures which hardly anyone ob:ects to on the stage would raise a public outcry i% any attempt were made to reproduce them on paper! (#ompare ,a' ,iller;s>7 stage patter with his weekly column in the S+nda( .is#atc .8 &he comic postcards are the only e'isting e'ception to this rule, the only medium in which really "low" humour is considered to be printable! Only in postcards and on the ariety stage can the stuck"out behind, dog and lamp"post, baby;s nappy type o% :oke be %reely e'ploited! -emembering that, one sees what %unction these postcards, in their humble way, are per%orming!
>7! -e iewing A##lesa+ce, a ariety show, in 'ime and 'ide, 6 September 23<7, Orwell wroteG "Anyone wanting to see something really ulgar should isit the Holborn Empire, where you can get $uite a good matinMe seat %or three shillings! ,a' ,iller, o% course, is the main attraction! ",a' ,iller, who looks more like a ,iddlese' Street hawker than e er when he is wearing a tail coat and a shiny top hat, is one o% a long line o% English comedians who ha e speciali9ed in the Sancho *an9a side o% li%e, in real lowness. &o do this probably needs more talent than to e'press nobility! Little &ich was a master at it! &here was a music"hall %arce which Little &ich used to act in, in which he was supposed to be %actotum to a crook solicitor! &he solicitor is gi ing him his instructionsG " ;=ow, our client who;s coming this morning is a widow with a good %igure! Are you %ollowing meI; ")ittle 'ic 3 ;I;m ahead o% you!; "As it happens, I ha e seen this %arce acted se eral times with other people in the same part, but I ha e ne er seen anyone who could approach the utter baseness that Little &ich could get into these simple words! &here is a touch o% the same $uality in ,a' ,iller! Luite apart %rom the laughs they gi e one, it is important that such comedians should e'ist! &hey e'press something which is aluable in our ci ili9ation and which might drop out o% it in certain circumstances! &o begin with, their genius is entirely masculine! A woman cannot be low without being disgusting, whereas a good male comedian can gi e the impression o% something irredeemable and yet innocent, like a sparrow! Again, they are intensely national! &hey remind one how closely knit the ci ili9ation o% England is, and how much it resembles a %amily, in spite o% its out" o%"date class distinctions! &he startling obscenities which occur in A##lesa+ce are only possible because they are e'pressed in do+bles entendres which imply a common background in the audience! Anyone who had not been brought up on the %ink 7<n would miss the point o% them! So long as comedians like ,a' ,iller are on the stage and the comic coloured postcards which e'press appro'imately the same iew o% li%e are in the stationers; windows, one knows that the popular culture o% England is sur i ing! ! !"

1hat they are doing is to gi e e'pression to the Sancho *an9a iew o% li%e, the attitude to li%e that ,iss -ebecca 1est once summed up as "e'tracting as much %un as possible %rom smacking behinds in basement kitchens"! &he Eon Lui'ote"Sancho *an9a combination, which o% course is simply the ancient dualism o% body and soul in %iction %orm, recurs more %re$uently in the literature o% the last %our hundred years than can be e'plained by mere imitation! It comes up again and again, in endless ariations, +ou ard and *Mcuchet, Aee es and 1ooster, +loom and Eedalus, Holmes and 1atson (the Holmes"1atson ariant is an e'ceptionally subtle one, because the usual physical characteristics o% two partners ha e been transposed!) E idently it corresponds to something enduring in our ci ili9ation, not in the sense that either character is to be %ound in a "pure" state in real li%e, but in the sense that the two principles, noble %olly and base wisdom, e'ist side by side in nearly e ery human being! I% you look into your own mind, which are you, Eon Lui'ote or Sancho *an9aI Almost certainly you are both! &here is one part o% you that wishes to be a hero or a saint, but another part o% you is a little %at man who sees ery clearly the ad antages o% staying ali e with a whole skin! He is your uno%%icial sel%, the oice o% the belly protesting against the soul! His tastes lie towards sa%ety, so%t beds, no work, pots o% beer and women with " oluptuous" %igures! He it is who punctures your %ine attitudes and urges you to look a%ter =umber One, to be un%aith%ul to your wi%e, to bilk your debts, and so on and so %orth! 1hether you allow yoursel% to be in%luenced by him is a di%%erent $uestion! +ut it is simply a lie to say that he is not part o% you, :ust as it is a lie to say that Eon Lui'ote is not part o% you either, though most o% what is said and written consists o% one lie or the other, usually the %irst! +ut though in arying %orms he is one o% the stock %igures o% literature, in real li%e, especially in the way society is ordered, his point o% iew ne er gets a %air hearing! &here is a constant world"wide conspiracy to pretend that he is not there, or at least that he doesn;t matter! #odes o% law and morals, or religious systems, ne er ha e much room in them %or a humorous iew o% li%e! 1hate er is %unny is sub ersi e, e ery :oke is ultimately a custard pie, and the reason why so large a proportion o% :okes centre round obscenity is simply that all societies, as the price o% sur i al, ha e to insist on a %airly high standard o% se'ual morality! A dirty :oke is not, o% course, a serious attack upon morality, but it is a sort o% mental rebellion, a momentary wish that things were otherwise! So also with all other :okes, which always centre round cowardice, la9iness, dishonesty or some other $uality which society cannot a%%ord to encourage! Society has always to demand a little more %rom human beings than it will get in practice! It has to demand %aultless discipline and sel%"sacri%ice, it must e'pect its sub:ects to work hard, pay their ta'es, and be %aith%ul to their wi es, it must assume that men think it glorious to die on the battle%ield and women want to wear themsel es out with child"bearing! &he whole o% what one may call o%%icial literature is %ounded on such assumptions! I ne er read the proclamations o% generals be%ore battle, the speeches o% %uehrers and prime ministers, the solidarity songs o% public schools and le%t"wing political parties, national anthems, &emperance tracts, papal encyclicals and sermons against gambling and contraception, without seeming to hear in the background a chorus o% raspberries %rom all the millions o% common men to whom these high sentiments make no appeal! =e ertheless the high sentiments always win in the end, leaders who o%%er blood, toil, tears and sweat always get more out o% their %ollowers than those who o%%er sa%ety and a

good time! 1hen it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic! 1omen %ace childbed and the scrubbing brush, re olutionaries keep their mouths shut in the torture chamber, battleships go down with their guns still %iring when their decks are awash! It is only that the other element in man, the la9y, cowardly, debt"bilking adulterer who is inside all o% us, can ne er be suppressed altogether and needs a hearing occasionally! &he comic postcards are one e'pression o% his point o% iew, a humble one, less important than the music halls, but still worthy o% attention! In a society which is still basically #hristian, they naturally concentrate on se' :okesJ in a totalitarian society, i% they had any %reedom o% e'pression at all, they would probably concentrate on la9iness or cowardice, but at any rate on the unheroic in one %orm or another! It will not do to condemn them on the ground that they are ulgar and ugly! &hat is e'actly what they are meant to be! &heir whole meaning and irtue is in their unredeemed lowness, not only in the sense o% obscenity, but lowness o% outlook in e ery direction whate er! &he slightest hint o% "higher" in%luences would ruin them utterly! &hey stand %or the worm;s"eye iew o% li%e, %or the music"hall world where marriage is a dirty :oke or a comic disaster, where the rent is always behind and the clothes are always up the spout, where the lawyer is always a crook and the Scotsman always a miser, where the newlyweds make %ools o% themsel es on the hideous beds o% seaside lodging houses and the drunken, red"nosed husbands roll home at %our in the morning to meet the linen"nightgowned wi es who wait %or them behind the %ront door, poker in hand! &heir e'istence, the %act that people want them, is symptomatically important! Like the music halls, they are a sort o% saturnalia, a harmless rebellion against irtue! &hey e'press only one tendency in the human mind, but a tendency which is always there and will %ind its own outlet, like water! On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not $uite all the time! /orG
there is a .ust man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness. ,e not righteous over much# neither make thyself over wise# why shouldest thou destroy thyself% ,e not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish7 why shouldest thou die before thy time%

In the past the mood o% the comic postcard could enter into the central stream o% literature, and :okes barely di%%erent %rom ,cGill;s could casually be uttered between the murders in Shakespeare;s tragedies! &hat is no longer possible, and a whole category o% humour, integral to our literature till 2577 or thereabouts, has dwindled down to these ill" drawn postcards, leading a barely legal e'istence in cheap stationers; windows! &he corner o% the human heart that they speak %or might easily mani%est itsel% in worse %orms, and I %or one should be sorry to see them anish! Horizon, /ebruary 23<>J -r.E., ....5 O.".5 -.E.

.9, +o, +ot One ,r ,urry>2 said years ago that the works o% the best modern writers, Aoyce, Eliot

and the like, simply demonstrated the im#ossibilit( o% great art in a time like the present, and since then we ha e mo ed onwards into a period in which any sort o% Fo( in writing, any such notion as telling a story %or the purpose o% pure entertainment, has also become impossible! All writing nowadays is propaganda! I%, there%ore, I treat ,r #om%ort;s no el>> as a tract, I am only doing what he himsel% has done already! It is a good no el as no els go at this moment, but the moti e %or writing it was not what &rollope or +al9ac, or e en &olstoy, would ha e recogni9ed as a no elist;s impulse! It was written in order to put %orward the "message" o% paci%ism, and it was to %it that "message" that the main incidents in it were de ised! I think I am also :usti%ied in assuming that it is autobiographical, not in the sense that the e ents described in it ha e actually happened, but in the sense that the author identi%ies himsel% with the hero, thinks him worthy o% sympathy and agrees with the sentiments that he e'presses!
>2! Aohn ,iddleton ,urry (2553"23@6), proli%ic writer, critic and polemicistJ %ounded the Adel# i, 23>?, and controlled it %or the ne't twenty"%i e years! Successi ely a %er ent disciple o% E! H! Lawrence, unorthodo' ,ar'ist, unorthodo' #hristian, paci%ist and "back to the land" %armer! /rom Auly 23<7 to April 23<4 he was editor o% %eace News. >>! No S+c )ibert(, by Ale' #om%ort!

Here is the outline o% the story! A young German doctor who has been con alescent %or two years in Swit9erland returns to #ologne a little be%ore ,unich to %ind that his wi%e has been helping war"resisters to escape %rom the country and is in imminent danger o% arrest! He and she %lee to Holland :ust in time to escape the massacre which %ollowed on .on -ath;s assassination! *artly by accident they reach England, he ha ing been seriously wounded on the way! A%ter his reco ery he manages to get a hospital appointment, but at the outbreak o% war he is brought be%ore a tribunal and put in the + class o% aliens! &he reason %or this is that he has declared that he will not %ight against the =a9is, thinking it better to "o ercome Hitler by lo e"! Asked why he did not stay in Germany and o ercome Hitler by lo e there, he admits that there is no answer! In the panic %ollowing on the in asion o% the Low #ountries he is arrested a %ew minutes a%ter his wi%e has gi en birth to a baby and kept %or a long time in a concentration camp where he cannot communicate with her and where the conditions o% dirt, o ercrowding, etc! are as bad as anything in Germany! /inally he is packed on to the Arandora Star (it is gi en another name, o% course), sunk at sea, rescued, and put in another somewhat better camp! 1hen he is at last released and makes contact with his wi%e, it is to %ind that she has been con%ined in another camp in which the baby has died o% neglect and under%eeding! &he book ends with the couple looking %orward to sailing %or America and hoping that the war %e er will not by this time ha e spread there as well! =ow, be%ore considering the implications o% this story, :ust consider one or two %acts which underlie the structure o% modern society and which it is necessary to ignore i% the paci%ist "message" is to be accepted uncritically! 2! #i ili9ation rests ultimately on coercion! 1hat holds society together is not the policeman but the goodwill o% common men, and yet that goodwill is powerless unless the policeman is there to back it up! Any go ernment which re%used to use iolence in its own de%ence would cease almost immediately to e'ist, because it could be o erthrown by any body o% men, or e en any indi idual, that was less scrupulous! Ob:ecti ely, whoe er is not on the side o% the policeman is on the side o% the criminal, and ice ersa! In so %ar

as it hampers the +ritish war e%%ort, +ritish paci%ism is on the side o% the =a9is, and German paci%ism, i% it e'ists, is on the side o% +ritain and the D!S!S!-! Since paci%ists ha e more %reedom o% action in countries where traces o% democracy sur i e, paci%ism can act more e%%ecti ely against democracy than %or it! Ob:ecti ely the paci%ist is pro" =a9i! >! Since coercion can ne er be altogether dispensed with, the only di%%erence is between degrees o% iolence! Euring the last twenty years there has been less iolence and less militarism inside the English"speaking world than outside it, because there has been more money and more security! &he hatred o% war which undoubtedly characteri9es the English"speaking peoples is a re%lection o% their %a oured position! *aci%ism is only a considerable %orce in places where people %eel themsel es ery sa%e, chie%ly maritime states! E en in such places, turn"the"other cheek paci%ism only %lourishes among the more prosperous classes, or among workers who ha e in some way escaped %rom their own class! &he real working class, though they hate war and are immune to :ingoism, are ne er really paci%ist, because their li%e teaches them something di%%erent! &o ab:ure iolence it is necessary to ha e no e'perience o% it! I% one keeps the abo e %acts in mind one can, I think, see the e ents in ,r #om%ort;s no el in truer perspecti e! It is a $uestion o% putting aside sub:ecti e %eelings and trying to see whither one;s actions will lead in practice and where one;s moti es ultimately spring %rom! &he hero is a research worker "" a pathologist! He has not been especially %ortunate, he has a de%ecti e lung, thanks to the carrying"on o% the +ritish blockade into 2323, but in so %ar as he is a member o% the middle class, doing work which he has chosen %or himsel%, he is one o% a %ew million %a oured human beings who li e ultimately on the degradation o% the rest! He wants to get on with his work, wants to be out o% reach o% =a9i tyranny and regimentation, but he will not act against the =a9is in any other way than by running away %rom them! Arri ed in England, he is in terror o% being sent back to Germany, but re%uses to take part in any physical e%%ort to keep the =a9is out o% England! His greatest hope is to get to America, with another three thousand miles o% water between himsel% and the =a9is! He will only get there, you note, i% +ritish ships and planes protect him on the way, and ha ing got there he will simply be li ing under the protection o% American ships and planes instead o% +ritish ones! I% he is lucky he will be able to continue with his work as a pathologist, at the same time keeping up his attitude o% moral superiority towards the men who make his work possible! And underlying e erything there will still be his position as a research"worker, a %a oured person li ing ultimately on di idends which would cease %orthwith i% not e'torted by the threat o% iolence! I do not think this is an un%air summary o% ,r #om%ort;s book! And I think the rele ant %act is that this story o% a German doctor is written by an Englishman! &he argument which is implied all the way through, and sometimes e'plicitly stated, that there is ne't to no di%%erence between +ritain and Germany, political persecution is as bad in one as in the other, those who %ight against the =a9is always go =a9i themsel es, would be more con incing i% it came %rom a German! &here are probably si'ty thousand German re%ugees in this country, and there would be hundreds o% thousands more i% we had not meanly kept them out! 1hy did they come here i% there is irtually no di%%erence between the social atmosphere o% the two countriesI And how many o% them ha e asked to go backI &hey ha e " oted with their %eet", as Lenin put it! As I pointed out abo e, the

comparati e gentleness o% the English"speaking ci ili9ation is due to money and security, but that is not to say that no di%%erence e'ists! Once let it be admitted, howe er, that there is a certain di%%erence, that it matters $uite a lot who wins, and the usual short"term case %or paci%ism %alls to the ground! Hou can be e'plicitly pro"=a9i without claiming to be a paci%ist "" and there is a ery strong case %or the =a9is, though not many people in this country ha e the courage to utter it "" but you can only pretend that =a9ism and capitalist democracy are &weedledum and &weedledee i% you also pretend that e ery horror %rom the Aune purge onwards has been cancelled by an e'actly similar horror in England! In practice this has to be done by means o% selection and e'aggeration! ,r #om%ort is in e%%ect claiming that a "hard case" is typical! &he su%%erings o% this German doctor in a so" called democratic country are so terrible, he implies, as to wipe out e ery shred o% moral :usti%ication %or the struggle against /ascism! One must, howe er, keep a sense o% proportion! +e%ore raising a s$ueal because two thousand internees ha e only eighteen latrine buckets between them, one might as well remember what has happened these last %ew years in *oland, in Spain, in #9echoslo akia, etc! etc! I% one clings too closely to the "those who %ight against /ascism become /ascist themsel es" %ormula, one is simply led into %alsi%ication! It is not true, %or instance, as ,r #om%ort implies, that there is widespread spy"mania and that the pre:udice against %oreigners increases as the war gathers in momentum! &he %eeling against %oreigners, which was one o% the %actors that made the internment o% the re%ugees possible, has greatly died away, and Germans and Italians are now allowed into :obs that they would ha e been debarred %rom in peace" time! It is not true, as he e'plicitly says, that the only di%%erence between political persecution in England and in Germany is that in England nobody hears about it! =or is it true that all the e il in our li%e is traceable to war or war preparation! "I knew," he says, "that the English people, like the Germans, had ne er been happy since they put their trust in rearmament!" 1ere they so conspicuously happy be%oreI Is it not the truth, on the contrary, that rearmament, by reducing unemployment, made the English people somewhat happier, i% anythingI /rom my own obser ation I should say that, by and large, the war itsel% has made England happierJ and this is not an argument in %a our o% war, but simply tells one something about the nature o% so"called peace! &he %act is that the ordinary short"term case %or paci%ism, the claim that you can best %rustrate the =a9is by not resisting them, cannot be sustained! I% you don;t resist the =a9is you are helping them, and ought to admit it! /or then the long"term case %or paci%ism can be made out! Hou can sayG "Hes, I know I am helping Hitler, and I want to help him! Let him con$uer +ritain, the D!S!S!-! and America! Let the =a9is rule the worldJ in the end they will grow into something di%%erent!" &hat is at any rate a tenable position! It looks %orward into human history, beyond the term o% our own li es! 1hat is not tenable is the idea that e erything in the garden would be lo ely now i% only we stopped the wicked %ighting, and that to %ight back is e'actly what the =a9is want us to do! 1hich does Hitler %ear more, the *!*!D! or the -!A!/!I 1hich has he made greater e%%orts to sabotageI Is he trying to bring America into the war, or to keep America out o% itI 1ould he be deeply distressed i% the -ussians stopped %ighting tomorrowI And a%ter all, the history o% the last ten years suggests that Hitler has a pretty shrewd idea o% his own interests! &he notion that you can somehow de%eat iolence by submitting to it is simply a %light %rom %act! As I ha e said, it is only possible to people who ha e money and guns

between themsel es and reality! +ut why should they want to make this %light, in any caseI +ecause, rightly hating iolence, they do not wish to recogni9e that it is integral to modern society and that their own %ine %eelings and noble attitudes are all the %ruit o% in:ustice backed up by %orce! &hey do not want to learn where their incomes come %rom! Dnderneath this lies the hard %act, so di%%icult %or many people to %ace, that indi idual sal ation is not possible, that the choice be%ore human beings is not, as a rule, between good and e il but between two e ils! Hou can let the =a9is rule the worldJ that is e ilJ or you can o erthrow them by war, which is also e il! &here is no other choice be%ore you, and whiche er you choose you will not come out with clean hands! It seems to me that the te't %or our times is not "1oe to him through whom the e il cometh" but the one %rom which I took the title o% this article, "&here is not one that is righteous, no, not one"! 1e ha e all touched pitch, we are all perishing by the sword! 1e do not ha e the chance, in a time like this, to say "&omorrow we can all start being good"! &hat is moonshine! 1e only ha e the chance o% choosing the lesser e il and o% working %or the establishment o% a new kind o% society in which common decency will again be possible! &here is no such thing as neutrality in this war! &he whole population o% the world is in ol ed in it, %rom the Eskimos to the Andamese, and since one must ine itably help one side or the other, it is better to know what one is doing and count the cost! ,en like Earlan and La al ha e at any rate had the courage to make their choice and proclaim it openly! &he =ew Order, they say, must be established at all costs, and ;il $a+t Dcrabo+iller l7Angleterre;. ,r ,urry appears, at any rate at moments, to think likewise! &he =a9is, he says, are "doing the dirty work o% the Lord" (they certainly did an e'ceptionally dirty :ob when they attacked -ussia), and we must be care%ul "lest in %ighting against Hitler we are %ighting against God"! &hose are not paci%ist sentiments, since i% carried to their logical conclusion they in ol e not only surrendering to Hitler but helping him in his arious %orthcoming wars, but they are at least straight%orward and courageous! I do not mysel% see Hitler as the sa iour, e en the unconscious sa iour, o% humanity, but there is a strong case %or thinking him so, %ar stronger than most people in England imagine! 1hat there is no case %or is to denounce Hitler and at the same time look down your nose at the people who actually keep you out o% his clutches! &hat is simply a highbrow ariant o% +ritish hypocrisy, a product o% capitalism in decay, and the sort o% thing %or which Europeans, who at any rate understand the nature o% a policeman and a di idend, :usti%iably despise us! Adel# i, October 23<2

!"#.

.", London Letter to Partisan Re!ie" London, England 2 Aanuary 23<> Eear Editors, At this moment nothing is happening politically in England, and since we probably ha e ahead o% us a long e'hausting war in which morale will be all"important, I want to use most o% this letter in discussing certain currents o% thought which are mo ing to and %ro :ust under the sur%ace! Some o% the tendencies I mention may seem to matter ery little at present, but they do I think tell one something about possible %uture de elopments! 1HO, A-E 1E /IGH&I=G AGAI=S&I &his $uestion, which ob iously had to be answered sooner or later, began to agitate the big public some time in 23<2, %ollowing on .ansittart;s pamphlets and the starting o% a German daily paper %or the re%ugees E.ie Geit+ng, mildly Le%t, circulation about 47,777)! .ansittart;s thesis is that the Germans are all wicked, and not merely the =a9is! I don;t need to tell you how glee%ully the +limps ha e sei9ed upon this as a way o% escaping %rom the notion that we are %ighting against /ascism! +ut o% late the "only good German is a dead one" line has taken the rather sinister %orm o% a %resh dri e against the re%ugees! &he Austrian monarchists ha e %allen %oul o% the German le%t"wingers, whom they accuse o% being pan"Germans in disguise, and this delights the +limps, who are always trying to manoeu re their two enemies, Germany and Socialism, into the same place! &he point has now been reached where anyone who describes himsel% as "anti" /ascist" is suspected o% being pro"German! +ut the $uestion is much complicated by the %act that the +limps ha e a certain amount o% right on their side! .ansittart, badly though he writes, is an able man with more background than most o% his opponents, and he has insisted on two %acts which the pinks ha e done their best to obscure! One is that much o% the =a9i philosophy is not new but is merely a continuation o% pan"Germanism, and the other is that +ritain cannot ha e a European policy without ha ing an army! &he pinks cannot admit that the German masses are behind Hitler any more than the +limps can admit that their class must be le ered out o% control i% we are to win the war! &he contro ersy has raged %or %our months or more in the correspondence columns o% se eral papers, and one paper in particular is ob iously keeping it going as a way o% baiting the re%ugees and the "reds" generally! =o one, howe er, airs any racial theories about Germany, which is a great ad ance on the war propaganda o% 232<"25! Ordinary working people do not seem either to hate the Germans or to distinguish between Germans and =a9is! Here and there there was iolent anti"German %eeling at the time o% the bad air raids, but it has worn o%%! &he term "Hun" has not caught on with the working classes this time! &hey call Germans Aerries, which may ha e a mildly obscene meaning but is not un%riendly! All the blame %or e erything is placed on Hitler, e en more than on the Faiser during the last war! A%ter an air raid one o%ten used to hear people say "He was o er again last night" "" "he" being Hitler! &he Italians are generally called Eye"

ties, which is less o%%ensi e than 1ops, and there is no popular %eeling against them whate er, nor against the Aapanese as yet! &o :udge %rom photos in the newspapers, the Land Girls are $uite ready to get o%% with Italian prisoners working on the %arms! As to the smaller nations who are supposed to be at war with us, no one remembers which is which! &he women who a year ago were busy knitting stockings %or the /inns are now busy knitting them %or the -ussians, but there is no ill %eeling! &he chie% impression one deri es %rom all this chaos o% opinions is how little the lack o% a positi e war aim, or e en o% any de%inite mental picture o% the enemy, matters to people who are at any rate at one in not wanting to be go erned by %oreigners! OD- ALLIES 1hate er may be happening among the higher"ups, the e%%ect o% the -ussian alliance has been a tremendous net increase o% pro"-ussian sentiment! It is impossible to discuss the war with ordinary working"class and middle"class people without being struck by this! +ut the enthusiasm that ordinary people %eel %or -ussia is not coupled with the %aintest interest in the -ussian political system! All that has happened is that -ussia has become respectable! An enormous hammer and sickle %lag %lies daily o er Sel%ridge;s, the biggest shop in London! &he #ommunists ha e not caused so much %riction as I e'pected! &hey ha e been tact%ul in their posters and public pronouncements, and ha e gone to unheard"o% lengths in supporting #hurchill! +ut though they may ha e gained in numbers as a result o% the -ussian alliance, they do not seem to ha e gained in political in%luence! &o a surprising e'tent ordinary people %ail to grasp that there is any conne'ion between ,oscow and the #ommunist *arty, or e en that #ommunist policy has changed as a result o% -ussia;s entry into the war! E eryone is delighted that the Germans ha e %ailed to take ,oscow, but no one sees in this any reason %or paying any attention to what *alme Eutt and #o! may say! In practice this attitude is sensible, but at the bottom o% it there lies a pro%ound lack o% interest in doctrinaire politics! &he ban has not been taken o%% the .ail( /orker. Immediately a%ter it was suppressed it reappeared as a %actory sheet which was illegally printed, but was winked at! =ow, under the title o% the *ritis /orker, it is sold on the streets without inter%erence! +ut it has ceased to be a daily and has lost most o% its circulation! In the more important parts o% the press the #ommunist in%luence has not been regained! &here is no corresponding increase in pro"American sentiment "" the contrary, i% anything! It is true that the entry o% Aapan and America into the war was e'pected by e eryone, whereas the German in asion o% -ussia came as a surprise! +ut our new alliance has simply brought out the immense amount o% anti"American %eeling that e'ists in the ordinary lowbiow middle class! English cultural %eelings towards America are complicated but can be de%ined %airly accurately! In the middle class, the people who are not anti"American are the declassed technician type (people like radio engineers) and the younger intelligentsia! Dp till about 23?7 nearly all "culti ated" people loathed the D!S!A!, which was regarded as the ulgari9er o% England and Europe! &he disappearance o% this attitude was probably connected with the %all o% Latin and Greek %rom their dominant position as school sub:ects! &he younger intellectuals ha e no ob:ection to the American language and tend to ha e a masochistic attitude towards the D!S!A!, which

they belie e to be richer and more power%ul than +ritain! O% course it is e'actly this that e'cites the :ealousy o% the ordinary patriotic middle class! I know people who automatically switch o%% the radio as soon as any American news comes on, and the most banal English %ilm will always get middle"class support because "it;s such a relie% to get away %rom those American oices"! Americans are supposed to be boast%ul, bad" mannered and worshippers o% money, and are also suspected o% plotting to inherit the +ritish Empire! &here is also business :ealousy, which is ery strong in the trades which ha e been hit by the Lend"Lease agreement! &he working"class attitude is $uite di%%erent! English working"class people nearly always dislike Americans when in actual contact with them, but they ha e no preconcei ed cultural hostility! In the big towns they are being more and more Americani9ed in speech through the medium o% the cinema! It is uncertain whether English 'enophobia is being broken down by the presence in England o% large numbers o% %oreigners! I think it is, but plenty o% people disagree with me! &here is no doubt that in the summer o% 23<7 working"class suspicion o% %oreigners helped to make possible the internment o% the re%ugees! At the time I talked with countless people, and e'cept %or le%t intellectuals I could %ind no one who saw anything wrong in it! &he +limps were a%ter the re%ugees because they were largely Socialists, and the working"class line was "1hat did they want to come here %orI" Dnderlying this, a hango er %rom an earlier period, was a resentment against these %oreigners who were supposedly taking Englishmen;s :obs! In the years be%ore the war it was largely trade" union opposition that pre ented a big in%lu' o% German Aewish re%ugees! O% late %eelings ha e grown more %riendly, partly because there is no longer a scramble %or :obs, but partly also, I think, owing to personal contacts! &he %oreign troops who are $uartered here in large numbers seem to get on une'pectedly well with the population, the *oles in particular being a great success with the girls! On the other hand there is a certain amount o% antisemitism! One is constantly coming on pockets o% it, hot iolent, but pronounced enough to be dis$uieting! &he Aews are supposed to dodge military ser ice, to be the worst o%%enders on the +lack ,arket etc! etc! I ha e heard this kind o% talk e en %rom country people who had probably ne er seen a Aew in their li es! +ut no one wants actually to do anything to the Aews, and the idea that the Aews are responsible %or the war ne er seems to ha e caught on with the big public, in spite o% the e%%orts o% the German radio! EE/EA&IS, A=E GE-,A= *-O*AGA=EA Appeasement o% the #hamberlain type is not "dead", as the newspapers are constantly assuring us, but is lying ery low! +ut there e'ists another school o% right"wing de%eatism which can be con eniently studied in the weekly paper 'r+t . 'r+t has had a curious history and is a distinctly in%luential paper! At one time it was a non"political %actual paper speciali9ing in a genteel %orm o% muck"raking (e'posure o% patent medicine %rauds, etc!), and was taken in as a matter o% course in e ery club and regimental mess throughout the Empire! So %ar as I know it still has the same circulation, but latterly it has taken a de%inite political and economic line and become a stronghold o% the worst kind o% right"wing &oryism! Sir Ernest +enn, %or instance, writes in it e ery week! It is not only anti"Labour, but in a discreet way anti"#hurchill, anti"-ussian and, more markedly, anti"

American! It opposed the e'change o% na al bases %or American destroyers, the only other opposers being the +lackshirts and #ommunists! &he strategy it ad ocates is to a oid entangling alliances, keep out o% Europe and concentrate on sel%"de%ence on sea and in the air! &he ob ious logic o% this is to make a compromise peace at the earliest possible moment! &he $uantity o% ad ertisements %or banks and insurance companies which 'r+t contains shows how well it is thought o% in those $uarters, and recently $uestions in *arliament brought out the %act that it is partly owned by the #onser ati e *arty machine! Le%t"wing de%eatism is $uite di%%erent and much more interesting! One or two o% the minor political parties (%or instance the +ritish Anarchists, who %ollowed up the German in asion o% -ussia with a terri%ic and ery able anti"So iet pamphlet, ' e 'r+t abo+t &+ssia8 %ollow a line which by implication is "re olutionary de%eatist"! &he I!L!*!2 is preaching what amounts to a watered ersion o% the &en *ropositions; set %orth in the %artisan &eview, but in ery inde%inite terms, ne er clearly stating whether or not it "supports" the war! +ut the really interesting de elopment is the increasing o erlap between /ascism and paci%ism, both o% which o erlap to some e'tent with "le%t" e'tremism! &he attitude o% the ery young is more signi%icant than that o% the New Statesman pinks who war"mongered between 23?@ and 23?3 and then sulked when the war started! So %ar as I know, the greater part o% the ery young intelligentsia are anti"war "" this doesn;t stop them %rom ser ing in the armed %orces, o% course "" don;t belie e in any "de%ence o% democracy", are inclined to pre%er Germany to +ritain, and don;t %eel the horror o% /ascism that we who are somewhat older %eel! &he entry o% -ussia into the war didn;t alter this, though most o% these people pay lip"ser ice to -ussia! 1ith the out"and" out, turn"the"other"cheek paci%ists you come upon the much stranger phenomenon o% people who ha e started by renouncing iolence, ending by championing Hitler! &he antisemitic moti% is ery strong, though usually so%t"pedalled in print! +ut not many English paci%ists ha e the intellectual courage to think their thoughts down to the roots, and since there is no real answer to the charge that paci%ism is ob:ecti ely pro"/ascist, nearly all paci%ist literature is %orensic "" i!e! speciali9es in a oiding awkward $uestions! &o take one e'ample, during the earlier period o% the war the paci%ist monthly the Adel# i, edited by ,iddleton ,urry, accepted at its %ace alue the German claim to be a "Socialist" state %ighting against "plutocratic" +ritain, and more or less e$uated Germany with -ussia! Hitler;s in asion o% -ussia made nonsense o% this line o% thought and, in the %i e or si' issues that ha e %ollowed, the Adel# i has per%ormed the surprising %eat o% not mentioning the -usso"German war! &he Adel# i has once or twice engaged in Aew" baiting o% a mild kind! %eace News, now also edited by ,iddleton ,urry, %ollows its old tradition o% opposing war %or di%%erent and incompatible reasons, at one moment because iolence is wicked, at another because peace will "preser e the +ritish Empire", etc!
2! Independent Labour *arty!

/or some years past there has been a tendency %or /ascists and currency re%ormers to write in the same papers, and it is only recently that they ha e been :oined by the paci%ists! I ha e in %ront o% me a copy o% the little anti"war paper Now which contains contributions %rom, among others, the Euke o% +ed%ord, Ale'ander #om%ort, Aulian Symons and Hugh -oss 1illiamson! Ale'ander #om%ort is a "pure" paci%ist o% the other" cheek school! &he Euke o% +ed%ord has %or years been one o% the main props o% the Eouglas #redit> mo ement, and is also a de out Anglican, a paci%ist or near"paci%ist, and

a landowner upon an enormous scale! In the early months o% the war (then ,ar$uis o% &a istock) he went to Eublin on his own initiati e and obtained or tried to obtain a dra%t o% peace terms %rom the German Embassy! -ecently he has published pamphlets urging the impossibility o% winning the war and describing Hitler as a misunderstood man whose good %aith has ne er really been tested! Aulian Symons writes in a aguely /ascist strain but is also gi en to $uoting Lenin! Hugh -oss 1illiamson has been mi'ed up in the /ascist mo ement %or some time, but in the split"o%% section o% it to which 1illiam Aoyce ("Lord Haw"Haw") also belongs! Aust be%ore the war he and others %ormed a %resh /ascist party calling itsel% the *eople;s *arty, o% which the Euke o% +ed%ord was a member! &he *eople;s *arty apparently came to nothing, and in the %irst period o% the war 1illiamson de oted himsel% to trying to bring about a get"together between the #ommunists and ,osley;s %ollowers! Hou see here an e'ample o% what I mean by the o erlap between /ascism and paci%ism!
>! &he Social #redit mo ement, which was based on the ideas o% ,a:or #! H! Eouglas, claimed that prosperity could be achie ed through a re%orm o% the monetary system! &o a letter to %artisan &eview, September"October 23<>, %rom Gorham ,unson correcting Orwell about Social #redit and /ascism, Orwell repliedG "I am sorry i% I ga e the impression that Social #reditors, as such, are pro"/ascist! #ertainly Hargra e and the group now running the New Englis /eekl( aren;t! I am ery glad to hear that they ha e dropped the Euke o% +ed%ord, and apologi9e %or not ha ing known this, which I ought to ha e done!"

1hat is interesting is that e ery section o% anti"war opinion has one section o% German radio propaganda, as it were, assigned to it! Since the outbreak o% war the Germans ha e done hardly any direct propaganda in England otherwise than by wireless! &he best known o% their broadcasts, indeed the only ones that can be said to ha e been listened to to any appreciable e'tent, are those o% 1illiam Aoyce! =o doubt these are o%ten e'tra agantly untruth%ul, but they are a more or less responsible type o% broadcast, well deli ered and gi ing news rather than straight propaganda! +ut in addition the Germans maintain %our spurious "%reedom" stations, actually operating on the continent but pretending to be operating illegally in England! &he best known o% these is the =ew +ritish +roadcasting Station, which earlier in the war the +lackshirts used to ad ertise by means o% stickybacks! &he general line o% these broadcasts is "uncensored news", or "what the Go ernment is hiding %rom you"! &hey a%%ect a pessimistic, well"in%ormed manner, as o% someone who is on the inside o% the inside, and go in %or enormous %igures o% shipping losses, etc! &hey urge the dismissal o% #hurchill, talk apprehensi ely about "the #ommunist danger", and are anti"American! &he anti"American strain is e en stronger in Aoyce;s broadcasts! &he Americans are swindling us o er the Lend"Lease agreement, are gradually absorbing the Empire, etc! etc! ,ore interesting than the =ew +ritish is the 1orkers; #hallenge Station! &his goes in %or a line o% red"hot re olutionary talks under such titles as "Fick #hurchill Out", deli ered by an authentic +ritish working man who uses plenty o% unprintable words! 1e are to o erthrow the corrupt capitalist go ernment which is selling us to the enemy, and set up a real Socialist go ernment which will come to the rescue o% our heroic comrades o% the -ed Army and gi e us ictory o er /ascism! (&his German station does not hesitate to talk about "the menace o% =a9ism", "the horrors o% the Gestapo" etc!) &he 1orkers; #hallenge is not o ertly de%eatist! &he line is always that it is probably too late, the -ed Army is done %or, but that we ma( be able to sa e oursel es i% only we can "o erthrow capitalism", which is to be

done by means o% strikes, mutinies, sabotage in the armament %actories, and so %orth! &he other two ;%reedom; stations are the #hristian *eace ,o ement (paci%ism) and -adio #aledonia (Scottish nationalism)! Hou can see how each strain o% German propaganda corresponds to one e'isting, or at any rate potential, de%eatist %action! Lord Haw"Haw and the =ew +ritish are aimed at the anti"American middle class, roughly speaking the people who read 'r+t , and the business interests that ha e su%%ered %rom the war! &he 1orkers; #hallenge is aimed at the #ommunists and the Le%t e'tremists generally! &he #hristian *eace ,o ement is aimed at the *!*!D! I don;t want to gi e the impression, howe er, that German propaganda has much e%%ect at this moment! &here is little doubt that it has been an almost complete %lop, especially during the last eighteen months! .arious things that ha e happened ha e suggested that since the outbreak o% war the Germans ha e not been well in%ormed about internal conditions in England, and much o% their propaganda, e en i% listened to, would %ail because o% simple psychological errors on which anyone with a real knowledge o% England could put them right! +ut the arious strains o% de%eatist %eelings are there, and at some time they may grow! In some o% what I ha e said abo e I may ha e seemed to mention people and %actions too insigni%icant to be worth noticing, but in this bloodstained harle$uinade in which we are li ing one ne er knows what obscure indi idual or hal%"lunatic theory may not become important! I do seem to notice a tendency in intellectuals, especially the younger ones, to come to terms with /ascism, and it is a thing to keep one;s eye on! &he $uisling intellectual is a phenomenon o% the last two years! *re iously we all used to assume that /ascism was so sel%"e idently horrible that no thinking person would ha e anything to do with it, and also that the /ascists always wiped out the intelligentsia when they had the opportunity! =either assumption was true, as we can see %rom what happened in /rance! +oth .ichy and the Germans ha e %ound it $uite easy to keep a %aRade o% "/rench culture" in e'istence! *lenty o% intellectuals were ready to go o er, and the Germans were $uite ready to make use o% them, e en when they were "decadent"! At this moment Erieu la -ochelle is editing the No+velle &ev+e FranHaise, *ound is bellowing against the Aews on the -ome radio, and #eline is a alued e'hibit in *aris, or at least his books are! All o% these would come under the heading o% "+lt+rbolsc ewism+s, but they are also use%ul cards to play against the intelligentsia in +ritain and the D!S!A! I% the Germans got to England, similar things would happen, and I think I could make out at least a preliminary list o% the people who would go o er! =ot much news here! All is ery $uiet on the literary %ront! &he paper shortage seems to be %a ouring the appearance o% ery short books, which may be all to the good and may possibly bring back the "long"short story", a %orm which has ne er had a %air deal in England! I wrongly told you in an earlier letter that Eylan &homas was in the army! He is physically un%it and is doing :obs %or the +!+!#! and the ,!O!I!? So is nearly e erybody that used to be a writer, and most o% us are rapidly going nati e!
?! ,inistry o% In%ormation!

&he %ood situation is much as be%ore! 1e had our puddings on #hristmas Eay, but they were a little paler than usual! &he tobacco situation has righted itsel%, but matches are ery short! &hey are watering the beer again, the third time since rearmament! &he black"out is gradually rela'ing in the absence o% air raids! &here are still people sleeping

in the &ube stations, but only a hand%ul at each station! &he basements o% demolished houses ha e been bricked up and turned into water tanks %or use in case o% %ire! &hey look :ust like -oman baths and gi e the ruins an e en more *ompeian look than they had be%ore! &he stopping o% the air raids has had some $ueer results! Euring the worst o% the blit9 they set in hand huge schemes %or le elling waste pieces o% ground to make playgrounds, using bomb debris as a subsoil! All these ha e had to stop in the middle, no more bomb debris being a ailable! All the best, Hours e er, George Orwell %artisan &eview, ,arch"April 23<>

&$, udyard @i3ling It was a pity that ,r Eliot should be so much on the de%ensi e in the long essay with which he pre%aces this selection o% Fipling;s poetry,< but it was not to be a oided, because be%ore one can e en speak about Fipling one has to clear away a legend that has been created by two sets o% people who ha e not read his works! Fipling is in the peculiar position o% ha ing been a by"word %or %i%ty years! Euring %i e literary generations e ery enlightened person has despised him, and at the end o% that time nine tenths o% those enlightened persons are %orgotten and Fipling is in some sense still there! ,r Eliot ne er satis%actorily e'plains this %act, because in answering the shallow and %amiliar charge that Fipling is a "/ascist", he %alls into the opposite error o% de%ending him where he is not de%ensible! It is no use pretending that Fipling;s iew o% li%e, as a whole, can be accepted or e en %orgi en by any ci ili9ed person! It is no use claiming, %or instance, that when Fipling describes a +ritish soldier beating a "nigger" with a cleaning rod in order to get money out o% him, he is acting merely as a reporter and does not necessarily appro e what he describes! &here is not the slightest sign anywhere in Fipling;s work that he disappro es o% that kind o% conduct "" on the contrary, there is a de%inite strain o% sadism in him, o er and abo e the brutality which a writer o% that type has to ha e! Fipling is a :ingo imperialist, he is morally insensiti e and aesthetically disgusting! It is better to start by admitting that, and then to try to %ind out why it is that he sur i es while the re%ined people who ha e sniggered at him seem to wear so badly!
<! A - oice o$ "i#ling7s 0erse made by &! S! Eliot!

And yet the "/ascist" charge has to be answered, because the %irst clue to any understanding o% Fipling, morally or politically, is the %act that he was not a /ascist! He was %urther %rom being one than the most humane or the most "progressi e" person is able to be nowadays! An interesting instance o% the way in which $uotations are parroted to and %ro without any attempt to look up their conte't or disco er their meaning is the line %rom "-ecessional", "Lesser breeds without the Law"! &his line is always good %or a

snigger in pansy"le%t circles! It is assumed as a matter o% course that the "lesser breeds" are "nati es", and a mental picture is called up o% some pukka sahib in a pith helmet kicking a coolie! In its conte't the sense o% the line is almost the e'act opposite o% this! &he phrase "lesser breeds" re%ers almost certainly to the Germans, and especially the pan" German writers, who are "without the Law" in the sense o% being lawless, not in the sense o% being powerless! &he whole poem, con entionally thought o% as an orgy o% boasting, is a denunciation o% power politics, +ritish as well as German! &wo stan9as are worth $uoting (I am $uoting this as politics, not as poetry)G
If, drunk with sight of power, we loose !ild tongues that have not Thee in awe, 2uch boastings as the ;entiles use, 0r lesser breeds without the 6aw -6ord ;od of hosts, be with us yet, 6est we forget -- lest we forget! -or heathen heart that puts her trust In reeking tube and iron shard, All valiant dust that builds on dust, And guarding, calls not Thee to guard, -or frantic boast and foolish word -Thy mercy on Thy &eople, 6ord!

,uch o% Fipling;s phraseology is taken %rom the +ible, and no,doubt in the second stan9a he had in mind the te't %rom *salm #QQ.IIG "E'cept the Lord build the house, they labour in ain that build itJ e'cept the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in ain!" It is not a te't that makes much impression on the post"Hitler mind! =o one, in our time, belie es in any sanction greater than military powerJ no one belie es that it is possible to o ercome %orce e'cept by greater %orce! &here is no "Law", there is only power! I am not saying that that is a true belie%, merely that it is the belie% which all modern men do actually hold! &hose who pretend otherwise are either intellectual cowards, or power"worshippers under a thin disguise, or ha e simply not caught up with the age they are li ing in! Fipling;s outlook is pre"/ascist! He still belie es that pride comes be%ore a %all and that the gods punish +bris. He does not %oresee the tank, the bombing plane, the radio and the secret police, or their psychological results! +ut in saying this, does not one unsay what I said about Fipling;s :ingoism and brutalityI =o, one is merely saying that the nineteenth"century imperialist outlook and the modern gangster outlook are two di%%erent things! Fipling belongs ery de%initely to the period 255@"237>! &he Great 1ar and its a%termath embittered him, but he shows little sign o% ha ing learned anything %rom any e ent later than the +oer 1ar! He was the prophet o% +ritish imperialism in its e'pansionist phase (e en more than his poems, his solitary no el, ' e )ig t t at Failed, gi es you the atmosphere o% that time) and also the uno%%icial historian o% the +ritish army, the old mercenary army which began to change its shape in 232<! All his con%idence, his bouncing ulgar itality, sprang out o% limitations which no /ascist or near"/ascist shares! Fipling spent the later part o% his li%e in sulking, and no doubt it was political disappointment rather than literary anity that accounted %or this! Somehow history had not gone according to plan! A%ter the greatest ictory she had e er known, +ritain was a

lesser world power than be%ore, and Fipling was $uite acute enough to see this! &he irtue had gone out o% the classes he ideali9ed, the young were hedonistic or disa%%ected, the desire to paint the map red had e aporated! He could not understand what was happening, because he had ne er had any grasp o% the economic %orces underlying imperial e'pansion! It is notable that Fipling does not seem to reali9e, any more than the a erage soldier or colonial administrator, that an empire is primarily a money"making concern! Imperialism as he sees it is a sort o% %orcible e angeli9ing! Hou turn a Galling gun on a mob o% unarmed "nati es", and then you establish "the Law", which includes roads, railways and a court"house! He could not %oresee, there%ore, that the same moti es which brought the Empire into e'istence would end by destroying it! It was the same moti e, %or e'ample, that caused the ,alayan :ungles to be cleared %or rubber estates, and which now causes those estates to be handed o er intact to the Aapanese! &he modern totalitarians know what they are doing, and the nineteenth"century English did not know what they were doing! +oth attitudes ha e their ad antages, but Fipling was ne er able to mo e %orward %rom one into the other! His outlook, allowing %or the %act that a%ter all he was an artist, was that o% the salaried bureaucrat who despises the "bo'"wallah" and o%ten li es a li%etime, without reali9ing that the "bo'"wallah" calls the tune! +ut because he identi%ies himsel% with the o%%icial class, he does possess one thing which "enlightened" people seldom or ne er possess, and that is a sense o% responsibility! &he middle"class Le%t hate him %or this $uite as much as %or his cruelty and ulgarity! All le%t"wing parties in the highly industriali9ed countries are at bottom a sham, because they make it their business to %ight against something which they do not really wish to destroy! &hey ha e international aims, and at the same time they struggle to keep up a standard o% li%e with which those aims are incompatible! 1e all li e by robbing Asiatic coolies, and those o% us who are "enlightened" all maintain that those coolies ought to be set %reeJ but our standard o% li ing, and hence our "enlightenment", demands that the robbery shall continue! A humanitarian is always a hypocrite, and Fipling;s understanding o% this is perhaps the central secret o% his power to create telling phrases! It would be di%%icult to hit o%% the one"eyed paci%ism o% the English in %ewer words than in the phrase, "making mock o% uni%orms that guard you while you sleep"! It is true that Fipling does not understand the economic aspect o% the relationship between the highbrow and the +limp! He does not see that the map is painted red chie%ly in order that the coolie may be e'ploited! Instead o% the coolie he sees the Indian #i il Ser antJ but e en on that plane his grasp o% %unction, o% who protects whom, is ery sound! He sees clearly that men can only be highly ci ili9ed while other men, ine itably less ci ili9ed, are there to guard and %eed them! How %ar does Fipling really identi%y himsel% with the administrators, soldiers and engineers whose praises he singsI =ot so completely as is sometimes assumed! He had tra elled ery widely while he was still a young man, he had grown up with a brilliant mind in mainly philistine surroundings, and some streak in him that may ha e been partly neurotic led him to pre%er the acti e man to the sensiti e man! &he nineteenth"century Anglo"Indians, to name the least sympathetic o% his idols, were at any rate people who did things! It may be that all that they did was e il, but they changed the %ace o% the earth (it is instructi e to look at a map o% Asia and compare the railway system o% India with that o% the surrounding countries), whereas they could ha e achie ed nothing, could not ha e maintained themsel es in power %or a single week, i% the normal Anglo"Indian

outlook had been that o%, say, E! ,! /orster! &awdry and shallow though it is, Fipling;s is the only literary picture that we possess o% nineteenth"century Anglo"India, and he could only make it because he was :ust coarse enough to be able to e'ist and keep his mouth shut in clubs and regimental messes! +ut he did not greatly resemble the people he admired! I know %rom se eral pri ate sources that many o% the Anglo"Indians who were Fipling;s contemporaries did not like or appro e o% him! &hey said, no doubt truly, that he knew nothing about India, and on the other hand, he was %rom their point o% iew too much o% a highbrow! 1hile in India he tended to mi' with "the wrong" people, and because o% his dark comple'ion he was wrongly suspected o% ha ing a streak o% Asiatic blood! ,uch in his de elopment is traceable to his ha ing been born in India and ha ing le%t school early! 1ith a slightly di%%erent background he might ha e been a good no elist or a superlati e writer o% music"hall songs! +ut how true is it that he was a ulgar %lag" wa er, a sort o% publicity agent %or #ecil -hodesI It is true, but it is not true that he was a yes"man or a time"ser er! A%ter his early days, i% then, he ne er courted public opinion! ,r Eliot says that what is held against him is that he e'pressed unpopular iews in a popular style! &his narrows the issue by assuming that "unpopular" means unpopular with the intelligentsia, but it is a %act that Fipling;s "message" was one that the big public did not want, and, indeed, has ne er accepted! &he mass o% the people, in the nineties as now, were anti"militarist, bored by the Empire, and only unconsciously patriotic! Fipling;s o%%icial admirers are and were the "ser ice" middle class, the people who read *lackwood7s. In the stupid early years o% this century, the +limps, ha ing at last disco ered someone who could be called a poet and who was on their side, set Fipling on a pedestal, and some o% his more sententious poems, such as "I%," were gi en almost +iblical status! +ut it is doubt%ul whether the +limps ha e e er read him with attention, any more than they ha e read the +ible! ,uch o% what he says they could not possibly appro e! /ew people who ha e critici9ed England %rom the inside ha e said bitterer things about her than this gutter patriot! As a rule it is the +ritish working class that he is attacking, but not always! &hat phrase about "the %lannelled %ools at the wicket and the muddied oa%s at the goal" sticks like an arrow to this day, and it is aimed at the Eton and Harrow match as well as the #up"&ie /inal! Some o% the erses he wrote about the +oer 1ar ha e a curiously modern ring, so %ar as their sub:ect"matter goes! "Stellenbosch", which must ha e been written about 237>, sums up what e ery intelligent in%antry o%%icer was saying in 2325, or is saying now, %or that matter! Fipling;s romantic ideas about England and the Empire might not ha e mattered i% he could ha e held them without ha ing the class pre:udices which at that time went with them! I% one e'amines his best and most representati e work, his soldier;s poems, especially *arrack-&oom *allads, one notices that what more than anything else spoils them is an underlying air o% patronage! Fipling ideali9es the army o%%icer, especially the :unior o%%icer, and that to an idiotic e'tent, but the pri ate soldier, though lo able and romantic, has to be a comic! He is always made to speak in a sort o% styli9ed cockney, not ery broad but with all the aitches and %inal "g;s" care%ully omitted! .ery o%ten the result is as embarrassing as the humorous recitation at a church social! And this accounts %or the curious %act that one can o%ten impro e Fipling;s poems, make them less %acetious and less blatant, by simply going through them and transplanting them %rom cockney into standard speech! &his is especially true o% his re%rains, which o%ten ha e a truly lyrical $uality! &wo e'amples will do (one is about a %uneral and the other about a wedding) G

2o it's knock out your pipes and follow me! And it's finish up your swipes and follow me! 0h, hark to the big drum calling. -ollow me -- follow me home!

and againG
3heer for the 2ergeant's wedding -;ive them one cheer more! ;rey gun-horses in the lando, And a rogue is married to a whore!

Here I ha e restored the aitches etc! Fipling ought to ha e known better! He ought to ha e seen that the two closing lines o% the %irst o% these stan9as are ery beauti%ul lines, and that ought to ha e o erridden his impulse to make %un o% a working"man;s accent! In the ancient ballads the lord and the peasant speak the same language! &his is impossible to Fipling, who is looking down a distorting class perspecti e, and by a piece o% poetic :ustice one o% his best lines is spoiled "" %or "%ollow me ;ome" is much uglier than "%ollow me home"! +ut e en where it makes no di%%erence musically the %acetiousness o% his stage cockney dialect is irritating! Howe er, he is more o%ten $uoted aloud than read on the printed page, and most people instincti ely make the necessary alterations when they $uote him! #an one imagine any pri ate soldier, in the nineties or now, reading *arrack&oom *allads and %eeling that here was a writer who spoke %or himI It is ery hard to do so! Any soldier capable o% reading a book o% erse would notice at once that Fipling is almost unconscious o% the class war that goes on in an army as much as elsewhere! It is not only that he thinks the soldier comic, but that he thinks him patriotic, %eudal, a ready admirer o% his o%%icers and proud to be a soldier o% the Lueen! O% course that is partly true, or battles could not be %ought, but "1hat ha e I done %or thee, England, my EnglandI" is essentially a middle"class $uery! Almost any working man would %ollow it up immediately with "1hat has England done %or meI" In so %ar as Fipling grasps this, he simply sets it down to "the intense sel%ishness o% the lower classes" (his own phrase)! 1hen he is writing not o% +ritish but o% "loyal" Indians he carries the "Salaam, sahib" moti% to sometimes disgusting lengths! Het it remains true that he has %ar more interest in the common soldier, %ar more an'iety that he shall get a %air deal, than most o% the "liberals" o% his day or our own! He sees that the soldier is neglected, meanly underpaid and hypocritically despised by the people whose incomes he sa%eguards! "I came to reali9e," he says in his posthumous memoirs, "the bare horrors o% the pri ate;s li%e, and the unnecessary torments he endured!" He is accused o% glori%ying war, and perhaps he does so, but not in the usual manner, by pretending that war is a sort o% %ootball match! Like most people capable o% writing battle poetry, Fipling had ne er been in battle, but his ision o% war is realistic! He knows that bullets hurt, that under %ire e eryone is terri%ied, that the ordinary soldier ne er knows what the war is about or what is happening e'cept in his own corner o% the battle%ield, and that +ritish troops, like other troops, %re$uently run awayG
I 'eard the knives be'ind me, but I dursn't face my man,

8or I don't know where I went to, 'cause I didn't stop to see, Till I 'eard a beggar s/uealin' out for /uarter as 'e ran, An' I thought I knew the voice an' -- it was me!

