[Marxism] Mangling the Issues: Callinicos, “Leninism,” and Austerity

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jan 31 06:10:42 MST 2013

On 1/31/13 3:26 AM, Ed George wrote:

Ed neglected to mention that this was from George Orwell's "Politics and 
the English Language".

> 'In our time it is broadly true that political writing is bad writing.
> Where it is not true, it will generally be found that the writer is some
> kind of rebel, expressing his private opinions and not a ‘party line’.
> Orthodoxy, of whatever colour, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative
> style. The political dialects to be found in pamphlets, leading
> articles, manifestos, White papers and the speeches of undersecretaries
> do, of course, vary from party to party, but they are all alike in that
> one almost never finds in them a fresh, vivid, homemade turn of speech.
> When one watches some tired hack on the platform mechanically repeating
> the familiar phrases [...] one often has a curious feeling that one is
> not watching a live human being but some kind of dummy: a feeling which
> suddenly becomes stronger at moments when the light catches the
> speaker's spectacles and turns them into blank discs which seem to have
> no eyes behind them. And this is not altogether fanciful. A speaker who
> uses that kind of phraseology has gone some distance toward turning
> himself into a machine. The appropriate noises are coming out of his
> larynx, but his brain is not involved, as it would be if he were
> choosing his words for himself. If the speech he is making is one that
> he is accustomed to make over and over again, he may be almost
> unconscious of what he is saying, as one is when one utters the
> responses in church. And this reduced state of consciousness, if not
> indispensable, is at any rate favourable to political conformity.'

More information about the Marxism mailing list