In a work where there exists a strong expression of partisan support for the ‘Socialism’ of International Marxism; it is natural for those of us well versed in the pernicious reality of that ideology to cast doubts as to the value of this work.
Such doubts on the value of this book as a read however, can be rapidly dispelled when one considers the effectiveness of left wing propaganda in inoculating ignorance into someone of George Orwell’s character and background. With this I refer to the delayed response to reality which afflicts the character of many people imbued with a moralistic sense of purpose that sadly often has a tendency to place abstract ideas before real life practicalities.
Orwell’s descriptions of hardship, misery and further injustices of a liberal capitalist system are a historical document to be treasured in our national literature. Orwell’s vivid descriptions are also a testament to the failures of International Socialism embodied in the Labour Party’s periods in office during the 1920’s. The ‘International Socialism’ of that movement offered a revolution in our national life that would correct the injustices of liberal capitalism in this country; these hopes were betrayed.
The reality of any Socialism, in the correct definition of redistributing the wealth of a community in order to correct extremes of wealth which are considered unjust, is that the driving sense of justice cannot be hazy and abstract. It is impossible for instance to protect the working class of a nation by believing in internationalism. When we consider the different standard of living in different countries, by agitating for ‘equality,’ all that is achieved is that one nation’s working class has its standard of living reduced, all for the pursuit of an impractical dogma that all peoples should be on the same economic level.
Furthermore any political movement that wishes to guarantee a fair economic principle along the lines of what we have discussed; has to in the least accept, and preferably venerate the reality of a distinct community competing for its interest in the world. A common argument by Leftists against Nationalism is that it apparently divides communities and in this sense is a means to compromise the interests of the working class.
This of course is typical Leftist doublespeak (something which the author under review here takes credit for giving literary form). Communities are divided by natural factors such as culture, language, religion and last but not least the instinct to racially discriminate in favour of one’s own community. The idea that these can be rejected or purged is of course a fallacy given the considerable degree of behaviour that is derived from the subconscious and inheritance. Whether such a purge is desirable is of course a question many would answer in the negative, this is why political correctness has adopted such subtle means.
Without understanding these factors that terminate the value of the word Socialist in reference to Marxism, it is impossible to gauge the irrelevance and largely mystical belief that Marxist Socialism has somehow ever had as its end objective the advancement of the working class of a nation.
George Orwell in The Road to Wigan Pier is ignorant of these realities but this is no means to dismiss him instantly. The propaganda of the far left is very effective in appealing to a pseudo-moralist instinct, something that first had the ascendancy in England with the advent of liberalism in the late eighteenth century.
For example, the left may claim to advance liberty, may claim to advance working class conditions, yet when one has the capacity to observe the practical effects of their ideology and the realist aspect of who financially supports their movements; it is clear to the independent thinker that these are a facade in a ruthless quest for power. This vulnerability for incredulously accepting words and euphemisms for the hard substance of reality is something that has dogged this country for many years.
We only have to look at the justifications of the barbarities of the early Industrial Revolution, the blind belief in pacificism in the 1930’s and today this idea that a multicultural society has this virtue of ‘tolerance’.
Orwell regurgitates the prejudices of the Left when he considers Fascism to be a form of “hysterical nationalism”; as if to say any patriotic attempt at national rule is automatically psychotic and delusional when the reality is to the opposite: International government as ‘liberty’ and ‘peace’ is delusional.
An interesting passage is when Orwell refers to a Fascist takeover of Britain as:
“Not necessarily speaking of Oswald Mosley and his pimpled followers.”
It is unlikely that Orwell could overcome his prejudices, allowing to objectively consider the Guild Socialism promoted by the British Union of Fascists, or perhaps consider Mosley’s heavy involvement with the Labour Party and his reasons for rejecting international socialism.
Mosley’s resignation from the Labour Party indicted the International Socialism of the Left as being ultimately incapable of building a country which the sacrifices of the Great War generation deserved. As such then, Orwell tacitly accepted the genuinely Socialist, according to the theory we have outlined above, principles of what was British Fascism.