,oderni9e the style o% this, and it might ha e come out o% one o% the debunking war books o% the nineteen"twenties! Or againG
An' now the hugly bullets come peckin' through the dust, An' no one wants to face 'em, but every beggar must# 2o, like a man in irons, which isn't glad to go, They moves 'em off by companies uncommon stiff an' slow.

#ompare this withG


:-orward the 6ight ,rigade!: !as there a man dismayed% 8o! though the soldier knew 2omeone had blundered.

I% anything, Fipling o erdoes the horrors, %or the wars o% his youth were hardly wars at all by our standards! *erhaps that is due to the neurotic strain in him, the hunger %or cruelty! +ut at least he knows that men ordered to attack impossible ob:ecti es are dismayed, and also that %ourpence a day is not a generous pension! How complete or truth%ul a picture has Fipling le%t us o% the long"ser ice, mercenary army o% the late nineteenth centuryI One must say o% this, as o% what Fipling wrote about nineteenth"century Anglo"India, that it is not only the best but almost the only literary picture we ha e! He has put on record an immense amount o% stu%% that one could otherwise only gather %rom erbal tradition or %rom unreadable regimental histories! *erhaps his picture o% army li%e seems %uller and more accurate than it is because any middle"class English person is likely to know enough to %ill up the gaps! At any rate, reading the essay on Fipling that ,r Edmund 1ilson has :ust published or is :ust about to publish,@ I was struck by the number o% things that are boringly %amiliar to us and seem to be barely intelligible to an American! +ut %rom the body o% Fipling;s early work there does seem to emerge a i id and not seriously misleading picture o% the old pre"machine"gun army "" the sweltering barracks in Gibraltar or Lucknow, the red coats, the pipeclayed belts and the pillbo' hats, the beer, the %ights, the %loggings, hangings and cruci%i'ions, the bugle"calls, the smell o% oats and horse"piss, the bellowing sergeants with %oot"long moustaches, the bloody skirmishes, in ariably mismanaged, the crowded troopships, the cholera"stricken camps, the "nati e" concubines, the ultimate death in the workhouse! It is a crude, ulgar picture, in which a patriotic music"hall turn seems to ha e got mi'ed up with one o% Kola;s gorier passages, but %rom it %uture generations will be able to gather some idea o% what a long"term olunteer army was like! On about the same le el they will be able to learn something o% +ritish India in the days when motor cars and re%rigerators were unheard o%! It is an error to imagine that we might ha e had better books on these sub:ects i%, %or e'ample, George ,oore, or Gissing, or &homas Hardy, had had Fipling;s opportunities! &hat is the kind o% accident that cannot happen! It was not possible that nineteenth"century England should produce a book like /ar and %eace, or like &olstoy;s minor stories o% army li%e, such as Sebasto#ol or ' e -ossacks,

not because the talent was necessarily lacking but because no one with su%%icient sensiti eness to write such books would e er ha e made the appropriate contacts! &olstoy li ed in a great military empire in which it seemed natural %or almost any young man o% %amily to spend a %ew years in the army, whereas the +ritish Empire was and still is demilitari9ed to a degree which continental obser ers %ind almost incredible! #i ili9ed men do not readily mo e away %rom the centres o% ci ili9ation, and in most languages there is a great dearth o% what one might call colonial literature! It took a ery improbable combination o% circumstances to produce Fipling;s gaudy tableau, in which *ri ate Ortheris and ,rs Hauksbee pose against a background o% palm trees to the sound o% temple bells, and one necessary circumstance was that Fipling himsel% was only hal% ci ili9ed!
@! *ublished in a olume o% collected essays, ' e /o+nd and t e *ow. BAuthor;s %ootnote 23<@!C

Fipling is the only English writer o% our time who has added phrases to the language! &he phrases and neologisms which we take o er and use without remembering their origin do not always come %rom writers we admire! It is strange, %or instance, to hear the =a9i broadcasters re%erring to the -ussian soldiers as "robots", thus unconsciously borrowing a word %rom a #9ech democrat whom they would ha e killed i% they could ha e laid hands on him! Here are hal% a do9en phrases coined by Fipling which one sees $uoted in leaderettes in the gutter press or o erhears in saloon bars %rom people who ha e barely heard his name! It will be seen that they all ha e a certain characteristic in commonG
"ast is "ast, and !est is !est. The white man's burden. !hat do they know of "ngland who only "ngland know% The female of the species is more deadly than the male. 2omewhere "ast of 2ue=. &aying the <ane-geld.

&here are arious others, including some that ha e outli ed their conte't by many years! &he phrase "killing Fruger with your mouth", %or instance, was current till ery recently! It is also possible that it was Fipling who %irst let loose the use o% the word "Huns" %or GermansJ at any rate he began using it as soon as the guns opened %ire in 232<! +ut what the phrases I ha e listed abo e ha e in common is that they are all o% them phrases which one utters semi"derisi ely (as it might be "/or I;m to be Lueen o; the ,ay, mother, I;m to be Lueen o; the ,ay"), but which one is bound to make use o% sooner or later! =othing could e'ceed the contempt o% the New Statesman, %or instance, %or Fipling, but how many times during the ,unich period did the New Statesman %ind itsel% $uoting that phrase about paying the Eane"geldI 4 &he %act is that Fipling, apart %rom his snack"bar wisdom and his gi%t %or packing much cheap pictures$ueness into a %ew words ("*alm and *ine" "" "East o% Sue9" "" "&he -oad to ,andalay"), is generally talking about things that are o% urgent interest! It does not matter, %rom this point o% iew, that thinking and decent people generally %ind themsel es on the other side o% the %ence %rom him! "1hite man;s burden" instantly con:ures up a real problem, e en i% one %eels that it ought to be altered to "black man;s burden"! One may disagree to the middle o% one;s bones with the political attitude implied in &he Islanders;, but one cannot say that it

is a %ri olous attitude! Fipling deals in thoughts which are both ulgar and permanent! &his raises the $uestion o% his special status as a poet, or erse"writer!
4! On the %irst page o% his recent book, Adam and Eve, ,r ,iddleton ,urry $uotes the well"known linesG "&here are nine and si'ty ways, O% constructing tribal lays, And e ery single one o% them is right!" He attributes these lines to &hackeray! &his is probably what is known as a "/reudian error"! A ci ili9ed person would pre%er not to $uote Fipling "" i!e! would pre%er not to %eel that it was Fipling who had e'pressed his thought %or him! BAuthor;s %ootnote 23<@!C

,r Eliot describes Fipling;s metrical work as " erse" and not "poetry", but adds that it is ;great erse", and %urther $uali%ies this by saying that a writer can only be described as a "great" erse"writer" i% there is some o% his work "o% which we cannot say whether it is erse or poetry"! Apparently Fipling was a ersi%ier who occasionally wrote poems, in which case it was a pity that ,r Eliot did not speci%y these poems by name! &he trouble is that whene er an aesthetic :udgement on Fipling;s work seems to be called %or, ,r Eliot is too much on the de%ensi e to be able to speak plainly! 1hat he does not say, and what I think one ought to start by saying in any discussion o% Fipling, is that most o% Fipling;s erse is so horribly ulgar that it gi es one the same sensation as one gets %rom watching a third"rate music"hall per%ormer recite &he *igtail o% 1u /ang /u with the purple limelight on his %ace, and (et there is much o% it that is capable o% gi ing pleasure to people who know what poetry means! At his worst, and also his most ital, in poems like "Gunga Ein" or "Eanny Eee er", Fipling is almost a shame%ul pleasure, like the taste %or cheap sweets that some people secretly carry into middle li%e! +ut e en with his best passages one has the same sense o% being seduced by something spurious, and yet un$uestionably seduced! Dnless one is merely a snob and a liar it is impossible to say that no one who cares %or poetry could not get any pleasure out o% such lines asG
-or the wind is in the palm trees, and the temple bells they say, :3ome you back, you ,ritish soldier, come you back to 4andalay!:

and yet those lines are not poetry in the same sense as "/eli' -andal" or "1hen icicles hang by the wall" are poetry! One can, perhaps, place Fipling more satis%actorily than by :uggling with the words " erse" and "poetry", i% one describes him simply as a good bad poet! He is as a poet what Harriet +eecher Stowe was as a no elist! And the mere e'istence o% work o% this kind, which is percei ed by generation a%ter generation to be ulgar and yet goes on being read, tells one something about the age we li e in! &here is a great deal o% good bad poetry in English, all o% it, I should say, subse$uent to 2637! E'amples o% good bad poems "" I am deliberately choosing di erse ones "" are "&he +ridge o% Sighs", "1hen all the 1orld is Houng, Lad", "&he #harge o% the Light +rigade", +ret Harte;s "Eickens in #amp", "&he +urial o% Sir Aohn ,oore", "Aenny Fissed ,e", "Feith o% -a elston", "#asabianca"! All o% these reek o% sentimentality, and yet "" not these particular poems, perhaps, but poems o% this kind, are capable o% gi ing true pleasure to people who can see clearly what is wrong with them! One could %ill a %air"si9ed anthology with good bad poems, i% it were not %or the signi%icant %act that good bad poetry is usually too well known to be worth reprinting! It is no use pretending that in an age like our own, "good" poetry can ha e any genuine

popularity! It is, and must be, the cult o% a ery %ew people, the least tolerated o% the arts! *erhaps that statement needs a certain amount o% $uali%ication! &rue poetry can sometimes be acceptable to the mass o% the people when it disguises itsel% as something else! One can see an e'ample o% this in the %olk"poetry that England still possesses, certain nursery rhymes and mnemonic rhymes, %or instance, and the songs that soldiers make up, including the words that go to some o% the bugle"calls! +ut in general ours is a ci ili9ation in which the ery word "poetry" e okes a hostile snigger or, at best, the sort o% %ro9en disgust that most people %eel when they hear the word "God"! I% you are good at playing the concertina you could probably go into the nearest public bar and get yoursel% an appreciati e audience within %i e minutes! +ut what would be the attitude o% that same audience i% you suggested reading them Shakespeare;s sonnets, %or instanceI Good bad poetry, howe er, can get across to the most unpromising audiences i% the right atmosphere has been worked up be%ore hand! Some months back #hurchill produced a great e%%ect by $uoting #lough;s "Endea our" in one o% his broadcast speeches! I listened to this speech among people who could certainly not be accused o% caring %or poetry, and I am con inced that the lapse into erse impressed them and did not embarrass them! +ut not e en #hurchill could ha e got away with it i% he had $uoted anything much better than this! In so %ar as a writer o% erse can be popular, Fipling has been and probably still is popular! In his own li%etime some o% his poems tra elled %ar beyond the bounds o% the reading public, beyond the world o% school pri9e"days, +oy Scout singsongs, limp"leather editions, poker"work and calendars, and out in the yet aster world o% the music halls! =e ertheless, ,r Eliot thinks it worth"while to edit him, thus con%essing to a taste which others share but are not always honest enough to mention! &he %act that such a thing as good bad poetry can e'ist is a sign o% the emotional o erlap between the intellectual and the ordinary man! &he intellectual is di%%erent %rom the ordinary man, but only in certain sections o% his personality, and e en then not all the time! +ut what is the peculiarity o% a good bad poemI A good bad poem is a grace%ul monument to the ob ious! It records in memorable %orm "" %or erse is a mnemonic de ice, among other things "" some emotion which ery nearly e ery human being can share! &he merit o% a poem like "1hen all the 1orld is Houng, Lad" is that, howe er sentimental it may be, its sentiment is "true" sentiment in the sense that you are bound to %ind yoursel% thinking the thought it e'presses sooner or laterJ and then, i% you happen to know the poem, it will come back into your mind and seem better than it did be%ore! Such poems are a kind o% rhyming pro erb, and it is a %act that de%initely popular poetry is usually gnomic or sententious! One e'ample %rom Fipling will doG
!hite hands cling to the bridle rein, 2lipping the spur from the booted heel# Tenderest voices cry :Turn again!: +ed lips tarnish the scabbarded steel7 <own to ;ehenna or up to the Throne, $e travels the fastest who travels alone.

&here is a ulgar thought igorously e'pressed! It may not be true, but at any rate it is a thought that e eryone thinks! Sooner or later you will ha e occasion to %eel that he tra els the %astest who tra els alone, and there the thought is, ready made and, as it were, waiting

%or you! So the chances are that, ha ing once heard this line, you will remember it! One reason %or Fipling;s power as a good bad poet I ha e already suggested "" his sense o% responsibility, which made it possible %or him to ha e a world" iew, e en though it happened to be a %alse one! Although he had no direct conne'ion with any political party, Fipling was a #onser ati e, a thing that does not e'ist nowadays! &hose who now call themsel es #onser ati es are either Liberals, /ascists or the accomplices o% /ascists! He identi%ied himsel% with the ruling power and not with the opposition! In a gi%ted writer this seems to us strange and e en disgusting, but it did ha e the ad antage o% gi ing Fipling a certain grip on reality! &he ruling power is always %aced with the $uestion, "In such and such circumstances, what would you doC; whereas the opposition is not obliged to take responsibility or make any real decisions! 1here it is a permanent and pensioned opposition, as in England, the $uality o% its thought deteriorates accordingly! ,oreo er, anyone who starts out with a pessimistic, reactionary iew o% li%e tends to be :usti%ied by e ents, %or Dtopia ne er arri es and "the gods o% the copybook headings", as Fipling himsel% put it, always return! Fipling sold out to the +ritish go erning class, not %inancially but emotionally! &his warped his political :udgement, %or the +ritish ruling class were not what he imagined, and it led him into abysses o% %olly and snobbery, but he gained a corresponding ad antage %rom ha ing at least tried to imagine what action and responsibility are like! It is a great thing in his %a our that he is not witty, not "daring", has no wish to D#ater les bo+rgeois. He dealt largely in platitudes, and since we li e in a world o% platitudes, much o% what he said sticks! E en his worst %ollies seem less shallow and less irritating than the "enlightened" utterances o% the same period, such as 1ilde;s epigrams or the collection o% cracker"mottoes at the end o% !an and S+#erman. Horizon, /ebruary 23<>J -r.E.5 ....5 O.&.5 -.E.

&!, The edisco)ery of Euro3e 1hen I was a small boy and was taught history "" ery badly, o% course, as nearly e eryone in England is "" I used to think o% history as a sort o% long scroll with thick black lines ruled across it at inter als! Each o% these lines marked the end o% what was called a "period", and you were gi en to understand that what came a%terwards was completely di%%erent %rom what had gone be%ore! It was almost like a clock striking! /or instance, in 2<33 you were still in the ,iddle Ages, with knights in plate armour riding at one another with long lances, and then suddenly the clock struck 2@77, and you were in something called the -enaissance, and e eryone wore ru%%s and doublets and was busy robbing treasure ships on the Spanish ,ain! &here was another ery thick black line drawn at the year 2677! A%ter that it was the Eighteenth #entury, and people suddenly stopped being #a aliers and -oundheads and became e'traordinarily elegant gentlemen in knee breeches and three"cornered hats! &hey all powdered their hair, took snu%% and talked in e'actly balanced sentences, which seemed all the more stilted because %or some reason I didn;t understand they pronounced most o% their S;s as /;s! &he whole o% history

was like that in my mind "" a series o% completely di%%erent periods changing abruptly at the end o% a century, or at any rate at some sharply de%ined date! =ow in %act these abrupt transitions don;t happen, either in politics, manners or literature! Each age li es on into the ne't "" it must do so, because there are innumerable human li es spanning e ery gap! And yet there are such things as periods! 1e %eel our own age to be deeply di%%erent %rom, %or instance, the early .ictorian period, and an eighteenth"century sceptic like Gibbon would ha e %elt himsel% to be among sa ages i% you had suddenly thrust him into the ,iddle Ages! E ery now and again something happens "" no doubt it;s ultimately traceable to changes in industrial techni$ue, though the conne'ion isn;t always ob ious "" and the whole spirit and tempo o% li%e changes, and people ac$uire a new outlook which re%lects itsel% in their political beha iour, their manners, their architecture, their literature and e erything else! =o one could write a poem like Gray;s "Elegy in a #ountry #hurchyard" today, %or instance, and no one could ha e written Shakespeare;s lyrics in the age o% Gray! &hese things belong in di%%erent periods! And though, o% course, those black lines across the page o% history are an illusion, there are times when the transition is $uite rapid, sometimes rapid enough %or it to be possible to gi e it a %airly accurate date! One can say without grossly o ersimpli%ying, "About such and such a year, such and such a style o% literature began"! I% I were asked %or the starting"point o% modern literature "" and the %act that we still call it "modern" shows that this particular period isn;t %inished yet "" I should put it at 2326, the year in which &! S! Eliot published his poem "*ru%rock"! At any rate that date isn;t more than %i e years out! It is certain that about the end o% the last war the literary climate changed, the typical writer came to be $uite a di%%erent person, and the best books o% the subse$uent period seemed to e'ist in a di%%erent world %rom the best books o% only %our or %i e years be%ore! &o illustrate what I mean, I ask you to compare in your mind two poems which ha en;t any conne'ion with one another, but which will do %or purposes o% comparison because each is entirely typical o% its period! #ompare, %or instance, one o% Eliot;s characteristic earlier poems with a poem o% -upert +rooke, who was, I should say, the most admired English poet in the years be%ore 232<! *erhaps the most representati e o% +rooke;s poems are his patriotic ones, written in the early days o% the war! A good one is the sonnet beginning "I% I should die, think only this o% meG &hat there;s some corner o% a %oreign %ield &hat is %or e er England"! =ow read side by side with this one o% Eliot;s Sweeney poemsJ %or e'ample, "Sweeney among the =ightingales" "" you know, "&he circles o% the stormy moon Slide westward toward the -i er *late"! As I say, these poems ha e no conne'ion in theme or anything else, but it;s possible in a way to compare them, because each is representati e o% its own time and each seemed a good poem when it was written! &he second still seems a good poem now! =ot only the techni$ue but the whole spirit, the implied outlook on li%e, the intellectual paraphernalia o% these poems are abysmally di%%erent! +etween the young Englishman with a public"school and uni ersity background, going out enthusiastically to die %or his country with his head %ull o% English lanes, wild roses and what not, and the rather :aded cosmopolitan American, getting glimpses o% eternity in some slightly s$ualid restaurant in the Latin Luarter o% *aris, there is a huge gul%! &hat might be only an indi idual di%%erence, but the point is that you come upon rather the same kind o% di%%erence, a di%%erence that raises the same comparisons, i% you read side by side almost

any two characteristic writers o% the two periods! It;s the same with the no elists as with the poets "" Aoyce, Lawrence, Hu'ley and 1yndham Lewis on the one side, and 1ells, +ennett and Galsworthy on the other, %or instance! &he newer writers are immensely less proli%ic than the older ones, more scrupulous, more interested in techni$ue, less optimistic and, in general, less con%ident in their attitude to li%e! +ut more than that, you ha e all the time the %eeling that their intellectual and aesthetic background is di%%erent, rather as you do when you compare a nineteenth"century /rench writer such as, say, /laubert with a nineteenth"century English writer like Eickens! &he /renchman seems enormously more sophisticated than the Englishman, though he isn;t necessarily a better writer because o% that! +ut let me go back a bit and consider what English literature was like in the days be%ore 232<! &he giants o% that time were &homas Hardy "" who, howe er, had stopped writing no els some time earlier "" Shaw, 1ells, Fipling, +ennett, Galsworthy and, somewhat di%%erent %rom the others "" not an Englishman, remember, but a *ole who chose to write in English "" Aoseph #onrad! &here were A! E! Housman EA S ro#s ire )ad8, and the arious Georgian poets, -upert +rooke and the others! &here were also the innumerable comic writers, Sir Aames +arrie, 1! 1! Aacobs, +arry *ain and many others! I% you read all those writers I; e :ust mentioned, you would get a not misleading picture o% the English mind be%ore 232<! &here were other literary tendencies at work, there were arious Irish writers, %or instance, and in a $uite di%%erent ein, much nearer to our own time, there was the American no elist Henry Aames, but the main stream was the one I; e indicated! +ut what is the common denominator between writers who are indi idually as %ar apart as +ernard Shaw and A! E! Housman, or &homas Hardy and H! G! 1ellsI I think the basic %act about nearly all English writers o% that time is their complete unawareness o% anything outside the contemporary English scene! Some are better writers than others, some are politically conscious and some aren;t, but they are all alike in being untouched by any European in%luence! &his is true e en o% no elists like +ennett and Galsworthy, who deri ed in a ery super%icial sense %rom /rench and perhaps -ussian models! All o% these writers ha e a background o% ordinary, respectable, middle"class English li%e, and a hal%"conscious belie% that this kind o% li%e will go on %or e er, getting more humane and more enlightened all the time! Some o% them, like Hardy and Housman, are pessimistic in outlook, but they all at least belie e that what is called progress would be desirable i% it were possible! Also "" a thing that generally goes with lack o% aesthetic sensibility "" they are all uninterested in the past, at any rate the remote past! It is ery rare to %ind in a writer o% that time anything we should now regard as a sense o% history! E en &homas Hardy, when he attempts a huge poetic drama based on the =apoleonic wars "" ' e .(nasts, it;s called "" sees it all %rom the angle o% a patriotic school te'tbook! Still more, they;re all aesthetically uninterested in the past! Arnold +ennett, %or instance, wrote a great deal o% literary criticism, and it;s clear that he is almost unable to see any merit in any book earlier than the nineteenth century, and indeed hasn;t much interest in any writer other than his contemporaries! &o +ernard Shaw most o% the past is simply a mess which ought to be swept away in the name o% progress, hygiene, e%%iciency and what"not! H! G! 1ells, though later on he was to write a history o% the world, looks at the past with the same sort o% surprised disgust as a ci ili9ed man contemplating a tribe o% cannibals! All o% these people, whether they liked their own age or not, at least thought it was better than what had gone be%ore, and took the literary standards o% their own time %or granted! &he

basis o% all +ernard Shaw;s attacks on Shakespeare is really the charge "" $uite true, o% course "" that Shakespeare wasn;t an enlightened member o% the /abian Society! I% any o% these writers had been told that the writers immediately subse$uent to them would hark back to the English poets o% the si'teenth and se enteenth centuries, to the /rench poets o% the mid"nineteenth century and to the philosophers o% the ,iddle Ages, they would ha e thought it a kind o% dilettantism! +ut now look at the writers who begin to attract notice "" some o% them had begun writing rather earlier, o% course "" immediately a%ter the last warG Aoyce, Eliot, *ound, Hu'ley, Lawrence, 1yndham Lewis! Hour %irst impression o% them, compared with the others "" this is true e en o% Lawrence "" is that something has been punctured! &o begin with, the notion o% progress has gone by the board! &hey don;t any longer belie e that men are getting better and better by ha ing lower mortality rates, more e%%ecti e birth control, better plumbing, more aeroplanes and %aster motor cars! =early all o% them are homesick %or the remote past, or some period o% the past, %rom E! H! Lawrence;s ancient Etruscans onwards! All o% them are politically reactionary, or at best are uninterested in politics! =one o% them cares twopence about the arious hole"and"corner re%orms which had seemed important to their predecessors, such as %emale su%%rage, temperance re%orm, birth control or pre ention o% cruelty to animals! All o% them are more %riendly, or at least less hostile, towards the #hristian churches than the pre ious generation had been! And nearly all o% them seem to be aesthetically ali e in a way that hardly any English writer since the -omantic -e i al had been! =ow, one can best illustrate what I ha e been saying by means o% indi idual e'amples, that is, by comparing outstanding books o% more or less comparable type in the two periods! As a %irst e'ample, compare H! G! 1ells;s short stories "" there;s a large number o% them collected together under the title o% ' e -o+ntr( o$ t e *lind -- with E! H! Lawrence;s short stories, such as those in England, m( England and ' e %r+ssian O$$icer. &his isn;t an un%air comparison, since each o% these writers was at his best, or somewhere near his best, in the short story, and each o% them was e'pressing a new ision o% li%e which had a great e%%ect on the young o% his generation! &he ultimate sub:ect" matter o% H! G! 1ells;s stories is, %irst o% all, scienti%ic disco ery, and beyond that the petty snobberies and tragicomedies o% contemporary English li%e, especially lower" middle"class li%e! His basic "message", to use an e'pression I don;t like, is that Science can sol e all the ills that humanity is heir to, but that man is at present too blind to see the possibility o% his own powers! &he alternation between ambitious Dtopian themes and light comedy, almost in the 1! 1! Aacobs ein, is ery marked in 1ells;s work! He writes about :ourneys to the moon and to the bottom o% the sea, and also he writes about small shopkeepers dodging bankruptcy and %ighting to keep their end up in the %right%ul snobbery o% pro incial towns! &he connecting link is 1ells;s belie% in Science! He is saying all the time, i% only that small shopkeeper could ac$uire a scienti%ic outlook, his troubles would be ended! And o% course he belie es that this is going to happen, probably in the $uite near %uture! A %ew more million pounds %or scienti%ic research, a %ew more generations scienti%ically educated, a %ew more superstitions sho elled into the dustbin, and the :ob is done! =ow, i% you turn to Lawrence;s stories, you don;t %ind this belie% in Science "" rather a hostility towards it, i% anything "" and you don;t %ind any marked interest in the %uture, certainly not in a rationali9ed hedonistic %uture o% the kind that

1ells deals in! Hou don;t e en %ind the notion that the small shopkeeper, or any o% the other ictims o% our society, would be better o%% i% he were better educated! 1hat you do %ind is a persistent implication that man has thrown away his birthright by becoming ci ili9ed! &he ultimate sub:ect"matter o% nearly all Lawrence;s books is the %ailure o% contemporary men, especially in the English"speaking countries, to li e their li es intensely enough! =aturally he %i'es %irst on their se'ual li es, and it is a %act that most o% Lawrence;s books centre round se'! +ut he isn;t, as is sometimes supposed, demanding more o% what people call se'ual liberty! He is completely disillusioned about that, and he hates the so"called sophistication o% bohemian intellectuals :ust as much as he hates the puritanism o% the middle class! 1hat he is saying is simply that modern men aren;t %ully ali e, whether they %ail through ha ing too narrow standards or through not ha ing any! Granted that they can be %ully ali e, he doesn;t much care what social or political or economic system they li e under! He takes the structure o% e'isting society, with its class distinctions and so on, almost %or granted in his stories, and doesn;t show any ery urgent wish to change it! All he asks is that men shall li e more simply, nearer to the earth, with more sense o% the magic o% things like egetation, %ire, water, se', blood, than they can in a world o% celluloid and concrete where the gramophones ne er stop playing! He imagines "" $uite likely he is wrong "" that sa ages or primiti e peoples li e more intensely than ci ili9ed men, and he builds up a mythical %igure who is not %ar %rom being the =oble Sa age o er again! /inally, he pro:ects these irtues on to the Etruscans, an ancient pre"-oman people who li ed in northern Italy and about whom we don;t, in %act, know anything! /rom the point o% iew o% H! G! 1ells all this abandonment o% Science and *rogress, this actual wish to re ert to the primiti e, is simply heresy and nonsense! And yet one must admit that whether Lawrence;s iew o% li%e is true or whether it is per erted, it is at least an ad ance on the Science worship o% H! G! 1ells or the shallow /abian progressi ism o% writers like +ernard Shaw! It is an ad ance in the sense that it results %rom seeing through the other attitude and not %rom %alling short o% it! *artly that was the e%%ect o% the war o% 232<"25, which succeeded in debunking both Science, *rogress and ci ili9ed man! *rogress had %inally ended in the biggest massacre in history, Science was something that created bombing planes and poison gas, ci ili9ed man, as it turned out, was ready to beha e worse than any sa age when the pinch came! +ut Lawrence;s discontent with modern machine ci ili9ation would ha e been the same, no doubt, i% the war o% 232<"25 had ne er happened! =ow I want to make another comparison, between Aames Aoyce;s great no el <l(sses, and Aohn Galsworthy;s at any rate ery large no el se$uence ' e Fors(te Saga. &his time it isn;t a %air comparison, in e%%ect it;s a comparison between a good book and a bad one, and it also isn;t $uite correct chronologically, because the later parts o% ' e Fors(te Saga were written in the nineteen"twenties! +ut the parts o% it that anyone is likely to remember were written about 2327, and %or my purpose the comparison is rele ant, because both Aoyce and Galsworthy are making e%%orts to co er an enormous can as and get the spirit and social history o% a whole epoch between the co ers o% a single book! ' e !an o$ %ro#ert( may not seem to us now a ery pro%ound criticism o% society, but it seemed so to its contemporaries, as you can see by what they wrote about it! Aoyce wrote <l(sses in the se en years between 232< and 23>2, working away all through the war, to which he probably paid little or no attention, and earning a miserable

li ing as a teacher o% languages in Italy and Swit9erland! He was $uite ready to work se en years in po erty and complete obscurity so as to get his great book on to paper! +ut what is it that it was so urgently important %or him to e'pressI *arts o% <l(sses aren;t ery easily intelligible, but %rom the book as a whole you get two main impressions! &he %irst is that Aoyce is interested to the point o% obsession with techni$ue! &his has been one o% the main characteristics o% modern literature, though more recently it has been a diminishing one! Hou get a parallel de elopment in the plastic arts, paintersJ and e en sculptors, being more and more interested in the material they work in, in the brush" marks o% a picture, %or instance, as against its design, let alone its sub:ect"matter! Aoyce is interested in mere words, the sounds and associations o% words, e en the pattern o% words on the paper, in a way that wasn;t the case with any o% the preceding generation o% writers, e'cept to some e'tent the *olish"English writer, Aoseph #onrad! 1ith Aoyce you are back to the conception o% style, o% %ine writing, or poetic writing, perhaps e en to purple passages! A writer like +ernard Shaw, on the other hand, would ha e said as a matter o% course that the sole use o% words is to e'press e'act meanings as shortly as possible! And apart %rom this technical obsession, the other main theme o% <l(sses is the s$ualor, e en the meaninglessness o% modern li%e a%ter the triumph o% the machine and the collapse o% religious belie%! Aoyce "" an Irishman, remember, and it;s worth noting that the best English writers during the nineteen"twenties were in many cases not Englishmen "" is writing as a #atholic who has lost his %aith but has retained the mental %ramework which he ac$uired in his #atholic childhood and boyhood! <l(sses, which is a ery long no el, is a description o% the e ents o% a single day, as seen mostly through the eyes o% an out"at"elbow Aewish commercial tra eller! At the time when the book came out there was a great outcry and Aoyce was accused o% deliberately e'ploiting the sordid, but as a matter o% %act, considering what e eryday human li%e is like when you contemplate it in detail, it doesn;t seem that he o erdid either the s$ualor or the silliness o% the day;s e ents! 1hat you do %eel all through, howe er, is the con iction %rom which Aoyce can;t escape, that the whole o% this modern world which he is describing has no meaning in it now that the teachings o% the #hurch are no longer credible! He is yearning a%ter the religious %aith which the two or three generations preceding him had had to %ight against in the name o% religious liberty! +ut %inally the main interest o% the book is technical! Luite a considerable proportion o% it consists o% pastiche or parody "" parodies o% e erything %rom the Irish legends o% the +ron9e Age down to contemporary newspaper reports! And one can see there that, like all the characteristic writers o% his time, Aoyce doesn;t deri e %rom the English nineteenth"century writers but %rom Europe and %rom the remoter past! *art o% his mind is in the +ron9e Age, another part in the England o% Eli9abeth! &he twentieth century, with its hygiene and its motor"cars, doesn;t particularly appeal to him! =ow look again at Galsworthy;s book, ' e Fors(te Saga, and you see how comparati ely narrow its range is! I ha e said already that this isn;t a %air comparison, and indeed %rom a strictly literary point o% iew it;s a ridiculous one, but it will do as an illustration, in the sense that both books are intended to gi e a comprehensi e picture o% e'isting society! 1ell, the thing that strikes one about Galsworthy is that though he;s trying to be iconoclastic, he has been utterly unable to mo e his mind outside the wealthy bourgeois society he is attacking! 1ith only slight modi%ications he takes all its alues %or granted! All he concei es to be wrong is that human beings are a little too inhumane, a little too %ond o% money, and aesthetically not $uite sensiti e enough! 1hen he sets out to

depict what he concei es as the desirable type o% human being, it turns out to be simply a culti ated, humanitarian ersion o% the upper"middle"class rentier, the sort o% person who in those days used to haunt picture galleries in Italy and subscribe hea ily to the Society %or the *re ention o% #ruelty to Animals! And this %act "" the %act that Galsworthy hasn;t any really deep a ersion to the social types he thinks he is attacking "" gi es you the clue to his weakness! It is, that he has no contact with anything outside contemporary English society! He may think he doesn;t like it, but he is part o% it! Its money and security, the ring o% battleships that separated it %rom Europe, ha e been too much %or him! At the bottom o% his heart he despises %oreigners, :ust as much as any illiterate businessman in ,anchester! &he %eelings you ha e with Aoyce or Eliot, or e en Lawrence, that they ha e got the whole o% human history inside their heads and can look outwards %rom their own place and time towards Europe and the past, isn;t to be %ound in Galsworthy or in any characteristic English writer in the period be%ore 232<! /inally, one more brie% comparison! #ompare almost any o% H! G! 1ells;s Dtopia books, %or instance A !odern <to#ia, or ' e .ream, or !en )ike 4ods, with Aldous Hu'ley;s *rave New /orld. Again it;s rather the same contrast, the contrast between the o er"con%ident and the de%lated, between the man who belie es innocently in *rogress and the man who happens to ha e been born later and has there%ore li ed to see that *rogress, as it was concei ed in the early days o% the aeroplane, is :ust as much o% a swindle as reaction! &he ob ious e'planation o% this sharp di%%erence between the dominant writers be%ore and a%ter the war o% 232<"25 is the war itsel%! Some such de elopment would ha e happened in any case as the insu%%iciency o% modern materialistic ci ili9ation re ealed itsel%, but the war speeded the process, partly by showing how ery shallow the eneer o% ci ili9ation is, partly by making England less prosperous and there%ore less isolated! A%ter 2325 you couldn;t li e in such a narrow and padded world as you did when +ritannia ruled not only the wa es but also the markets! One e%%ect o% the ghastly history o% the last twenty years has been to make a great deal o% ancient literature seem much more modern! A lot that has happened in Germany since the rise o% Hitler might ha e come straight out o% the later olumes o% Gibbon;s .ecline and Fall o$ t e &oman Em#ire. -ecently I saw Shakespeare;s "ing 9o n acted "" the %irst time I had seen it, because it is a play which isn;t acted ery o%ten! 1hen I had read it as a boy it seemed to me archaic, something dug out o% a history book and not ha ing anything to do with our own time! 1ell, when I saw it acted, what with its intrigues and doublecrossings, non"aggression pacts, $uislings, people changing sides in the middle o% a battle, and what"not, it seemed to me e'traordinarily up to date! And it was rather the same thing that happened in the literary de elopment between 2327 and 23>7! &he pre ailing temper o% the time ga e a new reality to all sorts o% themes which had seemed out o% date and puerile when +ernard Shaw and his /abians were "" so they thought "" turning the world into a sort o% super garden city! &hemes like re enge, patriotism, e'ile, persecution, race hatred, religious %aith, loyalty, leader worship, suddenly seemed real again! &amerlane and Genghis Fhan seem credible %igures now, and ,achia elli seems a serious thinker, as they didn;t in 2327! 1e ha e got out o% a backwater and back into history! I ha en;t any un$uali%ied admiration %or the writers o% the early nineteen"twenties, the writers among whom Eliot and Aoyce are chie% names! &hose who %ollowed them ha e had to undo a great deal o% what they did! &heir re ulsion %rom a shallow conception o% progress dro e them

politically in the wrong direction, and it isn;t an accident that E9ra *ound, %or instance, is now shouting anti"semitism on the -ome radio! +ut one must concede that their writings are more grown"up, and ha e a wider scope, than what went immediately be%ore them! &hey broke the cultural circle in which England had e'isted %or something like a century! &hey re"established contact with Europe, and they brought back the sense o% history and the possibility o% tragedy! On that basis all subse$uent English literature that matters twopence has rested, and the de elopment that Eliot and the others started, back in the closing years o% the last war, has not yet run its course! +roadcast talk in the +!+!#! Eastern Ser ice, 27 ,arch 23<>J printed in the )istener, 23 ,arch 23<>J reprinted in 'alking to 2ndia, 23<?!

&., The 'ritish Crisis: London Letter to Partisan Re!ie" London 5 ,ay 23<> Eear Editors, 1hen I last wrote to you things had begun to go wrong in the /ar East but nothing was happening politically! =ow, I am %airly certain, we are on the edge o% the political crisis which I ha e been e'pecting %or the better part o% two years! &he situation is ery complicated and I dare say that e en be%ore this reaches you much will ha e happened to %alsi%y my predictions, but I will make the best analysis I can! &he basic %act is that people are now as %ed up and as ready %or a radical policy as they were at the time o% Eunkirk, with the di%%erence that they now ha e, or are inclined to think they ha e, a potential leader in Sta%%ord #ripps! I don;t mean that people in signi%icant numbers are crying out %or the introduction o% Socialism, merely that the mass o% the nation wants certain things that aren;t obtainable under a capitalist economy and is willing to pay almost any price to get them! /ew people, %or instance, seem to me to %eel urgently the need %or nationali9ation o% industry, but all e'cept the interested minority would accept nationali9ation without a blink i% they were told authoritati ely that you can;t ha e e%%icient war"production otherwise! &he %act is that "Socialism", called by that name, isn;t by itsel% an e%%ecti e rallying cry! &o the mass o% the people "Socialism" :ust means the discredited *arliamentary Labour *arty, and one %eature o% the time is the widespread disgust with all the old political parties! +ut what then do people wantI I should say that what they articulately want is more social e$uality, a complete clean"out o% the political leadership, an aggressi e war strategy and a tighter alliance with the D!S!S!-! +ut one has to consider the background o% these desires be%ore trying to predict what political de elopment is now possible! SO#IAL ELDALI&H

&he war has brought the class nature o% their society ery sharply home to English people, in two ways! /irst o% all there is the unmistakable %act that all real power depends on class pri ilege! Hou can only get certain :obs i% you ha e been to one o% the right schools, and i% you %ail and ha e to be sacked, then somebody else %rom one o% the right schools takes o er, and so it continues! &his may go unnoticed when things are prospering, but becomes ob ious in moments o% disaster! Secondly, there are the hardships o% war which are, to put it mildly, tempered %or anyone with o er P>,777 a year! I don;t want to bore you with a detailed account o% the way in which the %ood rationing is e aded, but you can take it that whereas ordinary people ha e to li e on an uninteresting diet and do without many lu'uries they are accustomed to, the rich go short o% absolutely nothing e'cept, perhaps, wines, %ruit and sugar! Hou can be almost una%%ected by %ood rationing without e en breaking the law, though there is also a li ely +lack ,arket! &hen there is bootleg petrol and, $uite ob iously, widespread e asion o% Income &a'! &his does not go unnoticed, but nothing happens because the will to crack down on it is not there while money and political power more or less coincide! &o gi e :ust one e'ample! At long last, and against much opposition in high places, the ,inistry o% /ood is about to cut down "lu'ury %eeding" by limiting the sum o% money that can be spent on a meal in a hotel or restaurant! Already, be%ore the law is e en passed, ways o% e ading it ha e been thought out, and these are discussed almost undisguisedly in the newspapers! &here are other tensions which the war has brought out but which are somewhat less ob ious than the :ealousy caused by the +lack ,arket or the discontent o% soldiers blancoing their gasmasks under the orders o% twerps o% o%%icers! One is the growing resentment %elt by the underpaid armed %orces (at any rate the army) against the high wage o% the munition workers! I% this were dealt with by raising the soldier;s pay to the munition"worker;s le el the result would be either in%lation or the di ersion o% labour %rom war production to consumption goods! &he only real remedy is to cut down the ci ilian workers; wages as well, which could only be made acceptable by the most drastic income cuts all round "" brie%ly, "war"#ommunism"! And apart %rom the class struggle in its ordinary sense there are deeper :ealousies within the bourgeoisie than %oreigners sometimes reali9e! I% you talk with a +!+!#! accent you can get :obs that a proletarian couldn;t get, but it is almost impossible to get beyond a certain point unless you belong socially to the Dpper #rust! E erywhere able men %eel themsel es bottled down by incompetent idiots %rom the county %amilies! +ound up with this is the crushing %eeling we ha e all had in England these last twenty years that i% you ha e brains "they" (the Dpper #rust) will see to it that you are kept out o% any really important :ob! Euring the years o% in estment capital we produced like a belt o% %at the huge blimpocracy which monopoli9es o%%icial and military power and has an instincti e hatred o% intelligence! &his is probably a more important %actor in England than in a "new" country like the D!S!A! It means that our military weakness goes beyond the inherent weakness o% a capitalist state! 1hen in England you %ind a gi%ted man in a really commanding position it is usually because he happens to ha e been born into an aristocratic %amily (e'amples are #hurchill, #ripps, ,ountbatten), and e en so he only gets there in moments o% disaster when others don;t want to take responsibility! Aristocrats apart, those who are branded as "cle er" can;t get their hands on the real le ers o% power, and they know it! O% course ;cle er; indi iduals do occur in the upper strata, but basically it is a class issue, middle class

against upper class! &HE *OLI&I#AL LEAEE-SHI* &he statement in the ,arch"April %.&. that "the reins o% power are still %irmly in the hands o% #hurchill" is an error! #hurchill;s position is ery shaky! Dp to the %all o% Singapore it would ha e been true to say that the mass o% the people liked #hurchill while disliking the rest o% his Go ernment, but in recent months his popularity has slumped hea ily! In addition he has the right"wing &ories against him (the &ories on the whole ha e always hated #hurchill, though they had to pipe down %or a long period), and +ea erbrook is up to some game which I do not %ully understand but which must ha e the ob:ect o% bringing himsel% into power! I wouldn;t gi e #hurchill many more months o% power, but whether he will be replaced by #ripps, +ea erbrook or somebody like Sir Aohn Anderson is still uncertain! &he reason why nearly e eryone who was anti"=a9i supported #hurchill %rom the collapse o% /rance onwards was that there was nobody else "" i!e! nobody who was already well enough known to be able to step into power and who at the same time could be trusted not to surrender! It is idle to say that in 23<7 we ought to ha e set up a Socialist go ernmentJ the mass basis %or such a thing probably e'isted, but not the leadership! &he Labour *arty had no guts, the pinks were de%eatist, the #ommunists e%%ecti ely pro"=a9i, and in any case there did not e'ist on the Le%t one single man o% really nationwide reputation! In the months that %ollowed what was wanted was chie%ly obstinacy, o% which #hurchill had plenty! =ow, howe er, the situation has altered! &he strategic situation is probably %ar better than it was in 23<7, but the mass o% the people don;t think so, they are disgusted by de%eats some o% which they reali9e were unnecessary, and they ha e been gradually disillusioned by percei ing that in spite o% #hurchill;s speeches the old gang stays in power and nothing really alters! /or the %irst time since #hurchill came to power the Go ernment has begun losing by"elections! O% the %i e most recent it has lost three, and in the two which it didn;t lose one opposition candidate was anti"war (I!L!*!) and the other was regarded as a de%eatist! In all these elections the polls were e'tremely low, in one case reaching the depth"record o% >< per cent o% the electorate! (,ost wartime polls ha e been low, but one has to write o%% something %or the considerable shi%t o% population!) &here is a most ob ious loss o% the %aith in the old parties, and there is a new %actor in the presence o% #ripps, who en:oys at any rate %or the moment a considerable personal reputation! Aust at the moment when things were going ery badly he came back %rom -ussia in a bla9e o% undeser ed glory! *eople had by this time %orgotten the circumstances in which the -usso"German war broke out and credited #ripps with ha ing "got -ussia in on our side"! He was, howe er, cashing in on his earlier political history and on ha ing ne er sold out his political opinions! &here is good reason to think that at that moment, with no party machine under his control, he did not reali9e how commanding his personal position was! Had he appealed directly to the public, through the channels open to him, he could probably then and there ha e %orced a more radical policy on the Go ernment, particularly in the direction o% a generous settlement with India! Instead he made the mistake o% entering the Go ernment and the almost e$ually bad one o% going to India with an o%%er which was certain to be turned down! I can;t put in

print the little I know about the inner history o% the #ripps"=ehru negotiations, and in any case the story is too comple' to be written about in a letter o% this length! &he important thing is to what e'tent this %ailure has discredited #ripps! &he people most interested in ditching the negotiations were the pro"Aapanese %action in the Indian #ongress *arty, and the +ritish right"wing &ories! Hali%a';s speech made in =ew Hork at the time was interpreted here as an e%%ort to tread on as many Indian toes as possible and thus make a get"together between #ripps and =ehru more di%%icult! Similar e%%orts are being made %rom the opposite end at this moment! &he upshot is that #ripps;s reputation is damaged in India but not in this country "" or, i% damaged, then by his entry into the Go ernment rather than by the %ailure in Eelhi! I can;t yet gi e you a worth"while opinion as to whether #ripps is the man the big public think him, or are hal%"inclined to think him! He is an enigmatic man who has been politically unstable, and those who know him only agree upon the %act that he is personally honest! His position rests purely upon the popular belie% in him, %or he has the Labour *arty machine more or less against him, and the &ories are only temporarily supporting him because they want to use him against #hurchill and +ea erbrook and imagine that they can make him into another tame cat like Attlee! Some o% the %actory workers are inclined to be suspicious o% him (one comment reported to me was "&oo like ,osley" "" meaning too much the man o% %amily who "goes to the people") and the #ommunists hate him because he is suspected o% being anti"Stalin! +ea erbrook already appears to be instituting an attack on #ripps and his newspapers are making use o% anti" Stalinist remarks dropped by #ripps in the past! I note that the Germans, to :udge %rom their wireless, would be willing to see #ripps in power i% at that price they could get rid o% #hurchill! &hey probably calculate that since #ripps has no party machine to rely on he would soon be le ered out by the right"wing &ories and make way %or Sir Aohn Anderson, Lord Londonderry or someone o% that kind! I can;t yet say with certainty that #ripps is not merely a second"rate %igure to whom the public ha e tied their hopes, a sort o% bubble blown by popular disconcent! +ut at any rate, the way people talked about him when he came back %rom ,oscow was symptomatically important! 1A- S&-A&EGH &here is endless talk about a Second /ront, those who are %or and those who are against being di ided roughly along political lines! ,uch that is said is e'tremely ignorant, but e en people with little military knowledge are able to see that in the last %ew months we ha e lost by useless de%ensi e actions a %orce which, i% grouped in one place and used o%%ensi ely, might ha e achie ed something! *ublic opinion o%ten seems to be ahead o% the so"called e'perts in matters o% grand strategy, sometimes e en tactics and weapons! I don;t mysel% know whether the opening o% a second %ront is %easible, because I don;t know the real %acts about the shipping situationJ the only clue I ha e to the latter is that the %ood situation hasn;t altered during the past year! O%%icial policy seems to be to discountenance the idea o% a Second /ront, but :ust possibly that is only military deception! &he right"wing papers make much play with our bombing raids on Germany and suggest that we can tie down a million troops along the coast o% Europe by continuous commando raids! &he latter is nonsense, as the commandos can;t do much

when the nights get short, and a%ter our own e'periences %ew people here belie e that bombing can settle anything! In general the big public is o%%ensi e"minded and is always pleased when the go ernment shows by iolating international law (e!g! Oran, Syria, ,adagascar) that it is taking the war seriously! =e ertheless the idea o% attacking Spain or Spanish ,orocco (much the most hope%ul area %or a Second /ront in my opinion) is seldom raised! It is agreed by all obser ers that the army, i!e! rank and %ile and a lot o% the :unior o%%icers, is e'ceedingly browned o%%, but this does not seem to be the case with the na y and -!A!/!, and it is easy to get recruits %or the dangerous corps such as the commandos and parachute troops! An anonymous pamphlet attacking the blimpocracy, button"polishing, etc! recently sold enormously, and this line is also run by the .ail( !irror, the soldiers; %a ourite paper, which was nearly suppressed a %ew weeks back %or its criticism o% the higher command! On the other hand the pamphlets which used to appear earlier in the war, complaining about the hardships o% army li%e, seem to ha e %aded out! *erhaps symptomatically important is the story now widely circulated, that the real reason why the higher"ups ha e stuck out against adopting di e"bombers is that these are cheap to manu%acture and don;t represent much pro%it! I know nothing as to the truth o% this story, but I record the %act that many people belie e it! #hurchill;s speech a %ew days back in which he re%erred to possible use o% poison gas by the Germans was interpreted as a warning that gas war%are will begin soon! Dsual commentG "I hope we start using it %irst!" *eople seem to me to ha e got tougher in their attitude, in spite o% general discontent and the lack o% positi e war aims! It is hard to assess how much the man in the street cared about the Singapore disaster! 1orking"class people seemed to me to be more impressed by the escape o% the German warships %rom +rest! &he opinion seems general that Germany is the real enemy, and newspaper e%%orts to work up a hate o er Aapanese atrocities %ailed! ,y impression is that people will go on %ighting so long as Germany is in the %ield, but that i% Germany should be knocked out they would not continue the war against Aapan unless a real and intelligible war aim were produced! &HE -DSSIA= ALLIA=#E I ha e re%erred in earlier letters to the great growth o% pro"-ussian %eeling! It is di%%icult, howe er, to be sure how deep this goes! A &rotskyist said to me recently that he thought that by their success%ul resistance the -ussians had won back all the credit they lost by the Hitler"Stalin pact and the /innish war! I don;t belie e this is so! 1hat has happened is that the D!S!S!-! has gained a lot o% admirers it did not pre iously ha e, but many who used to be its uncritical adherents ha e grown cannier! One notices here a gul% between what is said publicly and pri ately! In public nobody says a word against the D!S!S!-!, but in pri ate, apart %rom the "disillusioned" Stalinists that one is always meeting, I notice a more sceptical attitude among thinking people! One sees this especially in con ersations about the Second /ront! &he o%%icial attitude o% the pinks is that i% we open up a Second /ront the -ussians will be so grate%ul that they will be our comrades to the last! In reality, to open a Second /ront without a clear agreement be%orehand would simply gi e the -ussians the opportunity to make a separate peaceJ %or i% we succeeded in drawing the Germans away %rom their territories, what reason would they ha e %or going on %ightingI Another theory %a oured in le%t"wing papers is that the

more %ighting we do the more say we shall ha e in the postwar settlement! &his again is an illusionJ those who dictate the peace treaties are those who ha e remained strongest, which usually means those who ha e managed to a oid %ighting (e!g! the D!S!A! in the last war)! #onsiderations o% this kind seldom %ind their way into print but are admitted readily enough in pri ate! I think people ha e not altogether %orgotten the -usso"German *act and that %ear o% another double"cross partly e'plains their desire %or a closer alliance! +ut there is also much sentimental boosting o% -ussia, based on ignorance and played up by all kinds o% crooks who are utterly anti"Socialist but see that the -ed Army is a popular line! I must take back some o% the %a ourable re%erences I made in earlier letters to the +ea erbrook press! A%ter gi ing his :ournalists a %ree hand %or a year or more, during which some o% them did good work in enlightening the big public, +ea erbrook has again cracked the whip and is setting his team at work to attack #hurchill and, more directly, #ripps! He is simultaneously yapping against %uel"rationing, petrol"rationing and other restrictions on pri ate capitalism, and posing as more Stalinist than the Stalinists! ,ost o% the right"wing press adopts the more cautious line o% praising "the great -ussian people" (historic parallels with =apoleon etc!) while keeping silent about the nature o% the -ussian rMgime! &he "International" is at last being played on the wireless! ,oloto ;s speech on the German atrocities was issued as a 1hite *aper, but in de%erence to somebody;s %eelings (I don;t know whether Stalin;s or the Fing;s) the royal arms were omitted %rom the co er! *eople in general want to think well o% -ussia, though still aguely hostile to #ommunism! &hey would welcome a :oint declaration o% war aims and a close co"ordination o% strategy! I think many people reali9e that a %irm alliance with -ussia is di%%icult while the ,unich crew are still more or less in power, but much %ewer grasp that the comparati e political backwardness o% the D!S!A! presents another di%%iculty! -E.OLD&IO= O- EISAS&E1ell, that is the set"up as I see it! It seems to me that we are back to the "re olutionary situation" which e'isted but was not utili9ed a%ter Eunkirk! /rom that time until $uite recently one;s thoughts necessarily mo ed in some such progression as thisG 1e can;t win the war with our present social and economic structure! &he structure won;t change unless there is a rapid growth in popular consciousness! &he only thing that promotes this growth is military disasters! One more disaster and we shall lose the war! In the circumstances all one could do was to "support" the war, which in ol ed supporting #hurchill, and hope that in some way it would all come right on the night "" i!e! that the mere necessities o% war, the ine itable dri%t towards a centrali9ed economy and a more e$ual standard o% li ing, would %orce the rMgime gradually to the Le%t and allow the worst reactionaries to be le ered out! =o one in his senses supposed that the +ritish ruling classes would legislate themsel es out o% e'istence, but they might be manoeu red into a position where their continuance in power was $uite ob iously in the =a9i interest! In that case the mass o% the nation would swing against them and it would be possible to get rid o% them with little or no iolence! +e%ore writing this o%% as a

hopelessly "re%ormist" strategy it is worth remembering that England is literally within gunshot o% the continent! -e olutionary de%eatism, or anything approaching it, is nonsense in our geographical situation! I% there were e en a week;s serious disorgani9ation in the armed %orces the =a9is would be here, a%ter which one might as well stop talking about re olution! &o some small e'tent things ha e happened as I %oresaw! One can a%ter all discern the outlines o% a re olutionary world war! +ritain has been %orced into alliance with -ussia and #hina and into restoring Abyssinia and making %airly generous treaties with the ,iddle Eastern countries, and because o%, among other things, the need to raise a huge air %orce a serious breach has been made in the class system! &he de%eats in the /ar East ha e gone a long way towards killing the old conception o% imperialism! +ut there was a sort o% gap in the ladder which we ne er got o er and which it was perhaps impossible to get o er while no re olutionary party and no able le%t"wing leadership e'isted! &his may or may not ha e been altered by the emergence o% #ripps! I think it is certain that a new political party will ha e to arise i% anything is to be changed, and the ob ious bankruptcy o% the old parties may hasten this! ,aybe #ripps will lose his lustre $uite $uickly i% he does not get out o% the Go ernment! +ut at present, in his peculiar isolated position, he is the likeliest man %or any new mo ement to crystalli9e round! I% he %ails, God sa e us %rom the other probable alternati es to #hurchill! I suppose as usual I ha e written too much! &here is not much change in our e eryday li es here! &he nation went on to brown bread a %ew weeks back! &he basic petrol ration stops ne't month, which in theory means the end o% pri ate motoring! &he new lu'ury ta'es are terri%ic! #igarettes now cost a shilling %or ten and the cheapest beer tenpence a pint (%ourpence in 23?4)! E eryone seems to be working longer and longer hours! =ow and again at inter als o% weeks one gets one;s head abo e water %or a moment and notices with surprise that the earth is still going round the sun! One day I noticed crocuses in the parks, another day pear blossom, another day hawthorn! One seems to catch ague glimpses o% these things through a mist o% war news! Hours e er George Orwell %artisan &eview, Auly"August 23<>

&&, e)iew The #"ord and the #ic$le /y Mul( aA *nand In this war we ha e one weapon which our enemies cannot use against us, and that is the English language! Se eral other languages are spoken by larger numbers o% people, but there is no other that has any claim to be a world"wide lingua %ranca! &he Aapanese administrators in the *hilippines, the #hinese delegates in India, the Indian nationalists in +erlin, are all obliged to do their business in English! &here%ore, although ,r Anand;s no el would still be interesting on its own merits i% it had been written by an

Englishman, it is impossible to read it without remembering e ery %ew pages that it is also a cultural curiosity! &he growth, especially during the last %ew years, o% an English" language Indian literature is a strange phenomenon, and it will ha e its e%%ect on the post" war world, i% not on the outcome o% the war itsel%! &his no el is a se$uel to ' e 0illage and Across t e *lack /aters. &he Sikh sepoy who has %ought in /rance and spent years as a prisoner in Germany comes home to %ind himsel% "" partly because he is suspected o% disa%%ection and partly because that is the normal %ate o% all soldiers in all wars "" cheated out o% the reward that he had imagined that he was %ighting %or! &he rest o% the story deals mostly with the peasant mo ement and the beginnings o% the Indian #ommunist *arty! =ow, any book about India written by an Indian must at this date almost una oidably be the story o% a grie ance, and I notice that ,r Anand has already got himsel% into trouble by what is wrongly described as his bitterness! In reality, the book;s comparati e lack o% bitterness is a roundabout demonstration o% the English "bad conscience" towards India! In a no el on the same sub:ect by an English intellectual, what would you e'pect to %indI An endless masochistic denunciation o% his own race, and a series o% traditional caricatures o% Anglo"Indian society, with its unbearable club li%e, its chota pegs, etc! etc! In the scene as the Indian sees it, howe er, the English hardly enter! &hey are merely a permanent e il, something taken almost %or granted, like the climate, and though the ultimate ob:ecti e is to get rid o% +ritish rule, it is almost %orgotten among the weaknesses and internecine struggles o% the re olutionaries themsel es! European characters barely appear in the story "" a reminder that in India only about one person in a thousand is technically white "" and o% the %ew that do it cannot be said that they are treated worse than the other characters! &hey are not treated sympathetically either, %or on the whole the characteri9ation is harsh and derisi e (to gi e :ust one e'ample, ,r Gandhi;s head is described as resembling "a raw purple turnip"), and the whole book is %ull o% the Indian melancholy and o% the horribly ugly, degrading scenes which o%%end one;s eyes all the time in the star ed countries o% the East! Although it ends on a comparati ely hope%ul note this no el does not break the rule that books about India are depressing! *robably they must be so, $uite apart %rom the $uestion"mark they raise in the English conscience, because while the world remains in anything like its present shape the central problem o% India, its po erty, is not soluble! How much o% the special atmosphere o% English"language Indian literature is due to its sub:ect"matter is uncertain, but in reading ,r Anand;s work, or that o% Ahmed Ali and se eral others, it is di%%icult not to %eel that by this time another dialect, comparable perhaps to Irish"English, has grown up! One $uotation will do to illustrate thisG
3onscious of his responsibility for the misadventures into which he had led them, 6alu bent down and strained to lever the dead bodies with trembling hands. A sharp odour of decomposing flesh shot up to his nostrils from 3handra's body, while his hands were smeared with blood from 8andu's neck. $e sat up imagining the smell to be a whiff of the foul virulence of bacterial decay, ensuing from the vegetation of the forest through which they had come. ,ut, as he bent down again, there was no disguising the stink of the corpse. And, in a flash, he reali=ed that though 8andu's blood was hot now, it would soon be cold and the body would stink if it was carried all the way to Allahabad.

