George Orwell

Charles Dickens - George Orwell

George Orwell and Charles Dickens

George Orwell's 1940 essay on Charles Dickens.

Parables of big brother - Robert Kurz

Robert Kurz discusses the “implicit” “subtexts” of the great dystopian literature of the 20th century and reveals the “internalized constraints” of “the anonymous, ‘reified’ character of [the] totalitarianism” of our time, in which “the Voice of Big Brother is the voice of the Anonymous World Market”, the “most totalitarian of all systems”, and “the subjective command centers are … the executive organs of an autonomized mechanism” ruled by “the irrational end-in-itself of the ‘interminable valorization of value’” whose “ideal is the self-surveillance and self-control of the individual entrepreneur ‘by way of his capitalist superego’”.

Rebellion and conservatism: the lessons of 1984 - Jean-Claude Michéa

A transcript of a 1995 talk in which Michéa discusses the continuing relevance of the ideas of the self-proclaimed “tory anarchist”, George Orwell, featuring: Orwell’s concepts of “generous anger” and “common decency”; the moral bankruptcy of the “totalitarian intellectuals” whose desire for power was rooted in resentment; the left’s disastrous “uncritical approval” of “the mechanization” and “unlimited modernization of the world”; and concludes the talk with a call for a “critical conservatism”, which Michéa characterizes as “one of the necessary pillars for any radical critique of supermodernity and the synthetic ways of life” it is imposing on us.

"Preface" to Impasse Adam Smith - Jean-Claude Michéa

A provocative introductory essay by the author of Impasse Adam Smith that maintains that the Left, “which has always presented itself … as the sole legitimate heir of Enlightenment philosophy”, with its “religion of ‘Progress’”, “nourished on exactly the same philosophical sources as modern liberalism”, is not only alien to the spirit of the original socialism of the early 19th century, but is also intrinsically incapable of constituting a real challenge to contemporary capitalism, and that “the requirements of a coherent battle against the liberal utopia … render a radical break with the intellectual imaginary of the Left politically necessary”.

The road to Wigan Pier - George Orwell

Orwell's examinations of the conditions for the working class in the north of England prior to World War Two and how he became a socialist.

The freedom of the press - George Orwell

George Orwell's original preface to Animal Farm about unofficial censorship of the press in the UK, a supposedly "democratic" country. In a shocking bit of Orwellian irony, this preface is unofficially censored from almost all print editions of the book.

Keep the aspidistra flying - George Orwell

Not wanting to be concerned with money or a safe life typified by a house with an aspidistra plant, a copywriter quits his job to become an artist.

Down and out in Paris and London - George Orwell

Tramping memoirs from Orwell, where he worked in Paris as a dishwasher and then travelled around London, going from one bedsit to another.

Animal Farm, a fairy story - George Orwell

Erroneously considered a damning of collectivism, Orwell's allegorical fantasy is a critique of the Bolshevist and Stalinist regimes set on a farm as animals attempt to create a society.

1984 - George Orwell

A world with constant surveillance, perpetual war and a militarised police state, George Orwell's most famous novel was a warning against totalitarian governments, all the more relevant now then when it was written.