11/12/2017 by socialistfight
“Of course, his was the stand-point of a “decent English gentleman,” he did become an MI5 informer and Animal Farm is an anti-communist “human nature” rejection of all aspirations for universal human liberation from exploitation; hence its place on so many school curriculums.”
Statue To A Turncoat
12 NOV 2017 Sunday posted by Morning Star in Features
JEFF SAWTELL is unimpressed by a new effigy of George Orwell outside BBC Broadcasting House
SYNCRETIC or not, the BBC erecting an egregious effigy dedicated to its in-house MI5 operative who invented “Newspeak” could not be more apposite as it continues to churn out propaganda for the new cold war order.
That’s right, outside the place he claimed to revile and considered “too left-wing” is a nine-foot statue of George Orwell brandishing a cigarette, hand on hip, as if he’s going to fire off an acerbic witticism.
You might imagine him as Oscar Wilde, a real revolutionary, republican writer who was imprisoned for the cardinal sin of having a homosexual relationship with the son of the Marquess of Queensberry and singing songs of love for socialism in Reading Jail.
Sadly, the former colonial copper was more inclined to kiss the arse of the Establishment because, when push came to shove, he backed his betters before he’d grovel with guttersnipes.
Otherwise known as Eric Blair so he could stay incognito when mixing with the masses, he provided the other Blair with an ideal formula borrowed from that nazi fellow — rely on the Big Lie when all else fails.
Despite that, Orwell’s character Winston Smith in 1984 was unable to stay true to anybody, including himself.
When faced with his most dreaded fears, honesty went out the window and he was grassing up friends, families and colleagues before Senator Joe McCarthy invented it.
Remember, no matter the invented chronology, Orwell worked for the Ministry of Information and the BBC from 1940 to compose anti-fascist copy, only to write a short novelette attacking our Soviet allies published one week before the end of the war.
So, although, he claims to have left the BBC in 1943 as he couldn’t bear “wasting time and the public money on doing work that produces no results,” he was actually a traitor giving aid and succour to the enemy.
ARTS: MS November 16
I’m disappointed to read yet another rather bitter criticism of George Orwell in the Morning Star (November 13).
Orwell was heavily influenced by his experiences and the excesses of Stalin in Spain. “He was also horrified, as were most socialists, by the humiliation and execution of most of the original Bolsheviks.
Wrongly, in my view, he went to that other enemy. But the prejudice of some from the old traditions of British communism must not cloud the fact that he was an acute observer of his time and is still read by millions, often in schools.
Republicans Saw Stalin as a hero and Soviets as Allies
WHEN describing the Soviet Union’s role in the Spanish civil war and George Orwell’s reaction to it, Philip Chambers (M Star November 16) trots out a familiar ultra-leftist chestnut.
Phi! should remember that the Soviet Union provided the Spanish republicans with state-of-the-art weaponry and, through the Comintern, organised the International Brigade’s 40,000 volunteers to join the fight against Franco’s fascist forces, supported as they were by the military might of Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy.
The republican rank and file saw Stalin as a hero and the Soviet people as staunch allies in the struggle to defend their national independence against the threat of fascist militarism.
This is confirmed by Spain’s Socialist prime minister Juan Negrin, who warmly thanked the Soviet
Union for its unstinting solidarity in a speech to the League of Nations.
In relation to Stalin’s alleged excesses in Spain, Phil is.probably referring to the crackdown on those forces within the republican movement which staged a counter-revolutionary putch against the Catalonian government.
Here the Trotskyist Poum and dissident anarchists turned their weapons against the republican side at a time when the loyalist forces were engaged in a life and death struggle against the fascists.
This uprising was swiftly put down by Negrin’s government with the full approval of all sections of Spain’s popular front movement.
There were excesses on both sides during the war. There always are in these situations. But they were home-grown and had little to do with the Soviet Union.
Orwell’s account of events in Spain is now widely recognised as naive, often dishonest, inaccurate, as well as being politically inept and partisan. Authors like Vinas, Spain’s leading authority on the civil war, Paul Preston and Raymond Carr (not a communist among them) have attested to this.
Socialist Revolution was the only way to victory Morning Star 25-26 November
TOM SILBY is right, (many) republicans saw Stalin as a hero and Soviets as allies (M Star November 20). They were mistaken. Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia was a truthful eye- witness account of revolution and counter-revolution.