&here is a aguely un"English %la our about this ("shot up to his nostrils", %or instance, is not $uite an English idiom), and yet it is ob iously the work o% a man who is

not only at ease with the English language but thinks in it and would probably write in it by pre%erence! &his raises the $uestion o% the %uture, i% any, o% English"language Indian literature! At present English is to a great e'tent the o%%icial and business language o% IndiaG %i e million Indians are literate in it and millions more speak a debased ersion o% itJ there is a huge English"language Indian press, and the only English maga9ine de oted wholly to poetry is edited by Indians! On a erage, too, Indians write and e en pronounce English %ar better than any European race! 1ill this state o% a%%airs continueI It is inconcei able that the present relationship between the two countries will last much longer, and when it anishes the economic inducements %or learning English will also tend to disappear! *resumably, there%ore, the %ate o% the English language in Asia is either to %ade out or to sur i e as a pidgin language use%ul %or business and technical purposes! It might sur i e, in dialect %orm, as the mother tongue o% the small Eurasian community, but it is di%%icult to belie e that it has a literary %uture! ,r Anand and Ahmed Ali are much better writers than the a erage run o% English no elists, but they are not likely to ha e many successors! 1hy, then, is it that their books ha e at this moment an importance that goes beyond their literary meritI *artly because they are interpreting Asia to the west, but more, I think, because they act as a westerni9ing in%luence among their own countrymen! And at present there are reasons why the second %unction is more important than the %irst! Anyone who has to deal in propaganda knows that a sudden change came o er the Indian scene as soon as Aapan entered the war! ,any, perhaps most, Indian intellectuals are emotionally pro"Aapanese! /rom their point o% iew +ritain is the enemy, #hina means nothing to them, -ussia is an ob:ect o% lip"ser ice only! +ut is it the case that the Indian anti"+ritish intelligentsia actually wishes to see #hina permanently ensla ed, the So iet Dnion destroyed, Europe a =a9i concentration campI =o, that is not %air eitherG it is merely that the nationalism o% de%eated peoples is necessarily re enge%ul and short" sighted! I% you discuss this $uestion with an Indian you get an answer something like thisG "Hal% o% me is a Socialist but the other hal% is a =ationalist! I know what /ascism means, I know ery well that I ought to be on your side, but I hate your people so much that i% we can get rid o% them I hardly care what happens a%terwards! I tell you that there are moments when all I want is to see #hina, Aapan and India get together and destroy western ci ili9ation, not only in Asia, but in Europe!" &his outlook is widespread among the coloured peoples! Its emotional roots are ob ious enough, the arious disguises in which it is wrapped are easily seen though, but it is there, and it contains a great danger, to us and to the world! &he only answer to the sel%"pity and race"hatred common among Indians is to point out that others besides Indians are oppressed! &he only answer to nationalism is international Socialism, and the contact o% Indians "" to a lesser e'tent, o% all Asiatics "" with Socialist literature and Socialist thought generally, is through the English language! As a general rule, Indians are reliably anti"/ascist in proportion as they are westerni9ed! &hat is why at the beginning o% this re iew I described the English language as a weapon o% war! It is a %unnel %or ideas deadly to the /ascist iew o% li%e! ,r Anand does not like us ery much, and some o% his colleagues hate us ery bitterlyJ but so long as they oice their hatred in English they are in a species o% alliance with us, and an ultimate decent settlement with the Indians whom we ha e wronged but also helped to awaken remains possible!

Horizon, Auly 23<>

&#, ;acifism and the -ar A -ontrovers(, by E! S! Sa age, George 1oodcock, Ale' #om%ort, George Orwell! E! S! SA.AGEG6
6! E! S! Sa age, poet, whose critical works include ' e %ersonal %rinci#le and Hamlet and t e %irates.

A %ew brie% comments on George Orwell;s ,arch"April )ondon )etter. It is %ashionable nowadays to e$uate /ascism with Germany! 1e must %ight /ascism, there%ore we must %ight Germany! &hus ,r OrwellG "the greater part o% the ery young intelligentsia! ! ! don;t %eel the horror o% /ascism that we who are somewhat older %eel," alsoG "there is no real answer to the charge that paci%ism is ob:ecti ely pro"/ascist!" Answer3 /ascism is not a %orce con%ined to any one nation! 1e can :ust as soon get it here as anywhere else! &he characteristic markings o% /ascism areG curtailment o% indi idual and minority libertiesJ abolition o% pri ate alues and substitution o% State li%e and public alues (patriotism)J e'ternal imposition o% discipline (militarism)J pre alence o% mass" alues and mass"mentalityJ %alsi%ication o% intellectual acti ity under State pressure! &hese are all tendencies o% present"day +ritain! &he paci%ist opposes e ery one o% these, and might there%ore be called the onl( gen+ine o##onent o% /ascism! Eon;t let us be misled by names. /ascism is $uite capable o% calling itsel% democracy or e en Socialism! It;s the reality under the name that matters! 1ar demands totalitarian organi9ation o% society! Germany organi9ed hersel% on that basis prior to embarking on war! +ritain now %inds hersel% compelled to take the same measures a%ter in ol ement in war! Germans call it =ational Socialism! 1e call it democracy! &he result is the same! Let us assume that ,r Orwell means "ob:ecti ely pro"German"! (I% so, his loose terminology is surely indicati e o% ery loose thinking!) 1ho is "ob:ecti e"I "" ,r Orwell, a partisan o% one particular side in the struggleI According to this type o% reasoning, a German or Aapanese paci%ist would be "ob:ecti ely pro"+ritish"! &his is puerile! ,r Orwell is assuming that the paci%ist shares his chau inistic predilections! On the contrary, we regard the war as a disaster to humanity! 1ho is to say that a +ritish ictory will be less disastrous than a German oneI &he last +ritish ictory was pretty meaningless! ,r Orwell, in all his recent writings on the sub:ect, shows a total inability to grasp the real nature o% paci%ism! Let me try, in a %ew words, to enlighten him! ,r Orwell is himsel% a "politician", with a politician;s outlook on things! He conse$uently sees paci%ism primarily as a political phenomenon! &hat is :ust what it isn;t! *rimarily it is a moral phenomenon! *olitical mo ements are based on programme and organi9ation! 1ith paci%ism, programme and organi9ation are $uite subsidiary! *aci%ism springs %rom conscience "" i!e! %rom within the indi idual human being! ;%eace News,;

says Orwell, "%ollows its old tradition o% opposing war %or di%%erent incompatible reasons!" &here are certainly innumerable reasons why war should be opposed, but the chie% reason is the diabolical nature o% modern war%are, with its diabolical repercussions upon human personality and alues! I am not re%erring only to the act o% war%are itsel%, but the whole comple' o% e ents which is war! &he corruption and hollowness re ealed in the prosecution o% this war are too contemptible %or words! #ertainly I will accept my share o% responsibility %or them, but I won;t %ight in a war to e1tend that corruption and hollowness! *erhaps I ought to try and gi e e'pression to what many o% us paci%ists %eel about Germany in relation to oursel es, since ,r Orwell brings up this point! =eedless to say, we ha e no lo e %or /ascism, and our entire attitude is one o% personal resistance to all %orms o% /ascism, as they impinge upon us in concrete %orm! (1hereas Orwell swallows the concrete encroachments and wa es his arms at a distant bogey!) =ot only will we not %ight, nor lend a hand with the war, but the "intellectuals" among us would scorn to mentally compromise themsel es with the Go ernment! Orwell dislikes the /rench intellectuals licking up Hitler;s crumbs, but what;s the di%%erence between them and our intellectuals who are licking up #hurchill;sI Howe erG we "don;t belie e in any ;de%ence o% democracy;, are inclined to pre%er Germany to +ritain, and don;t %eel the horror o% /ascism that we who are somewhat older %eel"! I can only speak %or mysel%, o% course, but surely the "de%ence o% democracy" is best ser ed by de%ending one;s own concrete liberties, not by e$uating democracy with +ritain, and allowing all democracy to be destroyed in order that we may %ight better "" %or "+ritain"J and Orwell should not need to be told what, or who, "+ritain" now is! I am not greatly taken in by +ritain;s "democracy", particularly as it is gradually anishing under the pressure o% the war! #ertainly I would ne er %ight and kill %or such a phantasm! I do not greatly admire the part "my country" has played in world e ents! I consider that spiritually +ritain has lost all meaningJ she once stood %or something, perhaps, but who can pretend that the idea o% "+ritain" now counts %or anything in the worldI &his is not cynicism! I %eel identi%ied with my country in a deep sense, and want her to regain her meaning, her soul, i% that be possibleG but the unloading o% a billion tons o% bombs on Germany won;t help this %orward an inch! &he pretence e'ists in some $uarters that, although +ritain has been a sick nation, now, engaged in war, she has "%ound her soul", and by this one gathers that the sickness was e'empli%ied by #hamberlain and the soul"%inding by #hurchill! Dn%ortunately, deep changes do not occur so easily as that! England does not e en know what she is %ighting %or, only what she is %ighting against! &he paci%ists; "championing" o% Hitler re%erred to by Orwell is simply a recognition by us that Hitler and Germany contain a real historical dynamic, whereas we do not! 1hereas the rest o% the nation is content with calling down oblo$uy on Hitler;s head, we regard this as super%icial! Hitler re$uires, not condemnation, but understanding! &his does not mean that we like, or de%end him! *ersonally I do not care %or Hitler! He is, howe er, "realler" than #hamberlain, #hurchill, #ripps, etc!, in that he is the ehicle o% raw historical %orces, whereas they are stu%%ed dummies, wa'work %igures, li ing in unreality! 1e do not desire a German " ictory"J we would not li%t a %inger to help either +ritain or Germany to "win"J but there would be a pro%ound :ustice, I %eel, howe er terrible, in a German ictory! (In actuality, any ruler would %ind us rather awkward customers, one no less than another!)

=ow, how about ,r Orwell;s own position, and the position o% people like himI I would ask him to consider, %irst, the company he keeps! 1ho are his leadersI 1hat is the actual social system which he is %ighting to de%endI 1hat hopes has he o% di erting the stream o% history the way e wants it to goI +ra e words and muddled thinking cannot disguise the %act that ,r Orwell, like all the other supporters o% the war, shipping magnates, coal owners, proletarians, uni ersity pro%essors, Sunday :ournalists, trade" union leaders, #hurch dignitaries, scoundrels and honest men, is being swept along by history, not directing it! Like them, he will be deposited, along with other detritus, where history decides, not where he thinks! ,r Orwell is, I belie e, a man o% integrity, an honest man! +ut that does not make up %or his super%iciality! And can we a%%ord super%iciality, at any time, still less times like theseI 22 ,ay 23<> Ery Erayton, England GEO-GE 1OOE#O#FG5
5! George 1oodcock (232>" ), Anarchist, editor o% Now 23<7"<6, author o% /illiam 4odwin, Anarc ism and ' e -r(stal S#irit. At present *ro%essor o% English at the Dni ersity o% +ritish #olumbia and since 23@3, editor o% -anadian )iterat+re. A%ter this contro ersy he and Orwell corresponded and remained %riends until Orwell;s death!

I hope you will allow me to comment in your columns on certain re%erences in George Orwell;s London! Letter to the re iew Now, o% which I am editor! Orwell suggests that this paper has a /ascist tendency, and names two o% its contributors, Hugh -oss 1illiamson and the Euke o% +ed%ord, to pro e his case! In %act, Now was established early in the war as a re iew %or publishing literary matter and also as a %orum %or contro ersial writing which could not readily %ind publication under wartime conditions! =ot all the writers were opposed to the war, and o% the %i%ty odd contributors to the se en numbers, only two, those named by Orwell, were e en reputed to ha e /ascist tendencies! =either o% these men contributed more than one article to the re iew! &he remaining writers included Anarchists, Stalinists, &rot"skyists, paci%ists and New Statesman moderates! Aulian Hu'ley and Herbert -ead, two o% its bestGknown contributors, can hardly be accused o% /ascismO &he re%erence to the article by Aulian Symons is, in my opinion, un:ust! Orwell gi es no idea o% its sub:ect, and does not $uote a single sentence to pro e his assertion that it is " aguely /ascist"O =o one in England, e'cept Orwell and possibly the Stalinists, would think o% suggesting that Aulian Symons has any /ascist tendencies! On the contrary, he has been consistently anti"/ascist, and the article mentioned, which attacks Now7s %ormer lack o% a de%inite political line, is ,ar'ist in tendency! I do not propose to de%end Hugh -oss 1illiamson or the Euke o% +ed%ord "" although I would mention that neither o% them belonged to the +!D!/! and that the *eople;s *arty, although it may ha e contained %ormer /ascists, was not a /ascist party and contained many honest paci%ists and Socialists, like +en Greene, whose wrong%ul imprisonment and maltreatment in gaol caused a ma:or scandal! I would also point out that i% we are to e'pose antecedents, Orwell himsel% does not come o%% ery well!

#omrade Orwell, the %ormer police o%%icial o% +ritish imperialism (%rom which the /ascists learnt all they know) in those regions o% the /ar East where the sun at last sets %or e er on the bedraggled Dnion AackO #omrade Orwell, %ormer %ellow"tra eller o% the paci%ists and regular contributor to the paci%ist Adel# i -- which he now attacksO #omrade Orwell, %ormer e'treme le%t"winger, I!L!*! partisan and de%ender o% Anarchists (see Homage to -atalonia8O And now #omrade Orwell who returns to his old imperialist allegiances and works at the +!+!#! conducting +ritish propaganda to %o' the Indian massesO It would seem that Orwell himsel% shows to a surprising degree the o erlapping o% le%t"wing, paci%ist and reactionary tendencies o% which he accuses othersO Ad erting to Now, I would mention that this re iew has abandoned its position as an independent %orum, and has now become the cultural re iew o% the +ritish Anarchist mo ement! *erhaps ,r Orwell will regard this as another proo% o% his mystic and blimpish trinity! /inally, I would point out two inaccuracies in Orwell;s letter! &he Anarchist pamphlet to which he re%ers is entitled ' e &+ssian !(t , and the editor o% the Adel# i during the earlier part o% the war was not Aohn ,iddleton ,urry, but the late ,a' *lowman! 23 ,ay 23<> -ichmond, England ALEQ #O,/O-&G3
3! Ale' #om%ort (23>7" ), poet, no elist, pamphleteer and medical biologist!

I see that ,r Orwell is intellectual"hunting again, in your pages this time, and that he has made the disco ery that almost e ery writer under thirty in this country has his %eet already on the slippery slope to /ascism, or at least to compromise! It seems I am a "pure paci%ist o% the other"cheek" ariety, a piece o% horticultural eulogy I;m glad I did not miss, and that I deser e a spanking %or associating with such disreputables as the Euke o% +ed%ord and the "" per%ectly harmless "" -oss 1illiamson! &he trouble is that some o% your American readers may not reali9e ,r Orwell;s status in this country and take his commentary seriously! 1e all like him here, though the standard o% his pamphleteering is going down o% late, and we know him as the preacher o% a doctrine o% *hysical #ourage as an Asset to the Le%t"wing Intellectual, and so %orth! I think we all agree that he is pretty thoroughly out o% touch with any writing under thirty years o% age, and his last two public per%ormances "" a reproo% in sorrow to my book No S+c )ibert(, and this "London Letter" o% his "" suggest that he still has not grasped why most o% the post"thirties poets are paci%ists, or what their paci%ism would entail i% Hitler arri ed here! ,r Orwell calls us "ob:ecti ely pro"/ascist"! I suppose he means that we are letting anti"/ascism go by de%ault! I% we suggest to him that we, who ha e the single intention o% sal aging English artistic culture when the crash comes, are the only people likely to continue to hold genuinely anti"/ascist alues, he will not be con inced! +ut perhaps he will grant that Hitler;s greatest and irretrie able ictory o er here was when he persuaded the English people that the only way to lick /ascism was to imitate it! He puts us in a dilemma which cannot be practically rebutted, only broken away %rom "" "I% I win,

you ha e political /ascism ictoriousG i% you want to beat me, you must assimilate as much o% its philosophy as you can, so that I am bound to win either way!" Accordingly we began %e erishly :amming into our national li%e all the minor pieces o% /ascist practice which did not include Socialist methods, sitting on the press "because this is &otal 1ar", making our soldiers :ab blood bladders while loud"speakers howl propaganda at them, because the German army consisted o% e%%icient yahoos! &he only people who said that to de%eat /ascism one must (a) try to understand it and (b) re%use to accept its tenets onesel% were the paci%ists! It looks as i% ,r Orwell and his warlike %riends were being not ob:ecti ely but constructi ely supporters o% the entire philosophical apparatus which they $uite genuinely detest! 1hat, again, does ,r Orwell imagine the role o% the artist should be in occupied territoryI He should protest with all his %orce, where and when he can, against such e ils as he sees "" but can he do this more use%ully by temporarily accepting the stat+s :+o, or by skirmishing in Epping /orest with a pocket %ull o% hand"grenadesI I think that English writers honour, and will %ollow when the opportunity comes, the e'ample o% integrity which Gide has set! 1e are going to be entrusted with the :ob o% sa ing what remains o% the structure o% ci ili9ed alues %rom Hitler or alternati ely %rom #hurchill and his bladder"prickers! &he men who, like Orwell, could ha e helped, are calling us /ascists and presumably dancing round the ruins o% ,unster #athedral! 1e pre%er not to :oin them, and i%, in the pursuit o% our task we %ind oursel es obliged to publish in the same paper as the Ee il himsel%, the others ha ing politely re%used us as unorthodo', we shall ha e ery %ew $ualms! +rentwood, England 25 ,ay 23<> GEO-GE O-1ELLG Since I don;t suppose you want to %ill an entire number o% %.&. with s$ualid contro ersies imported %rom across the Atlantic, I will lump together the arious letters you ha e sent on to me (%rom ,essrs Sa age, 1oodcock and #om%ort), as the central issue in all o% them is the same! +ut I must a%terwards deal separately with some points o% %act raised in arious o% the letters! %aci$ism. *aci%ism is ob:ecti ely pro"/ascist! &his is elementary common sense! I% you hamper the war e%%ort o% one side you automatically help that o% the other! =or is there any real way o% remaining outside such a war as the present one! In practice, "he that is not with me is against me"! &he idea that you can somehow remain aloo% %rom and superior to the struggle, while li ing on %ood which +ritish sailors ha e to risk their li es to bring you, is a bourgeois illusion bred o% money and security! ,r Sa age remarks that "according to this type o% reasoning, a German or Aapanese paci%ist would be ;ob:ecti ely pro"+ritish;!" +ut o% course he would beO &hat is why paci%ist acti ities are not permitted in those countries (in both o% them the penalty is, or can be, beheading) while both the Germans and the Aapanese do all they can to encourage the spread o% paci%ism in +ritish and American territories! &he Germans e en run a spurious "%reedom" station which ser es out paci%ist propaganda indistinguishable %rom that o% the *!*!D! &hey would

stimulate paci%ism in -ussia as well i% they could, but in that case they ha e tougher babies to deal with! In so %ar as it takes e%%ect at all, paci%ist propaganda can only be e%%ecti e against those countries where a certain amount o% %reedom o% speech is still permittedJ in other words it is help%ul to totalitarianism! I am not interested in paci%ism as a "moral phenomenon"! I% ,r Sa age and others imagine that one can somehow "o ercome" the German army by lying on one;s back, let them go on imagining it, but let them also wonder occasionally whether this is not an illusion due to security, too much money and a simple ignorance o% the way in which things actually happen! As an e'"Indian ci il ser ant, it always makes me shout with laughter to hear, %or instance, Gandhi named as an e'ample o% the success o% non" iolence! As long as twenty years ago it was cynically admitted in Anglo"Indian circles that Gandhi was ery use%ul to the +ritish Go ernment! So he will be to the Aapanese i% they get there! Eespotic go ernments can stand "moral %orce" till the cows come homeJ what they %ear is physical %orce! +ut though not much interested in the "theory" o% paci%ism, I am interested in the psychological processes by which paci%ists who ha e started out with an alleged horror o% iolence end up with a marked tendency to be %ascinated by the success and power o% =a9ism! E en paci%ists who wouldn;t own to any such %ascination are beginning to claim that a =a9i ictory is desirable in itsel%! In the letter you sent on to me, ,r #om%ort considers that an artist in occupied territory ought to "protest against such e ils as he sees", but considers that this is best done by "temporarily accepting the stat+s :+o" (like EMat or +ergery, %or instanceI)! A %ew weeks back he was hoping %or a =a9i ictory because o% the stimulating e%%ect it would ha e upon the artsG
As far as I can see, no therapy short of complete military defeat has any chance of reestablishing the common stability of literature and of the man in the street. 0ne can imagine the greater the adversity the greater the sudden reali=ation of a stream of imaginative work, and the greater the sudden katharsis of poetry, from the isolated interpretation of war as calamity to the reali=ation of the imaginative and actual tragedy of 4an. !hen we have access again to the literature of the war years in -rance, &oland and 3=echoslovakia, I am confident that that is what we shall find. >-rom a letter to Horizon.)

I pass o er the money"sheltered ignorance capable o% belie ing that literary li%e is still going on in, %or instance, *oland, and remark merely that statements like this :usti%y me in saying that our English paci%ists are tending towards acti e pro"/ascism! +ut I don;t particularly ob:ect to that! 1hat I ob:ect to is the intellectual cowardice o% people who are ob:ecti ely and to some e'tent emotionally pro"/ascist, but who don;t care to say so and take re%uge behind the %ormula "I am :ust as anti"/ascist as anyone, but """! &he result o% this is that so"called peace propaganda is :ust as dishonest and intellectually disgusting as war propaganda! Like war propaganda, it concentrates on putting %orward a "case", obscuring the opponent;s point o% iew and a oiding awkward $uestions! &he line normally %ollowed is "&hose who %ight against /ascism go /ascist themsel es!" In order to e ade the $uite ob ious ob:ections that can be raised to this, the %ollowing propaganda" tricks are usedG 2! &he /asci9ing processes occurring in +ritain as a result o% war are systematically e'aggerated! >! &he actual record o% /ascism, especially its pre"war history, is ignored or pooh" poohed as "propaganda"! Eiscussion o% what the world would actually be like i% the A'is dominated it is e aded!

?! &hose who want to struggle against /ascism are accused o% being wholehearted de%enders o% capitalist "democracy"! &he %act that the rich e erywhere tend to be pro" /ascist and the working class are nearly always anti"/ascist is hushed up! <! It is tacitly pretended that the war is only between +ritain and Germany! ,ention o% -ussia and #hina, and their %ate i% /ascism is permitted to win, is a oided! (Hou won;t %ind one word about -ussia or #hina in the three letters you sent to me!) =ow as to one or two points o% %act which I must deal with i% your correspondents; letters are to be printed in %ull! !( #ast and #resent. ,r 1oodcock tries to discredit me by saying that (a) I once ser ed in the Indian Imperial *olice, (b) I ha e written articles %or the Adel# i and was mi'ed up with the &rotskyists in Spain, and (c) that I am at the +!+!#! "conducting +ritish propaganda to %o' the Indian masses"! 1ith regard to (a), it is $uite true that I ser ed %i e years in the Indian *olice! It is also true that I ga e up that :ob, partly because it didn;t suit me but mainly because I would not any longer be a ser ant o% imperialism! I am against imperialism because I know something about it %rom the inside! &he whole history o% this is to be %ound in my writings, including a no el27 which I think I can claim was a kind o% prophecy o% what happened this year in +urma, (b) O% course I ha e written %or the Adel# i. 1hy notI I once wrote an article %or a egetarian paper! Eoes that make me a egetarianI I was associated with the &rotskyists in Spain! It was chance that I was ser ing in the *!O!D!,! militia and not another, and I largely disagreed with the *!O!D!,! "line" and told its leaders so %reely, but when they were a%terwards accused o% pro"/ascist acti ities I de%ended them as best I could! How does this contradict my present anti"Hitler attitudeI It is news to me that &rotskyists are either paci%ists or pro"/ascists, (c) Eoes ,r 1oodcock really know what kind o% stu%% I put out in the Indian broadcastsI He does not "" though I would be $uite glad to tell him about it! He is care%ul not to mention what other people are associated with these Indian broadcasts! One %or instance is Herbert -ead, whom he mentions with appro al! Others are &! S! Eliot, E! ,! /orster, -eginald -eynolds, Stephen Spender, A! +! S! Haldane, &om 1intringham! ,ost o% our broadcasters are Indian le%t"wing intellectuals, %rom Liberals to &rotskyists, some o% them bitterly anti"+ritish! &hey don;t do it to "%o' the Indian masses" but because they know what a /ascist ictory would mean to the chances o% India;s independence! 1hy not try to %ind out what I am doing be%ore accusing my good %aithI
27! *+rmese .a(s.

;!r Orwell is intellect+al- +nting again; (,r #om%ort)! I ha e ne er attacked "the intellectuals" or "the intelligentsia" en bloc. I ha e used a lot o% ink and done mysel% a lot o% harm by attacking the successi e literary cli$ues which ha e in%ested this country, not because they were intellectuals but precisely because they were not what I mean by true intellectuals! &he li%e o% a cli$ue is about %i e years and I ha e been writing long enough to see three o% them come and two go "" the #atholic gang, the Stalinist gang, and the present paci%ist or, as they are sometimes nicknamed, /asci%ist gang! ,y case against all o% them is that they write mentally dishonest propaganda and degrade literary criticism to mutual arse"licking! +ut e en with these arious schools I would di%%erentiate between indi iduals! I would ne er think o% coupling #hristopher Eawson with Arnold Lunn, or ,alrau' with *alme Eutt, or ,a' *lowman with the Euke o% +ed%ord! And e en the work o% one indi idual can e'ist at ery di%%erent le els! /or instance ,r #om%ort himsel%

wrote one poem I alue greatly (;&he Atoll in the ,ind;), and I wish he would write more o% them instead o% li%eless propaganda tracts dressed up as no els! +ut this letter he has chosen to send you is a di%%erent matter! Instead o% answering what I ha e said he tries to pre:udice an audience to whom I am little known by a misrepresentation o% my general line and sneers about my "status" in England! (A writer isn;t :udged by his "status", he is :udged by his work!) &hat is on a par with "peace" propaganda which has to a oid mention o% Hitler;s in asion o% -ussia, and it is not what I mean by intellectual honesty! It is :ust because I do take the %unction o% the intelligentsia seriously that I don;t like the sneers, libels, parrot phrases and %inancially pro%itable back"scratching which %lourish in our English literary world, and perhaps in yours also! 2> Auly 23<> London, England %artisan &eview, September"October 23<>

&4, London Letter to Partisan Re!ie" London, England >3 August 23<> Eear Editors, I write this letter at a moment when it is almost certain to be o ertaken and swamped by e ents! 1e are still in the same state o% %ro9en crisis as we were three months ago! #ripps is still enigmatically in o%%ice, gradually losing credit with the Le%t but belie ed by many to be waiting his moment to lea e the Go ernment and proclaim a re olutionary policy! Such a de elopment as there has been is de%initely in a reactionary direction! ,any people besides mysel% ha e noticed an all"round increase in blimpishness, a dri e against gi ing the war an anti"/ascist colour, a general shedding o% the phony radicalism o% the past two years! &he India business twitched the masks o%% many %aces, including Lord -othermere;s! &his seems to iolate the principle that e ery rMgime mo es to the Le%t in moments o% disaster, and ice ersa, %or one could hardly describe the last si' months as triumphant! +ut something or other appears to ha e made the +limps %eel much more sure o% themsel es! &here are a %ew minor political happenings to record! Sir -ichard Acland;s %airly radical /orward ,arch group (a sort o% #hristian Socialism) has amalgamated with *riestley;s somewhat less radical 23<2 #ommittee and the mo ement is calling itsel% #ommon 1ealth!22 I belie e the amalgamation happened somewhat against Acland;s will! &hey ha e now been :oined by &om 1intringham, a use%ul demagogue, but I don;t think these people should be taken seriously though they ha e won one by"election! &rotskyism has at last got itsel% into the news owing to the threatened prosecution o% a weekly paper, the Socialist A##eal. I belie e this is still running, though in danger o% suppression! I

managed to get hold o% one copy o% it "" the usual stu%%, but not a bad paper! &he group responsible %or it are said to number @77! &he -othermere press is especially acti e in chasing the &rotskyists! &he S+nda( .is#atc denounces &rotskyism in almost e'actly the terms used by the #ommunists! &he S+nda( .is#atc is one o% the ery worst o% the gutter papers (murders, chorus girls; legs and the Dnion Aack) and belongs to the press which be%ore the war outdid all others in kow"towing to /ascism, describing Hitler as late as the early months o% 23?3 as "a great gentleman"! &he .ail( /orker has been de" suppressed and is to reappear on 6 September! &his was the necessary se$uel to li%ting the ban on the #ommunist press in India! #ommunist literature at the moment is chie%ly concerned with urging the opening o% a Second /ront, but pamphlets are also issued attacking all ,!*!s o% whate er party who ote against the Go ernment! &he anti" &rotskyist pamphlets now being issued are barely distinguishable %rom those o% the Spanish #i il 1ar period, but go somewhat %urther in mendacity! &he Indian issue makes a certain amount o% stir here, but less than one would e'pect because all the big newspapers ha e conspired to misrepresent it and the Indian intellectuals in this country go out o% their way to antagoni9e those likeliest to help them! &he .ansittart contro ersy rumbles on in books, pamphlets, correspondence columns and the monthly re iews! "Independent" candidates, some o% them plain mountebanks, tour the country, %ighting by"elections! Se eral o% them ha e a distinct /ascist tinge! =e ertheless there is no sign o% any /ascist mass mo ement emerging!
22! &he "23<2 #ommittee" was %ounded early in 23<2 by a group o% le%t"wing publicists, politicians and notabilities! A! +! *riestley, the no elist, whose broadcasts in 23<7 had made him a national %igure, was chairman o% the discussions, though Orwell is echoing a popular misapprehension when he calls it "*riestley;s #ommittee"! Its aim was to bring pressure to bear on the #oalition Go ernment, through publications and lobbying, in %a our o% immediate le%t"wing political and economic changes! Eissension within the #ommittee led to its dissolution and what remained o% it merged with Acland;s "/orward ,arch" in Auly 23<> to %orm a new political party, #ommon 1ealth! Sir -ichard Acland (2374" ), became a Liberal ,!*! in 23?@! At the outbreak o% war he announced his con ersion to Socialism or, as he pre%erred to call it, #ommon Ownership! A%ter the publication o% his success%ul book <nser "am#$ and his !ani$esto o$ t e Ordinar( !an he %ormed a small mo ement called /orward ,arch! #ommon 1ealth;s policies were those o% Dtopian Socialism but Acland eschewed the con entional ,ar'ist ocabulary and insisted that the basis o% a Socialist re olution must be moral and not economic! #ommon 1ealth supported the war e%%ort and, apart %rom the anti"war Independent Labour *arty, %ormed the only organi9ed Socialist opposition to the political truce and the #hurchill Go ernment! As a party it won by"elections during the war but %ared disastrously in the 23<@ General Election when most o% its twenty"three candidates, including Acland, lost their deposits against Labour opposition! A%terwards Acland and most o% its other leaders :oined Labour, and #ommon 1ealth (which still e'ists) disappeared %rom political prominence!

&hat seems to me the whole o% the political news! It has been in my mind %or some time past that you might be interested to hear something about the minor social changes occurring in this country "" what one might call the mechanical results o% war! &he price o% nearly e erything is controlled, and controlled rather low, which leads to black"marketing o% lu'ury %oods, but this is perhaps less damaging to morale than the shameless pro%iteering that went on last time! &he interesting point is whether the %ood restrictions are a%%ecting public health and in what direction they are altering the national diet! A certain number o% people with small %i'ed incomes "" Old Age *ensioners are the e'treme instance "" are now in desperate %inancial straits, and the allowances paid to

soldiers; wi es are wretched enough, but as a whole the purchasing power o% the working class has increased! ,y own opinion is that on a erage people are better nourished than they used to be! Against this is the increase in tuberculosis, which may ha e a number o% causes but must be due in some cases to malnutrition! +ut though it is di%%icult to be sure with no standard o% comparison, I can;t help %eeling that people in London ha e better comple'ions than they used, and are more acti e, and that one sees less grossly %at people! English working people be%ore the war, e en when ery highly paid, li ed on the most unwholesome diet it is possible to imagine, and the rationing necessarily %orces them back to simpler %ood! It is strange to learn, %or instance, that with an adult milk ration o% three pints a week, milk consumption has actually increased since the war! &he most sensational drop has been in the consumption o% sugar and tea! *lenty o% people in England be%ore the war ate se eral pounds o% sugar a week! &wo ounces o% tea is a miserable ration by English standards, though alle iated by the %act that small children who don;t drink tea draw their ration! &he endlessly stewing teapot was one o% the bases o% English li%e in the era o% the dole, and though I miss the tea mysel% I ha e no doubt we are better without it! &he wheatmeal bread is also an impro ement, though working people don;t as a rule like it! 1ar and conse$uent abandonment o% imports tend to reduce us to the natural diet o% these islands, that is, oatmeal, herrings, milk, potatoes, green egetables and apples, which is healthy i% rather dull! I am not certain how much o% our own %ood we are now producing, but it would be o% the order o% 47 or 67 per cent! Si' million e'tra acres ha e been ploughed in England since the war, and nine million in Great +ritain as a whole! A%ter the war +ritain must necessarily become more o% an agricultural country, because, howe er the war ends, many markets will ha e disappeared owing to industriali9ation in India, Australia, etc! In that case we shall ha e to return to a diet resembling that o% our ancestors, and perhaps these war years are not a bad preparation! &he %act that, owing to e acuation, hundreds o% thousands o% town"born children are now growing up in the country may help to make the return to an agricultural way o% li%e easier! &he clothes rationing is now beginning to take e%%ect in a general shabbiness! I had e'pected it to accentuate class di%%erences, because it is a thoroughly undemocratic measure, hardly a%%ecting well"to"do people who ha e large stocks o% clothes already! Also, the rationing only regulates the number o% garments you can buy and has nothing to do with the price, so that you gi e up the same number o% coupons %or a hundred"guinea mink coat and a thirty"shilling waterproo%! Howe er, it now seems rather "the thing" %or people not in uni%orm to look shabby! E ening dress has practically disappeared so %ar as men are concerned! #orduroy trousers and, in women, bare legs are on the increase! &here hasn;t yet been what one could call a re olutionary change in clothing, but there may be one owing to the sheer necessity o% cutting down wastage o% cloth! &he +oard o% &rade tinkers with the problem by, %or e'ample, suppressing the turn"ups o% trouser ends, but is already contemplating putting e eryone into battledress! &he $uality o% cloth is deteriorating, though less than I had e'pected! #osmetics are becoming scarce! #igarettes ha e lost their cellophane and greaseproo% wrappings and are sold in cheap paper packets or loose! 1riting paper gets more and more like toilet paper while toilet paper resembles sheet tin! #rockery is somewhat scarce and a hideous white "utility" hardware, the sort o% thing you would e'pect to see in prison, is being produced! All articles which are not controlled, %or instance %urniture, linen, clocks, tools, rocket to %antastic prices! =ow that

the basic petrol ration has stopped pri ate cars are ery much rarer on the roads! In the country many people are taking to pony"traps again! In London there are no con eyances, e'cept ery occasional ta'is, a%ter midnight! It is becoming a common practice when you dine at anybody else;s house to sleep there! 1hat with the air raids and %irewatching people are so used to sleeping out o% their beds that they can kip down anywhere! &he %uel shortage hasn;t yet made itsel% %elt, but it is going to do so about Aanuary! /or long past the coal owners ha e been success%ully sabotaging the attempts to introduce %uel rationing, and it is considered that this winter we shall be twenty"%i e million tons o% coal short! +uildings e erywhere are growing ery shabby, not only %rom air"raid damage but %rom lack o% repairs! *laster peeling o%%, windows patched with linen or cardboard, empty shops in e ery street! -egency London is becoming almost ruinous! &he beauti%ul but %limsy houses, no longer li ed in, are %alling to pieces with damp and neglect! On the other hand the parks are impro ed out o% recognition by the remo al o% the railings %or scrap iron! As a rule these ha e gone %rom the gardens in the s$uares as well, but in places the rich and power%ul manage to cling to their railings and keep the populace out! Generally speaking, where there is money, there are railings! One periodical reminder that things ave c anged in England since the war is the arri al o% American maga9ines, with their enormous bulk, sleek paper and riot o% brilliantly"coloured ad erts urging you to spend your money on trash! English ad erts o% be%ore the war were no doubt less colour%ul and enterprising than the American ones, but their mental atmosphere was similar, and the sight o% a %ull"page ad on shiny paper gi es one the sensation o% stepping back into 23?3! *eriodicals probably gi e up to ad ertisements as great a proportion o% their dwindled bulk as be%ore, but the total amount o% ad ertisement is %ar smaller and the go ernment ads constantly gain on the commercial ones! E erywhere there are enormous hoardings standing empty! In the &ube stations you can see an interesting e olutionary process at work, the commercial ads growing smaller and smaller (some o% them only about 2 %t by > %t) and the o%%icial ones steadily replacing them! &his, howe er, only re%lects the dwindling o% internal trade and does not point to any deep change o% outlook! An e'traordinary %eature o% the time is ad ertisements %or products which no longer e'ist! &o gi e :ust one e'ampleG the word I-O= in large letters, with underneath it an impressi e picture o% a tank, and underneath that a little essay on the importance o% collecting scrap iron %or sal ageJ at the bottom, in tiny print, a reminder that a%ter the war Iron Aelloids will be on sale as be%ore! &his throws a sort o% sidelight on the strange %act, recently reported by the ,ass Obser ers and con%irmed by my own limited e'perience, that many %actory"workers are actually a$raid o% the war ending, because they %oresee a prompt return to the old conditions, with three million unemployed, etc! &he idea that w atever a##ens old"style capitalism is doomed and we are in much more danger o% %orced labour than o% unemployment, hasn;t reached the masses e'cept as a ague notion that "things will be di%%erent"! &he ad ertisements that seem to ha e been least changed by the war are those %or theatres and patent medicines! #ertain drugs are unobtainable, but the +ritish ha e lost none o% their old enthusiasm %or medicine"taking, and the consumption o% aspirin, phenacetin, etc! has no doubt increased! All pubs without e'ception sell aspirins, and arious new proprietary drugs ha e appeared! One is named +lit9, the lightning pick"me"up! Once again I may ha e seemed to talk to you about ery tri ial things, but these minor changes in our habits, all tending towards a more e$ual way o% li%e and a lessened

reliance on imported lu'uries, could ha e their importance in the di%%icult transition period which must occur i% +ritain becomes a Socialist country! 1e are growing gradually used to conditions that would once ha e seemed intolerable and getting to ha e less o% the consumer mentality which both Socialists and capitalists did their best to inculcate in times o% peace! Since the introduction o% Socialism is almost certain to mean a drop in the standard o% li ing during the %irst %ew years, perhaps this is :ust as well! +ut o% course the changes in our %ood and clothes ha e no meaning unless there is a structural change as well! /or many o% the same processes occurred during the last war as are occurring now! &hen too %ood was short and money plenti%ul, agriculture re i ed, women in ast numbers mo ed into industry, trade"union membership swelled, go ernment inter%erence with pri ate li%e increased, and the class system was shaken up because o% the need %or great numbers o% o%%icers! +ut there had been no real shi%t o% power and in 2323 we went back to "normal" with startling speed! I cannot belie e that the same thing will happen this time, but I cannot say either that I see concrete e idence that it won;t happen! At present the only insurance against it seems to me to lie in what one might call the mechanics o% the situation! Old"style capitalism can;t win the war, and the e ents o% the past three years suggest that we can;t de elop a nati e ersion o% /ascism! &here%ore, now as two years ago, one can predict the %uture in the %orm o% an "either "" or"G either we introduce Socialism, or we lose the war! &he strange, perhaps dis$uieting, %act is that it was as easy to make this prophecy in 23<7 as it is now, and yet the essential situation has barely altered! 1e ha e been two years on the burning deck and somehow the maga9ine ne er e'plodes! &here are now many American soldiers in the streets! &hey wear on their %aces a look o% settled discontent! I don;t know how %ar this may be the normal e'pression o% the American countenance, as against the English countenance, which is mild, ague and rather worried! In the Home Guard we ha e orders to be punctilious about saluting the o%%icers, which I;m a%raid I don;t do and which they don;t seem to e'pect! I belie e some o% the pro incial towns ha e been almost taken o er by the American troops! &here is already a lot o% :ealousy, and sooner or later something will ha e to be done about the di%%erences in pay! An American pri ate gets %i e times as much as an English one, which has its e%%ect on the girls! Also, working"class girls probably %ind it rather thrilling to hear the accent they are so used to in the mo ies emerging %rom a li ing %ace! I don;t think the %oreign troops here can complain about the way the women ha e treated them! &he *oles ha e already done their bit towards sol ing our birth"rate problem! Hours e er George Orwell %artisan &eview, =o ember"Eecember 23<>

&5, e)iew % rnt Norton& East 'o$er& The (ry #al!a)es /y T, <, Eliot

&here is ery little in Eliot;s later work that makes any deep impression on me! &hat is a con%ession o% something lacking in mysel%, but it is not, as it may appear at %irst sight, a reason %or simply shutting up and saying no more, since the change in my own reaction probably points to some e'ternal change which is worth in estigating! I know a respectable $uantity o% Eliot;s earlier work by heart! I did not sit down and learn it, it simply stuck in my mind as any passage o% erse is liable to do when it has really rung the bell! Sometimes a%ter only one reading it is possible to remember the whole o% a poem o%, say, twenty or thirty lines, the act o% memory being partly an act o% reconstruction! +ut as %or these three latest poems, I suppose I ha e read each o% them two or three times since they were published, and how much do I erbally rememberI "&ime and the bell ha e buried the day", "At the still point o% the turning world", "&he ast waters o% the petrel and the porpoise", and bits o% the passage beginning "O dark dark dark! &hey all go into the dark"! (I don;t count "In my end is my beginning", which is a $uotation!) &hat is about all that sticks in my head o% its own accord! =ow one cannot take this as pro ing that *+rnt Norton and the rest are worse than the more memorable early poems, and one might e en take it as pro ing the contrary, since it is arguable that that which lodges itsel% most easily in the mind is the ob ious and e en the ulgar! +ut it is clear that something has departed, some kind o% current has been switched o%%, the later erse does not contain the earlier, e en i% it is claimed as an impro ement upon it! I think one is :usti%ied in e'plaining this by a deterioration in ,r Eliot;s sub:ect"matter! +e%ore going any %urther, here are a couple o% e'tracts, :ust near enough to one another in meaning to be comparable! &he %irst is the concluding passage o% ' e .r( Salvages3
And right action is freedom -rom past and future also. -or most of us, this is the aim 8ever here to be reali=ed# !ho are only undefeated ,ecause we have gone on trying# !e, content at the last If our temporal reversion nourish >8ot too far from the yew-tree? The life of significant soil.

Here is an e'tract %rom a much earlier poemG


<affodil bulbs instead of balls 2tared from the sockets of his eyes! $e knew that thought clings round dead limbs Tightening its lusts and lu1uries# $e knew the anguish of the marrow, The ague of the skeleton# 8o contact possible to flesh Allayed the fever of the bone.

&he two passages will bear comparison since they both deal with the same sub:ect, namely death! &he %irst o% them %ollows upon a longer passage in which it is e'plained, %irst o% all, that scienti%ic research is all nonsense, a childish superstition on the same le el as %ortune"telling, and then that the only people e er likely to reach an

understanding o% the uni erse are saints, the rest o% us being reduced to "hints and guesses"! &he keynote o% the closing passage is "resignation"! &here is a "meaning" in li%e and also in deathJ un%ortunately we don;t know what it is, but the %act that it e'ists should be a com%ort to us as we push up the crocuses, or whate er it is that grows under the yew" trees in country churchyards! +ut now look at the other two stan9as I ha e $uoted! &hough %athered on to somebody else, they probably e'press what ,r Eliot himsel% %elt about death at that time, at least in certain moods! &hey are not oicing resignation! On the contrary, they are oicing the pagan attitude towards death, the belie% in the ne't world as a shadowy place %ull o% thin, s$ueaking ghosts, en ious o% the li ing, the belie% that howe er bad li%e may be, death is worse! &his conception o% death seems to ha e been general in anti$uity, and in a sense it is general now! "&he anguish o% the marrow, the ague o% the skeleton", Horace;s %amous ode ;E e+ $+gaces;, and +loom;s unuttered thoughts during *addy Eignam;s %uneral, are all ery much o% a muchness! So long as man regards himsel% as an indi idual, his attitude towards death must be one o% simple resentment! And howe er unsatis%actory this may be, i% it is intensely %elt it is more likely to produce good literature than a religious %aith which is not really $elt at all, but merely accepted against the emotional grain! So %ar as they can be compared, the two passages I ha e $uoted seem to me to bear this out! I do not think it is $uestionable that the second o% them is superior as erse, and also more intense in %eeling, in spite o% a tinge o% burles$ue! 1hat are these three poems, *+rnt Norton and the rest, "about"I It is not so easy to say what they are about, but what they appear on the sur%ace to be about is certain localities in England and America with which ,r Eliot has ancestral conne'ions! ,i'ed up with this is a rather gloomy musing upon the nature and purpose o% li%e, with the rather inde%inite conclusion I ha e mentioned abo e! Li%e has a "meaning", but it is not a meaning one %eels inclined to grow lyrical aboutJ there is %aith, but not much hope, and certainly no enthusiasm! =ow the sub:ect"matter o% ,r Eliot;s early poems was ery di%%erent %rom this! &hey were not hope%ul, but neither were they depressed or depressing! I% one wants to deal in antitheses, one might say that the later poems e'press a melancholy %aith and the earlier ones a glowing despair! &hey were based on the dilemma o% modern man, who despairs o% li%e and does not want to be dead, and on top o% this they e'pressed the horror o% an o er"ci ili9ed intellectual con%ronted with the ugliness and spiritual emptiness o% the machine age! Instead o% "not too %ar %rom the yew"tree" the keynote was "weeping, weeping multitudes", or perhaps "the broken %ingernails o% dirty hands"! =aturally these poems were denounced as "decadent" when they %irst appeared, the attacks only being called o%% when it was percei ed that Eliot;s political and social tendencies were reactionary! &here was, howe er, a sense in which the charge o% "decadence" could be :usti%ied! #learly these poems were an end"product, the last gasp o% a cultural tradition, poems which spoke only %or the culti ated third"generation rentier, %or people able to %eel and critici9e but no longer able to act! E! ,! /orster praised "*ru%rock" on its %irst appearance because "it sang o% people who were ine%%ectual and weak" and because it was "innocent o% public spirit" (this was during the other war, when public spirit was a good deal more rampant than it is now)! &he $ualities by which any society which is to last longer than a generation actually has to be sustained "" industry, courage, patriotism, %rugality, philoprogeniti eness "" ob iously could not %ind any place in Eliot;s early poems! &here was only room %or rentier alues, the alues o% people too

ci ili9ed to work, %ight or e en reproduce themsel es! +ut that was the price that had to be paid, at any rate at that time, %or writing a poem worth reading! &he mood o% lassitude, irony, disbelie%, disgust, and not the sort o% bee%y enthusiasm demanded by the S$uires and Herberts, was what sensiti e people actually %elt! It is %ashionable to say that in erse only the words count and the "meaning" is irrele ant, but in %act e ery poem contains a prose meaning, and when the poem is any good it is a meaning which the poet urgently wishes to e'press! All art is to some e'tent propaganda! "*ru%rock" is an e'pression o% %utility, but it is also a poem o% wonder%ul itality and power, culminating in a sort o% rocket"burst in the closing stan9asG
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves 3ombing the white hair of the waves blown back !hen the wind blows the water white and black. !e have lingered in the chambers of the sea ,y sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown, Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

&here is nothing like that in the later poems, although the rentier despair on which these lines are %ounded has been consciously dropped! +ut the trouble is that conscious %utility is something only %or the young! One cannot go on "despairing o% li%e" into a ripe old age! One cannot go on and on being "decadent", since decadence means %alling and one can only be said to be %alling i% one is going to reach the bottom reasonably soon! Sooner or later one is obliged to adopt a positi e attitude towards li%e and society! It would be putting it too crudely to say that e ery poet in our time must either die young, enter the #atholic #hurch, or :oin the #ommunist *arty, but in %act the escape %rom the consciousness o% %utility is along those general lines! &here are other deaths besides physical death, and there are other sects and creeds besides the #atholic #hurch and the #ommunist *arty, but it remains true that a%ter a certain age one must either stop writing or dedicate onesel% to some purpose not wholly aesthetic! Such a dedication necessarily means a break with the pastG
every attempt Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure ,ecause one has only learnt to get the better of words -or the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which 0ne is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate !ith shabby e/uipment always deteriorating In the general mess of imprecision of feeling, @ndisciplined s/uads of emotion.

