Society and Culture

Orwell’s Utopian Error

Christopher Snowdon writes for The Spectator

IEA Head of Lifestyle Economics Christopher Snowdon has written for The Spectator discussing You Do Not Exist, his new introduction to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Christopher wrote:

“Orwell could clearly see the dangers of socialism, but since he believed that capitalism was doomed and socialism was the only game in town, he had to believe that these dangers could be avoided and that his own brand of libertarian collectivism could prevail. And so he reached for the same comforting explanation for Big Brother’s tyranny as he had for the Bolsheviks’ – that they were bad actors from the outset and had never really believed in socialism.

“Up to a point, this was fair enough. In 1948, communism was still an n=1 experiment. It was still possible to believe that economic liberty could be divorced from civil liberty. The question is whether Orwell would have changed his mind if he had lived to see what took place beneath the hammer and sickle in China, North Korea, East Germany, Albania, Romania, Venezuela, Cuba and many other countries in the twentieth century. The answer, of course, is that we don’t know. My belief is that he would.”

Read Christopher’s full piece here.

Read a full copy of You Do Not Exist: an Introduction to Nineteen Eighty-Four.

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