Of course, his was the stand-point of a “decent English gentleman,” he did become an MI5 informer and Animal Farm is an anti-communist “human nature” rejection of all aspirations for universal human liberation from exploitation; hence its place on so many school curriculums.
But the execution of all the original Bolsheviks by Stalin at the same time is no lie nor is the role of Italian communist leader Palmiro Togliatti and others in destroying that revolution and slaughtering the Spanish Bolsheviks too. The Republic was not cold in its grave when Stalin signed his infamous pact with Hitler in August 1939, which caused Harry Pollitt so much heartache. Negotiating with imperialism just doesn’t work, Martin Rogan reminds us in the same Morning Star.
The Communist Party of Spain charged that Trotskyists, POUMists (not the same) and anarchists did not care which side won the civil war. Franco’s slogan was: “What does the Republic give you to eat?” Revolutionists answered: “The workers must win the war but the policy of the Comintern and Stalin is the surest way of losing the revolution.”
Tom refers to the “counter-revolutionary putsch against the Catalonian government” (the 1937 Barcelona May Days). Twenty years before in April 1917 one VI Lenin proposed such a “putsch” and faced down the Tom Silbys of his day, Kamenev, Stalin and Zinoviev. He won that argument and so the great October Revolution triumphed. Socialist revolution was the only possible way to assure victory in Russia 1917 and Spain in 1937.
GERRY DOWNING London NW2
Ultra-left adventurism could only help Franco 6 December
Gerry Downing’s letter (M Star November 25) describes George Orwell’s- Homage to Catalonia as a truthful eyewitness account of the Spanish civil war. He goes on to state that Spanish Bolsheviks were slaughtered by Comintern agents.
Let’s look at the facts Within a year of finishing the book, in which he castigates the communists and praises the Trotskyist-influenced POUM, OrwelI wrote: “I have given a more sympathetic picture of the POUM line than I actually felt. I always told them they were wrong.”
So, Homage to Catalonia is not the honest account that Gerry claims it to be. As for the role that Gerry assigns to Stalin’s agents in Spain, a leading authority says: “The number of NKVD victims never exceeded 20 or so, contrary to the hundreds and thousands mentioned in many printed sources.” Boris Volodarsky is referring here to the false allegations made by knee-jerk anti-Soviet historians such as Robert Service.
Gerry goes on to liken 1937 Barcelona to 1917 Petrograd. In Barcelona, the Republican movement was confronted by a mighty and united force led by Franco’s army and backed up by large contingents of German and Italian regular forces. Externally, the so- called Western democracies had, by their actions, declared for Franco.
In Petrograd, by contrast, Lenin and the Bolsheviks faced a crumbling state machine, weakened to the point of collapse by the 1914-17 war in which over two million Russian troops were killed.
In Spain in 1937, the conditions and forces to make a socialist revolution did not exist. Any attempt by the working class to take state power was sure to divide the anti-fascist movement and therefore doomed to failure.
Only Franco, Hitler and Mussolini stood to benefit from such adventurism.
TOM SIBLEY Hounslow
A revolution that begged
Tom Sibley (M Star December 6) says that Orwell was a liar because he gave a more sympathetic picture of the POUM than he believed. Orwell told us what it looked like to see “the working class in the saddle” in 1936 but by December 1938 he really was a “turncoat”. He referred to the torture methods of the GPU as fascistic, so Stalinism was as bad as fascism, a reactionary position that no real socialist could accept.
Franco’s coup on 17 and 18 July 1936 was answered by the Anarchist FAI-CNT and ex-Trotskyist POUM militias who lost thousands storming barracks in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. They defeated the army; dual power and revolution had begun, as powerfully as February 1917 in Petrograd.
Foremost in showing how to fight fascism was the CNT/FAI Durruti column who knew a civil war is essentially political and not just military; that to mobilise their own ranks and to win over worker and peasants from the fascists a programme of the land and the factories to those that worked them was needed. But Durruti could not advance on Saragossa on the Aragon front because he only had old Mauser rifles, all the best Soviet weaponry were kept to crush the revolution.
The May Days in Barcelona was to reverse that working-class power; police chief Rodriguez Sala attacked the Barcelona telephone exchange, in the hands of the workers of the CNT and UGT trade union since the revolution. After May 1937 the heart went out of the antifascist fight, defeat followed defeat; the adventurism was refusing to make a revolution that begged. Franco’s victory became inevitable after that and so was the slaughter of WWII. If revolution had triumphed there the French, British and German working classes might have rallied to it.
GERRY DOWNING Cricklewood