In most places and most of the time, liberty is not a product of military action. Rather, it is something alive that grows or diminishes every day, in how we think and communicate, how we treat each other in our public discourse, in what we value and reward as a society, and how we do that.
- Thomas E. Ricks, Churchill & Orwell: The Fight for Freedom
He would leave Spain resolved to oppose the abuse of power at both ends of the political spectrum. After Spain, observed the literary critic Hugh Kenner, he would be “a leftist at odds with the official left.” “It is unfortunate that so few people in England have yet caught up with the fact that Communism is now a counter-revolutionary force,” Orwell wrote in 1937.
The leaders of the Tory Party felt [in the 1930s] that as part of keeping Hitler mollified, Churchill must be excluded from a position of leadership.
“I hope that it is not too late. I am very much afraid that it is. We can only do our best.”
The fact of the matter is that Orwell was always tin eared about Jews. During World War II, Orwell would write extensively against anti-Semitism, but in the course of doing so he failed to reexamine his own writings of the previous decade. After the war, he had surprisingly little to say about the Holocaust....”
Orwell saw that people might become slaves of the state, but he did not foresee that they might also become something else that would horrify him—products of corporations, data resources to be endlessly mined and peddled elsewhere. He would no doubt have been a powerful critic of such things.