Eliot;s escape %rom indi idualism was into the #hurch, the Anglican #hurch as it happened! One ought not to assume that the gloomy *Mtainism to which he now appears to ha e gi en himsel% o er was the una oidable result o% his con ersion! &he Anglo" #atholic mo ement does not impose any political "line" on its %ollowers, and a reactionary or austro"/ascist tendency had always been apparent in his work, especially his prose writings! In theory it is still possible to be an orthodo' religious belie er without being intellectually crippled in the processJ but it is %ar %rom easy, and in practice

books by orthodo' belie ers usually show the same cramped, blinkered outlook as books by orthodo' Stalinists or others who are mentally un%ree! &he reason is that the #hristian churches still demand assent to doctrines which no one seriously belie es in! &he most ob ious case is the immortality o% the soul! &he arious "proo%s" o% personal immortality which can be ad anced by #hristian apologists are psychologically o% no importanceJ what matters, psychologically, is that hardly anyone nowadays $eels himsel% to be immortal! &he ne't world may be in some sense "belie ed in" but it has not anywhere near the same actuality in people;s minds as it had a %ew centuries ago! #ompare %or instance the gloomy mumblings o% these three poems with "Aerusalem my happy home"J the comparison is not altogether pointless! In the second case you ha e a man to whom the ne't world is as real as this one! It is true that his ision o% it is incredibly ulgar "" a choir practice in a :eweller;s shop "" but he belie es in what he is saying and his belie% gi es itality to his words! In the other case you ha e a man who does not really $eel his %aith, but merely assents to it %or comple' reasons! It does not in itsel% gi e him any %resh literary impulse! At a certain stage he %eels the need %or a "purpose", and he wants a "purpose" which is reactionary and not progressi eJ the immediately a ailable re%uge is the #hurch, which demands intellectual absurdities o% its members, so his work becomes a continuous nibbling round those absurdities, an attempt to make them acceptable to himsel%! &he #hurch has not now any li ing imagery, any new ocabulary to o%%erG
The rest Is prayer, observance, discipline, thought and action.

*erhaps what we need is prayer, obser ance, etc! but you do not make a line o% poetry by stringing those words together! ,r Eliot speaks also o%
the intolerable wrestle !ith words and meanings. The poetry does not matter.

I do not know, but I should imagine that the struggle with meanings would ha e loomed smaller, and the poetry would ha e seemed to matter more, i% he could ha e %ound his way to some creed which did not start o%% by %orcing one to belie e the incredible! &here is no saying whether ,r Eliot;s de elopment could ha e been much other than it has been! All writers who are any good de elop throughout li%e, and the general direction o% their de elopment is determined! It is absurd to attack Eliot, as some le%t" wing critics ha e done, %or being a "reactionary" and to imagine that he might ha e used his gi%ts in the cause o% democracy and Socialism! Ob iously a scepticism about democracy and a disbelie% in "progress" are an integral part o% himJ without them he could not ha e written a line o% his works! +ut it is arguable that he would ha e done better to go much %urther in the direction implied in his %amous "Anglo"#atholic and -oyalist" declaration! He could not ha e de eloped into a Socialist, but he might ha e de eloped into the last apologist o% aristocracy! =either %eudalism nor indeed /ascism is necessarily deadly to poets though both are to prose writers! &he thing that is really deadly to both is #onser atism o% the hal%" hearted modern kind! It is at least imaginable that i% Eliot had %ollowed wholeheartedly the anti" democratic, anti"per%ectionist strain in himsel% he might ha e struck a new ein

comparable to his earlier one! +ut the negati e *Mtainism, which turns its eyes to the past, accepts de%eat, writes o%% earthly happiness as impossible, mumbles about prayer and repentance and thinks it a spritual ad ance to see li%e as "a pattern o% li ing worms in the guts o% the women o% #anterbury" "" that, surely, is the least hope%ul road a poet could take! %oetr( )ondon, October"=o ember 23<>J reprinted in )ittle &eviews Ant olog(, edited by Eenys .al +aker, 23<?!

&6, *n >n3u/lished Letter!. to the Editor of The Times l7a ,ortimer #rescent =14 2> October 23<>
2>! &e't taken %rom a carbon copy!

Sir, ,ay I be allowed to o%%er one or two re%lections on the +ritish Go ernment;s decision to retaliate against German prisoners,2? which seems so %ar to ha e aroused e'traordinarily little protestI
2?! In August the +ritish and #anadians had made a short raid on Eieppe! &he Germans alleged that during the raids the +ritish had tied the hands o% German prisoners and that, in reprisal, they were putting a number o% +ritish prisoners o% war in chains! 1hereupon the +ritish Go ernment declared their intention o% putting e$ual numbers o% German prisoners in chains!

+y chaining up German prisoners in response to similar action by the Germans, we descend, at any rate in the eyes o% the ordinary obser er, to the le el o% our enemies! It is un$uestionable when one thinks o% the history o% the past ten years that there is a deep moral di%%erence between democracy and /ascism, but i% we go on the principle o% an eye %or an eye and a tooth %or a tooth we simply cause that di%%erence to be %orgotten! ,oreo er, in the matter o% ruthlessness we are unlikely to compete success%ully with our enemies! As the Italian radio has :ust proclaimed, the /ascist principle is two eyes %or an eye and a whole set o% teeth %or one tooth! At some point or another public opinion in England will %linch %rom the implications o% this statement, and it is not ery di%%icult to %oresee what will happen! As a result o% our action the Germans will chain up more +ritish prisoners, we shall ha e to %ollow suit by chaining up more A'is prisoners, and so it will continue till logically all the prisoners on either side will be in chains! In practice, o% course, we shall become disgusted with the process %irst, and we shall announce that the chaining up will now cease, lea ing, almost certainly, more +ritish than A'is prisoners in %etters! 1e shall thus ha e acted both barbarously and weakly, damaging our own good name without succeeding in terrori9ing the enemy!

It seems to me that the ci ili9ed answer to the German action would be something like thisG "Hou proclaim that you are putting thousands o% +ritish prisoners in chains because some hal%"do9en Germans or thereabouts were temporarily tied up during the Eieppe raid! &his is disgusting hypocrisy, in the %irst place because o% your own record during the past ten years, in the second place because troops who ha e taken prisoners ha e to secure them somehow until they can get them to a place o% sa%ety, and to tie men;s hands in such circumstances is totally di%%erent %rom chaining up a helpless prisoner who is already in an internment camp! At this moment, we cannot stop you maltreating our prisoners, though we shall probably remember it at the peace settlement, but don;t %ear that we shall retaliate in kind! Hou are =a9is, we are ci ili9ed men! &his latest act o% yours simply demonstrates the di%%erence!" At this moment this may not seem a ery satis%ying reply, but I suggest that to anyone who looks back in three months; time, it will seem better than what we are doing at present and it is the duty o% those who can keep their heads to protest be%ore the inherently silly process o% retaliation against the helpless is carried any %urther! Hours truly, BGeorge OrwellC

&9, ',',C, Internal Memorandum /romG Eric +lair, Indian Section Sub:ectG 1eekly =ews #ommentary &oG Eastern Ser ice Eirector #on%idential 2@ October 23<> 1ith re%erence to the suggestion that I should write and broadcast the weekly news re iew Bto IndiaC in English o er my own name, i!e! George Orwell! &he %our speakers who are at present doing this in rotation ha e contracts up to 6 =o ember, a%ter which I will gladly take this on! +ut there are one or two points which it would be better to de%ine clearly be%orehand! I% I broadcast as George Orwell I am as it were selling my literary reputation, which so %ar as India is concerned probably arises chie%ly %rom books o% anti"imperialist tendency, some o% which ha e been banned in India! I% I ga e broadcasts which appeared to endorse unreser edly the policy o% the +ritish Go ernment I should $uite soon be written o%% as "one more renegade" and should probably miss my potential public, at any rate among the student population! I am not thinking about my personal reputation, but clearly we should de%eat our own ob:ect in these broadcasts i% I could not preser e my position as an independent and more or less "agin the go ernment" commentator! I would there%ore like to be sure in ad ance that I can ha e reasonable %reedom o% speech! I think this weekly commentary is only likely to be o% alue i% I can make it %rom an anti"/ascist

rather than imperialist standpoint and a oid mention o% sub:ects on which I could not conscientiously agree with current Go ernment policy! I do not think this is likely to cause trouble, as the chie% di%%iculty is o er Indian internal politics, which we rarely mention in our weekly news commentaries! &hese commentaries ha e always %ollowed what is by implication a "le%t" line, and in %act ha e contained ery little that I would not sign with my own name! +ut I can imagine situations arising in which I should ha e to say that I could not in honesty do the commentary %or that week, and I should like the position to be de%ined in ad ance!2<
2<! &he +!+!#! authorities were agreeable to Orwell;s proposal! He had :oined the Eastern Ser ice (Indian Section) o% the +!+!#! in the summer o% 23<2!

?3! Letter2@ to &!S!Eliot


2@! &e't taken %rom a carbon copy!

Eear Eliot, I wonder i% you would like to take part in a programme on &uesday =o ember ?rd! 1e ha e a maga9ine number once a month which is called ".oice" and pretends to be a maga9ine in broadcast %orm! 1here it is possible we try to get poets to read their own work! 1e usually arrange each number round a central theme and we think ne't time o% ha ing an American number! Hou are I think the only American poet at present in England, though there may perhaps be others, in which case I should be glad to hear about them! In any case we would like it ery much i% you would take part and read something o% your own, either one or two poems taking anything up to %i e minutes in all! &he other people who will probably be taking part are Herbert -ead, 1illiam Empson, mysel% and ,ulk -a: Anand,24 though we will try to dig up some American writers i% we can! *lease do this i% the date is at all possible %or you! It will only mean gi ing up the morning o% that particular day! Hours sincerely,! BGeo! OrwellC &alks *roducer Indian Section
24! ,ulk -a: Anand (237@" ), Indian no elist and critic who broadcast %or the Indian Section o% the +!+!#! during the war! He was appointed #hairman o% the Lalit Fala Akademi, =ew Eelhi, 2344!

#$, e)iew The %ritish *ay in *arfare /y ', 0, Liddell 0art

&his collection o% re ised and reprinted essays written %rom about 23?> onwards, is largely a history o% the de elopment o% the +ritish army in the years between the two wars! Its opening chapters, howe er, contain a sur ey o% +ritain;s "traditional grand strategy" which is the most interesting and pro ocati e part o% the book and the most important at this moment! &he battle %or mechani9ation has been won, at any rate on paper, but the contro ersy o er the Second /ront is still raging, and #aptain Liddell Hart;s theories are e'tremely rele ant to it! 1hat is the "traditional strategy" which we ha e abandoned and which #aptain Liddell Hart implies that we should return toI +rie%ly, the strategy o% indirect attack and limited aims! It was practised with great success in +ritain;s predatory wars o% the eighteenth century and only dropped in the decade be%ore 232<, when +ritain entered into an all"in alliance with /rance! Its techni$ue is essentially commercial! Hou attack your enemy chie%ly by means o% blockade, pri ateering, and sea"borne "commando" raids! Hou a oid raising a mass army and lea e the land %ighting as %ar as possible to continental allies whom you keep going by means o% subsidies! 1hile your allies are doing your %ighting %or you you capture your enemy;s o erseas trade and occupy his outlying colonies! At the %irst suitable moment you make peace, either retaining the territories you ha e captured or using them as bargaining counters! &his was, in %act, +ritain;s characteristic strategy %or something like two hundred years, and the term #er$ide Albion was thoroughly :usti%ied e'cept in so %ar as the beha iour o% other States was morally similar! &he wars o% the eighteenth century were waged in a spirit so mercenary that the normal process is re ersed, and they seem more "ideological" to posterity than they did to the people who %ought in them! +ut in any case the "limited aims" strategy is not likely to be success%ul unless you are willing to betray your allies whene er it pays to do so! In 232<"25, as is well known, we broke with our past, subordinated our strategy to that o% an ally, and lost a million dead! #ommenting on this #aptain Liddell Hart saysG "I can %ind in the conditions o% the war no satis%ying e'planation o% our change! ! ! ! =o %undamental cause %or a change o% historic policy seems to appear! Hence one is inclined to %ind it in a change o% %ashion "" in the military mode o% thought inspired by #lausewit9!" #lausewit9 is the e il genius o% military thought! He taught, or is supposed to ha e taught, that the proper strategy is to attack your strongest enemy, that nothing is sol ed e'cept by battle, and that "blood is the price o% ictory"! /ascinated by this theory, +ritain "made her na y a subsidiary weapon, and grasped the glittering sword o% continental manu%acture"! =ow there is something unsatis%actory in tracing an historical change to an indi idual theorist, because a theory does not gain ground unless material conditions %a our it! I% +ritain ceased, at any rate %or %our years, %rom being #er$ide Albion, there were deeper reasons than Sir Henry 1ilson;s tie"up with the /rench General Sta%%! &o begin with it is ery doubt%ul whether our "traditional" strategy is workable any longer! In the past it really depended on the balance o% power, more and more precarious %rom 2567 onwards, and on geographical ad antages which modern technical de elopments ha e lessened! A%ter 2537 +ritain was no longer the only na al power, and moreo er the whole scope o% na al war%are had diminished! 1ith the abandonment o% sail na ies became less mobile, the inland seas were inaccessible a%ter the in ention o% the marine mine, and blockade lost part o% its power owing to the science o% substitutes and the mechani9ation

o% agriculture! A%ter the rise o% modern Germany it was hardly possible %or us to dispense with European alliances, and one o% the things allies are apt to insist on is that you do your %air share o% the %ighting! ,oney subsidies ha e no meaning when war in ol es the total e%%ort o% e ery belligerent nation! &he real shortcoming o% these stimulating essays, howe er, lies in #aptain Liddell Hart;s unwillingness to admit that war has changed its character! "Limited aims" strategy implies that your enemy is ery much the same kind o% person as yoursel%J you want to get the better o% him, but it is not necessary %or your sa%ety to annihilate him or e en to inter%ere with his internal politics! &hese conditions e'isted in the eighteenth century and e en in the later phases o% the =apoleonic wars, but ha e disappeared in the atomi9ed world in which we are now li ing! 1riting in 23?> or thereabouts, #aptain Liddell Hart is able to say, "Has there e er been such a thing as absolute war since nations ceased to e'terminate or ensla e the de%eatedI" &he trouble is that they ha en;t ceased! Sla ery, which seemed as remote as cannibalism in 23?>, is isibly returning in 23<>, and in such circumstances it is impossible to wage the old style o% limited pro%it"making war, intent only on "sa%eguarding +ritish interests" and making peace at the %irst opportune moment! As ,ussolini has truly said, democracy and totalitarianism cannot e'ist side by side! It is a curious %act, not much remarked on, that in the present war +ritain has, up to date, waged the kind o% war that #aptain Liddell Hart ad ocates! 1e ha e %ought no large" scale continental campaign, we ha e used up one ally a%ter another, and we ha e ac$uired territories %ar larger and, potentially, %ar richer than those we ha e lost! Het neither #aptain Liddell Hart nor anyone else would argue %rom this that the war has gone well %or us! =obody ad ocates that we should simply wipe up the remaining /rench and Italian colonies and then make a negotiated peace with Germany because e en the most ignorant person sees that such a peace would not be %inal! Our sur i al depends on the destruction o% the present German political system, which implies the destruction o% the German army! It is di%%icult not to %eel that #lausewit9 was right in teaching that "you must concentrate against the main enemy, who must be o erthrown %irst", and that "the armed %orces %orm the true ob:ecti e", at least in any war where there is a genuine ideological issue! &o some e'tent #aptain Liddell Hart;s tactical theories are separable %rom his strategic ones, and here his prophecies ha e been all too well :usti%ied by e ents! =o military writer in our time has done more to enlighten public opinion! +ut his :usti%ied war with the +limps has perhaps o ercoloured his :udgement! &he people who sco%%ed at mechani9ation and still labour to reduce military training to a routine o% barking and stamping are also in %a our o% mass armies, %rontal attacks, bayonet charges and, in general, meaningless bloodshed! Eisgusted by the spectacle o% *asschendaele, #aptain Liddell Hart seems to ha e ended by belie ing that wars can be won on the de%ensi e or without %ighting "" and e en, indeed, that a war is better hal%"won than won outright! &hat holds good only when your enemy thinks likewise, a state o% a%%airs which disappeared when Europe ceased to be ruled by an aristocracy! New Statesman and Nation, >2 =o ember 23<>

#!, Loo(ing 'ac( on the <3anish -ar I /irst o% all the physical memories, the sounds, the smells and the sur%aces o% things! It is curious that more i idly than anything that came a%terwards in the Spanish war I remember the week o% so"called training that we recei ed be%ore being sent to the %ront "" the huge ca alry barracks in +arcelona with its draughty stables and cobbled yards, the icy cold o% the pump where one washed, the %ilthy meals made tolerable by pannikins o% wine, the trousered militia"women chopping %irewood, and the roll"call in the early mornings where my prosaic English name made a sort o% comic interlude among the resounding Spanish ones, ,anuel Gon9ale9, *edro Aguilar, -amon /enellosa, -o$ue +allaster, Aaime Eomenech, Sebastian .iltron, -amon =u o +osch! I name those particular men because I remember the %aces o% all o% them! E'cept %or two who were mere ri%%"ra%% and ha e doubtless become good /alangists by this time, it is probable that all o% them are dead! &wo o% them I know to be dead! &he eldest would ha e been about twenty"%i e, the youngest si'teen! One o% the essential e'periences o% war is ne er being able to escape %rom disgusting smells o% human origin! Latrines are an o erworked sub:ect in war literature, and I would not mention them i% it were not that the latrine in our barracks did its necessary bit towards puncturing my own illusions about the Spanish #i il 1ar! &he Latin type o% latrine, at which you ha e to s$uat, is bad enough at its best, but these were made o% some kind o% polished stone so slippery that it was all you could do to keep on your %eet! In addition they were always blocked! =ow I ha e plenty o% other disgusting things in my memory, but I belie e it was these latrines that %irst brought home to me the thought, so o%ten to recurG "Here we are, soldiers o% a re olutionary army, de%ending democracy against /ascism, %ighting a war which is abo+t something, and the detail o% our li es is :ust as sordid and degrading as it could be in prison, let alone in a bourgeois army!" ,any other things rein%orced this impression laterJ %or instance, the boredom and animal hunger o% trench li%e, the s$ualid intrigues o er scraps o% %ood, the mean, nagging $uarrels which people e'hausted by lack o% sleep indulge in! &he essential horror o% army li%e (whoe er has been a soldier will know what I mean by the essential horror o% army li%e) is barely a%%ected by the nature o% the war you happen to be %ighting in! Eiscipline, %or instance, is ultimately the same in all armies! Orders ha e to be obeyed and en%orced by punishment i% necessary, the relationship o% o%%icer and man has to be the relationship o% superior and in%erior! &he picture o% war set %orth in books like All =+iet on t e /estern Front is substantially true! +ullets hurt, corpses stink, men under %ire are o%ten so %rightened that they wet their trousers! It is true that the social background %rom which an army springs will colour its training, tactics and general e%%iciency, and also that the consciousness o% being in the right can bolster up morale, though this a%%ects the ci ilian population more than the troops! (*eople %orget that a soldier anywhere near the %ront line is usually too hungry, or %rightened, or cold, or,

abo e all, too tired to bother about the political origins o% the war!) +ut the laws o% nature are not suspended %or a "red" army any more than %or a "white" one! A louse is a louse and a bomb is a bomb, e en though the cause you are %ighting %or happens to be :ust! 1hy is it worth while to point out anything so ob iousI +ecause the bulk o% the +ritish and American intelligentsia were mani%estly unaware o% it then, and are now! Our memories are short nowadays, but look back a bit, dig out the %iles o% New !asses or the .ail( /orker, and :ust ha e a look at the romantic warmongering muck that our le%t" wingers were spilling at that time! All the stale old phrasesO And the unimaginati e callousness o% itO &he sang"%roid with which London %aced the bombing o% ,adridO Here I am not bothering about the counter"propagandists o% the -ight, the Lunns, Gar ins et oc gen+s5 they go without saying! +ut here were the ery people who %or twenty years had hooted and :eered at the "glory" o% war, at atrocity stories, at patriotism, e en at physical courage, coming out with stu%% that with the alteration o% a %ew names would ha e %itted into the .ail( !ail o% 2325! I% there was one thing that the +ritish intelligentsia were committed to, it was the debunking ersion o% war, the theory that war is all corpses and latrines and ne er leads to any good result! 1ell, the same people who in 23?? sniggered pityingly i% you said that in certain circumstances you would %ight %or your country, in 23?6 were denouncing you as a &rotsky"/ascist i% you suggested that the stories in New !asses about %reshly wounded men clamouring to get back into the %ighting might be e'aggerated! And the Le%t intelligentsia made their swing"o er %rom "1ar is hell" to "1ar is glorious" not only with no sense o% incongruity but almost without any inter ening stage! Later the bulk o% them were to make other transitions e$ually iolent! &here must be a $uite large number o% people, a sort o% central core o% the intelligentsia, who appro ed the "Fing and #ountry" declaration in 23?@, shouted %or a "%irm line" against Germany in 23?6, supported the *eople;s #on ention in 23<7, and are demanding a Second /ront now! As %ar as the mass o% the people go, the e'traordinary swings o% opinion which occur nowadays, the emotions which can be turned on and o%% like a tap, are the result o% newspaper and radio hypnosis! In the intelligentsia I should say they result rather %rom money and mere physical sa%ety! At a gi en moment they may be "pro"war" or "anti" war", but in either case they ha e no realistic picture o% war in their minds! 1hen they enthused o er the Spanish war they knew, o% course, that people were being killed and that to be killed is unpleasant, but they did %eel that %or a soldier in the Spanish -epublican army the e'perience o% war was somehow not degrading! Somehow the latrines stank less, discipline was less irksome! Hou ha e only to glance at the New Statesman to see that they belie ed thatJ e'actly similar blah is being written about the -ed Army at this moment! 1e ha e become too ci ili9ed to grasp the ob ious! /or the truth is ery simple! &o sur i e you o%ten ha e to %ight, and to %ight you ha e to dirty yoursel%! 1ar is e il, and it is o%ten the lesser e il! &hose who take the sword perish by the sword, and those who don;t take the sword perish by smelly diseases! &he %act that such a platitude is worth writing down shows what the years o% rentier capitalism ha e done to us! II

In conne'ion with what I ha e :ust said, a %ootnote on atrocities! I ha e little direct e idence about the atrocities in the Spanish #i il 1ar! I know that some were committed by the -epublicans, and %ar more (they are still continuing) by the /ascists! +ut what impressed me then, and has impressed me e er since, is that atrocities are belie ed in or disbelie ed in solely on grounds o% political predilection! E eryone belie es in the atrocities o% the enemy and disbelie es in those o% his own side, without e er bothering to e'amine the e idence! -ecently I drew up a table o% atrocities during the period between 2325 and the presentJ there was ne er a year when atrocities were not occurring somewhere or other, and there was hardly a single case when the Le%t and the -ight belie ed in the same stories simultaneously! And stranger yet, at any moment the situation can suddenly re erse itsel% and yesterday;s pro ed"to"the"hilt atrocity story can become a ridiculous lie, merely because the political landscape has changed! In the present war we are in the curious situation that our "atrocity campaign" was done largely be%ore the war started, and done mostly by the Le%t, the people who normally pride themsel es on their incredulity! In the same period the -ight, the atrocity" mongers o% 232<"25, were ga9ing at =a9i Germany and %latly re%using to see any e il in it! &hen as soon as war broke out it was the pro"=a9is o% yesterday who were repeating horror stories, while the anti"=a9is suddenly %ound themsel es doubting whether the Gestapo really e'isted! =or was this solely the result o% the -usso"German *act! It was partly because be%ore the war the Le%t had wrongly belie ed that +ritain and Germany would ne er %ight and were there%ore able to be anti"German and anti"+ritish simultaneouslyJ partly also because o%%icial war propaganda, with its disgusting hypocrisy and sel%"righteousness, always tends to make thinking people sympathi9e with the enemy! *art o% the price we paid %or the systematic lying o% 232<"25 was the e'aggerated pro" German reaction which %ollowed! Euring the years 2325"?? you were hooted at in le%t" wing circles i% you suggested that Germany bore e en a %raction o% responsibility %or the war! In all the denunciations o% .ersailles I listened to during those years I don;t think I e er once heard the $uestion, "1hat would ha e happened i% Germany had wonI" e en mentioned, let alone discussed! So also with atrocities! &he truth, it is %elt, becomes untruth when your enemy utters it! -ecently I noticed that the ery people who swallowed any and e ery horror story about the Aapanese in =anking in 23?6 re%used to belie e e'actly the same stories about Hong Fong in 23<>! &here was e en a tendency to %eel that the =anking atrocities had become, as it were, retrospecti ely untrue because the +ritish Go ernment now drew attention to them! +ut un%ortunately the truth about atrocities is %ar worse than that they are lied about and made into propaganda! &he truth is that they happen! &he %act o%ten adduced as a reason %or scepticism "" that the same horror stories come up in war a%ter war "" merely makes it rather more likely that these stories are true! E idently they are widespread %antasies, and war pro ides an opportunity o% putting them into practice! Also, although it has ceased to be %ashionable to say so, there is little $uestion that what one may roughly call the "whites" commit %ar more and worse atrocities than the "reds"! &here is not the slightest doubt, %or instance, about the beha iour o% the Aapanese in #hina! =or is there much doubt about the long tale o% /ascist outrages during the last ten years in Europe! &he olume o% testimony is enormous, and a respectable proportion o% it comes %rom the German press and radio! &hese things really happened, that is the thing to keep one;s eye

on! &hey happened e en though Lord Hali%a' said they happened! &he raping and butchering in #hinese cities, the tortures in the cellars o% the Gestapo, the elderly Aewish pro%essors %lung into cesspools, the machine"gunning o% re%ugees along the Spanish roads "" they all happened, and they did not happen any the less because the .ail( 'elegra# has suddenly %ound out about them when it is %i e years too late! III &wo memories, the %irst not pro ing anything in particular, the second, I think, gi ing one a certain insight into the atmosphere o% a re olutionary period! Early one morning another man and I had gone out to snipe at the /ascists in the trenches outside Huesca! &heir line and ours here lay three hundred yards apart, at which range our aged ri%les would not shoot accurately, but by sneaking out to a spot about a hundred yards %rom the /ascist trench you might, i% you were lucky, get a shot at someone through a gap in the parapet! Dn%ortunately the ground between was a %lat beet" %ield with no co er e'cept a %ew ditches, and it was necessary to go out while it was still dark and return soon a%ter dawn, be%ore the light became too good! &his time no /ascists appeared, and we stayed too long and were caught by the dawn! 1e were in a ditch, but behind us were two hundred yards o% %lat ground with hardly enough co er %or a rabbit! 1e were still trying to ner e oursel es to make a dash %or it when there was an uproar and a blowing o% whistles in the /ascist trench! Some o% our aeroplanes were coming o er! At this moment a man, presumably carrying a message to an o%%icer, :umped out o% the trench and ran along the top o% the parapet in %ull iew! He was hal%"dressed and was holding up his trousers with both hands as he ran! I re%rained %rom shooting at him! It is true that I am a poor shot and unlikely to hit a running man at a hundred yards, and also that I was thinking chie%ly about getting back to our trench while the /ascists had their attention %i'ed on the aeroplanes! Still, I did not shoot partly because o% that detail about the trousers! I had come here to shoot at "/ascists"J but a man who is holding up his trousers isn;t a "/ascist", he is isibly a %ellow creature, similar to yoursel%, and you don;t %eel like shooting at him! 1hat does this incident demonstrateI =othing ery much, because it is the kind o% thing that happens all the time in all wars! &he other is di%%erent! I don;t suppose that in telling it I can make it mo ing to you who read it, but I ask you to belie e that it is mo ing to me, as an incident characteristic o% the moral atmosphere o% a particular moment in time! One o% the recruits who :oined us while I was at the barracks was a wild"looking boy %rom the back streets o% +arcelona! He was ragged and bare%ooted! He was also e'tremely dark (Arab blood, I dare say), and made gestures you do not usually see a European makeJ one in particular "" the arm outstretched, the palm ertical "" was a gesture characteristic o% Indians! One day a bundle o% cigars, which you could still buy dirt cheap at that time, was stolen out o% my bunk! -ather %oolishly I reported this to the o%%icer, and one o% the scallywags I ha e already mentioned promptly came %orward and said $uite untruly that twenty"%i e pesetas had been stolen %rom his bunk! /or some reason the o%%icer instantly decided that the brown"%aced boy must be the thie%! &hey were ery hard on stealing in the militia, and in theory people could be shot %or it! &he

wretched boy allowed himsel% to be led o%% to the guardroom to be searched! 1hat most struck me was that he barely attempted to protest his innocence! In the %atalism o% his attitude you could see the desperate po erty in which he had been bred! &he o%%icer ordered him to take his clothes o%%! 1ith a humility which was horrible to me he stripped himsel% naked, and his clothes were searched! O% course neither the cigars nor the money were thereJ in %act he had not stolen them! 1hat was most pain%ul o% all was that he seemed no less ashamed a%ter his innocence had been established! &hat night I took him to the pictures and ga e him brandy and chocolate! +ut that too was horrible "" I mean the attempt to wipe out an in:ury with money! /or a %ew minutes I had hal% belie ed him to be a thie%, and that could not be wiped out! 1ell, a %ew weeks later at the %ront I had trouble with one o% the men in my section! +y this time I was a "cabo", or corporal, in command o% twel e men! It was static war%are, horribly cold, and the chie% :ob was getting sentries to stay awake and at their posts! One day a man suddenly re%used to go to a certain post, which he said $uite truly was e'posed to enemy %ire! He was a %eeble creature, and I sei9ed hold o% him and began to drag him towards his post! &his roused the %eelings o% the others against me, %or Spaniards, I think, resent being touched more than we do! Instantly I was surrounded by a ring o% shouting menG "/ascistO /ascistO Let that man goO &his isn;t a bourgeois army! /ascistO" etc! etc! As best I could in my bad Spanish I shouted back that orders had got to be obeyed, and the row de eloped into one o% those enormous arguments by means o% which discipline is gradually hammered out in re olutionary armies! Some said I was right, others said I was wrong! +ut the point is that the one who took my side the most warmly o% all was the brown"%aced boy! As soon as he saw what was happening he sprang into the ring and began passionately de%ending me! 1ith his strange, wild, Indian gesture he kept e'claiming, "He;s the best corporal we; e gotO" EINo a( cabo como elB8 Later on he applied %or lea e to e'change into my section! 1hy is this incident touching to meI +ecause in any normal circumstances it would ha e been impossible %or good %eelings e er to be re"established between this boy and mysel%! &he implied accusation o% the%t would not ha e been made any better, probably somewhat worse, by my e%%orts to make amends! One o% the e%%ects o% sa%e and ci ili9ed li%e is an immense o ersensiti eness which makes all the primary emotions seem somewhat disgusting! Generosity is as pain%ul as meanness, gratitude as hate%ul as ingratitude! +ut in Spain in 23?4 we were not li ing in a normal time! It was a time when generous %eelings and gestures were easier than they ordinarily are! I could relate a do9en similar incidents, not really communicable but bound up in my own mind with the special atmosphere o% the time, the shabby clothes and the gay"coloured re olutionary posters, the uni ersal use o% the word "comrade", the anti"/ascist ballads printed on %limsy paper and sold %or a penny, the phrases like "international proletarian solidarity", pathetically repeated by ignorant men who belie ed them to mean something! #ould you %eel %riendly towards somebody, and stick up %or him in a $uarrel, a%ter you had been ignominiously searched in his presence %or property you were supposed to ha e stolen %rom himI =o, you couldn;tJ but you might i% you had both been through some emotionally widening e'perience! &hat is one o% the by"products o% re olution, though in this case it was only the beginnings o% a re olution, and ob iously %oredoomed to %ailure!

I. &he struggle %or power between the Spanish -epublican parties is an unhappy, %ar"o%% thing which I ha e no wish to re i e at this date! I only mention it in order to sayG belie e nothing, or ne't to nothing, o% what you read about internal a%%airs on the Go ernment side! It is all, %rom whate er source, party propaganda "" that is to say, lies! &he broad truth about the war is simple enough! &he Spanish bourgeoisie saw their chance o% crushing the labour mo ement, and took it, aided by the =a9is and by the %orces o% reaction all o er the world! It is doubt%ul whether more than that will e er be established! I remember saying once to Arthur Foestler, "History stopped in 23?4," at which he nodded in immediate understanding! 1e were both thinking o% totalitarianism in general, but more particularly o% the Spanish #i il 1ar! Early in li%e I had noticed that no e ent is e er correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, %or the %irst time, I saw newspaper reports which did not bear any relation to the %acts, not e en the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie! I saw great battles reported where there had been no %ighting, and complete silence where hundreds o% men had been killed! I saw troops who had %ought bra ely denounced as cowards and traitors, and others who had ne er seen a shot %ired hailed as the heroes o% imaginary ictories, and I saw newspapers in London retailing these lies and eager intellectuals building emotional superstructures o er e ents that had ne er happened! I saw, in %act, history being written not in terms o% what happened but o% what ought to ha e happened according to arious "party lines"! Het in a way, horrible as all this was, it was unimportant! It concerned secondary issues "" namely, the struggle %or power between the #omintern and the Spanish le%t"wing parties, and the e%%orts o% the -ussian Go ernment to pre ent re olution in Spain! +ut the broad picture o% the war which the Spanish Go ernment presented to the world was not untruth%ul! &he main issues were what it said they were! +ut as %or the /ascists and their backers, how could they come e en as near to the truth as thatI How could they possibly mention their real aimsI &heir ersion o% the war was pure %antasy, and in the circumstances it could not ha e been otherwise! &he only propaganda line open to the =a9is and /ascists was to represent themsel es as #hristian patriots sa ing Spain %rom a -ussian dictatorship! &his in ol ed pretending that li%e in Go ernment Spain was :ust one long massacre Evide the -at olic Herald or the .ail( !ail -- but these were child;s play compared with the continental /ascist press), and it in ol ed immensely e'aggerating the scale o% -ussian inter ention! Out o% the huge pyramid o% lies which the #atholic and reactionary press all o er the world built up, let me take :ust one point "" the presence in Spain o% a -ussian army! Ee out /ranco partisans all belie ed in thisJ estimates o% its strength went as high as hal% a million! =ow, there was no -ussian army in Spain! &here may ha e been a hand%ul o% airmen and other technicians, a %ew hundred at the most, but an army there was not! Some thousands o% %oreigners who %ought in Spain, not to mention millions o% Spaniards, were witnesses o% this! 1ell, their testimony made no impression at all upon the /ranco propagandists, not one o% whom had set %oot in Go ernment Spain! Simultaneously these people re%used utterly to admit the %act o% German or Italian inter ention, at the same time as the German and Italian press were openly boasting about the e'ploits o% their "legionaries"! I ha e chosen to mention only one point, but in %act the whole o% /ascist

propaganda about the war was on this le el! &his kind o% thing is %rightening to me, because it o%ten gi es me the %eeling that the ery concept o% ob:ecti e truth is %ading out o% the world! A%ter all, the chances are that those lies, or at any rate similar lies, will pass into history! How will the history o% the Spanish war be writtenI I% /ranco remains in power his nominees will write the history books, and (to stick to my chosen point) that -ussian army which ne er e'ited will become historical %act, and schoolchildren will learn about it generations hence! +ut suppose /ascism is %inally de%eated and some kind o% democratic go ernment restored in Spain in the %airly near %utureJ e en then, how is the history o% the war to be writtenI 1hat kind o% records will /ranco ha e le%t behind himI Suppose e en that the records kept on the Go ernment side are reco erable "" e en so, how is a true history o% the war to be writtenI /or, as I ha e pointed out already, the Go ernment also dealt e'tensi ely in lies! /rom the anti"/ascist angle one could write a broadly truth%ul history o% the war, but it would be a partisan history, unreliable on e ery minor point! Het, a%ter all, some kind o% history will be written, and a%ter those who actually remember the war are dead, it will be uni ersally accepted! So %or all practical purposes the lie will ha e become truth! I know it is the %ashion to say that most o% recorded history is lies anyway! I am willing to belie e that history is %or the most part inaccurate and biased, but what is peculiar to our own age is the abandonment o% the idea that history co+ld be truth%ully written! In the past people deliberately lied, or they unconsciously coloured what they wrote, or they struggled a%ter the truth, well knowing that they must make many mistakesJ but in each case they belie ed that "the %acts" e'isted and were more or less disco erable! And in practice there was always a considerable body o% %act which would ha e been agreed to by almost e eryone! I% you look up the history o% the last war in, %or instance, the Enc(clo#aedia *ritannica, you will %ind that a respectable amount o% the material is drawn %rom German sources! A +ritish and a German historian would disagree deeply on many things, e en on %undamentals, but there would still be that body o%, as it were, neutral %act on which neither would seriously challenge the other! It is :ust this common basis o% agreement, with its implication that human beings are all one species o% animal, that totalitarianism destroys! =a9i theory indeed speci%ically denies that such a thing as "the truth" e'ists! &here is, %or instance, no such thing as "science"! &here is only "German science", "Aewish science" etc! &he implied ob:ecti e o% this line o% thought is a nightmare world in which the Leader, or some ruling cli$ue, controls not only the %uture but t e #ast. I% the Leader says o% such and such an e ent, "It ne er happened" "" well, it ne er happened! I% he says that two and two are %i e "" well, two and two are %i e! &his prospect %rightens me much more than bombs "" and a%ter our e'periences o% the last %ew years that is not a %ri olous statement! +ut is it perhaps childish or morbid to terri%y onesel% with isions o% a totalitarian %utureI +e%ore writing o%% the totalitarian world as a nightmare that can;t come true, :ust remember that in 23>@ the world o% today would ha e seemed a nightmare that couldn;t come true! Against that shi%ting phantasmagoric world in which black may be white tomorrow and yesterday;s weather can be changed by decree, there are in reality only two sa%eguards! One is that howe er much you deny the truth, the truth goes on e'isting, as it were, behind your back, and you conse$uently can;t iolate it in ways that impair military e%%iciency! &he other is that so long as some parts o% the earth remain uncon$uered, the liberal tradition can be kept ali e! Let /ascism, or possibly e en a combination o% se eral

/ascisms, con$uer the whole world, and those two conditions no longer e'ist! 1e in England underrate the danger o% this kind o% thing, because our traditions and our past security ha e gi en us a sentimental belie% that it all comes right in the end and the thing you most %ear ne er really happens! =ourished %or hundreds o% years on a literature in which -ight in ariably triumphs in the last chapter, we belie e hal%"instincti ely that e il always de%eats itsel% in the long run! *aci%ism, %or instance, is %ounded largely on this belie%! Eon;t resist e il, and it will somehow destroy itsel%! +ut why should itI 1hat e idence is there that it doesI And what instance is there o% a modern industriali9ed state collapsing unless con$uered %rom the outside by military %orceI #onsider %or instance the re"institution o% sla ery! 1ho could ha e imagined twenty years ago that sla ery would return to EuropeI 1ell, sla ery has been restored under our noses! &he %orced"labour camps all o er Europe and =orth A%rica where *oles, -ussians, Aews and political prisoners o% e ery race toil at road"making or swamp" draining %or their bare rations, are simple chattel sla ery! &he most one can say is that the buying and selling o% sla es by indi iduals is not yet permitted! In other ways "" the breaking"up o% %amilies, %or instance "" the conditions are probably worse than they were on the American cotton plantations! &here is no reason %or thinking that this state o% a%%airs will change while any totalitarian domination endures! 1e don;t grasp its %ull implications, because in our mystical way we %eel that a rMgime %ounded on sla ery m+st collapse! +ut it is worth comparing the duration o% the sla e empires o% anti$uity with that o% any modern state! #i ili9ations %ounded on sla ery ha e lasted %or such periods as %our thousand years! 1hen I think o% anti$uity, the detail that %rightens me is that those hundreds o% millions o% sla es on whose backs ci ili9ation rested generation a%ter generation ha e le%t behind them no record whate er! 1e do not e en know their names! In the whole o% Greek and -oman history, how many sla es; names are known to youI I can think o% two, or possibly three! One is Spartacus and the other is Epictetus! Also, in the -oman room at the +ritish ,useum there is a glass :ar with the maker;s name inscribed on the bottom, "Feli1 $ecit;! I ha e a i id mental picture o% poor /eli' (a Gaul with red hair and a metal collar round his neck), but in %act he may not ha e been a sla eJ so there are only two sla es whose names I de%initely know, and probably %ew people can remember more! &he rest ha e gone down into utter silence! . &he backbone o% the resistance against /ranco was the Spanish working class, especially the urban trade"union members! In the long run "" it is important to remember that it is only in the long run "" the working class remains the most reliable enemy o% /ascism, simply because the working class stands to gain most by a decent reconstruction o% society! Dnlike other classes or categories, it can;t be permanently bribed! &o say this is not to ideali9e the working class! In the long struggle that has %ollowed the -ussian -e olution it is the manual workers who ha e been de%eated, and it is impossible not to %eel that it was their own %ault! &ime a%ter time, in country a%ter country, the organi9ed working"class mo ements ha e been crushed by open, illegal iolence, and their comrades abroad, linked to them in theoretical solidarity, ha e simply

looked on and done nothingJ and underneath this, secret cause o% many betrayals, has lain the %act that between white and coloured workers there is not e en lip"ser ice to solidarity! 1ho can belie e in the class"conscious international proletariat a%ter the e ents o% the past ten yearsI &o the +ritish working class the massacre o% their comrades in .ienna, +erlin, ,adrid, or where er it might be, seemed less interesting and less important than yesterday;s %ootball match! Het this does not alter the %act that the working class will go on struggling against /ascism a%ter the others ha e ca ed in! One %eature o% the =a9i con$uest o% /rance was the astonishing de%ections among the intelligentsia, including some o% the le%t"wing political intelligentsia! &he intelligentsia are the people who s$ueal loudest against /ascism, and yet a respectable proportion o% them collapse into de%eatism when the pinch comes! &hey are %ar"sighted enough to see the odds against them, and moreo er they can be bribed "" %or it is e ident that the =a9is think it worth while to bribe intellectuals! 1ith the working class it is the other way about! &oo ignorant to see through the trick that is being played on them, they easily swallow the promises o% /ascism, yet sooner or later they always take up the struggle again! &hey must do so, because in their own bodies they always disco er that the promises o% /ascism cannot be %ul%illed! &o win o er the working class permanently, the /ascists would ha e to raise the general standard o% li ing, which they are unable and probably unwilling to do! &he struggle o% the working class is like the growth o% a plant! &he plant is blind and stupid, but it knows enough to keep pushing upwards towards the light, and it will do this in the %ace o% endless discouragements! 1hat are the workers struggling %orI Simply %or the decent li%e which they are more and more aware is now technically possible! &heir consciousness o% this aim ebbs and %lows! In Spain, %or a while, people were acting consciously, mo ing towards a goal which they wanted to reach and belie ed they could reach! It accounted %or the curiously buoyant %eeling that li%e in Go ernment Spain had during the early months o% the war! &he common people knew in their bones that the -epublic was their %riend and /ranco was their enemy! &hey knew that they were in the right, because they were %ighting %or something which the world owed them and was able to gi e them! One has to remember this to see the Spanish war in its true perspecti e! 1hen one thinks o% the cruelty, s$ualor, and %utility o% war "" and in this particular case o% the intrigues, the persecutions, the lies and the misunderstandings "" there is always the temptation to sayG "One side is as bad as the other! I am neutral!" In practice, howe er, one cannot be neutral, and there is hardly such a thing as a war in which it makes no di%%erence who wins! =early always one side stands more or less %or progress, the other side more or less %or reaction! &he hatred which the Spanish -epublic e'cited in millionaires, dukes, cardinals, play"boys, +limps and what"not would in itsel% be enough to show one how the land lay! In essence it was a class war! I% it had been won, the cause o% the common people e erywhere would ha e been strengthened! It was lost, and the di idend"drawers all o er the world rubbed their hands! &hat was the real issueJ all else was %roth on its sur%ace! .I &he outcome o% the Spanish war was settled in London, *aris, -ome, +erlin "" at

any rate not in Spain! A%ter the summer o% 23?6 those with eyes in their heads reali9ed that the Go ernment could not win the war unless there was some pro%ound change in the international set"up, and in deciding to %ight on =egrin and the others may ha e been partly in%luenced by the e'pectation that the world war which actually broke out in 23?3 was coming in 23?5! &he much"publici9ed disunity on the Go ernment side was not a main cause o% de%eat! &he Go ernment militias were hurriedly raised, ill"armed and unimaginati e in their military outlook, but they would ha e been the same i% complete political agreement had e'isted %rom the start! At the outbreak o% war the a erage Spanish %actory"worker did not e en know how to %ire a ri%le (there had ne er been uni ersal conscription in Spain), and the traditional paci%ism o% the Le%t was a great handicap! &he thousands o% %oreigners who ser ed in Spain made good in%antry, but there were ery %ew e'perts o% any kind among them! &he &rotskyist thesis that the war could ha e been won i% the re olution had not been sabotaged was probably %alse! &o nationali9e %actories, demolish churches, and issue re olutionary mani%estos would not ha e made the armies more e%%icient! &he /ascists won because they were the strongerJ they had modern arms and the others hadn;t! =o political strategy could o%%set that! &he most ba%%ling thing in the Spanish war was the beha iour o% the great powers! &he war was actually won %or /ranco by the Germans and Italians, whose moti es were ob ious enough! &he moti es o% /rance and +ritain are less easy to understand! In 23?4 it was clear to e eryone that i% +ritain would only help the Spanish Go ernment, e en to the e'tent o% a %ew million pounds; worth o% arms, /ranco would collapse and German strategy would be se erely dislocated! +y that time one did not need to be a clair oyant to %oresee that war between +ritain and Germany was comingJ one could e en %oretell within a year or two when it would come! Het in the most mean, cowardly, hypocritical way the +ritish ruling class did all they could to hand Spain o er to /ranco and the =a9is! 1hyI +ecause they were pro"/ascist, was the ob ious answer! Dndoubtedly they were, and yet when it came to the %inal showdown they chose to stand up to Germany! It is still ery uncertain what plan they acted on in backing /ranco, and they may ha e had no clear plan at all! 1hether the +ritish ruling class are wicked or merely stupid is one o% the most di%%icult $uestions o% our time, and at certain moments a ery important $uestion! As to the -ussians, their moti es in the Spanish war are completely inscrutable! Eid they, as the pinks belie ed, inter ene in Spain in order to de%end democracy and thwart the =a9isI &hen why did they inter ene on such a niggardly scale and %inally lea e Spain in the lurchI Or did they, as the #atholics maintained, inter ene in order to %oster re olution in SpainI &hen why did they do all in their power to crush the Spanish re olutionary mo ements, de%end pri ate property and hand power to the middle class as against the working classI Or did they, as the &rotskyists suggested, inter ene simply in order to #revent a Spanish re olutionI &hen why not ha e backed /rancoI Indeed, their actions are most easily e'plained i% one assumes that they were acting on se eral contradictory moti es! I belie e that in the %uture we shall come to %eel that Stalin;s %oreign policy, instead o% being so diabolically cle er as it is claimed to be, has been merely opportunistic and stupid! +ut at any rate, the Spanish #i il 1ar demonstrated that the =a9is knew what they were doing and their opponents did not! &he war was %ought at a low technical le el and its ma:or strategy was ery simple! &hat side which had arms would win! &he =a9is and the Italians ga e arms to their Spanish /ascist %riends, and the western democracies and the -ussians didn;t gi e arms to those who should ha e been

their %riends! So the Spanish -epublic perished, ha ing "gained what no republic missed"! 1hether it was right, as all le%t"wingers in other countries undoubtedly did, to encourage the Spaniards to go on %ighting when they could not win is a $uestion hard to answer! I mysel% think it was right, because I belie e that it is better e en %rom the point o% iew o% sur i al to %ight and be con$uered than to surrender without %ighting! &he e%%ects on the grand strategy o% the struggle against /ascism cannot be assessed yet! &he ragged, weaponless armies o% the -epublic held out %or two and a hal% years, which was undoubtedly longer than their enemies e'pected! +ut whether that dislocated the /ascist timetable, or whether, on the other hand, it merely postponed the ma:or war and ga e the =a9is e'tra time to get their war machine into trim, is still uncertain! .II I ne er think o% the Spanish war without two memories coming into my mind! One is o% the hospital ward at Lerida and the rather sad oices o% the wounded militiamen singing some song with a re%rain that endedG
:Una resolution, Luchar hast' al in!"

1ell, they %ought to the end all right! /or the last eighteen months o% the war the -epublican armies must ha e been %ighting almost without cigarettes, and with precious little %ood! E en when I le%t Spain in the middle o% 23?6, meat and bread were scarce, tobacco a rarity, co%%ee and sugar almost unobtainable! &he other memory is o% the Italian militiaman who shook my hand in the guardroom, the day I :oined the militia! I wrote about this man at the beginning o% my book on the Spanish war,26 and do not want to repeat what I said there! 1hen I remember "" oh, how i idlyO "" his shabby uni%orm and %ierce, pathetic, innocent %ace, the comple' side"issues o% the war seem to %ade away and I see clearly that there was at any rate no doubt as to who was in the right! In spite o% power politics and :ournalistic lying, the central issue o% the war was the attempt o% people like this to win the decent li%e which they knew to be their birthright! It is di%%icult to think o% this particular man;s probable end without se eral kinds o% bitterness! Since I met him in the Lenin +arracks he was probably a &rotskyist or an Anarchist, and in the peculiar conditions o% our time, when people o% that sort are not killed by the Gestapo they are usually killed by the G!*!D! +ut that does not a%%ect the long"term issues! &his man;s %ace, which I saw only %or a minute or two, remains with me as a sort o% isual reminder o% what the war was really about! He symboli9es %or me the %lower o% the European working class, harried by the police o% all countries, the people who %ill the mass gra es o% the Spanish battle%ields and are now, to the tune o% se eral millions, rotting in %orced"labour camps!
26! Homage to -atalonia.

1hen one thinks o% all the people who support or ha e supported /ascism, one stands ama9ed at their di ersity! 1hat a crewO &hink o% a programme which at any rate

%or a while could bring Hitler, *Mtain, ,ontagu =orman, *a elitch, 1illiam -andolph Hearst, Streicher, +uchman, E9ra *ound, Auan ,arch, #octeau, &hyssen, /ather #oughlin, the ,u%ti o% Aerusalem, Arnold Lunn, Antonescu, Spengler, +e erly =ichols, Lady Houston, and ,arinetti all into the same boatO +ut the clue is really ery simple! &hey are all people with something to lose, or people who long %or a hierarchical society and dread the prospect o% a world o% %ree and e$ual human beings! +ehind all the ballyhoo that is talked about "godless" -ussia and the "materialism" o% the working class lies the simple intention o% those with money or pri ileges to cling to them! Eitto, though it contains a partial truth, with all the talk about the worthlessness o% social reconstruction not accompanied by a "change o% heart"! &he pious ones, %rom the *ope to the yogis o% #ali%ornia, are great on the "changes o% heart", much more reassuring %rom their point o% iew than a change in the economic system! *Mtain attributes the %all o% /rance to the common people;s "lo e o% pleasure"! One sees this in its right perspecti e i% one stops to wonder how much pleasure the ordinary /rench peasant;s or working"man;s li%e would contain compared with *Mtain;s own! &he damned impertinence o% these politicians, priests, literary men, and what not who lecture the working"class Socialist %or his "materialism"O All that the working man demands is what these others would consider the indispensable minimum without which human li%e cannot be li ed at all! Enough to eat, %reedom %rom the haunting terror o% unemployment, the knowledge that your children will get a %air chance, a bath once a day, clean linen reasonably o%ten, a roo% that doesn;t leak, and short enough working hours to lea e you with a little energy when the day is done! =ot one o% those who preach against "materialism" would consider li%e li eable without these things! And how easily that minimum could be attained i% we chose to set our minds to it %or only twenty yearsO &o raise the standard o% li ing o% the whole world to that o% +ritain would not be a greater undertaking than the war we are now %ighting! I don;t claim, and I don;t know who does, that that would sol e anything in itsel%! It is merely that pri ation and brute labour ha e to be abolished be%ore the real problems o% humanity can be tackled! &he ma:or problem o% our time is the decay o% the belie% in personal immortality, and it cannot be dealt with while the a erage human being is either drudging like an o' or shi ering in %ear o% the secret police! How right the working classes are in their "materialism"O How right they are to reali9e that the belly comes be%ore the soul, not in the scale o% alues but in point o% timeO Dnderstand that, and the long horror that we are enduring becomes at least intelligible! All the considerations that are likely to make one %alter "" the siren oices o% a *Mtain or o% a Gandhi, the inescapable %act that in order to %ight one has to degrade onesel%, the e$ui ocal moral position o% +ritain, with its democratic phrases and its coolie empire, the sinister de elopment o% So iet -ussia, the s$ualid %arce o% le%t"wing politics "" all this %ades away and one sees only the struggle o% the gradually awakening common people against the lords o% property and their hired liars and bumsuckers! &he $uestion is ery simple! Shall people like that Italian soldier be allowed to li e the decent, %ully human li%e which is now technically achie able, or shan;t theyI Shall the common man be pushed back into the mud, or shall he notI I mysel% belie e, perhaps on insu%%icient grounds, that the common man will win his %ight sooner or later, but I want it to be sooner and not later "" some time within the ne't hundred years, say, and not some time within the ne't ten thousand years! &hat was the real issue o% the Spanish war, and o% the present war, and perhaps o% other wars yet to come!

