I am not, as I once was, a fool for George Orwell. He was a very good, very solid prose writer, courageous when it counted, and honest – though I would now say only “reasonably honest” – in his published oeuvre. He genuinely “believed” in politics, and lacked spiritual depth. Curiously, this is what kept him honest: a raw sense of justice whose underpinnings he never examined.
A wonderful product of elite British schools and far-flung Empire, I have often thought he only pretended to be a “democratic socialist;” that at heart he was neither democratic nor socialist. Once he even