This draws us to Orwell’s greatest error in ‘Wigan Pier’ which is his ignorance over the horrendous crimes committed by Marxist Socialism in Russia. In the middle of a sentence he admits to “know nothing” about post-revolutionary Russia and consequently of the barbarities of that regime. Presumably he knows a lot about Italy and Germany and their Fascist regimes which he deplores.
He has no comments about the blood stained floors of the Cheka’s many execution houses, no comments about the millions who died in the concentration camps and the hundreds of thousands who froze to death during the construction of the White Sea canal.
As such at this stage of his literary career (1937) he was in no position to derive a fair judgement of the movements that opposed Marxist internationalism.
Arriving at the merits of the work, it would appear given Orwell’s common aims with what existed as ‘British Fascism’ at that time. Orwell can be said to have had the object of integrating his vision of Socialism within our national identity. Orwell’s view of Socialism is one which the principle of “justice calling for the overthrow of tyranny” predominates over the theoretical haranguing of Marxism.
In other words he rejected Marxism in place of a ‘down to earth’ approach to life, an approach that fully embraces English concepts of justice and taste. This vision of integrating social justice with our values as an organic community is thoroughly Nationalist.
Orwell’s awareness of the twisted nature of many of Marxism’s adherents is an invaluable insight into a major reason why that ideology is often responsible for the worst atrocities and restriction of natural freedoms:
“Sometimes I look at a Socialist- the intellectual, tract writing type of Socialist, with his pullover, his fuzzy hair and his Marxist quotation and wonder what the devil his motive really is. It is difficult to believe it is a love of anybody, especially of the working class from whom he is of all people the most removed.”
Orwell of course, in keeping with the prejudices he has developed from leftist propaganda, fails to realise that the reasons for this general unsoundness of character is the basis of an ideology that rejects human nature. I am not just talking about the obvious suppression of human faculties, but the belief that human history can be ended.
The belief nothing else than economic matters motivates us and that all races have similar values and destinies once everything is reduced solely to economic matters.
Orwell’s understanding of Fascism is that it reflects a reactionary opposition to advancing the interests of the working class.
This of course doesn’t consider that Marxism has always existed as an international capitalist supported dialectic means to worker suppression through the power of the state, a means to use their propaganda of advancing working class interests to suppress those very interests.
The application of Marxist theory into practice requires a process of state centralisation. The consequence is that every means of economic production becomes the property of the state. But who owns the state? Who has supported the advancement of the so-called Marxist Socialist ‘revolutionaries’ into power? An excellent book on this topic has been written by the New Zealander Kerry Bolton: Revolution from Above available from Arktos Media™.
Later on in the book Orwell displays the qualities that would later go on to form the foundation of 1984. Here he refers to the utopia of the Marxian Socialist revolution:
“As for such qualities as loyalty, generosity, etc, in a world where nothing went wrong, they would be not only irrelevant but probably unimaginable.”
This is a sound warning against a totalitarianism that ignores the human aspect to history, an ideology that seeks to kill the historical aspect through simplifying everything to a dimension of economics.
A humorous passage reflects on attacks on William Shakespeare by a writer in The Daily Worker, which when challenged with passages from Karl Marx that supported Shakespeare, were withdrawn as if Marx’s writings were some sort of Gospel of life.
If one considers Orwell’s definition of ‘Fascism’ to be the cruel reality of Marxism which he has ignored, one reads his statements of Socialism to in effect mean a Nationalism that embraces every one of its members to ensure natural principles of justice are enforced; then in The Road to Wigan Pier, Nationalism has yet another ideological forbear with influence in the mainstream.
Nationalists can easily separate the realities from the ideological fantasies, and apportion to ourselves the moralistic blessing which George Orwell has mistakenly bestowed on International Socialism.
* Andrew Holden is the author of Nationalism versus Globalism, the sensational new handbook for British nationalism, further details of which are obtainable here.