I ne er saw the Italian militiaman again, nor did I e er learn his name! It can be taken as $uite certain that he is dead! =early two years later, when the war was isibly lost, I wrote these erses in his memoryG
The Italian soldier shook my hand ,eside the guard-room table# The strong hand and the subtle hand !hose palms are only able To meet within the sounds of guns, ,ut oh! what peace I knew then In ga=ing on his battered face &urer than any woman's! -or the flyblown words that make me spew 2till in his ears were holy, And he was born knowing what I had learned 0ut of books and slowly. The treacherous guns had told their tale And we both had bought it, ,ut my gold brick was made of gold -0h! who ever would have thought it% ;ood luck go with you, Italian soldier! ,ut luck is not for the brave# !hat would the world give back to you% Always less than you gave. ,etween the shadow and the ghost, ,etween the white and the red, ,etween the bullet and the lie, !here would hide your head% -or where is 4anuel ;on=ale=, And where is &edro Aguilar, And where is +amon -enellosa% The earthworms know where they are. 9our name and your deeds were forgotten ,efore your bones were dry, And the lie that slew you is buried @nder a deeper lie# ,ut the thing that I saw in your face 8o power can disinherit7 8o bomb that ever burst 2hatters the crystal spirit.

1ritten BAutumn 23<>CJ Sections I, II, III, and .II printed in New &oad BAuneIC 23<?J %ull ersion in S.9.5 E.6.E.5 -.E.

#., Letter to George -oodcoc( 27a ,ortimer #rescent =14 > Eecember 23<> Eear 1oodcock, I;m sorry I didn;t get round to answering your letter earlier, but I am ery busy these days! I am a%raid I answered rather roughly in the %artisan &eview contro ersy,25 I always do when I am attacked "" howe er, no malice either side, I hope!
25! See ?<!

I can;t help smiling at your (a) not accepting the %ee a%ter doing a broadcast %or the +!+!#! 0 (b) "suspecting a trap" when asked to b;cast! As a matter o% %act it was ,ulk;s23 idea to ask you! &hat particular b;cast is a bit o% pri ate lunacy we indulge in once a month 0 I would be surprised i% it is listened"in to by @77 people! In any case there is no $uestion o% getting to the Indian masses with any sort o% b;cast, because they don;t possess radios, certainly not shortwa e sets! In our out%it we are really only b;casting %or the students, who, howe er, won;t listen to anything e'cept news 0 perhaps music while the political situation is what it is!
23! ,ulk -a: Anand!

I am sorry that what I said abt "%inancially pro%itable" rankled "" I didn;t mean it to apply to you or any o% the others personally, merely to the whole process o% literary racketeering abt which doubtless you know as well as I do! As to the ethics o% b;casting 0 in general letting onesel% be used by the +ritish go erning class! It;s o% little alue to argue abt it, it is chie%ly a $uestion o% whether one considers it more important to down the =a9is %irst or whether one belie es doing this is meaningless unless one achie es one;s own re olution %irst! +ut %or hea en;s sake don;t think I don;t see how they are using me! A subsidiary point is that one can;t e%%ecti ely remain outside the war 0 by working inside an institution like the +!+!#! one can perhaps deodori9e it to some small e'tent! I doubt whether I shall stay in this :ob ery much longer, but while here I consider I ha e kept our propaganda slightly less disgusting than it might otherwise ha e been! I am trying to get some o% our b;casts %or the Indian section published in book %orm!>7 I% this goes through you may see %rom the book that our b;casts, though o% course much as all radio stu%% is, aren;t as bad as they might be! &o appreciate this you ha e to be as I am in constant touch with propaganda A'is 0 Allied! &ill then you don;t reali9e what muck and %ilth is normally %lowing through the air! I consider I ha e kept our little corner o% it %airly clean! Hours Geo! Orwell

>7! *ublished as 'alking to 2ndia, edited by George Orwell, 23<?!

!"#&

#&, -,', Beats One thing that ,ar'ist criticism has not succeeded in doing is to trace the conne'ion between "tendency" and literary style! &he sub:ect"matter and imagery o% a book can be e'plained in sociological terms, but its te'ture seemingly cannot! Het some such conne'ion there must be! One knows, %or instance, that a Socialist would not write like #hesterton or a &ory imperialist like +ernard Shaw, though ow one knows it is not easy to say! In the case o% Heats, there must be some kind o% conne'ion between his wayward, e en tortured style o% writing and his rather sinister ision o% li%e! ,r ,enon2 is chie%ly concerned with the esoteric philosophy underlying Heats;s work, but the $uotations which are scattered all through his interesting book ser e to remind one how arti%icial Heats;s manner o% writing was! As a rule, this arti%iciality is accepted as Irishism, or Heats is e en credited with simplicity because he uses short words, but in %act one seldom comes on si' consecuti e lines o% his erse in which there is not an archaism or an a%%ected turn o% speech! &o take the nearest e'ampleG
2! ' e .evelo#ment o$ /illiam *+tler 6eats by .! F! =arayana ,enon! ;rant me an old man's -ren=y, 4y self must I remake Till I am Timon and 6ear 0r that !illiam ,lake !ho beat upon the wall Till Truth obeyed his call.

&he unnecessary "that" imports a %eeling o% a%%ectation, and the same tendency is present in all but Heats;s best passages! One is seldom long away %rom a suspicion o% "$uaintness", something that links up not only with the nineties, the I ory &ower and "cal% co ers o% pissed"on green", but also with -ackham;s drawings, Liberty art"%abrics and the %eter %an ne er"ne er land, o% which, a%ter all, "&he Happy &ownland" is merely a more appeti9ing e'ample! &his does not matter, because, on the whole, Heats gets away with it, and i% his straining a%ter e%%ect is o%ten irritating, it can also produce phrases ("the chill, %ootless years", "the mackerel"crowded seas") which suddenly o erwhelm one like a girl;s %ace seen across a room! He is an e'ception to the rule that poets do not use poetical languageG

$ow many centuries spent The sedentary soul In toils of measurement ,eyond eagle or mole, ,eyond hearing or seeing, 0r Archimedes' guess, To raise into being That loveliness%

Here he does not %linch %rom a s$uashy ulgar word like "lo eliness", and a%ter all it does not seriously spoil this wonder%ul passage! +ut the same tendencies, together with a sort o% raggedness which is no doubt intentional, weaken his epigrams and polemical poems! /or instance (I am $uoting %rom memory) the epigram against the critics who damned ' e %la(bo( o$ t e /estern /orld3
0nce when midnight smote the air "unuchs ran through $ell and met 0n every crowded street to stare @pon great 5uan riding by# "ven like these to rail and sweat, 2taring upon his sinewy thigh.

&he power which Heats has within himsel% gi es him the analogy ready made and produces the tremendous scorn o% the last line, but e en in this short poem there are si' or se en unnecessary words! It would probably ha e been deadlier i% it had been neater! ,r ,enon;s book is incidentally a short biography o% Heats, but he is abo e all interested in Heats;s philosophical "system", which in his opinion supplies the sub:ect" matter o% more o% Heats;s poems than is generally recogni9ed! &his system is set %orth %ragmentarily in arious places, and at %ull length in A 0ision, a pri ately printed book which I ha e ne er read but which ,r ,enon $uotes %rom e'tensi ely! Heats ga e con%licting accounts o% its origin, and ,r ,enon hints pretty broadly that the "documents" on which it was ostensibly %ounded were imaginary! Heats;s philosophical system, says ,r ,enon, "was at the back o% his intellectual li%e almost %rom the beginning! His poetry is %ull o% it! 1ithout it his later poetry becomes almost completely unintelligible!" As soon as we begin to read about the so"called system we are in the middle o% a hocus"pocus o% Great 1heels, gyres, cycles o% the moon, reincarnation, disembodied spirits, astrology and what not! Heats hedges as to the literalness with which he belie ed in all this, but he certainly dabbled in spiritualism and astrology, and in earlier li%e had made e'periments in alchemy! Although almost buried under e'planations, ery di%%icult to understand, about the phases o% the moon, the central idea o% his philosophical system seems to be our old %riend, the cyclical uni erse, in which e erything happens o er and o er again! One has not, perhaps, the right to laugh at Heats %or his mystical belie%s "" %or I belie e it could be shown that some degree o% belie% in magic is almost uni ersal "" but neither ought one to write such things o%% as mere unimportant eccentricities! It is ,r ,enon;s perception o% this that gi es his book its deepest interest! "In the %irst %lush o% admiration and enthusiasm," he says, "most people dismissed the %antastical philosophy as the price we ha e to pay %or a great and curious intellect! One did not $uite reali9e where he was heading! And those who did, like *ound

and perhaps Eliot, appro ed the stand that he %inally took! &he %irst reaction to this did not come, as one might ha e e'pected, %rom the politically minded young English poets! &hey were pu99led because a less rigid or arti%icial system than that o% A 0ision might not ha e produced the great poetry o% Heats;s last days!" It might not, and yet Heats;s philosophy has some ery sinister implications, as ,r ,enon points out! &ranslated into political terms, Heats;s tendency is /ascist! &hroughout most o% his li%e, and long be%ore /ascism was e er heard o%, he had had the outlook o% those who reach /ascism by the aristocratic route! He is a great hater o% democracy, o% the modern world, science, machinery, the concept o% progress "" abo e all, o% the idea o% human e$uality! ,uch o% the imagery o% his work is %eudal, and it is clear that he was not altogether %ree %rom ordinary snobbishness! Later these tendencies took clearer shape and led him to "the e'ultant acceptance o% authoritarianism as the only solution! E en iolence and tyranny are not necessarily e il because the people, knowing not e il and good, would become per%ectly ac$uiescent to tyranny! ! ! ! E erything must come %rom the top! =othing can come %rom the masses!" =ot much interested in politics, and no doubt disgusted by his brie% incursions into public li%e, Heats ne ertheless makes political pronouncements! He is too big a man to share the illusions o% Liberalism, and as early as 23>7 he %oretells in a :ustly %amous passage ("&he Second #oming") the kind o% world that we ha e actually mo ed into! +ut he appears to welcome the coming age, which is to be "hierarchical, masculine, harsh, surgical", and is in%luenced both by E9ra *ound and by arious Italian /ascist writers! He describes the new ci ili9ation which he hopes and belie es will arri eG "an aristocratic ci ili9ation in its most completed %orm, e ery detail o% li%e hierarchical, e ery great man;s door crowded at dawn by petitioners, great wealth e erywhere in a %ew men;s hands, all dependent upon a %ew, up to the Emperor himsel%, who is a God dependent on a greater God, and e erywhere, in #ourt, in the %amily, an ine$uality made law!" &he innocence o% this statement is as interesting as its snobbishness! &o begin with, in a single phrase, "great wealth in a %ew men;s hands", Heats lays bare the central reality o% /ascism, which the whole o% its propaganda is designed to co er up! &he merely political /ascist claims always to be %ighting %or :usticeG Heats, the poet, sees at a glance that /ascism means in:ustice, and acclaims it %or that ery reason! +ut at the same time he %ails to see that the new authoritarian ci ili9ation, i% it arri es, will not be aristocratic, or what he means by aristocratic! It will not be ruled by noblemen with .an Eyck %aces, but by anonymous millionaires, shiny"bottomed bureaucrats and murdering gangsters! Others who ha e made the same mistake ha e a%terwards changed their iews, and one ought not to assume that Heats, i% he had li ed longer, would necessarily ha e %ollowed his %riend *ound, e en in sympathy! +ut the tendency o% the passage I ha e $uoted abo e is ob ious, and its complete throwing o erboard o% whate er good the past two thousand years ha e achie ed is a dis$uieting symptom! How do Heats;s political ideas link up with his leaning towards occultismI It is not clear at %irst glance why hatred o% democracy and a tendency to belie e in crystal"ga9ing should go together! ,r ,enon only discusses this rather shortly, but it is possible to make two guesses! &o begin with, the theory that ci ili9ation mo es in recurring cycles is one way out %or people who hate the concept o% human e$uality! I% it is true that "all this", or something like it, "has happened be%ore", then science and the modern world are debunked at one stroke and progress becomes %or e er impossible! It does not much

matter i% the lower orders are getting abo e themsel es, %or, a%ter all, we shall soon be returning to an age o% tyranny! Heats is by no means alone in this outlook! I% the uni erse is mo ing round on a wheel, the %uture must be %oreseeable, perhaps e en in some detail! It is merely a $uestion o% disco ering the laws o% its motion, as the early astonomers disco ered the solar year! +elie e that, and it becomes di%%icult not to belie e in astrology or some similar system! A year be%ore the war, e'amining a copy o% 4ringoire, the /rench /ascist weekly, much read by army o%%icers, I %ound in it no less than thirty"eight ad ertisements o% clair oyants! Secondly, the ery concept o% occultism carries with it the idea that knowledge must be a secret thing, limited to a small circle o% initiates! +ut the same idea is integral to /ascism! &hose who dread the prospect o% uni ersal su%%rage, popular education, %reedom o% thought, emancipation o% women, will start o%% with a predilection towards secret cults! &here is another link between /ascism and magic in the pro%ound hostility o% both to the #hristian ethical code! =o doubt Heats wa ered in his belie%s and held at di%%erent times many di%%erent opinions, some enlightened, some not! ,r ,enon repeats %or him Eliot;s claim that he had the longest period o% de elopment o% any poet who has e er li ed! +ut there is one thing that seems constant, at least in all o% his work that I can remember, and that is his hatred o% modern western ci ili9ation and desire to return to the +ron9e Age, or perhaps to the ,iddle Ages! Like all such thinkers, he tends to write in praise o% ignorance! &he /ool in his remarkable play, ' e Ho+r-4lass, is a #hestertonian %igure, "God;s %ool", the "natural born innocent", who is always wiser than the wise man! &he philosopher in the play dies on the knowledge that all his li%etime o% thought has been wasted (I am $uoting %rom memory again)G
The stream of the world has changed its course, And with the stream my thoughts have run Into some cloudly, thunderous spring That is its mountain-source# Ay, to a fren=y of the mind, That all that we have done's undone 0ur speculation but as the wind.A >! &he last three lines actually readG "Aye, to some %ren9y o% the mind /or all that we ha e done;s undone Our speculation but as the wind!"

+eauti%ul words, but by implication pro%oundly obscurantist and reactionaryJ %or i% it is really true that a illage idiot, as such, is wiser than a philosopher, then it would be better i% the alphabet had ne er been in ented! O% course, all praise o% the past is partly sentimental, because we do not li e in the past! &he poor do not praise po erty! +e%ore you can despise the machine, the machine must set you %ree %rom brute labour! +ut that is not to say that Heats;s yearning %or a more primiti e and more hierarchical age was not sincere! How much o% all this is traceable to mere snobbishness, product o% Heats;s own position as an impo erished o%%shoot o% the aristocracy, is a di%%erent $uestion! And the conne'ion between his obscurantist opinions and his tendency towards "$uaintness" o% language remains to be worked outJ ,r ,enon hardly touches upon it! &his is a ery short book, and I would greatly like to see ,r ,enon go ahead and

write another book on Heats, starting where this one lea es o%%! "I% the greatest poet o% our times is e'ultantly ringing in an era o% /ascism, it seems a somewhat disturbing symptom," he says on the last page, and lea es it at that! It is a disturbing symptom, because it is not an isolated one! +y and large the best writers o% our time ha e been reactionary in tendency, and though /ascism does not o%%er any real return to the past, those who yearn %or the past will accept /ascism sooner than its probable alternati es! +ut there are other lines o% approach, as we ha e seen during the past two or three years! &he relationship between /ascism and the literary intelligentsia badly needs in estigating, and Heats might well be the starting"point! He is best studied by someone like ,r ,enon, who can approach a poet primarily as a poet, but who also knows that a writer;s political and religious belie%s are not e'crescences to be laughed away, but something that will lea e their mark e en on the smallest detail o% his work! Horizon, Aanuary 23<?J -r.E.5 ....5 -.E.

##, Letter from England to Partisan Re!ie" ? Aanuary 23<? Eear Editors, It is :ust on two years since I wrote you my %irst letter! I wrote that one to the tune o% A!A! guns, when we were in desperate straits and also on what appeared to be the edge o% rapid political ad ance! I begin this one at a time when the military situation is enormously better but the political outlook is blacker than it has e er been! ,y last letter but one, which I wrote in ,ay o% this year, you headed on your own initiati e "&he +ritish #risis"! 1ell, that crisis is o er and the %orces o% reaction ha e won hands down! #hurchill is %irm in the saddle again, #ripps has %lung away his chances, no other le%t" wing leader or mo ement has appeared, and what is more important, it is hard to see how any re olutionary situation can recur till the western end o% the war is %inished! 1e ha e had two opportunities, Eunkirk and Singapore, and we took neither! +e%ore trying to predict the conse$uences o% this, let me sketch out the main tendencies o% this year as I see them! Although the indi idual incidents don;t %it in so neatly as they might, the rule has held good that the Go ernment mo es to the right in moments o% success and to the Le%t in moments o% disaster! #ollapse in the /ar East "" #ripps taken into the Go ernment, #ripps;s mission to India (this was probably so %ramed as to make sure that it should not be accepted, but was at least a big concession to popular %eeling in this country)! American ictories in the *aci%ic, German %ailure to reach Ale'andria "" Indian #ongress leaders arrested! +ritish ictory in Egypt, American in asion o% =orth A%rica "" tie"up with Earlan and %resh bum"kissing %or /ranco! +ut o er the whole year "" indeed I ha e mentioned it in earlier letters "" there has been isible a steady growth o% blimpishness and a more conscious elbowing"out o% the "reds" who were use%ul when morale needed

pepping up but can now be dispensed with! &he sudden sacking o% #ripps merely symboli9es a process which is occurring all o er the place! Apart %rom the general rightward swing there ha e been two other de elopments which seem to be signi%icant! One is the Second /ront agitation, which reached its peak about Auly and therea%ter took on a more de%initely political colour than be%ore! &he =orth A%rican campaign has temporarily silenced the clamour %or a Second /ront, but in the preceding months the contro ersy had not really been a military one but was a struggle between pro"-ussians and anti"-ussians! &he other de elopment is the growth o% anti"American %eeling, together with increased American control o er +ritish policy! &he popular attitude towards America has I belie e changed in the last %ew months, and I will return to this in a moment! ,eanwhile the growing suspicion that we may all ha e underrated the strength o% capitalism and that the -ight may, a%ter all, be able to win the war o%% its own bat without resorting to any radical change, is ery depressing to anyone who thinks! #ynicism about "a%ter the war" is widespread, and the "we;re all in it together" %eeling o% 23<7 has %aded away! &he great political topic o% the last %ew weeks has been the +e eridge -eport on Social Security! *eople seem to %eel that this ery moderate measure o% re%orm is almost too good to be true! E'cept %or the tiny interested minority, e eryone is pro"+e eridge "" including le%t"wing papers which a %ew years ago would ha e denounced such a scheme as semi"/ascist "" and at the same time no one belie es that +e eridge;s plan will actually be adopted! &he usual opinion is that "they" (the Go ernment) will make a pretence o% accepting the +e eridge -eport and then simply let it drop! &he sense o% impotence seems to be growing and is re%lected in the lower and lower oting %igures at by"elections! &he last public demonstrations o% any magnitude were those demanding a Second /ront in the late summer! =o demonstrations against the Earlan deal, though disappro al o% it was almost generalJ nor o er the India business, though, again, popular %eeling is pro"#ongress! &he e'treme Le%t still tends to be de%eatist, e'cept as regards the -ussian %ront, and at each stage o% the A%rican campaign its press has clung almost desperately to a pessimistic interpretation o% e ents! I think it is worth noting that the military e'perts %a oured by the Le%t are all o% them de%eatist, and ha en;t su%%ered in reputation when their gloomy prophecies are %alsi%ied, any more than the cheery optimists %a oured by the -ight! Howe er, this comes partly %rom :ealousy and "opposition mentality"G %ew people now really belie e in a German ictory! As to the real moral o% the last three years "" that the -ight has more guts and ability than the Le%t "" no one will %ace up to it! =ow a word about Anglo"American relations! In an earlier letter I tried to indicate ery brie%ly the arious currents o% pro"and anti"American %eeling in this country! Since then there has been an ob ious growth o% animosity against America, and this now e'tends to people who were pre iously pro"American, such as the literary intelligentsia! It is important to reali9e that %or about %i%teen years +ritain has di%%ered %rom most countries in ha ing no nationalist intelligentsia worth speaking o%! &he a erage English intellectual is anti"+ritish, and though chie%ly worshipping the D!S!S!-! has also tended to look on America as being not only more e%%icient and up"to"date than +ritain, but more genuinely democratic! Euring the period 23?@"3 the Le%t intelligentsia were taken in to a surprising e'tent by the "anti"/ascist" antics in which so many American newspapers indulged! &here was also a tendency to crouch culturally towards America and urge the superiority o% the American language and e en the American accent! &his attitude is

changing, howe er, as it begins to be grasped that the D!S!A! is potentially imperialist and politically a long way behind +ritain! A %a ourite saying nowadays is that whereas #hamberlain appeased Germany, #hurchill appeases America! It is, indeed, ob ious enough that the +ritish ruling class is being propped up by American arms, and may thereby get a new lease o% li%e it would not otherwise ha e had! *eople now blame the D!S!A! %or e ery reactionary mo e, more e en than is :usti%ied! /or instance, e en $uite well"in%ormed people belie ed the Earlan :ob to ha e been "put o er" by the Americans without our knowledge, though in %act the +ritish Go ernment must ha e been pri y to it! &here is also widespread anti"American %eeling among the working class, thanks to the presence o% the American soldiers, and, I belie e, ery bitter anti"+ritish %eeling among the soldiers themsel es! I ha e to speak here on second"hand e idence, because it is almost impossible to make contact with an American soldier! &hey are to be seen e erywhere in the streets, but they don;t go to the ordinary pubs, and e en in the hotels and cocktail bars which they do %re$uent they keep by themsel es and hardly answer i% spoken to! American ci ilians who are in contact with them say that apart %rom the normal grumbling about the %ood, the climate, etc!, they complain o% being inhospitably treated and o% ha ing to pay %or their amusements, and are disgusted by the dinginess, the old"%ashionedness and the general po erty o% li%e in England! #ertainly it cannot be pleasant to be suddenly trans%erred %rom the com%orts o% American !ci ili9ation to some smoky and rainy ,idland town, battered by three years o% war and short o% e ery kind o% consumption goods! I doubt, howe er, whether the a erage American would %ind England tolerable e en in peacetime! &he cultural di%%erences are ery deep, perhaps irreconcilable, and the Americans ob iously ha e the pro%oundest contempt %or England, rather like the contempt which the ordinary lowbrow Englishman has %or the Latin races! All who are in contact with the American troops report them as saying that this is "their" war, they ha e done all the %ighting in it, the +ritish are no good at anything e'cept running away, etc! &he lack o% contact between the Americans and the locals is startling! It is now more than eight months since the %irst American troops arri ed, and I ha e not yet seen a +ritish soldier and an American soldier together! O%%icers ery occasionally, soldiers ne er! &he early good impression which the American troops made on the women seems to ha e worn o%%! One ne er sees them e'cept with tarts or near"tarts, and the same thing is reported %rom most parts o% the country! -elations are said to be better in Scotland, howe er, where the people are certainly more hospitable than in England! Also, people seem to pre%er the =egroes to the white Americans! I% you ask people why they dislike Americans, you get %irst o% all the answer that they are "always boasting" and then come upon a more solid grie ance in the matter o% the soldiers; pay and %ood! An American pri ate soldier gets ten shillings a day and all %ound, which "" with wages and income ta' as they now are "" means that the whole American army is %inancially in the middle class, and %airly high up in it! As to the %ood, I do not imagine that people would resent the troops being better %ed than ci ilians, since the +ritish army is also better %ed, so %ar as the ingredients o% %ood go, but the Americans are gi en %oodstu%%s otherwise reser ed %or children, and also imported lu'uries which ob iously waste shipping space! &hey are e en importing beer, since they will not drink English beer! *eople point out with some bitterness that sailors ha e to be drowned in bringing this stu%% across! Hou can imagine also the petty :ealousies centring round the %act that American o%%icers monopoli9e all the ta'is, drink up all the whisky and ha e

in%lated the rents o% %urnished rooms to unheard"o% le els! &he usual comment is "I wouldn;t mind i% they were %ighting, not :ust talking!" &his is said out o% spite, but it is a %act that the attitude will change deeply i% and when the American army is engaged in Europe! At present the parallel with our own relations with Europe during the phony war is all too ob ious! 1hether this state o% a%%airs could be altered by better propaganda methods is disputable! I note that people newly returned %rom the D!S!A! or with knowledge o% conditions there, especially #anadians, are concerned about Anglo"American relations and ery an'ious that the +ritish war e%%ort should be more loudly boosted in the D!S!A! +ritain;s propaganda problems, howe er, are more comple' than most people reali9e! &o take one e'ample, it is politically necessary to %latter the Eominions, which in ol es playing down the +ritish! As a result the Germans are able to say plausibly that +ritain;s %ighting is done %or her by colonial troops, but this is held to be lesser e il than o%%ending the Australians, who are only ery loosely attached to the Empire and culturally hostile to +ritain! &his dilemma presents itsel% o er and o er again, in endless ariations! As to America, some propagandists actually hold that it is better %or the Americans to be anti" +ritish, as this gi es them a good opinion o% themsel es and "keeps their morale up"! Others are dismayed because we are represented in America by people like Lord Hali%a' "" who, it is %eared, may be taken %or a typical Englishman! &he usual line is "1hy can;t we send o er a %ew working men %rom 1igan or +rad%ord to show them we;re ordinary decent people like themsel esI" &his seems to me sentimentality! It is true, o% course, that Lord Hali%a' is :ust about as representati e o% +ritain as a -ed Indian chie%tain is o% the Dnited States, but the theory that the common people o% all nations lo e each other at sight is not backed up by e'perience! &he common people nearly e erywhere are 'enophobe, because they cannot accustom themsel es to %oreign %ood and %oreign habits! Holding le%t"wing opinions makes no di%%erence to this, a %act which impressed itsel% on me in the Spanish #i il 1ar! &he popular goodwill towards the D!S!S!-! in this country partly depends on the %act that %ew Englishmen ha e e er seen a -ussian! And one has only to look round the English"speaking world, with its labyrinth o% cultural hatreds, to see that speaking the same language is no guarantee o% %riendship! 1hate er happens, +ritain will not go the way that /rance went, and the growing animosity between +ritish and Americans may not ha e any real importance till the war is o er! +ut it might ha e a direct in%luence on e ents i% "" as is now widely e'pected "" Germany is de%eated some time in 23<? or 23<< and it then takes about two more years to settle Aapan! In that case the war against Aapan might $uite easily be represented as "an American war", a more plausible ariant o% "a Aewish war"! &he masses in +ritain ha e it %i'ed in their minds that Hitler is t e enemy, and it is $uite common to hear soldiers say "I;m packing up as soon as Germany is %inished!" &hat doesn;t mean that they genuinely intend or would be able to do this, and I think in practice ma:ority opinion would be %or staying in the war, unless by that time -ussia had changed sides again! +ut the $uestion "1hat are we %ighting %orI" is bound to come up in a sharper %orm when Germany is knocked out, and there are pro"Aapanese elements in this country which might be cle er enough to make use o% popular war weariness! /rom the point o% iew o% the man in the street the war in the /ar East is a war %or the rubber companies and the Americans, and in that conte't American unpopularity might be important! &he +ritish ruling class has ne er stated its real war aims, which happen to be unmentionable, and so long as things went

badly +ritain was dri en part o% the way towards a re olutionary strategy! &here was always the possibility, there%ore, o% democrati9ing the war without losing it in the process! =ow, howe er, the tide begins to turn and immediately the dreary world which the American millionaires and their +ritish hangers"on intend to impose upon us begins to take shape! &he +ritish people, in the mass, don;t want such a world, and might say so %airly igorously when the =a9is are out o% the way! 1hat they want, so %ar as they %ormulate their thoughts at all, is some kind o% Dnited States o% Europe dominated by a close alliance between +ritain and the D!S!S!-! Sentimentally, the ma:ority o% people in this world would %ar rather be in a tie"up with -ussia than with America, and it is possible to imagine situations in which the popular cause would become the anti"American cause! &here were signs o% this alignment in the reactions to the Earlan business! 1hether any leader or party capable o% gi ing a oice to these tendencies will arise e en when Hitler is gone and Europe is in turmoil, I do not know! =one is isible at this moment, and the reactionaries are tightening their grip e erywhere! +ut one can at least %oresee at what point a radical change will again become possible! &here is not much more news! Another /ascist party has started up, the +ritish =ational *arty! It is the usual stu%% "" anti"+olshe ik, anti"+ig +usiness, etc! &hese people ha e got hold o% some money %rom somewhere but do not appear to ha e a serious %ollowing! &he #ommon 1ealth people ha e $uarrelled and split, but the main group is probably making headway! &here ha e been %urther signs o% the growth o% a le%t"wing %action in the #hurch o% England, which has had tendencies in this direction %or some years past! &hese centre not, as one might e'pect, in the "modernists" but in the Anglo" #atholics, dogmatically the e'treme "right wing" o% the #hurch! &he - +rc 'imes, which is more or less the o%%icial paper o% the #! o% E!? (enormous circulation in country icarages), has %or some years past been a mildly le%t" wing paper and politically $uite intelligent! *arts o% the -oman #atholic press ha e gone more markedly pro"/ascist since the Earlan a%%air! &here is e idently a split in the #atholic intelligentsia o er the whole $uestion o% /ascism, and they ha e been attacking one another in public in a way they usually a oid doing! &here is still antisemitism, but no sign that it is growing! Our %ood is much as usual! &he #hristmas puddings, my clue to the shipping situation, were about the same colour as last year! It is getting hard to li e with prices and ta'es as they now are, and what between long working hours and then %ire"watching, the Home Guard, A!-!*! or what"not, one seems to ha e less and less spare time, especially as all :ourneys now are slow and uncom%ortable! Good luck %or 23<?!
?! #hurch o% England!

%artisan &eview, ,arch"April 23<?

#4, ;am3hlet Literature One cannot ade$uately re iew %i%teen pamphlets in a thousand words, and i% I ha e picked out that number it is because between them they make a representati e

selection o% eight out o% the nine main trends in current pamphleteering! (&he missing trend is paci%ismG I don;t happen to ha e a recent paci%ist pamphlet by me!) I list them under their separate headings, with short comments, be%ore trying to e'plain certain rather curious %eatures in the re i al o% pamphleteering during recent years! 2! Anti"Le%t and crypto"/ascistG A Soldier7s New /orld. >d! (Sub"titled, "An anti" crank pamphlet written in camp"J this wallops the highbrow and pro es that the common man does not want Socialism! Fey phraseG "the #le er Ones ha e ne er learned to delight in simple things"!) 4ollancz in t e 4erman /onderland. 2s! (.ansittartite)! /orld Order or /orld &+in. 4d! (Anti"planningJ G! E! H! #ole demolished!) >! #onser ati eG *omber -ommand -ontin+es. 6d! (Good specimen o% an o%%icial pamphlet!) ?! Social EemocratG ' e -ase o$ A+stria. 4d! (*ublished by the /ree Austrian ,o ement!) <! #ommunistG -lear o+t Hitler7s Agents. >d! (Sub"titled, "An e'posure o% &rotskyist disruption being organi9ed in +ritain"J e'ceptionally mendacious!) @! &rotskyist and AnarchistG ' e "ronstadt &evolt. >d! (Anarchist pamphlet, largely an attack on &rotsky!) 4! =on"party radicalG / at7s /rong wit t e Arm(C 4d! (A Hurricane +ook, well" in%ormed and well"written anti"+limp document!) 2, 9ames *l+nt. 4d! (Good %lesh" creeper, %ounded on the :usti%ied assumption that the mass o% the English people ha en;t yet heard o% /ascism!) *attle o$ 4iants. Dnpriced, probably 4d! (Interesting specimen o% popular non"#ommunist russophile literature!) 6! -eligiousG A )etter to a -o+ntr( -lerg(man. >d! (/abian pamphlet, le%t"wing Anglican!) Fig ters Ever. 4d! (+uchman indicated!) 5! LunaticG *ritain7s 'ri+m# ant .estin(, or &ig teo+sness no longer on t e .e$ensive. 4d! (+ritish Israel, pro%usely illustrated!) / en &+ssia 2nvades %alestine. 2s! (+ritish Israel! &he author, A! A! /erris, +!A!, has written a long series o% pamphlets on kindred sub:ects, some o% them en:oying enormous sales! His / en &+ssia *ombs 4erman(, published in 23<7, sold o er 47,777!) Hitler7s Stor( and %rogramme to -on:+er England, by "#i is +ritannicus Sum"! 2s! (Specimen passageG "It is a grand thing to ;play the game;, and to know that one is doing it! &hen, when the day comes that stumps are drawn or the whistle blows %or the last timeG
The #reat $corer will come to write against your name, 8ot if you have won or lost# but Ho% you &layed the #ame.")

&hese %ew that I ha e named are only a drop in the ocean o% pamphlet literature, and %or the sake o% gi ing a good cross"section I ha e included se eral that the a erage reader is likely to ha e heard o%! 1hat conclusions can one draw %rom this small sampleI &he interesting %act, not easily e'plicable, is that pamphleteering has re i ed upon an enormous scale since about 23?@, and has done so without producing anything o% real alue! ,y own collection, made during the past si' years, would run into se eral hundreds, but probably does not represent anywhere near ten per cent o% the total output! Some o% these pamphlets ha e had huge sales, especially the religio"patriotic ones, such as those o% ,r /erris, +!A!, and the scurrilous ones, such as Hitler7s )ast /ill and 'estament, which is said to ha e sold se eral millions! Eirectly political pamphlets sometimes sell in big numbers, but the circulation o% any pamphlet which is "party line"

(any party) is likely to be spurious! Looking through my collection, I %ind that it is practically all trash, interesting only to bibliographies! &hough I ha e classi%ied current pamphlets under nine headings they could be %inally reduced to two main schools, roughly describable as *arty Line and Astrology! &here is totalitarian rubbish and paranoiac rubbish, but in each case it is rubbish! E en the well"in%ormed /abian pamphlets are hopelessly dull, considered as reading matter! &he li eliest pamphlets are almost always non"party, a good e'ample being *less 7em All, which should be regarded as a pamphlet, though it costs one and si'pence! &he reason why the badness o% contemporary pamphlets is somewhat surprising is that the pamphlet ought to be t e literary %orm o% an age like our own! 1e li e in a time when political passions run high, channels o% %ree e'pression are dwindling, and organi9ed lying e'ists on a scale ne er be%ore known! /or plugging the holes in history the pamphlet is the ideal %orm! Het li ely pamphlets are ery %ew, and the only e'planation I can o%%er "" a rather lame one "" is that the publishing trade and the literary papers ha e ne er gone to the trouble o% making the reading public pamphlet"conscious! One di%%iculty o% collecting pamphlets is that they are not issued in any regular manner, cannot always be procured e en in the libraries o% museums, and are seldom ad ertised and still more seldom re iewed! A good writer with something he passionately wanted to say "" and the essence o% pamphleteering is to ha e something you want to say now, to as many people as possible "" would hesitate to cast it in pamphlet %orm, because he would hardly know how to set about getting it published, and would be doubt%ul whether the people he wanted to reach would e er read it! *robably he would water his idea down into a newspaper article or pad it out into a book! As a result by %ar the greater number o% pamphlets are either written by lonely lunatics who publish at their own e'pense, or belong to the sub"world o% the crank religions, or are issued by political parties! &he normal way o% publishing a pamphlet is through a political party, and the party will see to it that any "de iation" "" and hence any literary alue "" is kept out! &here ha e been a %ew good pamphlets in %airly recent years! E! H! Lawrence;s %ornogra# ( and Obscenit( was one, *otocki de ,ontalk;s Snobber( wit 0iolence was another, and some o% 1yndham Lewis;s essays in ' e Enem( really come under this heading! At present the most hope%ul symptom is the appearance o% the non"party le%t"wing pamphlet, such as the Hurricane +ooks! I% productions o% this type were as sure o% being noticed in the press as are no els or books o% erse, something would ha e been done towards bringing the pamphlet back to the attention o% its proper public, and the le el o% the whole genre might rise! 1hen one considers how %le'ible a %orm the pamphlet is, and how badly some o% the e ents o% our time need documenting, this is a thing to be desired! New Statesman and Nation, @ Aanuary 23<?

#5, London Letter to Partisan Re!ie" BLate ,ayI 23<?C

Eear Editors, I begin my letter :ust a%ter the dissolution o% the #omintern, and be%ore the %ull e%%ects o% this ha e become clear! O% course the immediate results in +ritain are easy to %oretell! Ob iously the #ommunists will make %resh e%%orts to a%%iliate with the Labour *arty (this has already been re%used by the L!*! E'ecuti e), ob iously they will be told that they must dissol e and :oin as indi iduals, and ob iously, once inside the Labour *arty, they will try to act as an organi9ed %action, whate er promises they may ha e gi en be%orehand! &he real interest lies in trying to %oresee the long"term e%%ects o% the dissolution on a #ommunist *arty o% the +ritish type! 1eighing up the probabilities, I think the -ussian gesture should be taken at its %ace" alue "" that is, Stalin is genuinely aiming at a closer tie"up with the D!S!A! and +ritain and not merely "decei ing the bourgeoisie" as his %ollowers like to belie e! +ut that would not o% itsel% alter the beha iour o% the +ritish #ommunists! /or a%ter all, their subser ience to ,oscow during the last %i%teen years did not rest on any real authority! &he +ritish #ommunists could not be shot or e'iled i% they chose to disobey, and so %ar as I know they ha e not e en had any money %rom ,oscow in recent years! ,oreo er the -ussians made it reasonably clear that they despised them! &heir obedience depended on the mysti$ue o% the -e olution, which had gradually changed itsel% into a nationalistic loyalty to the -ussian state! &he English le%t"wing intelligentsia worship Stalin because they ha e lost their patriotism and their religious belie% without losing the need %or a god and a %atherland! I ha e always held that many o% them would trans%er their allegiance to Hitler i% Germany won! So long as "#ommunism" merely means %urthering the interests o% the -ussian /oreign O%%ice, it is hard to see that the disappearance o% the #omintern makes any di%%erence! =early always one can see at a glance what policy is needed, e en i% there is no central organi9ation to hand out directi es! Howe er, one has got to consider the e%%ect on the working"class membership, who ha e a di%%erent outlook %rom the salaried hacks at the top o% the *arty! &o these people the open declaration that the International is dead must make a di%%erence, although it was in %act a ghost already! And e en in the central committee o% the *arty there are di%%erences in outlook which might widen i% a%ter a while the +ritish #ommunist *arty came to think o% itsel% as an independent party! One must allow here %or the e%%ects o% sel%"deception! E en long"term #ommunists o%ten won;t admit to themsel es that they are merely -ussian agents, and there%ore don;t necessarily see what mo e is re$uired until the instructions arri e %rom ,oscow! &hus, as soon as the /ranco"-ussian military pact was signed, it was ob ious that the /rench and +ritish #ommunists must go all patriotic, but to my knowledge some o% them %ailed to grasp this! Or again, a%ter the signing o% the -usso"German *act se eral leading members re%used to accept the anti"war line and had to do some belly"crawling be%ore their mutiny was %orgi en! In the months that %ollowed the two chie% publicists o% the *arty became e'tremely sympathetic to the =a9i /eltansc a++ng, e idently to the dismay o% some o% the others! &he line o% di ision is between deracinated intellectuals like *alme Eutt and trade"union men like *ollitt and Hannington! A%ter all the years they ha e had on the :ob none o% these men can imagine any occupation e'cept boosting So iet -ussia, but they might di%%er as to the best way o% doing it i% -ussian leadership has really been withdrawn! All in all, I should e'pect the dissolution o% the #omintern to produce appreciable results, but not immediately! I should

say that %or si' months, perhaps more, the +ritish #ommunists will carry on as always, but that therea%ter ri%ts will appear and the *arty will either wither away or de elop into a looser, less russophile organi9ation under more up"to"date leadership! &here remains the bigger pu99le o% why the #omintern was dissol ed! I% I am right and the -ussians did it to inspire con%idence, one must assume that the rulers o% +ritain and the D!S!A! wanted the dissolution and perhaps demanded it as part o% the price o% a Second /ront! +ut in +ritain at any rate there has been little sign in the past do9en years that the ruling class seriously ob:ected to the e'istence o% the #ommunist *arty! E en during the *eople;s #on ention period they showed it an astonishing amount o% tolerance! At all other times %rom 23?@ onwards it has had power%ul support %rom one or other section o% the capitalist press! A thing that it is di%%icult to be sure about is where the #ommunists get their money %rom! It is not likely that they get all o% it %rom their declared supporters, and I belie e they tell the truth in saying that they get nothing %rom ,oscow! &he di%%erence is that they are "helped" %rom time to time by wealthy English people who see the alue o% an organi9ation which acts as an eel"trap %or acti e Socialists! +ea erbrook %or instance is credited, rightly or wrongly, with ha ing %inanced the #ommunist *arty during the past year or two! &his is perhaps not less signi%icant as a rumour than it would be as a %act! 1hen one thinks o% the history o% the past twenty years it is hard not to %eel that the #omintern has been one o% the worst enemies the working class has had! Het the Dpper #rust is e idently pleased to see it disappear "" a %act which I record but cannot readily e'plain! &he other important political de elopment during these past months has been the growth o% #ommon 1ealth, Sir -ichard Acland;s party! I mentioned this in earlier letters but underrated its importance! It is now a mo ement to be seriously reckoned with and is hated by all the other parties alike! Acland;s programme, which is set %orth almost in baby language in many lea%lets and pamphlets, could be described as Socialism minus the class war and with the emphasis on the moral instead o% the economic moti e! It calls %or nationali9ation o% all ma:or resources, immediate independence (not Eominion status) %or India, pooling o% raw materials as between "ha e" and "ha e not" countries, international administration o% backward areas, and a composite army drawn %rom as many countries as possible to keep the peace a%ter the war is done! All in all this programme is not less drastic than that o% the e'tremist parties o% the Le%t, but it has some unusual %eatures which are worth noticing, since they e'plain the ad ance #ommon 1ealth has made during the past %ew months! In the %irst place the whole class"war ideology is scrapped! &hough all property" owners are to be e'propriated, they are to recei e %ractional compensation "" in e%%ect, the bourgeois is to be gi en a small li%e"pension instead o% a %iring"s$uad! &he idea o% "proletarian dictatorship" is speci%ically condemnedG the middle class and the working class are to amalgamate instead o% %ighting one another! &he *arty;s literature is aimed chie%ly at winning o er the middle class, both the technical middle class and the "little man" (%armers, shopkeepers, etc!)! Secondly, the economic side o% the programme lays the emphasis on increasing production rather than e$uali9ing consumption! &hirdly, an e%%ort is made to synthesi9e patriotism with an internationalist outlook! Stress is laid on the importance o% %ollowing +ritish tradition and "doing things in our own way"! *arliament, apparently, is to be preser ed in much its present %orm, and nothing is said

against the ,onarchy! /ourthly, #ommon 1ealth does not describe itsel% as "Socialist" and care%ully a oids ,ar'ist phraseology! It declares itsel% willing to collaborate with any other party whose aims are su%%iciently similar! (1ith the Labour *arty the test is that the L!*! shall break the electoral truce!) /i%thly "" and perhaps most important o% all "" #ommon 1ealth propaganda has a strong ethical tinge! Its best"known poster consists simply o% the words "Is it e'pedientI" crossed out and replaced by "Is it rightI" Anglican priests are much to the %ore in the mo ement though the #atholics seem to be opposing it! 1hether this mo ement has a %uture I am still uncertain, but its growth since I last wrote to you has been ery striking! Acland;s candidates are %ighting by"elections all o er the country! Although they ha e only won two so %ar, they ha e e%%ected a big turn"o er o% otes against Go ernment candidates, and what is perhaps more signi%icant, the whole poll seems to rise where er a #ommon 1ealth candidate appears! &he I!L!*! has been conducting a distant %lirtation with #ommon 1ealth, but the other Le%t parties are hostile and perhaps %rightened! &he usual criticism is that #ommon 1ealth is only making progress because o% the electoral truce "" in other words, because the Labour *arty is what it is! In addition it is said that the membership o% the party is wholly middle class! Acland himsel% claims to ha e a good nucleus o% %ollowers in the %actories and still more in the %orces! &he #ommunists, o% course, ha e labelled #ommon 1ealth as /ascist! &hey and the #onser ati es now work together at by"elections! &he programme I ha e roughly outlined has elements both o% demagogy and o% Dtopianism, but it takes ery much better account o% the actual balance o% %orces than any o% the older Le%t parties ha e done! It might ha e a chance o% power i% another re olutionary situation arises, either through military disaster or at the end o% the war! Some who know Acland declare that he has a "%uehrer comple'" and that i% he saw the mo ement growing beyond his control he would split it sooner than share authority! I don;t belie e this to be so, but neither do I belie e that Acland by himsel% could bring a nation"wide mo ement into being! He is not a big enough %igure, and not in any way a man o% the people! Although o% aristocratic and agricultural background (he is a %i%teenth baronet) he has the manners and appearance o% a ci il ser ant, with a typical upper"class accent! /or a popular leader in England it is a serious disability to be a gentleman, which #hurchill, %or instance, is not! #ripps is a gentleman, but to o%%set this he has his notorious "austerity", the Gandhi touch, which Acland :ust misses, in spite o% his ethical and religious slant! I think this mo ement should be watched with attention! It might de elop into the new Socialist party we ha e all been hoping %or, or into something ery sinisterG it has some rather doubt%ul %ollowers already! /inally a word about antisemitism, which could not be said to ha e reached the stature o% a "problem"! I said in my last letter that it was not increasing, but I now think it is! &he danger signal, which is also a sa%eguard, is that e eryone is ery conscious o% it and it is discussed interminably in the press! Although Aews in England ha e always been socially looked down on and debarred %rom a %ew pro%essions (I doubt whether a Aew would be accepted as an o%%icer in the na y, %or instance), antisemitism is primarily a working"class thing, and strongest among Irish labourers! I ha e had some glimpses o% working"class antisemitism through being three years in the Home Guard "" which gi es a good cross"section o% society "" in a district where there are a lot o% Aews! ,y e'perience is that middle"class people will laugh at Aews and discriminate against them to some e'tent, but only among working

people do you %ind the %ull"blown belie% in the Aews as a cunning and sinister race who li e by e'ploiting the Gentiles! A%ter all that has happened in the last ten years it is a %ear%ul thing to hear a working man saying, "1ell, I reckon ;Itler done a good :ob when ;e turned ;em all out," but I ha e heard :ust that, and more than once! &hese people ne er seem to be aware that Hitler has done anything to the Aews e'cept "turned ;em all out"J the pogroms, the deportations, etc! ha e simply escaped their notice! It is $uestionable, howe er, whether the Aew is ob:ected to as a Aew or simply as a %oreigner! =o religious consideration enters! &he English Aew, who is o%ten strictly orthodo' but entirely anglici9ed in his habits, is less disliked than the European re%ugee who has probably not been near a synagogue %or thirty years! Some people actually ob:ect to the Aews on the ground that Aews are GermansO +ut in somewhat di%%erent %orms antisemitism is now spreading among the middle class as well! &he usual %ormula is "O% course I don;t want you to think I;m antisemitic, but """ and here %ollows a catalogue o% Aewish misdeeds! Aews are accused o% e ading military ser ice, in%ringing the %ood laws, pushing their way to the %ront o% $ueues, etc! etc! ,ore thought%ul people point out that the Aewish re%ugees use this country as a temporary asylum but show no loyalty towards it! Ob:ecti ely this is true, and the tactlessness o% some o% the re%ugees is almost incredible! (/or e'ample, a remark by a German Aewess o erheard during the +attle o% /ranceG "&hese English police are not nearly so smart as our S!S! men!") +ut arguments o% this kind are ob iously rationali9ations o% pre:udice! *eople dislike the Aews so much that they do not want to remember their su%%erings, and when you mention the horrors that are happening in Germany or *oland, the answer is always "Oh yes, o% course that;s dread%ul, but """ and out comes the %amiliar list o% grie ances! =ot all o% the intelligentsia are immune %rom this kind o% thing! Here the get"out is usually that the re%ugees are all "petty bourgeois"J and so the abuse o% Aews can proceed under a respectable disguise! *aci%ists and others who are anti"war sometimes %ind themsel es %orced into antisemitism! One should not e'aggerate the danger o% this kind o% thing! &o begin with, there is probably less antisemitism in England now than there was thirty years ago! In the minor no els o% that date you %ind it taken %or granted %ar o%tener than you would nowadays that a Aew is an in%erior or a %igure o% %un! &he "Aew :oke" has disappeared %rom the stage, the radio and the comic papers since 23?<! Secondly, there is a great awareness o% the pre alence o% antisemitism and a conscious e%%ort to struggle against it! +ut the thing remains, and perhaps it is one o% the ine itable neuroses o% war! I am not particularly impressed by the %act that it does not take iolent %orms! It is true that no one wants to ha e pogroms and throw elderly Aewish pro%essors into cesspools, but then there is ery little crime or iolence in England anyway! &he milder %orm o% anti"semitism pre ailing here can be :ust as cruel in an indirect way, because it causes people to a ert their eyes %rom the whole re%ugee problem and remain uninterested in the %ate o% the sur i ing Aews o% Europe! +ecause two days ago a %at Aewess grabbed your place on the bus, you switch o%% the wireless when the announcer begins talking about the ghettoes o% 1arsawJ that;s how people;s minds work nowadays! &hat is all the political news I ha e! Li%e goes on much as be%ore! I don;t notice that our %ood is any di%%erent, but the %ood situation is generally considered to be worse! &he war hits one a succession o% blows in une'pected places! /or a long time ra9or blades were unobtainable, now it is boot polish! +ooks are being printed on the most illainous

paper and in tiny print, ery trying to the eyes! A %ew people are wearing wooden"soled shoes! &here is an alarming amount o% drunkenness in London! &he American soldiers seem to be getting on better terms with the locals, perhaps ha ing become more resigned to the climate etc! Air raids continue, but on a piti%ul scale! I notice that many people %eel sympathy %or the Germans now that it is they who are being bombed "" a change %rom 23<7, when people saw their houses tumbling about them and wanted to see +erlin scraped o%% the map! George Orwell %artisan &eview, Auly"August 23<?

#6, Literature and the Left "1hen a man o% true Genius appears in the 1orld, you may know him by this in%allible Sign, that all the Eunces are in #onspiracy against him!" So wrote Aonathan Swi%t, two hundred years be%ore the publication o% <l(sses. I% you consult any sporting manual or yearbook you will %ind many pages de oted to the hunting o% the %o' and the hare, but not a word about the hunting o% the highbrow! Het this, more than any other, is the characteristic +ritish sport, in season all the year round and en:oyed by rich and poor alike, with no complications %rom either class"%eeling or political alignment! /or it should be noted that in its attitude towards "highbrows" "" that is, towards any writer or artist who makes e'periments in techni$ue "" the Le%t is no %riendlier than the -ight! =ot only is "highbrow" almost as much a word o% abuse in the .ail( /orker as in %+nc , but it is e'actly those writers whose work shows both originality and the power to endure that ,ar'ist doctrinaires single out %or attack! I could name a long list o% e'amples, but I am thinking especially o% Aoyce, Heats, Lawrence and Eliot! Eliot, in particular, is damned in the le%t"wing press almost as automatically and per%unctorily as Fipling "" and that by critics who only a %ew years back were going into raptures o er the already %orgotten masterpieces o% the Le%t +ook #lub! Is you ask a "good party man" (and this goes %or almost any party o% the Le%t) what he ob:ects to in Eliot, you get an answer that ultimately reduces to this! Eliot is a reactionary (he has declared himsel% a royalist, an Anglo"#atholic, etc!), and he is also a "bourgeois intellectual", out o% touch with the common manG there%ore he is a bad writer! #ontained in this statement is a hal%"conscious con%usion o% ideas which itiates nearly all politico"literary criticism! &o dislike a writer;s politics is one thing! &o dislike him because he %orces you to think is another, not necessarily incompatible with the %irst! +ut as soon as you start talking about "good" and "bad" writers you are tacitly appealing to literary tradition and thus dragging in a totally di%%erent set o% alues! /or what is a "good" writerI 1as Shakespeare "good"I ,ost people would agree that he was! Het Shakespeare is, and perhaps was e en by the standards o% his own time, reactionary in tendencyJ and he is

also a di%%icult writer, only doubt%ully accessible to the common man! 1hat, then, becomes o% the notion that Eliot is dis$uali%ied, as it were, by being an Anglo"#atholic royalist who is gi en to $uoting LatinI Le%t"wing literary criticism has not been wrong in insisting on the importance o% sub:ect"matter! It may not e en ha e been wrong, considering the age we li e in, in demanding that literature shall be %irst and %oremost propaganda! 1here it has been wrong is in making what are ostensibly literary :udgements %or political ends! &o take a crude e'ample, what #ommunist would dare to admit in public that &rotsky is a better writer than Stalin "" as he is, o% courseI &o say "Q is a gi%ted writer, but he is a political enemy and I shall do my best to silence him" is harmless enough! E en i% you end by silencing him with a tommy"gun you are not really sinning against the intellect! &he deadly sin is to say "Q is a political enemyG there%ore he is a bad writer!" And i% anyone says that this kind o% thing doesn;t happen, I answer merelyG look up the literary pages o% the le%t"wing press, %rom the News - ronicle to the )abo+r !ont l(, and see what you %ind! &here is no knowing :ust how much the Socialist mo ement has lost by alienating the literary intelligentsia! +ut it has alienated them, partly by con%using tracts with literature, and partly by ha ing no room in it %or a humanistic culture! A writer can ote Labour as easily as anyone else, but it is ery di%%icult %or him to take part in the Socialist mo ement as a writer. +oth the book"trained doctrinaire and the practical politician will despise him as a "bourgeois intellectual", and will lose no opportunity o% telling him so! &hey will ha e much the same attitude towards his work as a gol%ing stockbroker would ha e! &he illiteracy o% politicians is a special %eature o% our age "" as G! ,! &re elyan put it, "In the se enteenth century ,embers o% *arliament $uoted the +ible, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the classics, and in the twentieth century nothing" "" and its corollary is the BpoliticalC impotence o% writers! In the years %ollowing the last war the best English writers were reactionary in tendency, though most o% them took no direct part in politics! A%ter them, about 23?7, there came a generation o% writers who tried ery hard to be acti ely use%ul in the le%t"wing mo ement! =umbers o% them :oined the #ommunist *arty, and got there e'actly the same reception as they would ha e got in the #onser ati e *arty! &hat is, they were %irst regarded with patronage and suspicion, and then, when it was %ound that they would not or could not turn themsel es into gramophone records, they were thrown out on their ears! ,ost o% them retreated into indi idualism! =o doubt they still ote Labour, but their talents are lost to the mo ementJ and "" a more sinister de elopment "" a%ter them there comes a new generation o% writers who, without being strictly non"political, are outside the Socialist mo ement %rom the start! O% the ery young writers who are now beginning their careers, the most gi%ted are paci%istsJ a %ew may e en ha e a leaning towards /ascism! &here is hardly one to whom the mysti$ue o% the Socialist mo ement appears to mean anything! &he ten"year"long struggle against /ascism seems to them meaningless and uninteresting, and they say so %rankly! One could e'plain this in a number o% ways, but the contemptuous attitude o% the Le%t towards "bourgeois intellectuals" is likely to be part o% the reason! Gilbert ,urray relates somewhere or other that he once lectured on Shakespeare to a Socialist debating society! At the end he called %or $uestions in the usual way, to recei e as the sole $uestion askedG "1as Shakespeare a capitalistI" &he depressing thing about this story is that it might well be true! /ollow up its implications, and you perhaps

get a glimpse o% the reason why #Mline wrote !ea -+l#a and Auden is watching his na el in America! 'rib+ne, < Aune 23<?

