Orwell and the intelligencia

Andrew Sullivan:

"ORWELL ON WAR CRITICS: "It is, I think, true to say that the intelligentsia have been more wrong about the progress of the war than the common people, and that they were more swayed by partisan feelings. The average intellectual of the Left believed, for instance, that the war was lost in 1940, that the Germans were bound to overrun Egypt in 1942, that the Japanese would never be driven out of the lands they had conquered, and that the Anglo-American bombing offensive was making no impression on Germany. He could believe these things because his hatred for the British ruling class forbade him to admit that British plans could succeed. There is no limit to the follies that can be swallowed if one is under the influence of feelings of this kind. I have heard it confidently stated, for instance, that the American troops had been brought to Europe not to fight the Germans but to crush an English revolution. One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool." - from Notes on Nationalism. It's a helpful quote when slogging through yet another left-liberal column on why we can't win in Iraq."

". . .SO WHY CARE? So why bother with these extremists? Because it seems to me that the far left anti-war message, misguided before the war, is close to obscene today, and tells us something about what we're up against. Before the war, these people claimed they weren't pro-Saddam; they were just pro-peace. But now that the Iraqi people have the first chance in living memory to have a decent, pluralist and democratic country, these demonstrators want to abandon them to chaos, terror, civil war and a possible new dictatorship. The only connective thread in this movement is hatred of the United States. . . . It's now that we can see what really lay behind the activist core of the "peace movement": not peace but hatred of the West; not democracy, but alliance with dictators, terrorists and Islamo-fascism. Here's a prediction: the fledgling links now forged between left-wing anti-war campaigners and Islamo-fascism will get stronger in the years ahead. The anti-globalization far left has nowhere else to go. Fanatical political Islam provides them with an over-arching structure for the loathing of the West. Now that Marxism is dead and post-modernism has shown itself inept as a basis for a real political movement, Islam will fill the void."

Sullivan is at his best today. Read his whole blog.

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