[Marxism] Re: Hitchens and Orwell

Prem K Govindaswamy govi0006 at umn.edu
Thu Oct 27 18:08:08 MDT 2005

To be honest, I'm not as familiar with Orwell's works as I should be, but
I'll add my two cents. The people on this list have done a good job
differentiating a Trotsky communist critique of Orwell and an imperialist
capitalist critique of Orwell. However, since the original purpose seems to
be to understand the pathology of Christopher Hitchens. In that regard, my
intial hunch would be that the organization he was originally in, the
British SWP, probably plays more of a role in his opportunism than does
Orwell. It would seem that Orwell, regardless of his actual orientation, is
just a cheap ploy for Hitchens wave around. To me, Hitchens opportunism
stems from the SWP(UK)'s Cliffist policy of not supporting degenerated and
deformed workers states. This policy seems like a way to weedle out of
solidarity with movements that are less than perfect, using a gigantic
perversion of Leon Trotsky's ideas as an excuse. The reason the Cliffist
would want to weedle out of solidarity with less than perfect mov'ts would
be to have the mantle of a radical, without actually offending bourgeouis
sentiments in a society, which is the definition of opportunism. I don't
know to what extent Orwell and the SWP(UK)/ISO influenced each other, but
it would be interesting to find out.  

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