#9, Letter to an +merican ,isitor& /y O/adiah 0orn/oo(e#


<! *seudonym o% Ale' #om%ort!

#olumbian poet, whom we; e all respected /rom a sa%e distance %or a year or two, Since %irst your magn+m o#+s was collected "" It seems a pity no one welcomed you E'cept the slippery pro%essional %ew, 1hose news you; e read, whose posters you; e inspectedJ 1ho ga e America Hali%a', and who *ay out to scribes and painters they; e selected Eoles which e'ceed a %raction o% the debts O% all our pimps in hardware coronets! Hou; e seen the ruins, heard the speeches, swallowed &he bombed"out hospitals and cripples; schools "" Hou; e heard (on records) how the workers hollowed And read in poker"work GI.E DS &HE &OOLSG Hou know how, with the stead%astness o% mules, &he Stern Eetermination o% the *eople Goes sailing through a paradise o% %ools Like masons shinning up an endless steeple "" A climb concluding a%ter many days In a brass weathercock that points all ways! &he land sprouts orators! =o doubt you; e heard How e ery bu%%er, %ool and patrioteer Applies the *ower o% the Spoken 1ord And sho es his loud posterior in your earJ So ,onkey Hill competes with +erkeley S$uare "" &he +!+!#! as bookie, pimp and et *resenting Air .ice",arshals set to cheer Our raided towns with engeance (though I; e yet &o hear %rom any man who lost his wi%e +erlin or LSbeck brought her back to li%e)! Hou; e heard o% %ighting on the hills and beaches

And down the rabbit holes with pikes and bows Hou; e heard the +aron;s bloody"minded speeches (Each worth a %resh Ei ision to our %oes) &hat smell so strong o% murder that the crows *erch on the /oreign O%%ice roo% and caw /or German corpses laid in endless rows, "A .engeance such as Europe ne er saw" "" &he maniac +aron;s %uture contribution &o peace perpetual through retribution! ! ! Hou; e heard His =ibs decanting year by year &he dim productions o% his bulldog brain, 1hile homes and %actories sit still to hear &he same old dri el dished up once again "" Hou heard the #hurches; cartwheels to e'plain &hat bombs are #hristian when the English drop them "" &he Dnion bosses scrapping o er gain 1hile no one;s the temerity to stop them Or ha e the racketeers who try to bleed ;em /logged, like the Indians %or demanding %reedom! &hey %ound you poets "" $uite a decent gallery O% painters who don;t let their chances slipJ And writers who pre%er a regular salary &o steer their writings by the *arty 1hip "" Hassall;s been tipped to ha e LaureateshipG ,orton is %ollowing Goebbels, not St *aul! &here;s Elton;s s$ueaky pump still gi es a drip, And *riestley twists his proletarian awl #obbling at shoes that ,ill and -ousseau wore And still the wretched tool contri es to bore! &hey %ound you critics "" an astounding crowdG (&hough since their work;s li ing, I won;t say 1ho howled at Eliot, hooted &reece, were loud In kicking Auden when he slipped away Out o% the looney"bin to %ind, they say, A $uiet place where men with minds could writeG +ut since *earl Harbour, in a single day &he same old circus chase him, black is white, And once again by day and night he %eels &he packs o% tripehounds yelling at his heels)! I say, they %ound you artists, well selected, 1hom we e'port to sell the +ritish caseG 1e keep our allied neighbours well protected

/rom those who gi e the thing a di%%erent %ace "" One man;s in :ail, one in a "medical place"J Another working at a %arm with pigs onG 1e take their leisure, close their books, say grace, And like that bus"conducting lad Geo%% Grigson 1e beat up e ery bu99ard, kite and ulture, And dish them out to you as English #ulture! Once in a while, to e ery ,an and =ation, &here comes, as Lowell said, a sort o% crisis +etween the ,inistry o% In%ormation And what your poor artistic soul ad isesG &hey catch the poets, straight %rom #am or IsisG "Aoin the brigade, or be %or e er dumb "" Either cash in your artistic lysis Or go on land work i% you won;t succumbG -ot in the Army, sickened and unwilling"G So you can wonder that they draw their shillingI Hou met them all! Hou don;t re$uire a list O% understrapping ghosts who once were writers "" 1ho celebrate the si9e o% +ritain;s %ist, 1rite notes %or sermons, dish out pep to mitres, /ake letters %rom the ,en who /ly our /ighters! #heer when we blast some enemy bungalows "" &hink up atrocities, the art%ul blighters, &o keep the grindstone at the public;s nose "" #ombining moral upli%t and pornography, *roduced with arty paper and typography! &hey %ind their leisure to %ul%il their promise, &heir work is praised, $+ng+nt+r vice cotis, And +uddy Audas cracks up Eoubting &homas! &heir ways are pa ed with %a ourable notice (Look how unanimous the &ory ote is)! &hey write in papers and re iew each other, Hou;d ne er guess how bloody %ull the boat isJ I shan;t %orgi e ,ac=eice his crippled brother 1hom :ust a year ago on =ew Hear;s Eay &he Germans murdered in a radio play! O %or another Eunciad "" a *O*E &o purge this dump with his gigantic boot "" Eri e %ools to water, aspirin or rope "" ,ake idle lamp"posts bear their %itting %ruitG *ri ate in ecti e;s %ar too long been mute ""

O %or another ast satiric comet &o blast this wretched tinder, branch and root! &he ser ile stu%% that makes a true man omit "" Suck %rom the works to which they cling like leeches, &hose resurrection"puddings, #hurchill;s speeches! God knows "" %or there is libel "" I can;t name How many clammy paws o% these you; e shaken, +een told our English spirit is the same /rom Lord .ansittart back to pseudo"+acon "" 1alked among licensed writers, and were taken &o Grub Street, ,alet Street, and *ortland *lace, 1here e ery $uestion that you ask will waken &he same old salesman;s grin on e ery %ace Among the s$uads o% columbines and %lunkeys, Set on becoming Laureate o% ,onkeys! 1e do not ask, my %riend, that you;ll %orget &he s$uirts and toadies when you were presented, &he strength"through":oy brigades you will ha e met 1hose mouths are baggy and whose hair is scented "" Only recall we were not represented! 1e wrote our own re%usals, and we meant them! Our work is plastered and oursel es resented "" Our heads are bloody, but we ha e not bent them! 1e hold no licences, like ladies; spanielsJ 1e li e like lions in this den o% Eaniels! O %riend and writer, dea%ened by the howls &hat dying systems utter, mad with %ear In darkness, with a sinking o% the bowels, 1here all the de ils o% old conscience leer "" /orget the gang that met you on the pier, Grinning and stu%%ed with all the old e'cuses /or star ing Europe, and the crocodile tear &urned on %or isitors who ha e their uses! 1e know the capers o% the simian crew! 1e send our best apologies to you! 'rib+ne, A 9+ne 23<? +s -ne Non-'om.atant to +nother 1* Letter to CO/adiah 0orn/oo(eC2 O poet strutting %rom the sandbagged portal O% that small world where barkers ply their art,

And each new "school" belie es itsel% immortal, Aust like the horse that draws the knacker;s cartG O captain o% a cli$ue o% sel%"ad ancers, &rained in the tactics o% the pamphleteer, 1here slogans ser e %or thoughts and sneers %or answers "" Hou; e chosen well your moment to appear And hold your nose amid a world o% horror Like Er +owdler walking through Gomorrah! In the Le%t +ook #lub days you wisely lay low, +ut when "Stop HitlerO" lost its old attraction Hou bounded %orward in a 1oolworth;s halo &o cash in on anti"war reactionJ Hou waited till the =a9is ceased %rom %rightening, &hen, picking a sa%e audience, shouted "ShameO" Like a *rometheus you de%ied the lightning, +ut didn;t ha e the ner e to sign your name!@ Hou;re a true poet, but as saint and martyr Hou;re a mere %raud, like the Atlantic #harter!
@! In a %ootnote to Orwell;s reply the Editor o% 'rib+ne statedG "In %airness to ;,r Hornbooke; it should be stated that he was willing to sign his name i% we insisted, but pre%erred a pseudonym!"

Hour hands are clean, and so were *ontius *ilate;s, +ut as %or "bloody heads", that;s :ust a metaphorJ &he bloody heads are on *aci%ic islets Or -ussian steppes or Libyan sands "" it;s better %or &he health to be a #!O! than a %ighter, &o chalk a pa ement doesn;t need much guts, It pays to stay at home and be a writer 1hile other talents wilt in =issen hutsJ "1e li e like lions" "" yes, :ust like a lion, *ensioned on scraps in a sa%e cage o% iron! /or while you write the warships ring you round And %lights o% bombers drown the nightingales, And e ery bomb that drops is worth a pound &o you or someone like you, %or your sales Are swollen with those o% ri als dead or silent, 1hether in &unis or the +!+!#!, And in the drowsy %reedom o% this island Hou;re %ree to shout that England isn;t %reeJ &hey e en chuck you cash, as bears get buns, /or crying "*eaceO" behind a screen o% guns! In ;se enteen to snub the nosing bitch 1ho slipped you a white %eather needed cheek,

+ut now, when e ery writer %inds his niche 1ithin some mutual"admiration cli$ue, 1ho cares what epithets by +limps are hurledI 1ho;d gi e a damn i% handed a white %eatherI Each little mob o% pansies is a world, #osy and warm in any kind o% weatherJ In such a world it;s easy to "ob:ect", Since that;s what both your %riends and %oes e'pect! At times it;s almost a more dangerous deed Not to ob:ectJ I know, %or I; e been bitten! I wrote in nineteen"%orty that at need I;d %ight to keep the =a9is out o% +ritainJ And #hristO how shocked the pinks wereO &wo years later I hadn;t li ed it downJ one had the e%%rontery &o write three pages calling me a "traitor", So black a crime it is to lo e one;s country! Het where;s the pink that would ha e thought it odd o% me &o write a shel% o% books in praise o% sodomyI Hour game is easy, and its rules are plainG *retend the war began in ;thirty"nine, Eon;t mention #hina, Ethiopia, Spain, Eon;t mention *oles e'cept to say they;re swineJ #ry ha oc when we bomb a German city, 1hen #9echs get killed don;t worry in the least, Gi e India a per%unctory s$uirt o% pity +ut don;t in$uire what happens %urther EastJ Eon;t mention Aews "" in short, pretend the war is Simply a racket "got up" by the &ories! &hrow in a word o% "anti"/ascist" patter /rom time to time, by way o% reinsurance, And then go on to pro e it makes no matter I% +limps or =a9is hold the world in duranceJ And that we others who "support" the war Are either crooks or sadists or %lag"wa ers In lo e with drums and bugles, but still more #oncerned with cadging +rendan +racken;s %a oursJ Or %ools who think that bombs bring back the dead, A thing not e en Harris e er said! I% you;d your way we;d lea e the -ussians to it And sell our steel to Hitler as be%oreJ ,eanwhile you sa e your soul, and while you do it, &ake out a long"term mortgage on the war!

/or a%ter war there comes an ebb o% passion, &he dead are sniggered at "" and there you;ll shine, Hou;ll be the ery bull;s"eye o% the %ashion, Hou almost might get back to ;thirty"nine, +ack to the dear old game o% scratch"my"neighbour In sleek re iews %inanced by coolie labour! +ut you don;t hoot at Stalin "" that;s "not done" "" Only at #hurchillJ I; e no wish to praise him, I;d gladly shoot him when the war is won, Or now, i% there was someone to replace him! +ut unlike some, I;ll pay him what I owe himJ &here was a time when empires crashed like houses, And many a pink who;d titter at your poem 1as glad enough to cling to #hurchill;s trousers! #hristO how they huddled up to one another Like day"old chicks about their %oster"motherO I;m not a %an %or "%ighting on the beaches", And still less %or the "bree9y uplands" stu%%, I seldom listen"in to #hurchill;s speeches, +ut I;d %ar sooner hear that kind o% gu%% &han your remark, a year or so ago, &hat i% the =a9is came you;d knuckle under And peaceably "accept the stat+s :+o"! ,aybe you wouldO +ut I; e a right to wonder 1hich will sound better in the days to come, "+lood, toil and sweat" or "Fiss the =a9i;s bum"! +ut your chie% target is the radio hack, &he hired pep"talker "" he;s a sa%e ob:ecti e, Since he;s unpopular and can;t hit back! It doesn;t need the eye o% a detecti e &o look down *ortland *lace and spot the whores, +ut there are men (I grant, not the most heeded) 1ith twice your gi%ts and courage three times yours 1ho do that dirty work because it;s neededJ =ot blindly, but %or reasons they can balance, &hey wear their seats out and lay waste their talents! All propaganda;s lying, yours or mineJ It;s lying e en when its %acts are trueJ &hat goes %or Goebbels or the "party line", Or %or the *rimrose League or *!*!D! +ut there are truths that smaller lies can ser e, And dirtier lies that scruples can gild o erJ

&o waste your brains on war may need more ner e &han to dodge %acts and li e in mental clo erJ It;s mean enough when other men are dying, +ut when you lie, it;s much to know you;re lying! &hat;s thirteen stan9as, and perhaps you;re pu99led &o know why I; e attacked you "" well, here;s whyG +ecause your enemies all are dead or mu99led, Hou; e ne er picked on one who might reply! Hou; e hogged the limelight and you; e aired your irtue, 1hile chucking sops to e ery dangerous %action, &he Le%t will cheer you and the -ight won;t hurt youJ 1hat did you riskI =ot e en a libel action! I% you would show what saintly stu%% you;re made o%, 1hy not attack the cli$ues you are a%raid o%I Eenounce Aoe Stalin, :eer at the -ed Army, Insult the *ope "" you;ll get some come"back thereJ It;s honourable, e en i% it;s barmy, &o stamp on corns all round and ne er care! +ut %or the hal%"way saint and cautious hero, 1hose head;s unbloody e en i% "unbowed", ,y admiration;s somewhere near to 9eroJ So my last words would beG #ome o%% that cloud, Dnship those wings that hardly dared to %litter, And spout your halo %or a pint o% bitter! George Orwell 'rib+ne, 25 Aune 23<?

#", Letter to *leD Comfort 27a ,ortimer #rescent London =14 Sunday B22I Auly 23<?C Eear #om%ort, .ery many thanks %or sending me the copy o% New &oad.J I am a%raid I was rather rude to you in our 'rib+ne set"to,6 but you yoursel% weren;t altogether polite to certain people! I was only making a #olitical and perhaps moral reply, and as a piece o% erse

your contribution was immensely better, a thing most o% the people who spoke to me about it hadn;t noticed! I think no one noticed that your stan9as had the same rhyme going right the way through! &here is no respect %or irtuosity nowadays! Hou ought to write something longer in that genre, something like the ".ision o% Audgement"! I belie e there could be a public %or that kind o% thing again nowadays!
4! New &oad3 New .irections in E+ro#ean Art and )etters, 23<?"3, an occasional anthology o% prose and erse, whose %irst two numbers were edited by Ale' #om%ort and Aohn +ayliss! 6! )etter to an American 0isitor by "Obadiah Hornbooke" and Orwell;s reply!

As to New &oad. I am much impressed by the $uantity and the general le el o% the erse you ha e got together! I should think hal% the writers were not known to me be%ore! Apropos o% Aragon and others, I ha e thought o er what you said about the re i ing e%%ect o% de%eat upon literature and also upon national li%e! I think you may well be right, but it seems to me that such a re i al is only against something, i!e! against %oreign oppression, and can;t lead beyond a certain point unless that oppression is ultimately to be broken, which must be by military means! I suppose howe er one might accept de%eat in a mystical belie% that it will ultimately break down o% its own accord! &he really wicked thing seems to me to wish %or a "negotiated" peace, which means back to 23?3 or e en 232<! I ha e written a long article on this %or Horizon apropos o% /ielden;s5 book on India, but I am not certain #onnolly will print it!3
5! Lionel /ielden (2534" ), author o% *eggar !( Neig bo+r and ' e Nat+ral *ent5 went to India in 23?@J #ontroller o% +roadcasting in India 23?@"<7 which became A!I!-! (All India -adio)J returned to the +!+!#! London, 23<7, as Indian =ews Editor! 3! See @2!

I am going to try to get /orster to talk about New &oad, together with the latest number o% New /riting, in one o% his monthly book talks to India! I% he doesn;t do it this month he might ne't! &here is no sales alue there, but it e'tends your publicity a little and by talking about these things on the air in wartime one has the %eeling that one is keeping a tiny lamp alight somewhere! Hou ought to try to get a %ew copies o% the book to India! &here is a small public %or such things among people like Ahmed Ali27 and they are star ed %or books at present! 1e ha e broadcast $uite a lot o% contemporary erse to India, and they are now doing it to #hina with a commentary in #hinese! 1e also ha e some o% our broadcasts printed as pamphlets in India and sold %or a %ew annas, a thing that could be use%ul but is terribly hard to organi9e in the %ace o% o%%icial inertia and obstruction! I saw you had a poem by &ambimuttu!22 I% you are bringing out other numbers you ought to get some o% the other Indians to write %or you! &here are se eral $uite talented ones and they are ery embittered because they think people snub them and won;t print their stu%%! It is tremendously important %rom se eral points o% iew to try to promote decent cultural relations between Europe and Asia! =ine tenths o% what one does in this direction is simply wasted labour, but now and again a pamphlet or a broadcast or something gets to the person it is intended %or, and this does more good than %i%ty speeches by politicians! 1illiam Empson has worn himsel% out %or two years trying to get them to broadcast intelligent stu%% to #hina, and I think has succeeded to some small e'tent! It was thinking o% people like him that made me rather angry about what you said o% the +!+!#!, though God knows I ha e the best means o% :udging what a mi'ture o%

whoreshop and lunatic asylum it is %or the most part!


27! Ahmed Ali, a *akistani writer, author o% 'wilig t in .el i and Ocean o$ Nig t. Euring the war he was the +!+!#!;s Listener and -esearch Eirector and -epresentati e in India! A%ter the partition o% India he :oined the *akistani diplomatic corps! He is now a *ro%essor at the Dni ersity o% Farachi! 22! &ambimuttu, a Sinhalese poet, who %ounded and edited %oetr( )ondon 23?3"@2!

Hours sincerely Geo! Orwell

4$, Letter to ayner 0e33enstall &he +ritish +roadcasting #orporation +roadcasting House, London, 12 >< August 23<? Eear -ayner, &hanks %or yours! I hope your new post isn;t too bloody! I;ll try 0 %it in a talk %or you in our ne't literary lot, but that will be 4 weeks or more %rom now "" schedule is %ull up till then! I wonder would you %eel e$ual to %eaturi9ing a storyI 1e do that now abt once in ? weeks! I %eaturi9ed the %irst > mysel%, choosing Anatole /rance;s -rain:+ebille > Igna9io Silone;s ' e Fo1 (these are T hour programmes)! I am probably going to hand the :ob o% %eaturi9ing %uture ones o er to Lionel /ielden, but he won;t necessarily do it e ery time! &he chie% di%%iculty is picking suitable stories, as they must be a. appro'imately right length, b. ha e a strong plot, c. not too many characters 0 d. not be too local, as these are %or India! Ha e you any ideasI I could send you a specimen script 0 no doubt you could impro e on my techni$ue o% %eaturi9ation! -e cynicism, you;d be cynical yoursel% i% you were in this :ob! Howe er I am de%initely lea ing it in abt ? months! &hen by some time in 23<< I might be near"human again 0 able to write something serious! At present I;m :ust an orange that;s been trodden on by a ery dirty boot! Hours Eric

4!, e)iew %e))ar My Nei)h.o r /y Lionel :ielden

I% you compare commercial ad ertising with political propaganda, one thing that strikes you is its relati e intellectual honesty! &he ad ertiser at least knows what he is aiming at "" that is, money "" whereas the propagandist, when he is not a li%eless hack, is o%ten a neurotic working o%% some pri ate grudge and actually desirous o% the e'act opposite o% the thing he ad ocates! &he ostensible purpose o% ,r /ielden;s book is to %urther the cause o% Indian independence! It will not ha e that e%%ect, and I do not see much reason %or thinking that he himsel% wishes %or anything o% the kind! /or i% someone is genuinely working %or Indian independence, what is he likely to doI Ob iously he will start by deciding what %orces are potentially on his side, and then, as cold"bloodedly as any toothpaste ad ertiser, he will think out the best method o% appealing to them! &his is not ,r /ielden;s manner o% approach! A number o% moti es are discernible in his book, but the immediately ob ious one is a desire to work o%% arious $uarrels with the Indian Go ernment, All India -adio and arious sections o% the +ritish press! He does indeed marshal a number o% %acts about India, and towards the end he e en produces a couple o% pages o% constructi e suggestions, but %or the most part his book is simply a nagging, irrele ant attack on +ritish rule, mi'ed up with tourist"like gush about the superiority o% Indian ci ili9ation! On the %ly"lea%, :ust to induce that matey atmosphere which all propagandists aim at, he signs his dedicatory letter "among the European barbarians", and then a %ew pages later introduces an imaginary Indian who denounces western ci ili9ation with all the shrillness o% a spinster o% thirty"nine denouncing the male se'G
. . .an Indian who is intensely proud of his own traditions, and regards "uropeans as barbarians who are continually fighting, who use force to dominate other peaceful peoples, who think chiefly in terms of big business, whisky, and bridge# as people of comparatively recent growth, who, while they put an e1aggerated value on plumbing, have managed to spread tuberculosis and venereal disease all over the world. . . he will say that to sit in the water in which you have washed, instead of bathing yourself in running water, is not clean, but dirty and disgusting# he will show, and I shall agree with him absolutely, that the "nglish are a dirty and even a smelly nation compared with the Indians# he will assert, and I am not at all sure that he is wrong, that the use of half-washed forks, spoons and knives by different people for food is revoltingly barbaric when compared with the e1/uisite manipulation of food by Indian fingers# he will be confident that the Indian room, with its bare walls and beautiful carpets, is infinitely superior to the "uropean clutter of uncomfortable chairs and tables, etc. etc. etc.

&he whole book is written in this ein, more or less! &he same nagging, hysterical note crops up e ery %ew pages, and where a comparison can be dragged in it is dragged in, the upshot always being that the East is Good and the 1est is +ad! =ow be%ore stopping to in$uire what ser ice this kind o% thing really does to the cause o% Indian %reedom, it is worth trying an e'periment! Let me rewrite this passage as it might be uttered by an Englishman speaking up %or his own ci ili9ation as shrilly as ,r /ielden;s Indian! It is important to notice that what he says is not more dishonest or more irrele ant than what I ha e $uoted abo eG
. . .an "nglishman who is intensely proud of his own traditions, and regards Indians as an unmanly race who gesticulate like monkeys, are cruel to women and talk incessantly about money# as a people who take it upon them to despise western science and conse/uently are rotten with malaria and hookworm. . . he will say that in a hot climate washing in running water has its points, but that in cold climates all 0rientals either wash as we do or as in the case of many Indian hill tribes -- not at all# he will show, and I shall agree with him absolutely, that no western "uropean can walk through an Indian village without wishing that his smell organs had

been removed beforehand# he will assert, and I am not at all sure that he is wrong, that eating with your fingers is a barbarous habit since it cannot be done without making disgusting noises# he will be confident that the "nglish room, with its comfortable armchairs and friendly bookshelves, is infinitely superior to the bare Indian interior where the mere effort of sitting with no support to your back makes for vacuity of mind, etc. etc. etc.

&wo points emerge here! &o begin with, no English person would now write like that! =o doubt many people think such thoughts, and e en utter them behind closed doors, but to %ind anything o% the kind in print you would ha e to go back ten years or so! Secondly, it is worth asking, what would be the e%%ect o% this passage on an Indian who happened to take it seriouslyI He would be o%%ended, and ery rightly! 1ell then, isn;t it :ust possible that passages like the one I $uoted %rom ,r /ielden might ha e the same e%%ect on a +ritish readerI =o one likes hearing his own habits and customs abused! &his is not a tri ial consideration, because at this moment books about India ha e, or could ha e, a special importance! &here is no political solution in sight, the Indians cannot win their %reedom and the +ritish Go ernment will not gi e it, and all one can %or the moment do is to push public opinion in this country and America in the right direction! +ut that will not be done by any propaganda that is merely anti"European! A year ago, soon a%ter the #ripps mission had %ailed, I saw a well"known Indian nationalist address a small meeting at which he was to e'plain why the #ripps o%%er had been re%used! It was a aluable opportunity, because there were present a number o% American newspaper correspondents who, i% handled tact%ully, might cable to America a sympathetic account o% the #ongress *arty;s case! &hey had come there with %airly open minds! 1ithin about ten minutes the Indian had con erted all o% them into ardent supporters o% the +ritish Go ernment, because instead o% sticking to his sub:ect he launched into an anti"+ritish tirade $uite ob iously %ounded on spite and in%eriority comple'! &hat is :ust the mistake that a toothpaste ad ertiser would not make! +ut then the toothpaste ad ertiser is trying to sell toothpaste and not to get his own back on that +limp who turned him out o% a %irst" class carriage %i%teen years ago! Howe er, ,r /ielden;s book raises wider issues than the immediate political problem! He upholds the East against the 1est on the ground that the East is religious, artistic and indi%%erent to "progress", while the 1est is materialistic, scienti%ic, ulgar and warlike! &he great crime o% +ritain is to ha e %orced industriali9ation on India! (Actually, the real crime o% +ritain during the last thirty years has been to do the opposite!) &he 1est looks on work as an end in itsel%, but at the same time is obsessed with a "high standard o% li ing" (it is worth noticing that ,r /ielden is anti"Socialist, russophobe and somewhat contemptuous o% the English working class), while India wants only to li e in ancestral simplicity in a world %reed %rom the machine! India must be independent, and at the same time must be de"industriali9ed! It is also suggested a number o% times, though not in ery clear terms, that India ought to be neutral in the present war! =eedless to say, ,r /ielden;s hero is Gandhi, about whose %inancial background he says nothing! "I ha e a notion that the legend o% Gandhi may yet be a %laming inspiration to the millions o% the East, and perhaps to those o% the 1est! +ut it is, %or the time being, the East which pro ides the %ruit%ul soil, because the East has not yet %allen prone be%ore the Golden #al%! And it may be %or the East, once again, to show mankind that human happiness does not depend on that particular %orm o% worship, and that the con$uest o% materialism is also the con$uest o% the war!" Gandhi makes many appearances in the book, playing

rather the same part as "/rank" in the literature o% the +uchmanites! =ow, I do not know whether or not Gandhi will be a "%laming inspiration" in years to come! 1hen one thinks o% the creatures who are enerated by humanity it does not seem particularly unlikely! +ut the statement that India "ought" to be independent, and de"industriali9ed, and neutral in the present war, is an absurdity! I% one %orgets the details o% the political struggle and looks at the strategic realities, one sees two %acts which are in seeming con%lict! &he %irst is that whate er the "ought" o% the $uestion may be, India is ery unlikely e er to be independent in the sense in which +ritain or Germany is now independent! &he second is that India;s desire %or independence is a reality and cannot be talked out o% e'istence! In a world in which national so ereignty e'ists, India cannot be a so ereign state, because she is unable to de%end hersel%! And the more she is the cow and spinning"wheel paradise imagined by ,r /ielden, the more this is true! 1hat is now called independence means the power to manu%acture aeroplanes in large numbers! Already there are only %i e genuinely independent states in the world, and i% present trends continue there will in the end be only three! On a long"term iew it is clear that India has little chance in a world o% power politics, while on a short"term iew it is clear that the necessary %irst step towards Indian %reedom is an Allied ictory! E en that would only be a short and uncertain step, but the alternati es must lead to India;s continued sub:ection! I% we are de%eated, Aapan or Germany takes o er India and that is the end o% the story! I% there is a compromise peace (,r /ielden seems to hint at times that this is desirable), India;s chances are no better, because in such circumstances we should ine itably cling to any territories we had captured or not lost! A compromise peace is always a peace o% "grab what you can"! ,r /ielden brings %orward his imaginary Indian to suggest that i% India were neutral Aapan might lea e her aloneJ I doubt whether any responsible Indian nationalist has said anything $uite so stupid as that! &he other idea, more popular in le%t"wing circles, that India could de%end hersel% better on her own than with our help, is a sentimentality! I% the Indians were militarily superior to oursel es they would ha e dri en us out long ago! &he much"$uoted e'ample o% #hina is ery misleading here! India is a %ar easier country to con$uer than #hina, i% only because o% its better communications, and in any case #hinese resistance depends on help %rom the highly industriali9ed states and would collapse without it! One must conclude that %or the ne't %ew years India;s destiny is linked with that o% +ritain and the D!S!A! It might be di%%erent i% the -ussians could get their hands %ree in the 1est or i% #hina were a great military powerJ but that again implies a complete de%eat o% the A'is, and points away %rom the neutrality which ,r /ielden seems to think desirable! &he idea put %orward by Gandhi himsel%, that i% the Aapanese came they could be dealt with by sabotage and "non"co"operation", is a delusion, nor does Gandhi show any ery strong signs o% belie ing in it! &hose methods ha e ne er seriously embarrassed the +ritish and would make no impression on the Aapanese! A%ter all, where is the Forean GandhiI +ut against this is the $act o% Indian nationalism, which is not to be e'orci9ed by the humbug o% 1hite *apers or by a %ew phrases out o% ,ar'! And it is nationalism o% an emotional, romantic, e en chau inistic kind! *hrases like "the sacred soil o% the ,otherland", which now seem merely ludicrous in +ritain, come naturally enough to an Indian intellectual! 1hen the Aapanese appeared to be on the point o% in ading India, =ehru actually used the phrase, "1ho dies i% India li eI" So the wheel comes %ull circle

and the Indian rebel $uotes Fipling! And nationalism at this le el works indirectly in %a our o% /ascism! E'tremely %ew Indians are at all attracted by the idea o% a %ederated world, the only kind o% world in which India could actually be %ree! E en those who pay lip"ser ice to %ederalism usually want only an eastern %ederation, thought o% as a military alliance against the 1est! &he idea o% the class struggle has little appeal anywhere in Asia, nor do -ussia and #hina e oke much loyalty to India! As %or the =a9i domination o% Europe, only a hand%ul o% Indians are able to see that it a%%ects their own destiny in any way! In some o% the smaller Asiatic countries the "my country right or wrong" nationalists were e'actly the ones who went o er to the Aapanese "" a step which may not ha e been wholly due to ignorance! +ut here there arises a point which ,r /ielden hardly touches on, and that isG we don;t know to what e'tent Asiatic nationalism is simply the product o% our own oppression! /or a century all the ma:or oriental nations e'cept Aapan ha e been more or less in sub:ection, and the hysteria and shortsightedness o% the arious nationalist mo ements may be the result simply o% that! &o reali9e that national so ereignty is the enemy o% national %reedom may be a great deal easier when you are not being ruled by %oreigners! It is not certain that this is so, since the most nationalist o% the oriental nations, Aapan, is also the one that has ne er been con$uered, but at least one can say that i% the solution is not along these lines, then there is no solution! Either power politics must yield to common decency, or the world must go spiralling down into a nightmare o% which we can already catch some dim glimpses! And the necessary %irst step, be%ore we can make our talk about world %ederation sound e en credible, is that +ritain shall get o%% India;s back! &his is the only large"scale decent action that is possible in the world at this moment! &he immediate preliminaries would beG abolish the .iceroyalty and the India O%%ice, release the #ongress prisoners, and declare India %ormally independent! &he rest is detail!2>
2>! O% course the necessary corollary would be a military alliance %or the duration o% the war! +ut it is not likely that there would be any di%%iculty in securing this! E'tremely %ew Indians really want to be ruled by Aapan or Germany! BAuthor;s %ootnote!C

+ut how are we to bring any such thing aboutI I% it is done at this time, it can only be a oluntary act! Indian independence has no asset e'cept public opinion in +ritain and America, which is only a potential asset! Aapan, Germany and the +ritish Go ernment are all on the other side, and India;s possible %riends, #hina and the D!S!S!-!, are %ighting %or their li es and ha e little bargaining power! &here remain the peoples o% +ritain and America, who are in a position to put pressure on their own go ernments i% they see a reason %or doing so! At the time o% the #ripps mission, %or instance, it would ha e been $uite easy %or public opinion in this country to %orce the Go ernment into making a proper o%%er, and similar opportunities may recur! ,r /ielden, by the way, does his best to throw doubt on #ripps;s personal honesty, and also lets it appear that the #ongress 1orking #ommittee were unanimously against accepting the #ripps proposals, which was not the case! In %act, #ripps e'torted the best terms he could get %rom the Go ernmentJ to get better ones he would ha e had to ha e public opinion acti ely and intelligently behind him! &here%ore the %irst :ob is "" win o er the ordinary people o% this country! ,ake them see that India matters, and that India has been shame%ully treated and deser es restitution! +ut you are not going to do that by insulting them! Indians, on the

whole, grasp this better than their English apologists! A%ter all, what is the probable e%%ect o% a book which irrele antly abuses e ery English institution, rapturi9es o er the "wisdom o% the East" like an American schoolmarm on a conducted tour, and mi'es up pleas %or Indian %reedom with pleas %or surrender to HitlerI At best it can only con ert the con erted, and it may decon ert a %ew o% those! &he net e%%ect must be to strengthen +ritish imperialism, though its moti es are probably more comple' than this may seem to imply! On the sur%ace, ,r /ielden;s book is primarily a plea %or "spirituality" as against "materialism"! On the one hand an uncritical re erence %or e erything orientalJ on the other a hatred o% the 1est generally, and o% +ritain in particular, hatred o% science and the machine, suspicion o% -ussia, contempt %or the working"class conception o% Socialism! &he whole adds up to *arlour Anarchism "" a plea %or the simple li%e, based on di idends! -e:ection o% the machine is, o% course, always %ounded on tacit acceptance o% the machine, a %act symboli9ed by Gandhi as he plays with his spinning"wheel in the mansion o% some cotton millionaire! +ut Gandhi also comes into the picture in another way! It is noticeable that both Gandhi and ,r /ielden ha e an e'ceedingly e$ui ocal attitude towards the present war! Although ariously credited in this country with being a "pure" paci%ist and a Aapanese agent, Gandhi has, in %act, made so many con%licting pronouncements on the war that it is di%%icult to keep track o% them! At one moment his "moral support" is with the Allies, at another it is withdrawn, at one moment he thinks it best to come to terms with the Aapanese, at another he wishes to oppose them by non" iolent means "" at the cost, he thinks, o% se eral million li es "" at another he urges +ritain to gi e battle in the 1est and lea e India to be in aded, at another he "has no wish to harm the Allied cause" and declares that he does not want the Allied troops to lea e India! ,r /ielden;s iews on the war are less complicated, but e$ually ambiguous! In no place does he state whether or not he wishes the A'is to be de%eated! O er and o er again he urges that an Allied ictory can lead to no possible good result, but at the same time he disclaims "de%eatism" and e en urges that Indian neutrality would be use%ul to us in a militar( sense, i!e! that we could %ight better i% India were not a liability! =ow, i% this means anything, it means that he wants a compromise, a negotiated peaceJ and though he %ails to say so, I do not doubt that that is what he does want! +ut curiously enough, this is the im#erialist solution! &he appeasers ha e always wanted neither de%eat nor ictory but a compromise with the other imperialist powersJ and they too ha e known how to use the mani%est %olly o% war as an argument! /or years past the most intelligent imperialists ha e been in %a our o% compromising with the /ascists, e en i% they had to gi e away a good deal in order to do so, because they ha e seen that only thus could imperialism be sal aged! Some o% them are not a%raid to hint this %airly broadly e en now! I% we carry the war to a destructi e conclusion, the +ritish Empire will either be lost, or democrati9ed, or pawned to America! On the other hand it could and probably would sur i e in something like its present %orm i% there were other sated imperialist powers which had an interest in preser ing the e'isting world system! I% we came to an understanding with Germany and Aapan we might diminish our possessions (e en that isn;t certainG it is a little"noticed %act that in territor( +ritain and the D!S!A! ha e gained more than they ha e lost in this war), but we should at least be con%irmed in what we had already! &he world would be split up between three or %our great imperial powers who, %or the time being, would ha e no

moti e %or $uarrelling! Germany would be there to neutrali9e -ussia, Aapan would be there to pre ent the de elopment o% #hina! Gi en such a world system, India could be kept in sub:ection almost inde%initely! And more than this, it is doubt%ul whether a compromise peace co+ld %ollow any other lines! So it would seem that *arlour Anarchism is BnotC something ery innocuous a%ter all! Ob:ecti ely it only demands what the worst o% the appeasers want, sub:ecti ely it is o% a kind to irritate the possible %riends o% India in this country! And does not this bear a sort o% resemblance to the career o% Gandhi, who has alienated the +ritish public by his e'tremism and aided the +ritish Go ernment by his moderationI Impossibilism and reaction are usually in alliance, though not, o% course, conscious alliance! Hypocrisy is a ery rare thing, true illainy is perhaps as di%%icult as irtue! 1e li e in a lunatic world in which opposites are constantly changing into one another, in which paci%ists %ind themsel es worshipping Hitler, Socialists become nationalists, patriots become $uislings, +uddhists pray %or the success o% the Aapanese army, and the Stock ,arket takes an upward turn when the -ussians stage an o%%ensi e! +ut though these people;s moti es are o%ten ob ious enough when seen %rom the outside, they are not ob ious to themsel es! &he scenes imagined by ,ar'ists, in which wicked rich men sit in little secret rooms and hatch schemes %or robbing the workers, don;t happen in real li%e! &he robbery takes place, but it is committed by sleepwalkers! =ow, one o% the %inest weapons that the rich ha e e er e ol ed %or use against the poor is "spirituality"! I% you can induce the working man to belie e that his desire %or a decent standard o% li ing is "materialism", you ha e got him where you want him! Also, i% you can induce the Indian to remain "spiritual" instead o% taking up with ulgar things like trade unions, you can ensure that he will always remain a coolie! ,r /ielden is indignant with the "materialism" o% the western working class, whom he accuses o% being e en worse in this respect than the rich and o% wanting not only radios but e en motor cars and %ur coats! &he ob ious answer is that these sentiments don;t come well %rom someone who is in a com%ortable and pri ileged position himsel%! +ut that is only an answer, not a diagnosis, %or the problem o% the disa%%ected intelligentsia would be hardly a problem at all i% ordinary dishonesty were in ol ed! In the last twenty years western ci ili9ation has gi en the intellectual security without responsibility, and in England, in particular, it has educated him in scepticism while anchoring him almost immo ably in the pri ileged class! He has been in the position o% a young man li ing on an allowance %rom a %ather whom he hates! &he result is a deep %eeling o% guilt and resentment, not combined with any genuine desire to escape! +ut some psychological escape, some %orm o% sel%":usti%ication there must be, and one o% the most satis%actory is trans%erred nationalism! Euring the nineteen"thirties the normal trans%erence was to so iet -ussia, but there are other alternati es, and it is noticeable that paci%ism and anarchism, rather than Stalinism, are now gaining ground among the young! &hese creeds ha e the ad antage that they aim at the impossible and there%ore in e%%ect demand ery little! I% you throw in a touch o% oriental mysticism and +uchmanite raptures o er Gandhi, you ha e e erything that a disa%%ected intellectual needs! &he li%e o% an English gentleman and the moral attitudes o% a saint can be en:oyed simultaneously! +y merely trans%erring your allegiance %rom England to India (it used to be -ussia), you can indulge to the %ull in all the chau inistic sentiments which would be totally impossible i% you recogni9ed them %or what they were! In the name o% paci%ism you can compromise

with Hitler, and in the name o% "spirituality" you can keep your money! It is no accident that those who wish %or an inconclusi e ending to the war tend to e'tol the East as against the 1est! &he actual %acts don;t matter ery much! &he %act that the eastern nations ha e shown themsel es at least as warlike and bloodthirsty as the western ones, that so %ar %rom re:ecting industrialism, the East is adopting it as swi%tly as it can "" this is irrele ant, since what is wanted is the mythos o% the peace%ul, religious and patriarchal East to set against the greedy and materialistic 1est! As soon as you ha e "re:ected" industrialism, and hence Socialism, you are in that strange no man;s land where the /ascist and the paci%ist :oin %orces! &here is indeed a sort o% apocalytic truth in the statement o% the German radio that the teachings o% Hitler and Gandhi are the same! One reali9es this when one sees ,iddleton ,urry praising the Aapanese in asion o% #hina and Gerald Heard proposing to institute the Hindu caste system in Europe at the same time as the Hindus themsel es are abandoning it! 1e shall be hearing a lot about the superiority o% eastern ci ili9ation in the ne't %ew years! ,eanwhile this is a mischie ous book, which will be acclaimed in the le%t"wing press and welcomed %or $uite di%%erent reasons by the more intelligent -ight! Horizon, September 23<?J %artisan &eview, 1inter 23<<

4., Letter to L, :, ush/roo(%-illiams +!+!#! >< September 23<? Eear ,r -ushbrook"1illiams,2?


2?! L! /! -ushbrook"1illiams, Eastern Ser ice Eirector at the +!+!#!

In con%irmation o% what I said to you earlier in pri ate, I want to tender my resignation %rom the +!+!#!, and should be much obliged i% you would %orward this to the proper $uarter! I belie e that in speaking to you I made my reasons clear, but I should like to put them on paper lest there should be any mistake! I am not lea ing because o% any disagreement with +!+!#! policy and still less on account o% any kind o% grie ance! On the contrary I %eel that throughout my association with the +!+!#! I ha e been treated with the greatest generosity and allowed ery great latitude! On no occasion ha e I been compelled to say on the air anything that I would not ha e said as a pri ate indi idual! And I should like to take this opportunity o% thanking you personally %or the ery understanding and generous attitude you ha e always shown towards my work! I am tendering my resignation because %or some time past I ha e been conscious that I was wasting my own time and the public money on doing work that produces no result! I belie e that in the present political situation the broadcasting o% +ritish

propaganda to India is an almost hopeless task! 1hether these broadcasts should be continued at all is %or others to :udge, but I mysel% pre%er not to spend my time on them when I could be occupying mysel% with :ournalism which does produce some measurable e%%ect! I %eel that by going back to my normal work o% writing and :ournalism I could be more use%ul than I am at present! I do not know how much notice o% resignation I am supposed to gi e! &he Observer ha e again raised the pro:ect o% my going to =orth A%rica! &his has to be appro ed by the 1ar O%%ice and may well %all through again, but I mention it in case I should ha e to lea e at shorter notice than would otherwise be the case! I will in any case see to it that the programmes are arranged %or some time ahead!2<
2<! Orwell o%%icially le%t the +!+!#! on >< =o ember 23<?!

Hours sincerely Eric +lair

4&, Letter to ;hili3 ah) 27a ,ortimer #rescent London =14 2< October 23<? Eear *hilip -ah ,2@
2@! *hilip -ah (2375" ), American critic and editor! Author o% 2mage and 2deaJ one o% the %ounders o% %artisan &eview, which he has co"edited since 23?<!

I ha e thought o er your re$uest %or the names o% possible contributors, but I must tell you that it is e'tremely di%%icult to think o% any at present! =o new people who are worth much seem to be coming along, and nearly e eryone is either in the %orces or being drained dry by writing muck %or one o% the ministries! Hou say the #om%ort crew ha e been plaguing the li%e out o% you, which I can well imagine, but I don;t know which o% them you ha e actually contacted! I think the best o% this lot are #om%ort himsel%, BHenryC &reece, Alun Lewis, Alan -ook, 1illiam -odgers, G! S! /ra9er?J KsicL, -oy /uller, Fathleen -aine! Hou will ha e seen the work o% these in %oetr( )ondon i% it gets to the D!S!A! I could obtain the addresses o% these or others at need, e'cept that /ra9er, I belie e, is in the ,iddle East!
24! G! S! /raser!

O% older people I suppose you ha e the addresses o% BHerbertC -ead and B&! S!C Eliot and o% the BStephenC Spender"BLouisC ,ac=eice lot, who can in any case be contacted through Horizon. E! ,! /orster has seen and likes %.&., and would I should

think do you something i% you wanted! His address is 1est Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, =r Eorking, Surrey! 1illiam Empson who does still occasionally write something can be %ound care o% the +!+!#! I don;t know whether you know ,ark +enney,26 some o% whose stu%% is $uite good! I ha en;t his address but could %ind it out (you could send it care o% me i% you wanted to write to him)! Eitto with Aack #ommon25 whose stu%% you ha e possibly seen! Hou mig t get something ery interesting out o% Hugh Slater23 (address 274 George Street, =r +aker Street, London 12)! I% you are interested in Indian writers, I think the best is Ahmed Ali, whose address is care o% +!+!#!, =ew Eelhi! He might do you something ery good about present"day conditions in India especially among the younger intelligentsia! I know he is ery o erworked but he has recently published a book so he must ha e some spare time! -oy #ampbell, who as you know was pre iously a /ascist and %ought %or /ranco (i!e! %or the #arlists) in Spain, but has latterly changed all his iews, has been silent %or some time but may be about due to begin writing again and I could get his address at need! I am sorry I cannot suggest more names but this place is a literary desert at present!
26! ,ark +enney became %amous with his book, )ow -om#an(3 .escribing t e Evol+tion o$ a *+rglar (23?4), which he had written in prison! He became a %igure on the London literary scene %or a time and shortly a%ter the war went to America to teach sociology! 25! Aack #ommon (237?"45), writer and editor, had met Orwell around 23?7 through the Adel# i and had remained a %riend! 23! Hugh (Humphrey) Slater (2374"@5), painter, author and e'"#ommunist! In ol ed in anti"=a9i politics in +erlin in the early thirties! 1ent to Spain as political :ournalist and %ought %or the -epublicans 23?4"5, becoming #hie% o% Operations in the International +rigade! Helped &om 1intringham to %ound Osterley *ark training centre %or the Home Guard in 23<7! Edited %olemic (23<@"6) to which Orwell contributed se eral pieces!

I am lea ing the +!+!#! at the end o% ne't month and unless anything inter enes am going to take o er the literary editorship o% the 'rib+ne. &his ma( lea e me some time to do a little o% my own work as well, which the +!+!#! doesn;t! Hou may be interested to hear that I ha e contacted se eral American soldiers ia %.&. A chap called Aulius Horowit9 brought a message %rom #lement Greenberg>7 whom he had met in the army somewhere, and a boy named Aohn Schloss who had read my letters in %.&. rang me up at the o%%ice and we met %or a %ew drinks! Another %ellow named Harry ,ilton who was with my lot in Spain and whom I think you may possibly know is also here! I wonder whether a #anadian airman named Ea id ,artin, who went across recently to %inish his training, has shown up at your o%%ice! He said he would do so i% in =ew Hork, and he has a message %rom me! I hope all goes well!
>7! #lement Greenberg (2373" ), American art critic and editorJ associate editor %artisan &eview 23<7"<?J edited 9ewis -ontem#orar( &eview (which later became -ommentar(8 23<@"@6!

Hours Geo! Orwell *!S! How about the e'tra copies o% %.&.C Is it now possible to send themI I% so there is no doubt we could whack up the +ritish circulation a bit! &he last I heard was it was being done in some de ious way through Horizon, but they were not getting enough

copies to supply all those who wanted to subscribe! &he people who are getting it are most enthusiastic about it!

4#, -ho *re the -ar CriminalsE On the %ace o% it, ,ussolini;s collapse was a story straight out o% .ictorian melodrama! At long last -ighteousness had triumphed, the wicked man was discom%ited, the mills o% God were doing their stu%%! On second thoughts, howe er, this moral tale is less simple and less edi%ying! &o begin with, what crime, i% any, has ,ussolini committedI In power politics there are no crimes, because there are no laws! And, on the other hand, is there any %eature in ,ussolini;s internal rMgime that could be seriously ob:ected to by any body o% people likely to sit in :udgement on himI /or, as the author o% this book>2 abundantly shows "" and this in %act is the main purpose o% the book "" there is not one scoundrelism committed by ,ussolini between 23>> and 23<7 that has not been lauded to the skies by the ery people who are now promising to bring him to trial!
>2! ' e 'rial o$ !+ssolini by "#assius"!

/or the purposes o% his allegory "#assius" imagines ,ussolini indicted be%ore a +ritish court, with the Attorney General as prosecutor! &he list o% charges is an impressi e one, and the main %acts "" %rom the murder o% ,atteotti to the in asion o% Greece, and %rom the destruction o% the peasants; co"operati es to the bombing o% Addis Ababa "" are not denied! #oncentration camps, broken treaties, rubber truncheons, castoroil "" e erything is admitted! &he only troublesome $uestion isG How can something that was praiseworthy at the time when you did it "" ten years ago, say "" suddenly become reprehensible nowI ,ussolini is allowed to call witnesses, both li ing and dead, and to show by their own printed words that %rom the ery %irst the responsible leaders o% +ritish opinion ha e encouraged him in e erything that he did! /or instance, here is Lord -othermere in 23>5G
In his own country B4ussoliniC was the antidote to a deadly poison. -or the rest of "urope he has been a tonic which has done to all incalculable good. I can claim with sincere satisfaction to have been the first man in a position of public influence to put 4ussolini's splendid achievement in its right light. . . . $e is the greatest figure of our age.

Here is 1inston #hurchill in 23>6G


If I had been an Italian I am sure I should have been wholeheartedly with you in your triumphant struggle against the bestial appetites and passions of 6eninism -- BItalyC has provided the necessary antidote to the +ussian poison. $ereafter no great nation will be unprovided with an ultimate means of protection against the cancerous growth of ,olshevism.

Here is Lord ,ottistone in 23?@G

I did not oppose Bthe Italian action in AbyssiniaC. I wanted to dispel the ridiculous illusion that it was a nice thing to sympathi=e with the underdog. . . . I said it was a wicked thing to send arms or connive to send arms to these cruel, brutal Abyssinians and still to deny them to others who are playing an honourable part.

Here is ,r Eu%% #ooper in 23?5G


3oncerning the Abyssinian episode, the less said now the better. !hen old friends are reconciled after a /uarrel, it is always dangerous for them to discuss its original causes.

Here is ,r 1ard *rice, o% the .ail( !ail, in 23?>G


Ignorant and pre.udiced people talk of Italian affairs as if that nation were sub.ect to some tyranny which it would willingly throw off. !ith that rather morbid commiseration for fanatical minorities which is the rule with certain imperfectly informed sections of ,ritish public opinion, this country long shut its eyes to the magnificent work that the -ascist rDgime was doing. I have several times heard 4ussolini himself e1press his gratitude to the Daily Mail as having been the first ,ritish newspaper to put his aims fairly before the world.

And so on, and so on, and so on! Hoare, Simon, Hali%a', =e ille #hamberlain, Austen #hamberlain, Hore"+elisha, Amery, Lord Lloyd and arious others enter the witness"bo', all o% them ready to testi%y that, whether ,ussolini was crushing the Italian trade unions, non"inter ening in Spain, pouring mustard gas on the Abyssinians, throwing Arabs out o% aeroplanes or building up a na y %or use against +ritain, the +ritish Go ernment and its o%%icial spokesmen supported him through thick and thin! 1e are shown Lady (Austen) #hamberlain shaking hands with ,ussolini in 23><, #hamberlain and Hali%a' ban$ueting with him and toasting "the Emperor o% Abyssinia" in 23?3, Lord Lloyd buttering up the /ascist rMgime in an o%%icial pamphlet as late as 23<7! &he net impression le%t by this part o% the trial is $uite simply that ,ussolini is not guilty! Only later, when an Abyssinian, a Spaniard and an Italian anti"/ascist gi e their e idence, does the real case against him begin to appear! =ow, the book is a %anci%ul one, but this conclusion is realistic! It is immensely unlikely that the +ritish &ories will e er put ,ussolini on trial! &here is nothing that they could accuse him o% e'cept his declaration o% war in 23<7! I% the "trial o% war criminals" that some people en:oy dreaming about e er happens, it can only happen a%ter re olutions in the Allied countries! +ut the whole notion o% %inding scapegoats, o% blaming indi iduals, or parties, or nations %or the calamities that ha e happened to us, raises other trains o% thought, some o% them rather disconcerting! &he history o% +ritish relations with ,ussolini illustrates the structural weakness o% a capitalist state! Granting that power politics are not moral, to attempt to buy Italy out o% the A'is "" and clearly this idea underlay +ritish policy %rom 23?< onwards "" was a natural strategic mo e! +ut it was not a mo e which +aldwin, #hamberlain and the rest o% them were capable o% carrying out! It could only ha e been done by being so strong that ,ussolini would not dare to side with Hitler! &his was impossible, because an economy ruled by the pro%it moti e is simply not e$ual to rearming on a modern scale! +ritain only began to arm when the Germans were in #alais! +e%ore that, %airly large sums had, indeed, been oted %or armaments, but they slid peaceably into the pockets o%

the shareholders and the weapons did not appear! Since they had no real intention o% curtailing their own pri ileges, it was ine itable that the +ritish ruling class should carry out e ery policy hal%heartedly and blind themsel es to the coming danger! +ut the moral collapse which this entailed was something new in +ritish politics! In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, +ritish politicians might be hypocritical, but hypocrisy implies a moral code! It was something new when &ory ,!*!s cheered the news that +ritish ships had been bombed by Italian aeroplanes, or when members o% the House o% Lords lent themsel es to organi9ed libel campaigns against the +as$ue children who had been brought here as re%ugees! 1hen one thinks o% the lies and betrayals o% those years, the cynical abandonment o% one ally a%ter another, the imbecile optimism o% the &ory press, the %lat re%usal to belie e that the dictators meant war, e en when they shouted it %rom the housetops, the inability o% the moneyed class to see anything wrong whate er in concentration camps, ghettos, massacres and undeclared wars, one is dri en to %eel that moral decadence played its part as well as mere stupidity! +y 23?6 or thereabouts it was not possible to be in doubt about the nature o% the /ascist regimes! +ut the lords o% property had decided that /ascism was on their side and they were willing to swallow the most stinking e ils so long as their property remained secure! In their clumsy way they were playing the game o% ,achia elli, o% "political realism", o% "anything is right which ad ances the cause o% the *arty" "" the *arty in this case, o% course, being the #onser ati e *arty! All this "#assius" brings out, but he does shirk its corollary! &hroughout his book it is implied that only &ories are immoral! "Het there is still another England," he says! "&his other England detested /ascism %rom the day o% its birth! ! ! ! &his was the England o% the Le%t, the England o% Labour!" &rue, but only part o% the truth! &he actual beha iour o% the Le%t has been more honourable than its theories! It has %ought against /ascism, but its representati e thinkers ha e entered :ust as deeply as their opponents into the e il world o% "realism" and power politics! "-ealism" (it used to be called dishonesty) is part o% the general political atmosphere o% our time! It is a sign o% the weakness o% "#assius;s" position that one could compile a $uite similar book entitled ' e 'rial o$ /inston - +rc ill, or ' e 'rial o$ - iang "ai-s ek, or e en ' e 'rial o$ &amsa( !ac.onald. In each case you would %ind the leaders o% the Le%t contradicting themsel es almost as grossly as the &ory leaders $uoted by "#assius"! /or the Le%t has also been willing to shut its eyes to a great deal and to accept some ery doubt%ul allies! 1e laugh now to hear the &ories abusing ,ussolini when they were nattering him %i e years ago, but who would ha e %oretold in 23>6 that the Le%t would one day take #hiang Fai"shek to its bosomI 1ho would ha e %oretold :ust a%ter the General Strike that ten years later 1inston #hurchill would be the darling o% the .ail( /orkerC In the years 23?@"3, when almost any ally against /ascism seemed acceptable, le%t"wingers %ound themsel es praising ,ustapha Femal and then de eloping a tenderness %or #arol o% -umania! Although it was in e ery way more pardonable, the attitude o% the Le%t towards the -ussian rMgime has been distinctly similar to the attitude o% the &ories towards /ascism! &here has been the same tendency to e'cuse almost anything "because they;re on our side"! It is all ery well to talk about Lady #hamberlain photographed shaking hands with ,ussoliniJ the photograph o% Stalin shaking hands with -ibbentrop is much more recent! On the whole, the intellectuals o% the Le%t de%ended the -usso"German *act!

It was "realistic", like #hamberlain;s appeasement policy, and with similar conse$uences! I% there is a way out o% the moral pigsty we are li ing in, the %irst step towards it is probably to grasp that "realism" does not pay, and that to sell out your %riends and sit rubbing your hands while they are destroyed is not the last word in political wisdom! &his %act is demonstrable in any city between #ardi%% and Stalingrad, but not many people can see it! ,eanwhile it is a pamphleteer;s duty to attack the -ight, but not to %latter the Le%t! It is partly because the Le%t ha e been too easily satis%ied with themsel es that they are where they are now! ,ussolini, in "#assius;s" book, a%ter calling his witnesses, enters the bo' himsel%! He sticks to his ,achia ellian creedG ,ight is -ight, vae victisB He is guilty o% the only crime that matters, the crime o% %ailure, and he admits that his ad ersaries ha e a right to kill him "" but not, he insists, a right to blame him! &heir conduct has been similar to his own, and their moral condemnations are all hypocrisy! +ut therea%ter come the other three witnesses, the Abyssinian, the Spaniard and the Italian, who are morally upon a di%%erent plane, since they ha e ne er tempori9ed with /ascism nor had a chance to play at power politicsJ and all three o% them demand the death penalty! 1ould they demand it in real li%eI 1ill any such thing e er happenI It is not ery likely, e en i% the people who ha e a real right to try ,ussolini should somehow get him into their hands! &he &ories, o% course, though they would shrink %rom a real in$uest into the origins o% the war, are not sorry to ha e the chance o% pushing the whole blame onto a %ew notorious indi iduals like ,ussolini and Hitler! In this way the Earlan"+adoglio manoeu re is made easier! ,ussolini is a good scapegoat while he is at large, though he would be an awkward one in capti ity! +ut how about the common peopleI 1ould they kill their tyrants, in cold blood and with the %orms o% law, i% they had the chanceI It is a %act that there ha e been ery %ew such e'ecutions in history! At the end o% the last war an election was won partly on the slogan "Hang the Faiser", and yet i% any such thing had been attempted the conscience o% the nation would probably ha e re olted! 1hen tyrants are put to death, it should be by their own sub:ectsJ those who are punished by a %oreign authority, like =apoleon, are simply made into martyrs and legends! 1hat is important is not that these political gangsters should be made to su%%er, but that they should be made to discredit themsel es! /ortunately they do do so in many cases, %or to a surprising e'tent the war"lords in shining armour, the apostles o% the martial irtues, tend not to die %ighting when the time comes! History is %ull o% ignominious getaways by the great and %amous! =apoleon surrendered to the English in order to get protection %rom the *russians, the Empress Eugenie %led in a hansom cab with an American dentist, Ludendor%% resorted to blue spectacles, one o% the more unprintable -oman emperors tried to escape assassination by locking himsel% in the la atory, and during the early days o% the Spanish #i il 1ar one leading /ascist made his escape %rom +arcelona, with e'$uisite %itness, through a sewer! It is some such e'it that one would wish %or ,ussolini, and i% he is le%t to himsel% perhaps he will achie e it! *ossibly Hitler also! It used to be said o% Hitler that when his time came he would ne er %ly or surrender, but would perish in some operatic manner, by suicide at the ery least! +ut that was when Hitler was success%ulJ during the last year, since things began to go wrong, it is di%%icult to %eel that he has beha ed with dignity or courage! "#assius" ends his book with the :udge;s summing"up, and lea es the erdict

open, seeming to in ite a decision %rom his readers! 1ell, i% it were le%t to me, my erdict on both Hitler and ,ussolini would beG not death, unless it is in%licted in some hurried unspectacular way! I% the Germans and Italians %eel like gi ing them a summary court" martial and then a %iring"s$uad, let them do it! Or better still, let the pair o% them escape with a suitcase%ul o% bearer securities and settle down as the accredited bores o% some Swiss #ension. +ut no martyri9ing, no St Helena business! And, abo e all, no solemn hypocritical "trial o% war criminals", with all the slow cruel pageantry o% the law, which a%ter a lapse o% time has so strange a way o% %ocusing a romantic light on the accused and turning a scoundrel into a hero! 'rib+ne, MM October 23<?

44, Mar( Twain %% The Licensed Jester ,ark &wain has crashed the lo%ty gates o% the E eryman Library, but only with 'om Saw(er and H+ckleberr( Finn, already %airly well known under the guise o% "children;s books" (which they are not)! His best and most characteristic books, &o+g ing 2t, ' e 2nnocents at Home, and e en )i$e on t e !ississi##i, are little remembered in this country, though no doubt in America the patriotism which is e erywhere mi'ed up with literary :udgement keeps them ali e! Although ,ark &wain produced a surprising ariety o% books, ranging %rom a namby"pamby "li%e" o% Aoan o% Arc to a pamphlet so obscene that it has ne er been publicly printed, all that is best in his work centres about the ,ississippi ri er and the wild mining towns o% the 1est! +orn in 25?@ (he came o% a Southern %amily, a %amily :ust rich enough to own one or perhaps two sla es), he had had his youth and early manhood in the golden age o% America, the period when the great plains were opened up, when wealth and opportunity seemed limitless, and human beings %elt %ree, indeed were %ree, as they had ne er been be%ore and may not be again %or centuries! )i$e on t e !ississi##i and the two other books that I ha e mentioned are a ragbag o% anecdotes, scenic descriptions and social history both serious and burles$ue, but they ha e a central theme which could perhaps be put into these wordsG "&his is how human beings beha e when they are not %rightened o% the sack!" In writing these books ,ark &wain is not consciously writing a hymn to liberty! *rimarily he is interested in "character", in the %antastic, almost lunatic ariations which human nature is capable o% when economic pressure and tradition are both remo ed %rom it! &he ra%tsmen, ,ississippi pilots, miners and bandits whom he describes are probably not much e'aggerated, but they are as di%%erent %rom modern men, and %rom one another, as the gargoyles o% a medie al cathedral! &hey could de elop their strange and sometimes sinister indi iduality because o% the lack o% any outside pressure! &he State hardly e'isted, the churches were weak and spoke with many oices, and land was to be had %or the taking! I% you disliked your :ob you simply hit the boss in the eye and mo ed %urther westJ and moreo er, money was so plenti%ul that the smallest coin in circulation was worth a shilling! &he American pioneers

were not supermen, and they were not especially courageous! 1hole towns o% hardy gold miners let themsel es be terrori9ed by bandits whom they lacked the public spirit to put down! &hey were not e en %ree %rom class distinctions! &he desperado who stalked through the streets o% the mining settlement, with a Eerringer pistol in his waistcoat pocket and twenty corpses to his credit, was dressed in a %rock coat and shiny top"hat, described himsel% %irmly as a "gentleman" and was meticulous about table manners! +ut at least it was not the case that a man;s destiny was settled %rom his birth! &he "log cabin to 1hite House" myth was true while the %ree land lasted! In a way, it was %or this that the *aris mob had stormed the +astille, and when one reads ,ark &wain, +ret Harte and 1hitman it is hard to %eel that their e%%ort was wasted! Howe er, ,ark &wain aimed at being something more than a chronicler o% the ,ississippi and the Gold -ush! In his own day he was %amous all o er the world as a humorist and comic lecturer! In =ew Hork, London, +erlin, .ienna, ,elbourne and #alcutta ast audiences rocked with laughter o er :okes which ha e now, almost without e'ception, ceased to be %unny! (It is worth noticing that ,ark &wain;s lectures were only a success with Anglo"Sa'on and German audiences! &he relati ely grown"up Latin races "" whose own humour, he complained, always centred round se' and politics "" ne er cared %or them!) +ut in addition, ,ark &wain had some pretensions to being a social critic, e en a species o% philosopher! He had in him an iconoclastic, e en re olutionary ein which he ob iously wanted to %ollow up and yet somehow ne er did %ollow up! He might ha e been a destroyer o% humbugs and a prophet o% democracy more aluable than 1hitman, because healthier and more humorous! Instead he became that dubious thing a "public %igure", %lattered by passport o%%icials and entertained by royalty, and his career re%lects the deterioration in American li%e that set in a%ter the #i il 1ar! ,ark &wain has sometimes been compared with his contemporary, Anatole /rance! &his comparison is not so pointless as it may sound! +oth men were the spiritual children o% .oltaire, both had an ironical, sceptical iew o% li%e, and a nati e pessimism o erlaid by gaietyJ both knew that the e'isting social order is a swindle and its cherished belie%s mostly delusions! +oth were bigoted atheists and con inced (in ,ark &wain;s case this was Earwin;s doing) o% the unbearable cruelty o% the uni erse! +ut there the resemblance ends! =ot only is the /renchman enormously more learned, more ci ili9ed, more ali e aesthetically, but he is also more courageous! He does attack the things he disbelie es inJ he does not, like ,ark &wain, always take re%uge behind the amiable mask o% the "public %igure" and the licensed :ester! He is ready to risk the anger o% the #hurch and to take the unpopular side in a contro ersy "" in the Erey%us case, %or e'ample! ,ark &wain, e'cept perhaps in one short essay "1hat is ,anI", ne er attacks established belie%s in a way that is likely to get him into trouble! =or could he e er wean himsel% %rom the notion, which is perhaps especially an American notion, that success and irtue are the same thing! In )i$e on t e !ississi##i there is a $ueer little illustration o% the central weakness o% ,ark &wain;s character! In the earlier part o% this mainly autobiographical book the dates ha e been altered! ,ark &wain describes his ad entures as a ,ississippi pilot as though he had been a boy o% about se enteen at the time, whereas in %act he was a young man o% nearly thirty! &here is a reason %or this! &he same part o% the book describes his e'ploits in the #i il 1ar, which were distinctly inglorious! ,oreo er, ,ark &wain started by %ighting, i% he can be said to ha e %ought, on the Southern side, and then changed his

allegiance be%ore the war was o er! &his kind o% beha iour is more e'cusable in a boy than in a man, whence the ad:ustment o% the dates! It is also clear enough, howe er, that he changed sides because he saw that the =orth was going to winJ and this tendency to side with the stronger whene er possible, to belie e that might m+st be right, is apparent throughout his career! In &o+g ing 2t there is an interesting account o% a bandit named Slade, who, among countless other outrages, had committed twenty"eight murders! It is per%ectly clear that ,ark &wain admires this disgusting scoundrel! Slade was success%ulJ there%ore he was admirable! &his outlook, no less common today, is summed up in the signi%icant American e'pression "to make good;. In the money"grubbing period that %ollowed the #i il 1ar it was hard %or anyone o% ,ark &wain;s temperament to re%use to be a success! &he old, simple, stump"whittling, tobacco"chewing democracy which Abraham Lincoln typi%ied was perishingG it was now the age o% cheap immigrant labour and the growth o% +ig +usiness! ,ark &wain mildly satiri9ed his contemporaries in ' e 4ilded Age, but he also ga e himsel% up to the pre ailing %e er, and made and lost ast sums o% money! He e en %or a period o% years deserted writing %or businessJ and he s$uandered his time on bu%%ooneries, not merely lecture tours and public ban$uets, but, %or instance, the writing o% a book like A -onnectic+t 6ankee in "ing Art +r7s -o+rt, which is a deliberate %lattery o% all that is worst and most ulgar in American li%e! &he man who might ha e been a kind o% rustic .oltaire became the world;s leading a%ter"dinner speaker, charming alike %or his anecdotes and his power to make businessmen %eel themsel es public bene%actors! It is usual to blame ,ark &wain;s wi%e %or his %ailure to write the books he ought to ha e written, and it is e ident that she did tyranni9e o er him pretty thoroughly! Each morning, ,ark &wain would show her what he had written the day be%ore, and ,rs #lemens (,ark &wain;s real name was Samuel #lemens) would go o er it with the blue pencil, cutting out e erything that she thought unsuitable! She seems to ha e been a drastic blue"penciller e en by nineteenth"century standards! &here is an account in 1! E! Howells;s book !( !ark 'wain o% the %uss that occurred o er a terrible e'pleti e that had crept into H+ckleberr( Finn. ,ark &wain appealed to Howells, who admitted that it was ":ust what Huck would ha e said", but agreed with ,rs #lemens that the word could not possibly be printed! &he word was "hell"! =e ertheless, no writer is really the intellectual sla e o% his wi%e! ,rs #lemens could not ha e stopped ,ark &wain writing any book he really wanted to write! She may ha e made his surrender to society easier, but the surrender happened because o% that %law in his own nature, his inability to despise success! Se eral o% ,ark &wain;s books are bound to sur i e, because they contain in aluable social history! His li%e co ered the great period o% American e'pansion! 1hen he was a child it was a normal day;s outing to go with a picnic lunch and watch the hanging o% an Abolitionist, and when he died the aeroplane was ceasing to be a no elty! &his period in America produced relati ely little literature, and but %or ,ark &wain our picture o% a ,ississippi paddle"steamer, or a stage"coach crossing the plains, would be much dimmer than it is! +ut most people who ha e studied his work ha e come away with a %eeling that he might ha e done something more! He gi es all the while a strange impression o% being about to say something and then %unking it, so that )i$e on t e !ississi##i and the rest o% them seem to be haunted by the ghost o% a greater and much more coherent book! Signi%icantly, he starts his autobiography by remarking that a man;s

inner li%e is indescribable! 1e do not know what he would ha e said "" it is :ust possible that the unprocurable pamphlet, ?J0?, would supply a clue but we may guess that it would ha e wrecked his reputation and reduced his income to reasonable proportions! 'rib+ne, >4 =o ember 23<?

45, ;oetry and the Micro3hone About a year ago I and a number o% others were engaged in broadcasting literary programmes to India, and among other things we broadcast a good deal o% erse by contemporary and near"contemporary English writers "" %or e'ample, Eliot, Herbert -ead, Auden, Spender, Eylan &homas, Henry &reece, Ale' #om%ort, -obert +ridges, Edmund +lunden, E! H! Lawrence! 1hene er it was possible we had poems broadcast by the people who wrote them! Aust why these particular programmes (a small and remote out%lanking mo ement in the radio war) were instituted there is no need to e'plain here, but I should add that the %act that we were broadcasting to an Indian audience dictated our techni$ue to some e'tent! &he essential point was that our literary broadcasts were aimed at the Indian uni ersity students, a small and hostile audience, unapproachable by anything that could be described as +ritish propaganda! It was known in ad ance that we could not hope %or more than a %ew thousand listeners at the most, and this ga e us an e'cuse to be more "highbrow" than is generally possible on the air! I% you are broadcasting poetry to people who know your language but don;t share your cultural background, a certain amount o% comment and e'planation is una oidable, and the %ormula we usually %ollowed was to broadcast what purported to be a monthly literary maga9ine! &he editorial sta%% were supposedly sitting in their o%%ice, discussing what to put into the ne't number! Somebody suggested one poem, someone else suggested another, there was a short discussion and then came the poem itsel%, read in a di%%erent oice, pre%erably the author;s own! &his poem naturally called up another, and so the programme continued, usually with at least hal% a minute o% discussion between any two items! /or a hal%"hour programme, si' oices seemed to be the best number! A programme o% this sort was necessarily somewhat shapeless, but it could be gi en a certain appearance o% unity by making it re ol e round a single central theme! /or e'ample, one number o% our imaginary maga9ine was de oted to the sub:ect o% war! It included two poems by Edmund +lunden, Auden;s "September 23<2", e'tracts %rom a long poem by G! S! /raser ("A Letter to Anne -idler"), +yron;s "Isles o% Greece" and an e'tract %rom &! E! Lawrence;s &evolt in t e .esert. &hese hal%"do9en items, with the arguments that preceded and %ollowed them, co ered reasonably well the possible attitudes towards war! &he poems and the prose e'tract took about twenty minutes to broadcast, the arguments about eight minutes! &his %ormula may seem slightly ridiculous and also rather patroni9ing, but its ad antage is that the element o% mere instruction, the te'tbook moti%, which is $uite

una oidable i% one is going to broadcast serious and sometimes "di%%icult" erse, becomes a lot less %orbidding when it appears as an in%ormal discussion! &he arious speakers can ostensibly say to one another what they are in reality saying to the audience! Also, by such an approach you at least gi e a poem a conte't, which is :ust what poetry lacks %rom the a erage man;s point o% iew! +ut o% course there are other methods! One which we %re$uently used was to set a poem in music! It is announced that in a %ew minutes; time such and such a poem will be broadcastJ then the music plays %or perhaps a minute, then %ades out into the poem, which %ollows without any title or announcement, then the music is %aded in again and plays up %or another minute or two "" the whole thing taking perhaps %i e minutes! It is necessary to choose appropriate music, but needless to say, the real purpose o% the music is to insulate the poem %rom the rest o% the programme! +y this method you can ha e, say, a Shakespeare sonnet within three minutes o% a news bulletin without, at any rate to my ear, any gross incongruity! &hese programmes that I ha e been speaking o% were o% no great alue in themsel es, but I ha e mentioned them because o% the ideas they aroused in mysel% and some others about the possibilities o% the radio as a means o% populari9ing poetry! I was early struck by the %act that the broadcasting o% a poem by the person who wrote it does not merely produce an e%%ect upon the audience, i% any, but also on the poet himsel%! One must remember that e'tremely little in the way o% broadcasting poetry has been done in England, and that many people who write erse ha e ne er e en considered the idea o% reading it aloud! +y being set down at a microphone, especially i% this happens at all regularly, the poet is brought into a new relationship with his work, not otherwise attainable in our time and country! It is a commonplace that in modern times "" the last two hundred years, say "" poetry has come to ha e less and less conne'ion either with music or with the spoken word! It needs print in order to e'ist at all, and it is no more e'pected that a poet, as such, will know how to sing or e en to declaim than it is e'pected that an architect will know how to plaster a ceiling! Lyrical and rhetorical poetry ha e almost ceased to be written, and a hostility towards poetry on the part o% the common man has come to be taken %or granted in any country where e eryone can read! And where such a breach e'ists it is always inclined to widen, because the concept o% poetry as primarily something printed, and something intelligible only to a minority, encourages obscurity and "cle erness"! How many people do not %eel $uasi"instincti ely that there must be something wrong with any poem whose meaning can be taken in at a single glanceI It seems unlikely that these tendencies will be checked unless it again becomes normal to read erse aloud, and it is di%%icult to see how this can be brought about e'cept by using the radio as a medium! +ut the special ad antage o% the radio, its power to select the right audience, and to do away with stage"%right and embarrassment, ought here to be noticed! In broadcasting your audience is con:ectural, but it is an audience o% one. ,illions may be listening, but each is listening alone, or as a member o% a small group, and each has (or ought to ha e) the %eeling that you are speaking to him indi idually! ,ore than this, it is reasonable to assume that your audience is sympathetic, or at least interested, %or anyone who is bored can promptly switch you o%% by turning a knob! +ut though presumably sympathetic, the audience as no #ower over (o+. It is :ust here that a broadcast di%%ers %rom a speech or a lecture! On the plat%orm, as anyone used to public speaking knows, it is almost impossible not to take your tone %rom the audience! It is

always ob ious within a %ew minutes what they will respond to and what they will not, and in practice you are almost compelled to speak %or the bene%it o% what you estimate as the stupidest person present, and also to ingratiate yoursel% by means o% the ballyhoo known as "personality"! I% you don;t do so, the result is always an atmosphere o% %rigid embarrassment! &hat grisly thing, a "poetry reading", is what it is because there will always be some among the audience who are bored or all but %rankly hostile and who can;t remo e themsel es by the simple act o% turning a knob! And it is at bottom the same di%%iculty "" the %act that a theatre audience is not a selected one "" that makes it impossible to get a decent per%ormance o% Shakespeare in England! On the air these conditions do not e'ist! &he poet $eels that he is addressing people to whom poetry means something, and it is a %act that poets who are used to broadcasting can read into the microphone with a irtuosity they would not e$ual i% they had a isible audience in %ront o% them! &he element o% make"belie e that enters here does not greatly matter! &he point is that in the only way now possible the poet has been brought into a situation in which reading erse aloud seems a natural unembarrassing thing, a normal e'change between man and manG also he has been led to think o% his work as so+nd rather than as a pattern on paper! +y that much the reconciliation between poetry and the common man is nearer! It already e'ists at the poet;s end o% the aether"wa es, whate er may be happening at the other end! Howe er, what is happening at the other end cannot be disregarded! It will be seen that I ha e been speaking as though the whole sub:ect o% poetry were embarrassing, almost indecent, as though populari9ing poetry were essentially a strategic manoeu re, like getting a dose o% medicine down a child;s throat or establishing tolerance %or a persecuted sect! +ut un%ortunately that or something like it is the case! &here can be no doubt that in our ci ili9ation poetry is by %ar the most discredited o% the arts, the only art, indeed, in which the a erage man re%uses to discern an( alue! Arnold +ennett was hardly e'aggerating when he said that in the English"speaking countries the word "poetry" would disperse a crowd $uicker than a %ire"hose! And as I ha e pointed out, a breach o% this kind tends to widen simply because o% its e'istence, the common man becoming more and more anti"poetry, the poet more and more arrogant and unintelligible, until the di orce between poetry and popular culture is accepted as a sort o% law o% nature, although in %act it belongs only to our own time and to a comparati ely small area o% the earth! 1e li e in an age in which the a erage human being in the highly ci ili9ed countries is aesthetically in%erior to the lowest sa age! &his state o% a%%airs is generally looked upon as being incurable by any conscio+s act, and on the other hand is e'pected to right itsel% o% its own accord as soon as society takes a comelier shape! 1ith slight ariations the ,ar'ist, the Anarchist and the religious belie er will all tell you this, and in broad terms it is undoubtedly true! &he ugliness amid which we li e has spiritual and economic causes and is not to be e'plained by the mere going"astray o% tradition at some point or other! +ut it does not %ollow that no impro ement is possible within our present %ramework, nor that an aesthetic impro ement is not a necessary part o% the general redemption o% society! It is worth stopping to wonder, there%ore, whether it would not be possible e en now to rescue poetry %rom its special position as the most hated o% the arts and win %or it at least the same degree o% toleration as e'ists %or music! +ut one has to start by asking, in what way and to what e'tent is poetry unpopularI On the %ace o% it, the unpopularity o% poetry is as complete as it could be! +ut on

second thoughts, this has to be $uali%ied in a rather peculiar way! &o begin with, there is still an appreciable amount o% %olk poetry (nursery rhymes etc!) which is uni ersally known and $uoted and %orms part o% the background o% e eryone;s mind! &here is also a hand%ul o% ancient songs and ballads which ha e ne er gone out o% %a our! In addition there is the popularity, or at least the toleration, o% "good bad" poetry, generally o% a patriotic or sentimental kind! &his might seem beside the point i% it were not that Ugood badV poetry has all the characteristics which, ostensibly, make the a erage man dislike true poetry! It is in erse, it rhymes, it deals in lo%ty sentiments and unusual language "" all this to a ery marked degree, %or it is almost a'iomatic that bad poetry is more UpoeticalV than good poetry! Het i% not acti ely liked it is at least tolerated! /or e'ample, :ust be%ore writing this I ha e been listening to a couple o% +!+!#! comedians doing their usual turn be%ore the 3 o;clock news! In the last three minutes one o% the two comedians suddenly announces that he Uwants to be serious %or a momentV and proceeds to recite a piece o% patriotic balderdash entitled UA /ine Old English GentlemanV, in praise o% His ,a:esty the Fing! =ow, what is the reaction o% the audience to this sudden lapse into the worst sort o% rhyming heroicsI It cannot be ery iolently negati e, or there would be a su%%icient olume o% indignant letters to stop the +!+!#! doing this kind o% thing! One must conclude that though the big public is hostile to #oetr(, it is not strongly hostile to verse. A%ter all, i% rhyme and metre were disliked %or their own sakes, neither songs nor dirty limericks could be popular! *oetry is disliked because it is associated with unintelligibility, intellectual pretentiousness and a general %eeling o% Sunday"on"a" weekday! Its name creates in ad ance the same sort o% bad impression as the word UGodV, or a parson;s dog"collar! &o a certain e'tent, populari9ing poetry is a $uestion o% breaking down an ac$uired inhibition! It is a $uestion o% getting people to listen instead o% uttering a mechanical raspberry! I% true poetry could be introduced to the big public in such a way as to make it seem normal, as that piece o% rubbish I ha e :ust listened to presumably seemed normal, then part o% the pre:udice against it might be o ercome! It is di%%icult to belie e that poetry can e er be populari9ed again without some deliberate e%%ort at the education o% public taste, in ol ing strategy and perhaps e en subter%uge! &! S! Eliot once suggested that poetry, particularly dramatic poetry, might be brought back into the consciousness o% ordinary people through the medium o% the music hallJ he might ha e added the pantomime, whose ast possibilities do not seem e er to ha e been completely e'plored! USweeney Agonistes" was perhaps written with some such idea in mind, and it would in %act be concei able as a music"hall turn, or at least as a scene in a re ue! I ha e suggested the radio as a more hope%ul medium, and I ha e pointed out its technical ad antages, particularly %rom the point o% iew o% the poet! &he reason why such a suggestion sounds hopeless at %irst hearing is that %ew people are able to imagine the radio being used %or the dissemination o% anything e'cept tripe! *eople listen to the stu%% that does actually dribble %rom the loudspeakers o% the world, and conclude that it is %or that and nothing else that the wireless e'ists! Indeed the ery word UwirelessV calls up a picture either o% roaring dictators or o% genteel throaty oices announcing that three o% our aircra%t ha e %ailed to return! *oetry on the air sounds like the ,uses in striped trousers! =e ertheless one ought not to con%use the capabilities o% an instrument with the use it is actually put to! +roadcasting is what it is, not because there is something inherently ulgar, silly and dishonest about the whole apparatus o% microphone and transmitter, but because all the broadcasting that now happens all o er

the world is under the control o% go ernments or great monopoly companies which are acti ely interested in maintaining the stat+s :+o and there%ore in pre enting the common man %rom becoming too intelligent! Something o% the same kind has happened to the cinema, which, like the radio, made its appearance during the monopoly stage o% capitalism and is %antastically e'pensi e to operate! In all the arts the tendency is similar! ,ore and more the channels o% production are under control o% bureaucrats, whose aim is to destroy the artist or at least to castrate him! &his would be a bleak outlook i% it were not that the totalitariani9ation which is now going on, and must undoubtedly continue to go on, in e ery country o% the world, is mitigated by another process which it was not easy to %oresee e en as short a time as %i e years ago! &his is, that the huge bureaucratic machines o% which we are all part are beginning to work creakily because o% their mere si9e and their constant growth! &he tendency o% the modern state is to wipe out the %reedom o% the intellect, and yet at the same time e ery state, especially under the pressure o% war, %inds itsel% more and more in need o% an intelligentsia to do its publicity %or it! &he modern state needs, %or e'ample, pamphlet"writers, poster artists, illustrators, broadcasters, lecturers, %ilm producers, actors, song composers, e en painters and sculptors, not to mention psychologists, sociologists, biochemists, mathematicians and what"not! &he +ritish Go ernment started the present war with the more or less openly declared intention o% keeping the literary intelligentsia out o% itJ yet a%ter three years o% war almost e ery writer, howe er undesirable his political history or opinions, has been sucked into the arious ,inistries or the +!+!#! and e en those who enter the armed %orces tend to %ind themsel es a%ter a while in *ublic -elations or some other essentially literary :ob! &he Go ernment has absorbed these people, unwillingly enough, because it %ound itsel% unable to get on without them! &he ideal, %rom the o%%icial point o% iew, would ha e been to put all publicity into the hands o% Usa%eV people like A! *! Herbert or Ian HayG but since not enough o% these were a ailable, the e'isting intelligentsia had to be utili9ed, and the tone and e en to some e'tent the content o% o%%icial propaganda ha e been modi%ied accordingly! =o one ac$uainted with the Go ernment pamphlets, A!+!#!A!>> lectures, documentary %ilms and broadcasts to occupied countries which ha e been issued during the past two years imagines that our rulers would sponsor this kind o% thing i% they could help it! Only, the bigger the machine o% go ernment becomes, the more loose ends and %orgotten corners there are in it! &his is perhaps a small consolation, but it is not a despicable one! It means that in countries where there is already a strong liberal tradition, bureaucratic tyranny can perhaps ne er be complete! &he striped"trousered ones will rule, but so long as they are %orced to maintain an intelligentsia, the intelligentsia will ha e a certain amount o% autonomy! I% the Go ernment needs, %or e'ample, documentary %ilms, it must employ people specially interested in the techni$ue o% the %ilm, and it must allow them the necessary minimum o% %reedomJ conse$uently, %ilms that are all wrong %rom the bureaucratic point o% iew will always ha e a tendency to appear! So also with painting, photography, script"writing, reportage, lecturing and all the other arts and hal%"arts o% which a comple' modern state has need!
>>! &he Army +ureau o% #urrent A%%airs!

&he application o% this to the radio is ob ious! At present the loudspeaker is the enemy o% the creati e writer, but this may not necessarily remain true when the olume

and scope o% broadcasting increase! As things are, although the +!+!#! does keep up a %eeble show o% interest in contemporary literature, it is harder to capture %i e minutes on the air in which to broadcast a poem than twel e hours in which to disseminate lying propaganda, tinned music, stale :okes, %aked UdiscussionsV or what"ha e"you! +ut that state o% a%%airs may alter in the way I ha e indicated, and when that time comes serious e'periment in the broadcasting o% erse, with complete disregard %or the arious hostile in%luences which pre ent any such thing at present, would become possible! I don;t claim it as certain that such an e'periment would ha e ery great results! &he radio was bureaucrati9ed so early in its career that the relationship between broadcasting and literature has ne er been thought out! It is not certain that the microphone is the instrument by which poetry could be brought back to the common people and it is not e en certain that poetry would gain by being more o% a spoken and less o% a written thing! +ut I do urge that these possibilities e'ist, and that those who care %or literature might turn their minds more o%ten to this much"despised medium, whose powers %or good ha e perhaps been obscured by the oices o% *ro%essor load and Eoctor Goebbels! 1ritten BAutumn 23<?CJ New Sa1on %am# let B=o! ?, ,arch 23<@CJ S.9.5 E.6.E.5 -.E.

-ar%time ?iaries

46, -ar%time ?iary: 28 May 19/0 - 28 + ) st 19/1


BEuring the %irst three years o% the war Orwell kept two diaries co ering the periods >5 ,ay 23<7 to >5 August 23<2 and 2< ,arch 23<> to 2@ =o ember 23<>! +oth were handwritten, but the %irst diary no longer e'ists in that %orm, the ersion o% it printed here being the selection that Orwell himsel% typed up %rom it! &he cuts he made are indicated by %i e dots! Any cuts made by the editors to a oid repetitions or libel are indicated by three dots or by %our dots to coincide with the end o% a sentence! &he second diary is taken direct %rom the handwritten original but the editors ha e made some cuts to a oid wounding, the %eelings o% the people mentioned and these cuts are indicated by three or %our dots as the case may be! Orwell re%ers to many people in these diaries by initials, but only where the editors are certain who is being re%erred to ha e the initials been supplied with names!C

MN !a( ?@A0 &his is the %irst day on which newspaper posters are de%initely discontinued! ! ! ! ! Hal% o% the %ront page o% the early Star? de oted to news o% the +elgian surrender, the other hal% to news to the e%%ect that the +elgians are holding out and the Fing is with them! &his is presumably due to paper shortage! =e ertheless o% the early Star;s eight

pages, si' are de oted to racing!


2! A London e ening newspaper o% the time!

/or days past there has been no real news and little possibility o% in%erring what is really happening! &he seeming possibilities wereG Ei8 that the /rench were really about to counter"attack %rom the south Eii8 that they hoped to do so but that the German bombers were making it impossible to concentrate an army Eiii8 that the %orces in the north were con%ident o% being able to hold on, and it was thought better not to counterattack till the German attack had spent itsel%, or Eiv8 that the position in the north was in reality hopeless and the %orces there could only %ight their way south, capitulate, be destroyed entirely or escape by sea, probably losing ery hea ily in the process! =ow only the %ourth alternati e seems possible! &he /rench communi$uMs speak o% stabili9ing the line along the Somme and Aisne, as though the %orces cut o%% in the north did not e'ist! Horrible though it is, I hope the +!E!/!> is cut to pieces sooner than capitulate!
>! &he +ritish E'peditionary /orce, i!e! the +ritish troops in /rance at the time o% the %all o% /rance!

*eople talk a little more o% the war, but ery little! As always hitherto, it is impossible to o erhear any comments on it in pubs etc! Last night E!? and I went to the pub to hear the 3 o;clock news! &he barmaid was not going to ha e turned it on i% we had not asked her, and to all appearances nobody listened!
?! Eileen, Orwell;s wi%e!

M@ !a( One has to gather any ma:or news nowadays by means o% hints and allusions! &he chie% sensation last night was that the 3 o;clock news was preceded by a cheer"up talk ($uite good) by Eu%% #ooper,< to sugar the pill, and that #hurchill said in his speech that he would report again on the situation some time at the beginning o% ne't week, and that the House must prepare itsel% %or "dark and hea y tidings"! &his presumably means that they are going to attempt a withdrawal, but whether the "dark tidings" mean enormous casualties, a surrender o% part o% the +!E!/!, or what, nobody knows! Heard the news between acts at a more or less highbrow play at the &orch &heatre! &he audience listened a good deal more attenti ely than would ha e been the case in a pub!
<! Al%red Eu%% #ooper (2537"23@<), #onser ati e politician, diplomat and author! A%ter his resignation as /irst Lord o% the Admiralty through disagreement with #hamberlain o er ,unich, he became the %igurehead o% the patriotic -ight! #hurchill made him ,inister o% In%ormation in his Go ernment in ,ay 23<7! Always a %rancophile, Eu%% #ooper became Ambassador to /rance at the end o% the war and was created .iscount =orwich!

E! says the people in the #ensorship Eepartment where she works lump all "red" papers together and look on the 'rib+neO as being in e'actly the same class as the .ail( /orker.J -ecently when the .ail( /orker and ActionP were prohibited %rom e'port, one o% her %ellow"workers asked her, "Eo you know this paper, the .ail( /orker and

ActionC;
@! &he Socialist weekly, then edited by -aymond *ostgate! 4! &he English #ommunist *arty daily newspaper! 6! &he :ournal o% the +ritish Dnion o% /ascists!

#urrent rumoursG that +ea erbrook5 since his appointment has got >,777 e'tra aeroplanes into the air by cutting through bottlenecks! &hat the air raids, possibly on London, are due to begin in two days; time! &hat Hitler;s plan %or in ading England is to use thousands o% speed"boats which can ride o er the mine%ields! &hat there is a terrible shortage o% ri%les (this %rom se eral sources)! &hat the morale o% the ordinary German in%antry o% the line is pitiably low! &hat at the time o% the =orway business the 1ar O%%ice were so ill"in%ormed as not e en to know that the =orwegian nights are short, and imagined that troops which had to disembark in broad daylight would ha e the co er o% darkness!
5! In ,ay Lord +ea erbrook, the newspaper proprietor, had been appointed ,inister o% Aircra%t *roduction by #hurchill!

30 !a( &he +!E!/! are %alling back on Eunkirk! Impossible not only to guess how many may get away, but how many are there! Last night a talk on the radio by a colonel who had come back %rom +elgium, which un%ortunately I did not hear, but which %rom E!;s account o% it contained interpolations put in by the broadcaster himsel% to let the public know the army had been let down (a) by the /rench (not counter"attacking), and (b) by the military authorities at home, by e$uipping them badly! =o word anywhere in the press o% recriminations against the /rench, and Eu%% #ooper;s broadcast o% two nights ago especially warned against this! ! ! ! ! &oday;s map looks as i% the /rench contingent in +elgium are sacri%icing themsel es to let the +!E!/! get away! +orkenau3 says England is now de%initely in the %irst stage o% re olution! #ommenting on this, #onnolly27 related that recently a ship was coming away %rom northern /rance with re%ugees on board and a %ew ordinary passengers! &he re%ugees were mostly children who were in a terrible state a%ter ha ing been machine"gunned etc! etc! Among the passengers was Lady """"", who tried to push hersel% to the head o% the $ueue to get on the boat, and when ordered back said indignantly, "Eo you know who I amI" &he steward answered, "I don;t care who you are, you bloody bitch! Hou can take your turn in the $ueue!" Interesting i% true!
3! /ran9 +orkenau, writer and re%ugee %rom Hitler Germany, author o% ' e S#anis -ock#it and ' e -omm+nist 2nternational. See I, 272 and 2?5! 27! #yril #onnolly (237?" ), the writer and critic, a li%e"long %riend o% Orwell, editor o% Horizon 23<7"@7!

Still no e idence o% any interest in the war! Het the by"elections, responses to appeals %or men, etc! show what people;s %eelings are! It is seemingly $uite impossible %or them to grasp that they are in danger, although there is good reason to think that the in asion o% England may be attempted within a %ew days, and all the papers are saying

this! &hey will grasp nothing until the bombs are dropping! #onnolly says they will then panic, but I don;t think so! 3? !a( Last night to see Eenis Ogden;s play ' e %eace$+l 2nn. &he most %ear%ul tripe! &he interesting point was that though the play was cast in 23<7, it contained no re%erence direct or indirect to the war! Struck by the %ewness o% the men who e en now ha e been called up! As a rule, looking round the street, it is impossible to see a uni%orm! ! ! ! ! +arbed wire entanglements are being put up at many strategic points, e!g! beside the #harles I statue in &ra%algar S$uare! ! ! ! ! Ha e heard on so many sides o% the shortage o% ri%les that I belie e it must be true! ? 9+ne Last night to 1aterloo and .ictoria to see whether I could get any news o% BEricC! Luite impossible, o% course! &he men who ha e been repatriated ha e orders not to speak to ci ilians and are in any case remo ed %rom the railway stations as promptly as possible! Actually I saw ery %ew +ritish soldiers, i!e! %rom the +!E!/!, but great numbers o% +elgian or /rench re%ugees, a %ew +elgian or /rench soldiers, and some sailors, including a %ew na al men! &he re%ugees seemed mostly middling people o% the shopkeeper"clerk type, and were in $uite good trim, with a certain amount o% personal belongings! One %amily had a parrot in a huge cage! One re%ugee woman was crying, or nearly so, but most seemed only bewildered by the crowds and the general strangeness! A considerable crowd was watching at .ictoria and had to be held back by the police to let the re%ugees and others get to the street! &he re%ugees were greeted in silence but all sailors o% any description enthusiastically cheered! A na al o%%icer, in a uni%orm that had been in the water and parts o% a soldier;s e$uipment, hurried towards a bus, smiling and touching his tin hat to either side as the women shouted at him and clapped him on the shoulder!
22

22! Laurence (Eric) O;Shaughnessy, Eileen +lair;s brother to whom she was greatly attached, an eminent heart and chest surgeon and a ma:or in the -oyal Army ,edical #orps, was killed in /landers while awaiting e acuation %rom Eunkirk! His death was announced in ' e 'imes, 5 Aune 23<7!

Saw a company o% ,arines marching through the station to entrain %or #hatham! 1as ama9ed by their splendid physi$ue and bearing, the tremendous stamp o% boots and the superb carriage o% the o%%icers, all taking me back to 232<, when all soldiers seemed like giants to me! &his morning;s papers claim ariously %our %i%ths and three $uarters o% the +!E!/! already remo ed! *hotos, probably selected or %aked, show the men in good trim with their e$uipment %airly intact!

M 9+ne Impossible to tell how many o% the +!E!/! ha e really been repatriated, but statements appearing in arious papers suggest that it is about 2@7,777 and that the number that originally ad anced into +elgium was about ?77,777! =o indication as to how many /rench troops were with them! &here are hints in se eral papers that it may be intended to hang on to Eunkirk instead o% e acuating it completely! &his would seem $uite impossible without tying down a great number o% aeroplanes to that one spot! +ut i% 2@7,777 ha e really been remo ed, it will presumably be possible to remo e large numbers more! Italy;s entry into the war is now predicted at any time a%ter < Aune, presumably with some kind o% peace o%%er to gi e it a prete't! ! ! ! ! General e'pectation that some attempt will now be made to in ade England, i% only as a di ersion, while Germany and Italy endea our to polish o%% /rance! ! ! ! ! &he possibility o% a landing in Ireland is e idently belie ed in by many people including de .alera! &his idea has barely been mentioned until the last %ew days, although it was an ob ious one %rom the start! &he usual Sunday crowds dri%ting to and %ro, perambulators, cycling clubs, people e'ercising dogs, knots o% young men loitering at street corners, with not an indication in any %ace or in anything that one can o erhear that these people grasp that they are likely to be in aded within a %ew weeks, though today all the Sunday papers are telling them so! &he response to renewed appeals %or e acuation o% children %rom London has been ery poor! E idently the reasoning is, "&he air raids didn;t happen last time, so they won;t happen this time!" Het these people will beha e bra ely enough when the time comes, i% only they are told what to do! -ough analysis o% ad ertisements in today;s issue o% the %eo#le3 2>
2>! A popular Sunday newspaper!

*aper consists o% 2> pagesW5< columns! O% this, :ust about >4T columns (o er X) is ad ertisements! &hese are di ided up as %ollowsG
Food and drin'( EF columns. &atent medicines( (G. )obacco( '. #amblin*7 AG. +lothes( 'H Miscellaneous( IF.

O% 3 %ood and drink ad erts, 4 are %or unnecessary lu'uries! O% >3 ad erts %or medicines, 23 are %or things which are either %raudulent (baldness cured etc!), more or less deleterious or o% the blackmail type ("Hour child;s stomach needs """)! +ene%it o% doubt has been allowed in the case o% a %ew medicines! O% 2< miscellaneous ad erts, < are %or soap, 2 %or cosmetics, 2 %or a holiday resort and > are go ernment ad ertisements, including a large one %or national sa ings! Only ? ad erts in all classes are cashing in on the war! ? 9+ne

/rom a letter %rom Lady O'%ord2? to the .ail( 'elegra# , on the sub:ect o% war economiesG
2?! ,argot As$uith (254<"23<@), widow o% Herbert Henry As$uith, *rime ,inister 2375"24, created Earl o% O'%ord and As$uith 23>@!

"Since most London houses are deserted there is little entertaining! ! ! ! ! in any case, most people ha e to part with their cooks and li e in hotels!" Apparently nothing will e er teach these people that the other 33 per cent o% the population e'ists! J 9+ne +oth +orkenau and I considered that Hitler was likely to make his ne't attack on /rance, not England, and as it turns out we were right! +orkenau considers that the Eunkirk business has pro ed once %or all that aeroplanes cannot de%eat warships i% the latter ha e planes o% their own! &he %igures gi en out were 4 destroyers and about >@ boats o% other kinds lost in the e acuation o% nearly ?@7,777 men! &he number o% men e acuated is presumably truth%ul, and e en i% one doubled the number o% ships lost it would not be a great loss %or such a large undertaking, considering that the circumstances were about as %a ourable to the aeroplanes as they could well be! +orkenau thinks Hitler;s plan is to knock out /rance and demand the /rench %leet as part o% the peace terms! A%ter that the in asion o% England with sea"borne troops might be %easible! Huge ad ert on the side o% a busG "/I-S& AIE I= 1A-&I,E /O- HEAL&H, S&-E=G&H A=E /O-&I&DEE! 1-IGLEH;S #HE1I=G GD,"! 6 9+ne Although newspaper posters are now suppressed, one %airly %re$uently sees the paper"sellers displaying a poster! It appears that old ones are resuscitated and used, and ones with captions like "-!A!/! raids on Germany" or "Enormous German losses" can be used at almost all times! N 9+ne In the middle o% a %ear%ul battle in which, I suppose, thousands o% men are being killed e ery day, one has the impression that there is no news! &he e ening papers are the same as the morning ones, the morning ones are the same as those o% the night be%ore, and the radio repeats what is in the papers! As to truth%ulness o% news, howe er, there is probably more suppression than downright lying! +orkenau considers that the e%%ect o% the radio has been to make war comparati ely truth%ul, and that the only large"scale lying hitherto has been the German claims o% +ritish ships sunk! &hese ha e certainly been %antastic! -ecently one o% the e ening papers which had made a note o% the German

announcements pointed out that in about 27 days the Germans claimed to ha e sunk >@ capital ships, i!e! 27 more than we e er possessed! Stephen Spender said to me recently, "Eon;t you %eel that any time during the past ten years you ha e been able to %oretell e ents better than, say, the #abinetI" I had to agree to this! *artly it is a $uestion o% not being blinded by class interests etc!, e!g! anyone not %inancially interested could see at a glance the strategic danger to England o% letting Germany and Italy dominate Spain, whereas many right"wingers, e en pro%essional soldiers, simply could not grasp this most ob ious %act! +ut where I %eel that people like us understand the situation better than so"called e'perts is not in any power to %oretell speci%ic e ents, but in the power to grasp what kind o% world we are li ing in! At any rate, I ha e known since about 23?2 (Spender says he has known since 23>3) that the %uture must be catastrophic! I could not say e'actly what wars and re olutions would happen, but they ne er surprised me when they came! Since 23?< I ha e known war between England and Germany was coming, and since 23?4 I ha e known it with complete certainty! I could %eel it in my belly, and the chatter o% the paci%ists on the one hand, and the *opular /ront people who pretended to %ear that +ritain was preparing %or war against -ussia on the other, ne er decei ed me! Similarly, such horrors as the -ussian purges ne er surprised me, because I had always %elt that "" not e1actl( that, but something like that "" was implicit in +olshe ik rule! I could %eel it in their literature! ! ! ! ! !1ho would ha e belie ed se en years ago that 1inston #hurchill had any kind o% political %uture be%ore himI A year ago #ripps2< was the naughty boy o% the Labour *arty, who e'pelled him and re%used e en to hear his de%ence! On the other hand, %rom the #onser ati e point o% iew he was a dangerous -ed! =ow he is ambassador in ,oscow, the +ea erbrook press ha ing led the cry %or his appointment! Impossible to say yet whether he is the right man! I% the -ussians are disposed to come round to our side, he probably is, but i% they are still hostile, it would ha e been better to send a man who does not admire the -ussian rMgime!
2<! Sir Sta%%ord #ripps (2553"23@>) started his career as a success%ul lawyer, becoming a Labour ,!*! in 23?2! /re$uently in trouble with the Labour *arty leadership during the thirties, he was considered a brilliant theoretical mind, while his personal austerity and the rigidity o% his Socialism gained him respect i% not a%%ection! He was Ambassador to ,oscow 23<7"<>! He then :oined the 1ar #abinet in /ebruary 23<> as Lord *ri y Seal and Leader o% the House o% #ommons and in ,arch"April went as special en oy to India! In October o% the same year became ,inister o% Aircra%t *roduction! In the post"war Labour Go ernment he was #hancellor o% the E'che$uer 23<6"@7!

?0 9+ne Ha e :ust heard, though it is not in the papers, that Italy has declared war! ! ! ! ! &he allied troops are withdrawing %rom =orway, the reason gi en being that they can be used elsewhere and =ar ik a%ter its capture was rendered useless to the Germans! +ut in %act =ar ik will not be necessary to them till the winter, it wouldn;t ha e been much use anyway when =orway had ceased to be neutral, and I shouldn;t ha e thought the allies had enough troops in =orway to make much di%%erence! &he real reason is probably so as not to ha e to waste warships! &his a%ternoon I remembered ery i idly that incident with the ta'i"dri er in *aris in 23?4,2@ and was going to ha e written something about it in this diary! +ut now I

%eel so saddened that I can;t write it! E erything is disintegrating! It makes me writhe to be writing book re iews etc! at such a time, and e en angers me that such time"wasting should still be permitted! &he inter iew at the 1ar O%%ice on Saturday ma( come to something, i% I am cle er at %aking my way past the doctor! I% once in the army, I know by the analogy o% the Spanish war, that I shall cease to care about public e ents! At present I %eel as I %elt in 23?4 when the /ascists were closing in on ,adrid, only %ar worse! +ut I will write about the ta'i"dri er some time!
2@! See III, 46, where Orwell describes the incident re%erred to!

?M 9+ne E! and I last night walked through Soho to see whether the damage to Italian shops etc! was as reported! It seemed to ha e been e'aggerated in the newspapers, but we did see, I think, shops which had had their windows smashed! &he ma:ority had hurriedly labelled themsel es "+ritish"! Gennari;s, the Italian grocer;s, was plastered all o er with printed placards saying "&his establishment is entirely +ritish"! &he Spaghetti House, a shop speciali9ing in Italian %oodstu%%s, had renamed itsel% "+ritish /ood Shop"! Another shop proclaimed itsel% Swiss, and e en a /rench restaurant had labelled itsel% +ritish! &he interesting thing is that all these placards must e idently ha e been printed be%orehand and kept in readiness! ! ! ! ! ! Eisgusting though these attacks on harmless Italian shopkeepers are, they are an interesting phenomenon, because English people, i!e! people o% a kind who would be likely to loot shops, don;t as a rule take a spontaneous interest in %oreign politics! I don;t think there was anything o% this kind during the Abyssinian war, and the Spanish war simply did not touch the mass o% the people! =or was there any popular mo e against the Germans resident in England until the last month or two! &he low"down, cold" blooded meanness o% ,ussolini;s declaration o% war at that moment must ha e made an impression e en on people who as a rule barely read the newspapers! ?3 9+ne Hesterday to a group con%erence o% the L!E!.!,24 held in the #ommittee -oom at Lord;s ! ! ! ! ! Last time I was at Lord;s must ha e been at the Eton"Harrow match in 23>2! At that time I should ha e %elt that to go into the *a ilion, not being a member o% the ,!#!#!,26 was on a par with pissing on the altar, and years later would ha e had some ague idea that it was a legal o%%ence %or which you could be prosecuted!
26

24! Local Ee%ence .olunteers, which later became the Home Guard! 26! ,arylebone #ricket #lub, whose grounds are at Lord;s, London!

I notice that one o% the posters recruiting %or the *ioneers, o% a %oot treading on a swastika with the legend "Step on it", is cribbed %rom a Go ernment poster o% the Spanish war, i!e! cribbed as to the idea! O% course it is ulgari9ed and made comic, but its appearance at any rate shows that the Go ernment are beginning to be willing to learn!

&he #ommunist candidate in the +ow25 by"election got about @77 otes! &his a new depth"record, though the +lackshirts ha e o%ten got less (in one case about 2@7)! &he more remarkable because +ow was Lansbury;s23 seat, and might be e'pected to contain a lot o% paci%ists! &he whole poll was ery low, howe er!
25! A working"class constituency in the East End o% London! 23! George Lansbury (25@3"23<7), Labour ,!*! and leader o% the Labour *arty 23?2"@, a %er ent ad ocate o% paci%ism!

?A 9+ne &he Germans are de%initely in *aris, one day ahead o% schedule! It can be taken as a certainty that Hitler will go to .ersailles! 1hy don;t they mine it and blow it up while he is thereI Spanish troops ha e occupied &angier, ob iously with a iew to letting the Italians use it as a base! &o con$uer Spanish ,orocco %rom /rench ,orocco would probably be easy at this date, and to do so, ditto the other Spanish colonies, and set up =egrin>7 or someone o% his kind as an alternati e go ernment, would be a se ere blow at /ranco! +ut e en the present +ritish Go ernment would ne er think o% doing such a thing! One has almost lost the power o% imagining that the Allied go ernments can e er take the initiati e!
>7! Auan =egrin, *rime ,inister o% the Spanish Go ernment during the last phase o% the #i il 1ar, a%ter which he set up a Spanish Go ernment in e'ile!

Always, as I walk through the Dnderground stations, sickened by the ad ertisements, the silly staring %aces and strident colours, the general %rantic struggle to induce people to waste labour and material by consuming useless lu'uries or harm%ul drugs! How much rubbish this war will sweep away, i% only we can hang on throughout the summer! 1ar is simply a re ersal o% ci ili9ed li%eJ its motto is "E il be thou my good", and so much o% the good o% modern li%e is actually e il that it is $uestionable whether on balance war does harm! ?O 9+ne It has :ust occurred to me to wonder whether the %all o% *aris means the end o% the Albatross Library,>2 as I suppose it does! I% so, I am P?7 to the bad! It seems incredible that people still attach any importance to long"term contracts, stocks and shares, insurance policies, etc! in such times as these! &he sensible thing to do now would be to borrow money right and le%t and buy solid goods! A short while back E! made in$uiries about the hire"purchase terms %or sewing machines and %ound they had agreements stretching o er two and a hal% years!
>2! One o% the earliest paperback publishers in *aris producing books in English %or the continental market! &heir publications included many o% the most interesting books o% the time, se eral o% which were banned in +ritain!

*!1!>> related that Dnity ,it%ord,>? besides ha ing tried to shoot hersel% while in Germany, is going to ha e a baby! 1hereupon a little man with a creased %ace, whose name I %orget, e'claimed, "&he /uehrer wouldn;t do such a thingO"
>>! .ictor 1illiam (*eter) 1atson (2375"@4), a rich young man who a%ter much tra el decided in about 23?3 to de ote his li%e to the arts! He was co"%ounder with his %riend #yril #onnolly o% the maga9ine Horizon which he %inanced himsel% besides pro iding all the material %or the art section! In 23<5 he was one o% the %ounders o% the Institute o% #ontemporary Arts! He was always an admirer o% Orwell;s writing! >?! &he Hon! Dnity .alkyrie ,it%ord (232<"<5), %ourth daughter o% the second Lord -edesdale! /rom 23?<, when she %irst met Hitler, she was his admirer! In Aanuary 23<7 she was brought back to England %rom Germany su%%ering %rom bullet wounds in the head! &herea%ter she li ed in retirement!

?J 9+ne &his morning;s papers make it reasonably clear that, at any rate until a%ter the *residential election, the D!S!A! will not do anything, i!e! will not declare war, which in %act is what matters! /or, i% the D!S!A! is not actually in the war, there will ne er be su%%icient control o% either business or labour to speed up production o% armaments! In the last war this was the case e en when the D!S!A! was a belligerent! It is impossible e en yet to decide what to do in the case o% German con$uest o% England! &he one thing I will not do is to clear out, at any rate not %urther than Ireland, supposing that to be %easible! I% the %leet is intact and it appears that the war is to be continued %rom America and the Eominions, then one must remain ali e i% possible, i% necessary in the concentration camp! I% the D!S!A! is going to submit to con$uest as well, there is nothing %or it but to die %ighting, but one must abo e all die $ig ting and ha e the satis%action o% killing somebody else %irst! &alking yesterday to ,!, one o% the Aewish members o% my L!E!.! section, I said that i% and when the present crisis passed there would be a re olt in the #onser ati e *arty against #hurchill and an attempt to %orce wages down again, etc! He said that in that case there would be re olution, "or at least he hoped so"! ,! is a manu%acturer and I imagine %airly well o%%! ?P 9+ne &he /rench ha e surrendered! &his could be %oreseen %rom last night;s broadcast and in %act should ha e been %oreseeable when they %ailed to de%end *aris, the one place where it might ha e been possible to stop the German tanks! Strategically all turns on the /rench %leet, o% which there is no news yet! ! ! ! ! #onsiderable e'citement today o er the /rench surrender, and people e erywhere to be heard discussing it! Dsual line, "&hank God we; e got a na y"! A Scottish pri ate, with medals o% the last war, partly drunk, making a patriotic speech in a carriage in the Dnderground, which the other passengers seemed rather to like! Such a rush on e ening papers that I had to make %our attempts be%ore getting one! =owadays, when I write a re iew, I sit down at the typewriter and type it straight out! &ill recently, indeed till si' months ago, I ne er did this and would ha e said that I could not do it! .irtually all that I wrote was written at least twice, and my books as a

whole three times "" indi idual passages as many as %i e or ten times! It is not really that I ha e gained in %acility, merely that I ha e ceased to care, so long as the work will pass inspection and bring in a little money! It is a deterioration directly due to the war! #onsiderable throng at #anada House, where I went to make in$uiries, as G!>< contemplates sending her child to #anada! Apart %rom mothers, they are not allowing anyone between 24 and 47 to lea e, e idently %earing a panic rush!
><! Gwen O;Shaughnessy, widow o% Laurence (Eric), Eileen +lair;s brother!

M0 9+ne 1ent to the o%%ice o% the """"" to see what line they are taking about home de%ence! #!, who is now in reality the big noise there, was rather against the "arm the people" line and said that its dangers outweighed its possible ad antages! I% a German in ading %orce %inds ci ilians armed it may commit such barbarities as will cow the people altogether and make e eryone an'ious to surrender! He said it was dangerous to count on ordinary people being courageous and instances the case o% some riot in Glasgow when a tank was dri en round the town and e eryone %led in the most cowardly way! &he circumstances were di%%erent, howe er, because the people in that case were unarmed and, as always in internal stri%e, conscious o% %ighting with ropes round their necks! ! ! ! ! #! said that he thought #hurchill, though a good man up to a point, was incapable o% doing the necessary thing and turning this into a re olutionary war, and %or that reason shielded #hamberlain and #o! and hesitated to bring the whole nation into the struggle! I don;t o% course think #hurchill sees it in $uite the same colours as we do, but I don;t think he would :ib at any step (e!g! e$uali9ation o% incomes, independence %or India) which he thought necessary %or winning the war! O% course it;s possible that today;s secret session ma( achie e enough to get #hamberlain and #o! out %or good! I asked #! what hope he thought there was o% this, and he said none at all! +ut I remember that the day the +ritish began to e acuate =amsos>@ I asked +e an>4 and Strauss,>6 who had :ust come %rom the House, what hope there was o% this business unseating #hamberlain, and they also said none at all! Het a week or so later the new go ernment was %ormed!
>@! Seaport in =orway held by the +ritish, April",ay 23<7, during the unsuccess%ul =orway campaign! >4! Aneurin (=ye) +e an (2536"2347), Labour ,ember o% *arliament and ,inister o% Health in the post" war Labour Go ernment! One o% England;s greatest orators, he was lo ed by the Le%t and %eared and disliked by the -ight! He resigned %rom the Labour #abinet in 23@2 o er a split in policy but remained a member o% the *arty and the symbol o% its Socialist aspirations! As a director o% 'rib+ne he ga e Orwell %reedom to write e'actly as he pleased e en when he wrote against the Labour line o% the moment, e!g!, when Orwell denounced the So iet rMgime during the crucial phases o% the -usso"+ritish war e%%ort! In 23<3 Orwell said to a %riend, "I% only I could become =ye;s Dminence grise we;d soon ha e this country on its %eet!" >6! G! -! Strauss, a Labour ,!*! and co"director, with his %riend Aneurin +e an, o% 'rib+ne.

&he belie% in direct treachery in the higher command is now widespread, enough so to be dangerous! ! ! ! ! *ersonally I belie e that such conscious treachery as e'ists is only in the pro"/ascist element o% the aristocracy and perhaps in the army command! O% course the unconscious sabotage and stupidity which ha e got us into this situation, e!g!

the idiotic handling o% Italy and Spain, is a di%%erent matter! -! H!>5 says that pri ate soldiers back %rom Eunkirk whom he has spoken to all complain o% the conduct o% their o%%icers, saying that the latter cleared o%% in cars and le%t them in the soup, etc! etc! &his sort o% thing is always said a%ter a de%eat and may or may not be true! One could eri%y it by studying the lists o% casualties, i% and when they are published in %ull! +ut it is not altogether bad that that sort o% thing should be said, pro ided it doesn;t lead to sudden panic, because o% the absolute need %or getting the whole thing onto a new class basis! In the new armies middle"class people are bound to predominate as o%%icers, they did so e en, %or instance, in the Spanish militias, but it is a $uestion o% un"blimping! Eitto with the L!E!.! Dnder the stress o% emergency we shall unblimp i% we ha e time, but time is all!
>5! -ayner Heppenstall!

A thought that occurred to me yesterdayG how is it that England, with one o% the smallest armies in the world, has so many retired colonelsI I notice that all the "le%t" intellectuals I meet belie e that Hitler, i% he gets here, will take the trouble to shoot people like oursel es and will ha e ery e'tensi e lists o% undesirables! #!>3 says there is a mo e on %oot to get our police records (no doubt we all ha e them) at Scotland Hard destroyed! Some hopeO &he police are the ery people who would go o er to Hitler once they were certain he had won! 1ell, i% only we can hold out %or a %ew months, in a year;s time we shall see red militia billeted in the -it9, and it would not particularly surprise me to see #hurchill or Lloyd George at the head o% them!
>3! #yril #onnolly!

&hinking always o% my islands in the Hebrides, which I suppose I shall ne er possess nor e en see! #ompton ,acken9ie says e en now most o% the islands are uninhabited (there are @77 o% them, only 27 per cent inhabited at normal times), and most ha e water and a little culti able land, and goats will li e on them! According to -! H! a woman who rented an island in the Hebrides in order to a oid air raids was the %irst air" raid casualty o% the war, the -!A!/! dropping a bomb there by mistake! Good i% true! &he %irst air raid o% any conse$uence on Great +ritain the night be%ore last! /ourteen killed, se en German aeroplanes claimed shot down! &he papers ha e photos o% three wrecked German planes, so possibly the claim is true! M? 9+ne =o real news! I see %rom yesterday;s paper that #hiappe?7 has been elected president o% the *aris ,unicipal #ouncil, presumably under German pressure! So much %or the claim that Hitler is the %riend o% the working classes, enemy o% plutocracy, etc!
?7! Aean #hiappe (2565"23<7), #orsican head o% the *aris *olice 23>6"?<J pro"/ascist, responsible %or se erely repressi e measures against the Le%t!

Hesterday the %irst drill o% our platoon o% the L!E!.! &hey were really admirable,

only ? or < in the whole lot (about 47 men) who were not old soldiers! Some o%%icers who were there and had, I think, come to sco%% were $uite impressed! MM 9+ne =o real news yet o% the German terms to /rance! &hey are said to be "so complicated" as to need long discussion! I suppose one may assume that what is really happening is that the Germans on the one side and *Mtain and #o! on the other are trying to hammer out a %ormula that will induce the /rench commanders in the colonies and the na y to surrender! Hitler has in reality no power o er these e'cept through the /rench go ernment! ! ! ! ! I think we ha e all been rather hasty in assuming that Hitler will now in ade England, indeed it has been so generally e'pected that one might almost in%er %rom this that he wouldn;t do it! ! ! ! ! I% I were him I should march across Spain, sei9e Gibraltar and then clean up =orth A%rica and Egypt! I% the +ritish ha e a %luid %orce o% say X million men, the proper course would be to trans%er it to /rench ,orocco, then suddenly sei9e Spanish ,orocco and hoist the -epublican %lag! &he other Spanish colonies could be mopped up without much trouble! Alas, no hope o% any such thing happening! &he #ommunists are apparently swinging back to an anti"=a9i position! &his morning picked up a lea%let denouncing the "betrayal" o% /rance by *Mtain and #o!, although till a week or two ago these people were almost openly pro"German! MA 9+ne &he German armistice terms are much as e'pected! ! ! ! ! 1hat is interesting about the whole thing is the e'tent to which the traditional pattern o% loyalties and honour is breaking down! *Mtain, ironically enough, is the originator (at .erdun) o% the phrase ;ils ne #asseront #as;, so long an anti"/ascist slogan! &wenty years ago any /renchman who would ha e signed such an armistice would ha e had to be either an e'treme le%t"winger or an e'treme paci%ist, and e en then there would ha e been misgi ings! =ow the people who are irtually changing sides in the middle o% the war are the pro%essional patriots! &o *Mtain, La al, /landin and #o! the whole war must ha e seemed like a lunatic internecine struggle at the moment when your real enemy is waiting to slosh you! ! ! ! ! It is there%ore practically certain that high"up in%luences in England are preparing %or a similar sell"out, and while e!g! """"" is at """"" there is no certainty that they won;t succeed e en without the in asion o% England! &he one good thing about the whole business is that the bottom is being knocked out o% Hitler;s pretence o% being the poor man;s %riend! &he people actually willing to do a deal with him are bankers, generals, bishops, kings, big industrialists, etc! etc! ! ! ! ! Hitler is the leader o% a tremendous counter"attack o% the capitalist class, which is %orming itsel% into a ast corporation, losing its pri ileges to some e'tent in doing so, but still retaining its power o er the working class! 1hen it comes to resisting such an attack as this, anyone who is o$ the capitalist class must be treacherous or hal%" treacherous, and will swallow the most %ear%ul indignities rather than put up a real %ight! ! ! ! ! 1hiche er way one looks, whether it is at the wider strategic aspects or the

most petty details o% local de%ence, one sees that any real struggle means re olution! #hurchill e idently can;t see or won;t accept this, so he will ha e to go! +ut whether he goes in time to sa e England %rom con$uest depends on how $uickly the people at large can grasp the essentials! 1hat I %ear is that they will ne er mo e until it is too late! Strategically, all turns upon hanging on until the winter! +y that time, with huge armies o% occupation e erywhere, %ood almost certainly running short and the di%%iculty o% %orcing the con$uered populations to work, Hitler must be in an awkward position! It will be interesting to see whether he rehabilitates the suppressed /rench #ommunist *arty and tries to use it against the working class in northern /rance as he has used *Mtain against the +limp class! I% the in asion happens and %ails, all is well, and we shall ha e a de%initely le%t" wing go ernment and a conscious mo ement against the go erning class! I think, though, people are in error in imagining that -ussia would be more %riendly towards us i% we had a re olutionary go ernment! A%ter Spain, I cannot help %eeling that -ussia, i!e! Stalin, must be hostile to any country that is genuinely undergoing re olution! &hey would be mo ing in opposite directions! A re olution starts o%% with wide di%%usion o% the ideas o% liberty, e$uality, etc! &hen comes the growth o% an oligarchy which is as much interested in holding onto its pri ileges as any other go erning class! Such an oligarchy must necessarily be hostile to re olutions elsewhere, which ine itably reawaken the ideas o% liberty and e$uality! &his morning;s News - ronicle announces that saluting o% superior ranks has been reinstituted in the -ed army! A re olutionary army would start b( abolishing saluting, and this tiny point is symptomatic o% the whole situation! =ot that saluting and such things are not probably necessary! Orders to the L!E!.! that all re ol ers are to be handed o er to the police, as they are needed %or the army! #linging to useless weapons like re ol ers, when the Germans ha e submachine guns, is typical o% the +ritish army, but I belie e the real reason %or the order is to pre ent weapons getting into the "wrong" hands! +oth E! and G! insistent that I should go to #anada i% the worst comes to the worst, in order to stay ali e and keep up propaganda! I will go i% I ha e some %unction, e!g! i% the go ernment were trans%erred to #anada and I had some kind o% :ob, but not as a re%ugee, nor as an e'patriate :ournalist s$uealing %rom a sa%e distance! &here are too many o% these e'iled "anti"/ascists" already! +etter to die i% necessary, and maybe e en as propaganda one;s death might achie e more than going abroad and li ing more or less unwanted on other people;s charity! =ot that I want to dieJ I ha e so much to li e %or, in spite o% poor health and ha ing no children! Another go ernment lea%let this morning, on treatment o% air"raid casualties! &he lea%lets are getting much better in tone and language, and the broadcasts are also better, especially Eu%% #ooper;s, which in %act are ideal %or anyone down to the P@ a week le el! +ut there is still nothing in really demotic speech, nothing that will mo e the poorer working class or e en be $uite certainly intelligible! ,ost educated people simply don;t reali9e how little impression abstract words make on the a erage man! 1hen Acland was sending round his asinine ",ani%esto o% *lain ,en" (written by himsel% and signed on the dotted line by "plain men" whom he selected) he told me he had the %irst dra%t etted by the ,ass Obser ers, who tried it on working men, and %ound that the most %antastic misunderstandings arose! ! ! ! ! &he %irst sign that things are really happening in England will be the disappearance o% that horrible plummy oice %rom the radio! 1atching in

public bars, I ha e noticed that working men only pay attention to the broadcasts when some bit o% demotic speech creeps in! E! howe er claims, with some truth I think, that uneducated people are o%ten mo ed by a speech in solemn language which they don;t actually understand but %eel to be impressi e, e!g! ,rs A! is impressed by #hurchill;s speeches, though not understanding them word %or word! MO 9+ne Last night an air"raid warning about 2 a!m! It was a %alse alarm as regards London, but e idently there was a real raid somewhere! 1e got up and dressed, but did not bother to go to the shelter! &his is what e eryone did, i!e! got up and then simply stood about talking, which seems ery %oolish! +ut it seems natural to get up when one hears the siren, and then in the absence o% gun%ire or other e'citement one is ashamed to go to the shelter! I saw in one o% yesterday;s papers that gas masks are being issued in America, though people ha e to pay %or them! Gas masks are probably useless to the ci ilian population in England and almost certainly so in America! &he issue o% them is simply a symbol o% national solidarity, the %irst step towards wearing a uni%orm! ! ! ! ! As soon as war started the carrying or not carrying o% a gas mask assumed social and political implications! In the %irst %ew days people like mysel% who re%used to carry one were stared at and it was generally assumed that the non"carriers were "le%t"! &hen the habit wore o%%, and the assumption was that a person who carried a gas mask was o% the ultra" cautious type, the suburban rate"payer type! 1ith the bad news the habit has re i ed and I should think >7 per cent now carry them! +ut you are still a little stared at i% you carry one without being in uni%orm! Dntil the big raids ha e happened and it is grasped that the Germans don;t, in %act, use gas, the e'tent to which masks are carried will probably be a pretty good inde' o% the impression the war news is making on the public! 1ent this a%ternoon to the recruiting o%%ice to put my name down %or the Home Ser ice +attalions! Ha e to go again on /riday to be medically e'amined, but as it is %or men %rom ?7 to @7 I suppose the standards are low! &he man who took my name etc!, was the usual imbecile, an old soldier with medals o% the last war, who could barely write! In writing capital letters, he more than once actually wrote them upside down! MP 9+ne It appears that the night be%ore last, during the air"raid alarm, many people all o er London were woken by the All #lear signal, took that %or the warning and went to the shelters and stayed there till morning, waiting %or the All #lear! &his a%ter ten months o% war and God knows how many e'planations o% the air"raid precautions! &he %act that the Go ernment hasn;t this time had to do a recruiting campaign has had a deadening e%%ect on propaganda! ! ! ! ! A striking thing is the absence o% any propaganda posters o% a general kind, dealing with the struggle against /ascism, etc! I% only someone would show the ,!O!I! the posters used in the Spanish war, e en the /ranco ones %or that matter! +ut how can these people possibly rouse the nation against

Fascism when they themsel es are sub:ecti ely pro"/ascist and were buttering up ,ussolini till almost the moment when Italy entered the warI +utler,?2 answering $uestions about the Spanish occupation o% &angier, says H!,! Go ernment has "accepted the word" o% the Spanish Go ernment that the Spaniards are only doing so in order to preser e &angier;s neutrality "" this a%ter /alangist demonstrations in ,adrid to celebrate the "con$uest" o% &angier! ! ! ! ! &his morning;s papers publish a "denial" that Hoare?> in ,adrid is asking $uestions about an armistice! In other words he is doing so! Only $uestion "" can we get rid o% these people in the ne't %ew weeks, be%ore it is too lateI
?2! -! A! +utler (237>" ), #onser ati e politician, Dnder"Secretary o% State %or /oreign A%%airs 23?5"<2! #hancellor o% the E'che$uer and later /oreign Secretary in the #onser ati e Go ernment o% 23@2"4<! ?>! Sir Samuel Hoare, +t, .iscount &emplewood (2557"23@3), politician and lawyer o% e'treme right"wing iews, at this time +ritish Ambassador to Spain! As Secretary o% State %or /oreign A%%airs in 23?@ he appeased Italy in the Italo"Ethiopian war, negotiating the Hoare"La al *act handing Ethiopia o er to Italy despite e'isting international agreements!

&he unconscious treacherousness o% the +ritish ruling class in what is in e%%ect a class war is too ob ious to be worth mentioning! &he di%%icult $uestion is how much deliberate treachery e'ists! ! ! ! ! L! ,!,?? who knows or at least has met all these people, says that with indi idual e'ceptions like #hurchill the entire +ritish aristocracy is utterly corrupt and lacking in the most ordinary patriotism, caring in %act %or nothing e'cept preser ing their own standards o% li%e! He says they are also intensely class"conscious and recogni9e clearly the community o% their interests with those o% rich people elsewhere! &he idea that ,ussolini might %all has always been a nightmare to them, he says! Dp to date L! ,!;s predictions about the war, made the day it began, ha e been ery correct! He said nothing would happen all the winter, Italy would be treated with great respect and then suddenly come in against us, and the German aim would be to %orce on England a puppet go ernment through which Hitler could rule +ritain without the mass o% the public grasping what was happening! ! ! ! ! &he only point where L! ,! pro ed wrong is that like mysel% he assumed -ussia would continue to collaborate with Germany, which now looks as i% it may not happen! +ut then the -ussians probably did not e'pect /rance to collapse so suddenly! I% they can bring it o%%, *Mtain and #o! are working the same kind o% double"cross against -ussia as -ussia pre iously worked against England! It was interesting that at the time o% the -usso"German *act nearly e eryone assumed that the pact was all to -ussia;s ad antage and that Stalin had in some way "stopped" Hitler, though one had only to look at the map in order to see that this was not so! ! ! ! ! In western Europe #ommunism and Le%t e'tremism generally are now almost entirely a %orm o% masturbation! *eople who are in %act without power o er e ents console themsel es by pretending that they are in some way controlling e ents! /rom the #ommunist point o% iew, nothing matters so long as they can persuade themsel es that -ussia is on top! It now seems doubt%ul whether the -ussians gained much more %rom the pact than a breathing"space, though they did this much better than we did at ,unich! *erhaps England and the D!S!S!-! will be %orced into alliance a%ter all, an interesting instance o% real interests o erriding the most hearty ideological hatred!
??! L! H! ,yers (2552"23<<), the no elist, author o% ' e Near and t e Far.

&he New )eader3A is now talking about the "betrayal" by *Mtain and #o! and the "workers; struggle" against Hitler! *resumably they would be in %a our o% a "workers" resistance i% Hitler in aded England! And what will the workers %ight withI 1ith weapons! Het the I!L!*! clamour simultaneously %or sabotage in the arms %actories! &hese people li e almost entirely in a masturbation %antasy, conditioned by the %act that nothing they say or do will e er in%luence e ents, not e en the turning"out o% a single shell!
?<! &he organ o% the Independent Labour *arty!

MN 9+ne Horribly depressed by the way things are turning out! 1ent this morning %or my medical board and was turned down, my grade being # in which they aren;t at present taking any men in any corps! ! ! ! !1hat is appalling is the unimaginati eness o% a system which can %ind no use %or a man who is below a erage le el o% %itness but at least is not an in alid! An army needs an immense amount o% clerical work, most o% which is done by people who are per%ectly healthy and only hal%"literate! ! ! ! ! One could %orgi e the go ernment %or %ailing to employ the intelligentsia, who on the whole are politically unreliable, i% they were making any attempt to mobili9e the man" power o% the nation and change people o er %rom the lu'ury trades to producti e work! &his simply isn;t happening, as one can see by looking down any street! &he -ussians entered +essarabia today! *ratically no interest aroused, and the %ew remarks I could o erhear were mildly appro ing or at least not hostile! #%! the intense popular anger o er the in asion o% /inland! I don;t think the di%%erence is due to a perception that /inland and -umania are di%%erent propositions! It is probably because o% our own desperate straits and the notion that this mo e may embarrass Hitler "" as I belie e it must, though e idently sanctioned by him! M@ 9+ne &he +ritish Go ernment has recogni9ed de Gaulle, but apparently in some e$ui ocal manner, i!e! it has not stated that it will not recogni9e the *Mtain go ernment! One ery hope%ul thing is that the press is on our side and retains its independence! ! ! ! ! +ut contained in this is the di%%iculty that the "%reedom" o% the press really means that it depends on ested interests and largely (through its ad ertisements) on the lu'ury trades! =ewspapers which would resist direct treachery can;t take a strong line about cutting down lu'uries when they li e by ad ertising chocolates and silk stockings! 30 9+ne &his a%ternoon a parade in -egent;s *ark o% the L!E!.! o% the whole "9one", i!e! 2> platoons o% theoretically about 47 men each (actually a little under strength at present)! *redominantly old soldiers and, allowing %or the dread%ul appearance that men drilling in

mu%ti always present, not a bad lot! *erhaps >@ per cent are working class! I% that percentage e'ists in the -egent;s *ark area, it must be much higher in some others! 1hat I do not yet know is whether there has been any tendency to a oid raising L!E!.! contingents in ery poor districts where the whole direction would ha e to be in working" class hands! At present the whole organi9ation is in an anomalous and con%used state, which has many di%%erent possibilities! Already people are spontaneously %orming local de%ence s$uads, and hand"grenades are probably being manu%actured by amateurs! &he higher"ups are no doubt thoroughly %rightened by these tendencies! ! ! ! ! &he General inspecting the parade was the usual senile imbecile, actually decrepit, and made one o% the most uninspiring speeches I e er heard! &he men, howe er, ery ready to be inspired! Loud cheering at the news that ri%les ha e arri ed at last! Hesterday the news o% +albo;s?@ death was on the posters as #onnolly and the ,!s and I walked down the street! #! and I thoroughly pleased, #! relating how +albo and his %riends had taken the #hie% o% the Senussi up in an aeroplane and thrown him out, and e en the ,!s (all but pure paci%ists) were not ill"pleased, I think! E! also delighted! Later in the e ening (I spent the night at #rooms Hill)?4 we %ound a mouse which had slipped down into the sink and could not get up the sides! 1e went to great pains to make a sort o% staircase o% bo'es o% soap %lakes etc!, by which it could climb out, but by this time it was so terri%ied that it %led under the lead strip at the edge o% the sink and would not mo e, e en when we le%t it alone %or hal% an hour or so! In the end E! gently took it out with her %ingers and let it go! &his sort o% thing does not matter! ! ! ! ! but when I remember how the ' etis disaster?6 upset me, actually to the point o% inter%ering with my appetite, I do think it a dread%ul e%%ect o% war that one is actually pleased to hear o% an enemy submarine going to the bottom!
?@! ,arshal +albo, the head o% the Italian Air /orce responsible %or the bombing o% Abyssinia in the Italo" Ethiopian 1ar, 23?@"4! ?4! In Greenwich! &he home o% Gwen O;Shaughnessy! ?6! In Aune 23?3 the +ritish submarine ' etis %ailed to sur%ace %rom its %irst di e immediately a%ter its launching! All the crew were drowned!

? 9+l( ! ! ! ! ! -umours in all today;s papers that +albo was actually bumped o%% by his own side, as in the case o% General on /ritsch!?5 =owadays when any eminent person is killed in battle this suggestion ine itably arises! #ases in the Spanish war were Eurruti?3 and General ,ola!<7 &he rumour about +albo is based on a statement by the -!A!/! that they know nothing about the air"%ight in which +albo is alleged to ha e been killed! I% this is a lie, as it well may be, it is one o% the %irst really good strokes the +ritish propaganda has brought o%%!
?5! General 1erner on /ritsch (2557"23?3), an old"guard member o% the German General Sta%% who ne er concealed his contempt %or Hitler! His death in action in 23?3 was always thought to ha e been engineered by Hitler! ?3! +uena entura Eurruti (2534"23?4), head o% the Spanish Anarchists at the beginning o% the #i il 1ar, a gunman who became a General and popular leader! Filled in the de%ence o% ,adrid, possibly by #ommunists! His %uneral ga e rise to a great popular demonstration in +arcelona!

<7! General ,ola (2556"23?6), an e$ual colleague o% /ranco under General San:ur:o, killed in the early stages o% the Spanish #i il 1ar be%ore the $uestion o% primacy with /ranco could arise!

3 9+l( E erywhere a %eeling o% something near despair among thinking people because o% the %ailure o% the Go ernment to act and the continuance o% dead minds and pro" /ascists in positions o% command! Growing recognition that the only thing that would certainly right the situation is an unsuccess%ul in asionJ and coupled with this a growing %ear that Hitler won;t a%ter all attempt the in asion but will go %or A%rica and the =ear East! @ 9+l( &he almost complete lack o% +ritish casualties in the action against the /rench warships at Oran makes it pretty clear that the /rench seamen must ha e re%used to ser e the guns, orat any rate did so without much enthusiasm! ! ! ! ! In spite o% the to"do in the papers about "/rench %leet out o% action" etc! etc!, it appears %rom the list o% ships actually gi en that about hal% the /rench na y is not accounted %or, and no doubt more than hal% the submarines! +ut how many ha e actually %allen into German or Italian hands, and how many are still on the oceans, there is nothing in the papers to show! ! ! ! ! &he %right%ul outburst o% %ury by the German radio (i% rightly reported, actually calling on the English people to hang #hurchill in &ra%algar S$uare) shows how right it was to make this mo e! ?0 9+l( &hey ha e disabled the /rench battleship &ic elie+, which was in Eakar harbour! +ut no mo e to sei9e any o% the /rench 1est A%rican ports, which no doubt are not strongly held! ! ! ! ! According to .ernon +artlett,<2 the Germans are going to make a peace o%%er along the lines I %oresaw earlier, i!e! England to keep out o% Europe but retain the Empire, and the #hurchill Go ernment to go out and be replaced by one acceptable to Hitler! &he presumption is that a %action an'ious to agree to this e'ists in England, and no doubt a shadow cabinet has been %ormed! It seems almost incredible that anyone should imagine that the mass o% the people would tolerate such an arrangement, unless they ha e been %ought to a standstill %irst! ! ! ! ! &he Euke o% 1indsor has been shipped o%% as Go ernor o% the +ahamas, irtually a sentence o% e'ile! ! ! ! !
<2! .ernon +artlett (253<" ), well"known liberal political :ournalist, %or many years on the News - ronicle where he reported on all the world crises connected with Hitler, ,ussolini and the /ar East!

&he book Gollanc9 has brought out, 4+ilt( !en, the usual "indictment" o% the ,unich crowd, is selling like hot cakes! According to 'ime, the American #ommunists are working hand in glo e with the local =a9is to pre ent American arms getting to

England! One can;t be sure how much local %reedom o% action the arious #ommunists ha e! &ill ery recently it appeared that they had none! O% late howe er they ha e sometimes pursued contradictory policies in di%%erent countries! It is possible that they are allowed to abandon the "line" when strict clinging to it would mean e'tinction! ?J 9+l( =o real news %or some days, e'cept the +ritish Go ernment;s semi"surrender to Aapan, i!e! the agreement to stop sending war supplies along the +urma road %or a stated period! &his howe er is not so de%inite that it could not be re oked by a subse$uent go ernment! /! thinks it is the +ritish Go ernment;s last e%%ort (i!e! the last e%%ort o% those with in estments in Hong Fong etc!) to appease Aapan, a%ter which they will be dri en into de%initely supporting #hina! It may be so! +ut what a way to do things "" ne er to per%orm a decent action until you are kicked into it and the rest o% the world has ceased to belie e that your moti es can possibly be honest! 1! says that the London "le%t" intelligentsia are now completely de%eatist, look on the situation as hopeless and all but wish %or surrender! How easy it ought to ha e been to %oresee, under their *opular /ront bawlings, that they would collapse when the real show began! >> 9+l( =o real news %or days past! &he principal e ent o% the moment is the pan" American con%erence, now :ust beginning, and the -ussian absorption o% the +altic states, which must be directed against Germany! #ripps;s wi%e and daughters are going to ,oscow, so e idently he e'pects a long stay there! Spain is said to be importing oil in large $uantities, ob iously %or German use, and we are not stopping it! ,uch hooey in the News - ronicle this morning about /ranco desiring to keep out o% war, trying to counter German in%luence etc! etc! ! ! ! ! It will be :ust as I said, /ranco will play up his pretence o% being pro"+ritish, this will be used as a reason %or handling Spain gently and allowing imports in any $uantity, and ultimately /ranco will come in on the German side! MO 9+l( =o news, really! ! ! ! !.arious people who ha e sent their children to #anada are already regretting it! ! ! ! ! #asualties i!e! %atal ones, %rom air raids %or last month were gi en out as about ?<7! I% true, this is substantially less than the number o% road deaths in the same period! ! ! ! !&he L!E!.!, now said to be 2,?77,777 strong, is stopping recruiting and is to be renamed the Home Guard! &here are rumours also that those acting as =!#!O!s are to be replaced by men %rom the regular army! &his seems to indicate either that the authorities are beginning to take the L!E!.! seriously as a %ighting %orce, or that they are a%raid o% it! &here are now rumours that Lloyd George is the potential *Mtain o% England! ! ! ! !

&he Italian press makes the same claim and says that L!G!;s silence pro es it true! It is o% course %airly easy to imagine L!G! playing this part out o% sheer spite and :ealousy because he has not been gi en a :ob, but much less easy to imagine him collaborating with the &ory cli$ue who would in %act be in %a our o% such a course! #onstantly, as I walk down the street, I %ind mysel% looking up at the windows to see which o% them would make good machine"gun nests! E! says it is the same with him! MN 9+l( &his e ening I saw a heron %lying o er +aker Street! +ut this is not so improbable as the thing I saw a week or two ago, i!e! a kestrel killing a sparrow in the middle o% Lord;s cricket ground! I suppose it is possible that the war, i!e! the diminution o% tra%%ic tends to increase bird li%e in inner London! &he little man whose name I always %orget used to know Aoyce,<> o% the split"o%% /ascist party, commonly credited with being Lord Haw"Haw! He says that Aoyce hated ,osley<? passionately and talked about him in the most unprintable language! ,osley being Hitler;s chie% supporter in England, it is interesting that he should employ Aoyce and not one o% ,osley;s men! &his bears out what +orkenau said, that Hitler does not want a too"strong /ascist party to e'ist in England! E idently the moti e is always to split, and e en to split the splitters! &he German press is attacking the *Mtain Go ernment, with what moti e is not absolutely certain, and so also are elements o% the /rench press under German control! Eoriot<< is o% course to the %ore here! It was a shock to me when the S+nda( 'imes also stated that the Germans in *aris are making use o% +ergery!<@ +ut I accept this with caution, knowing how these small dissident Le%t parties are habitually lied about by the -ight and the o%%icial Le%t alike!
<>! 1illiam Aoyce, known as Lord Haw"Haw supposedly %rom his way o% speaking, was an American citi9en who ne er ac$uired +ritish nationality, although he spent most o% his li%e in England and was a rabid nationalist! He became a /ascist %or whom Sir Oswald ,osley;s line was too mild! In August 23?3 he went to Germany and in 23<7 became a naturali9ed German! &hroughout the early part o% the war he broadcast propaganda to England %rom Germany! He was e'ecuted by the +ritish at the end o% the war! <?! Sir Oswald ,osley, +t (2534" ), politician, successi ely #onser ati e, Independent and Labour ,ember o% *arliament! In 23?2 he broke away %rom the Labour *arty to %orm the =ew *arty! Later he became %anatically pro"Hitler and turned his party into the +ritish Dnion o% /ascists! <<! Aac$ues Eoriot (2535"23<@), /rench politician who, %rom being a #ommunist, became a /ascist leader and acti e collaborator with the Germans! <@! Gaston +ergery, /rench de#+ti, an intellectual, who mo ed %rom the e'trame Le%t to the e'treme -ight and, a%ter the %all o% /rance, became a collaborator!

N A+g+st &he Italian attack on Egypt, or rather on +ritish Somaliland, has begun! =o real news yet, but the papers hint that Somaliland can;t be held with the troops we ha e there! &he important point is *erim, loss o% which would practically close the -ed Sea! H! G! 1ells knows #hurchill well and says that he is a good man, not mercenary and not e en a careerist! He has always li ed "like a -ussian commissar", "re$uisitions"

his motor cars etc!, but cares nothing about money! +ut """"" says #hurchill has a certain power o% shutting his eyes to %acts and has the weakness o% ne er wanting to let down a personal %riend, which accounts %or the non"sacking o% arious people! """"" has already made a considerable row about the persecution o% re%ugees! He considers that the centre o% all the sabotage is the 1ar O%%ice! He belie es that the :ailing o% anti"/ascist re%ugees is a per%ectly conscious piece o% sabotage based on the knowledge that some o% these people are in touch with underground mo ements in Europe and might at some moment be able to bring about a "+olshe ik" re olution, which %rom the point o% iew o% the go erning class is much worse than de%eat! He says that Lord S"""" is the man most to blame! I asked him did he think it was a conscious action on Lord """"";s part, this being always the hardest thing to decide! He said he belie ed Lord """"" knows per%ectly well what he is doing! &onight to a lecture with lantern slides by an o%%icer who had been in the Eunkirk campaign! .ery bad lecture! He said the +elgians %ought well and it was not true that they surrendered without warning (actually they ga e three days; warning), but spoke badly o% the /rench! He had one photograph o% a regiment o% Koua es in %ull %light a%ter looting houses, one man being dead drunk on the pa ement! @ A+g+st &he money situation is becoming completely unbearable! ! ! ! ! 1rote a long letter to the Income &a' people pointing out that the war had practically put an end to my li elihood while at the same time the go ernment re%used to gi e me any kind o% :ob! &he %act which is really rele ant to a writer;s position, the impossibility o% writing books with this nightmare going on, would ha e no weight o%%icially! ! ! ! ! &owards the go ernment I %eel no scruples and would dodge paying the ta' i% I could! Het I would gi e my li%e %or England readily enough, i% I thought it necessary! =o one is patriotic about ta'es! =o real news %or days past! Only air battles, in which, i% the reports are true, the +ritish always score hea ily! I wish I could talk to some -!A!/! o%%icer and get some kind o% idea whether these reports are truth%ul! ?J A+g+st &hings are e idently going badly in Somaliland, which is the %lanking operation in the attack on Egypt! Enormous air battles o er the #hannel, with, i% the reports are anywhere near the truth, stupendous German losses! E!g! about 2<@ were reported shot down yesterday! ! ! ! ! &he people in inner London could do with one real raid to teach them how to beha e! At present e eryone;s beha iour is %oolish in the e'treme, e erything e'cept transport being held up but no precautions taken! /or the %irst 2@ seconds there is great alarm, blowing o% whistles and shouts to children to go indoors, then people begin to congregate on the streets and ga9e e'pectantly at the sky! In the daytime people are apparently ashamed to go into the shelters till they hear the bombs! On &uesday and 1ednesday had two glorious days at 1allington!<4 =o newspapers and no mention o% the war! &hey were cutting the oats and we took ,ar'<6

out both days to help course the rabbits, at which ,ar' showed une'pected speed! &he whole thing took me straight back to my childhood, perhaps the last bit o% that kind o% li%e that I shall e er ha e!
<4! A illage in Hert%ordshire where Orwell had li ed since 23?4! <6! &he Orwells; dog!

?@ A+g+st A %eature o% the air raids is the e'treme credulity o% almost e eryone about damage done to distant places! George ,! arri ed recently %rom =ewcastle, which is generally belie ed here to ha e been seriously smashed about, and told us that the damage there was nothing to signi%y! On the other hand he arri ed e'pecting to %ind London knocked to pieces and his %irst $uestion on arri al was "whether we had had a ery bad time"! It is easy to see how people as %ar away as America can belie e that London is in %lames, England star ing etc! etc! And at the same time all this raises the presumption that our own raids on western Germany are much less damaging than is reported! M0 A+g+st &he papers are putting as good a %ace as possible upon the withdrawal %rom Somaliland, which is ne ertheless a serious de%eat, the %irst loss o% +ritish territory %or centuries! ! ! ! ! It;s a pity that the papers (at any rate the News - ronicle, the only one I ha e seen today) are so resolute in treating the news as good! &his might ha e been made the start o% another agitation which would ha e got some more o% the duds out o% the go ernment! #omplaints among the Home Guards, now that air raids are getting commoner, because sentries ha e no tin hats! E'planation %rom Gen! ,acnamara, who tells us that the regular army is still short o% ?77,777 tin hats "" this a%ter nearly a year o% war! >> A+g+st &he +ea erbrook press, compared with the headlines I saw on other papers, seems to be playing down the suggestion that &rotsky;s murder was carried out by the G!*!D! In %act today;s Evening Standard, with se eral separate items about &rotsky, didn;t mention this suggestion! =o doubt they still ha e their eye on -ussia and want to placate the -ussians at all costs, in spite o% Low;s<5 cartoons! +ut under this there may lie a much subtler manoeu re! &he men responsible %or the Evening Standard7s present pro"-ussian policy are no doubt shrewd enough to know that a *opular /ront "line" is not really the way to secure a -ussian alliance! +ut they also know that the mass o% le%tish opinion in England still takes it %or granted that a %ull anti"/ascist policy is the way to line up -ussia on our side! &o crack up -ussia is there%ore a way o% pushing public opinion le%tward! It is curious that I always attribute these de ious moti es to other people, being anything

but cunning mysel% and %inding it hard to use indirect methods e en when I see the need %or them!
<5! Ea id Low (2532"234?), Ft, 234>, a political cartoonist o% le%t"wing iews who worked %irst %or the Evening Standard and later %or the !anc ester 4+ardian.

&oday in *ortman S$uare saw a %our"wheeler cab, in $uite good trim, with a good horse and a cabman $uite o% the pre"232< type! M3 A+g+st &his morning an air"raid warning about ? a!m! Got up, looked at the time, then %elt unable to do anything and promptly went to sleep again! &hey are talking o% re"arranging the alarm system, and they will ha e to do so i% they are to pre ent e ery alarm %rom costing thousands o% pounds in wasted time, lost sleep etc! &he %act that at present the alarm sounds all o er a wide area when the German planes are only operating in one part o% it, means not only that people are unnecessarily woken up or taken away %rom work, but that an impression is spread that an air"raid alarm will alwa(s be %alse, which is ob iously dangerous! Ha e got my Home Guard uni%orm, a%ter >T months! Last night to a lecture by General """"", who is in command o% about a $uarter o% a million men! He said he had been <2 years in the army! 1as through the /landers campaign, and no doubt limogD %or incompetence! Eilating on the Home Guard being a static de%ensi e %orce, he said contemptuously and in a rather marked way that he saw no use in our practising taking co er, "crawling about on our stomachs", etc! etc! e idently as a hit at the Osterley *ark training school!<3 Our :ob, he said, was to die at our posts! 1as also great on bayonet practice, and hinted that regular army ranks, saluting, etc!, were to be introduced shortly! ! ! ! ! &hese wretched old +limps, so ob iously silly and senile, and so degenerate in e erything e'cept physical courage, are merely pathetic in themsel es, and one would %eel rather sorry %or them i% they were not hanging round our necks like millstones! &he attitude o% the rank and %ile at these would"be pep"talks "" so an'ious to be enthusiastic, so ready to cheer and laugh at the :okes, and yet all the time hal% %eeling that there is something wrong "" always strikes me as pathetic! &he time has almost arri ed when one will only ha e to :ump up on the plat%orm and tell them how they are being wasted and how the war is being lost, and by whom, %or them to rise up and sho el the +limps into the dustbin! 1hen I watch them listening to one o% these asinine talks, I always remember that passage in Samuel +utler;s Notebooks about a young cal% he once saw eating dung! It could not $uite make up its mind whether it liked the stu%% or not, and all it needed was some e'perienced cow to gi e it a prod with her horn, a%ter which it would ha e remembered %or li%e that dung is not good to eat!
<3! A training centre %or the Home Guard, %ounded and run by &om 1intringham with Hugh (Humphrey) Slater, where they taught guerilla war%are and street %ighting based on their e'periences in the International +rigade during the Spanish #i il 1ar!

It occurred to me yesterday, how will the -ussian state get on without &rotskyI Or

the #ommunists elsewhereI *robably they will be %orced to in ent a substitute! MJ A+g+st (Greenwich!) &he raid which occurred on the ><th was the %irst real raid on London so %ar as I am concerned, i!e! the %irst in which I could hear the bombs! 1e were watching at the %ront door when the East India docks were hit! =o mention o% the docks being hit in Sunday;s papers, so e idently they do conceal it when important ob:ecti es are hit! ! ! ! ! It was a loudish bang but not alarming and ga e no impression o% making the earth tremble, so e idently these are not ery large bombs that they are dropping! I remember the two big bombs that dropped near Huesca when I was in the hospital at ,on%lorite! &he %irst, $uite < kilometres away, made a terri%ic roar that shook the houses and sent us all %leeing out o% our beds in alarm! *erhaps that was a >,777 lb! KsicL bomb and the ones at present being dropped are @77 lb! ones! ! ! M@ A+g+st Air"raid alarms during the last ? nights ha e totalled about 24"25 hours %or the three nights! ! ! ! ! It is per%ectly clear that these night raids are intended chie%ly as a nuisance, and as long as it is taken %or granted that at the sound o% the siren e eryone must di e %or the shelter, Hitler only needs to send his planes o er hal%"a"do9en at a time to hold up work and rob people o% sleep to an inde%inite e'tent! Howe er, this idea is already wearing o%%! ! ! ! ! /or the %irst time in >7 years I ha e o erheard bus conductors losing their tempers, and being rude to passengers! E!g! the other night, a oice out o% the darknessG " ;Oo;s conducting this bus, lady, me or youI" It took me straight back to the end o% the last war! ! ! ! ! ! E! and I ha e paid the minimum o% attention to raids and I was honestly under the impression that they did not worry me at all e'cept because o% the disorgani9ation, etc!, that they cause! &his morning, howe er, putting in a couple o% hours; sleep as I always do when returning %rom guard duty, I had a ery disagreeable dream o% a bomb dropping near me and %rightening me out o% my wits! #%! the dream I used to ha e towards the end o% our time in Spain, o% being on a grass bank with no co er and mortar shells dropping round me! 3? A+g+st Air"raid warnings, o% which there are now hal% a do9en or thereabouts e ery >< hours, becoming a great bore! Opinion spreading rapidly that one ought simply to disregard the raids e'cept when they are known to be big"scale ones and in one;s own area! O% the people strolling in -egent;s *ark, I should say at least hal% pay no attention to a raid warning! ! ! ! ! Last night :ust as we were going to bed, a pretty hea y e'plosion! Later in the night woken up by a tremendous crash, said to be caused by a bomb in ,aida .ale! E! and I merely remarked on the loudness and %ell asleep again! /alling asleep, with

a ague impression o% anti"aircra%t guns %iring, %ound mysel% mentally back in the Spanish war, on one o% those nights when you had good straw to sleep on, dry %eet, se eral hours; rest ahead o% you, and the sound o% distant gun%ire, which acts as a sopori%ic pro ided it is distant! ? Se#tember -ecently bought a %orage cap! ! ! ! ! It seems that %orage caps o er si9e 6 are a great rarity! E idently they e'pect all soldiers to ha e small heads! &his tallies with the remark made by some higher"up to -!-!@7 in *aris when he tried to :oin the army "" "Good God, you don;t suppose we want intelligent men in the %ront line, do youI" All the Home Guard uni%orms are made with >7"inch necks! ! ! ! ! Shops e erywhere are beginning to cash in on the Home Guard, khaki shirts etc! being displayed at %antastic prices with notices "Suitable %or the Home Guard"! Aust as in +arcelona, in the early days when it was %ashionable to be in the militia!
@7! -ichard -ees!

3 Se#tember Hesterday talking with ,rs #! who had recently come back %rom #ardi%%! -aids there ha e been almost continuous, and %inally it was decided that work in the docks must continue, raids or no raids! Almost immediately a%terwards a German plane managed to drop a bomb straight into the hold o% a ship, and according to ,rs #! the remains o% se en men working there "had to be brought up in pails"! Immediately there was a dock strike, a%ter which they had to go back to the practice o% taking co er! &his is the sort o% thing that does not get into the papers! It is now stated on all sides that the casualties in the most recent raids, e!g! at -amsgate, ha e been o%%icially minimi9ed, which greatly incenses the locals, who do not like to read about "negligible damage" when 277 people ha e been killed, etc! etc! Shall be interested to see the %igures %or casualties %or this month, i!e! August! I should say that up to about >,777 a month they would tell the truth, but would co er it up %or %igures o er that! ,ichael estimates that in his clothing %actory, e idently a small indi idually owned a%%air, time lost in air raids cost P@7 last week! 6 Se#tember Air"raid alarms now %re$uent enough, and lasting long enough, %or people habitually to %orget whether the alarm is on at the moment, or whether the All #lear has sounded! =oise o% bombs and gun%ire, e'cept when ery close (which probably means within two miles) now accepted as a normal background to sleep or con ersation! I ha e still not heard a bomb go o%% with the sort o% bang that makes you %eel you are personally in ol ed! In #hurchill;s speech, number killed in air raids during August gi es us 2,76@!

E en i% truth%ul, probably a large understatement as it includes only ci ilian casualties! ! ! ! ! &he secreti eness o%%icially practised about raids is e'traordinary! &oday;s papers report that a bomb %ell in a s$uare "in central London"! Impossible to %ind out which s$uare it was, though thousands o% people must know! ?0 Se#tember #an;t write much o% the insanities o% the last %ew days! It is not so much that the bombing is worrying in itsel% as that the disorgani9ation o% tra%%ic, %re$uent di%%iculty o% telephoning, shutting o% shops whene er there is a raid on etc! etc!, combined with the necessity o% getting on with one;s ordinary work, wear one out and turn li%e into a constant scramble to catch up lost time! ! ! &he delayed"action bombs are a great nuisance, but they appear to be success%ul in locating most o% them and getting all the neighbouring people out until the bomb shall ha e e'ploded! All o er South London, little groups o% disconsolate"looking people wandering about with suitcases and bundles, either people who ha e been rendered homeless or, in more cases, who ha e been turned out by the authorities because o% an une'ploded bomb! ! ! ! ! ,ost o% last night in the public shelter, ha ing been dri en there by recurrent whistle and crash o% bombs not ery %ar away at inter als o% about a $uarter o% an hour! /right%ul discom%ort owing to o er"crowding, though the place was well"appointed, with electric light and %ans! *eople, mostly elderly working class, grousing bitterly about the hardness o% the seats and the longness o% the night, but no de%eatist talk! ! ! ! ! *eople are now to be seen e ery night about dusk $ueuing up at the doors o% the shelters with their bedding! &hose who come in %irst grab places on the %loor and probably pass a reasonably good night! Eay raids apart, the raiding hours are pretty regularly 5 p!m! to <!?7 a!m! i!e! dusk to :ust be%ore dawn! I should think ? months o% continuous raids at the same intensity as the last < nights would break down e eryone;s morale! +ut it is doubt%ul whether anyone could keep up the attack on such a scale %or ? months, especially when he is su%%ering much the same himsel%! ?M Se#tember As soon as the air raids began seriously, it was noticeable that people were much readier than be%ore to talk to strangers in the street! ! ! ! ! &his morning met a youth o% about >7, in dirty o eralls, perhaps a garage hand! .ery embittered and de%eatist about the war, and horri%ied by the destruction he had seen in South London! He said that #hurchill had isited the bombed area near the Elephant and at a spot where >7 out o% >> houses had been destroyed, remarked that it was "not so bad"! &he youthG "I;d ha e wrung his bloody neck i% he;d said it to me!" He was pessimistic about the war, considered Hitler was sure to win and would reduce London to much the same state as 1arsaw! He spoke bitterly about the people rendered homeless in South London and eagerly took up my point when I said the empty houses in the 1est End should be re$uisitioned %or them! He

considered that all wars were %ought %or the pro%it o% the rich, but agreed with me that this one would probably end in re olution! 1ith all this, he was not unpatriotic! *art o% his grouch was that he had tried to :oin the Air /orce < times in the last si' months, and always been put o%%! &onight and last night they ha e been trying the new de ice o% keeping up a continuous A!A! barrage, apparently %iring blind or merely by sound, though I suppose there is some kind o% sound"detector which estimates the height at which they must make the shells burst! ! ! ! ! &he noise is tremendous and almost continuous, but I don;t mind it, %eeling it to be on my side! Spent last night in Stephen Spender;s place with a battery %iring in the s$uare at short inter als through the night! Slept through it easily enough, no bombs being audible in that place! &he ha oc in the East End and South London is terrible, by all accounts! ! ! ! ! #hurchill;s speech last night re%erred ery seriously to danger o% imminent in asion! I% in asion is actually attempted and this is not a %eint, the idea is presumably either to knock out our air bases along the South #oast, a%ter which the ground de%ences can be well bombed, at the same time causing all possible con%usion in London and its southward communications, or to draw as much as possible o% our de%ensi e %orces south be%ore deli ering the attack on Scotland or possibly Ireland! ,eanwhile our platoon o% Home Guards, a%ter ?T months, ha e about 2 ri%le %or 4 men, no other weapons e'cept incendiary bombs, and perhaps 2 uni%orm %or < men! A%ter all, they ha e stood out against letting the ri%les be taken home by indi idual men! &hey are all parked in one place, where a bomb may destroy the whole lot o%