Hoisted: The Attraction of Communism in the 1930s

George Orwell: The Attraction of Communism in the 1930s: "Practically everything we do, from eating an ice to crossing the Atlantic, and from baking a loaf to writing a novel, involves the use of coal...

...Here am I, sitting writing in front of my comfortable coal fire.... It is only very rarely... that I connect his coal with that far-off labour in the mines.... Yet their lamp-lit world down there is as necessary to the daylight world above as the root is to the flower.... [I]t is brought home to you, at least while you are watching, that it is only because miners sweat their guts out that superior persons can remain superior. You and I and the editor of the Times Lit. Supp., and the Nancy Poets and the Archbishop of Canterbury and Comrade X, author of Marxism for Infants—all of us really owe the comparative decency of our lives to poor drudges underground, blackened to the eyes, with their throats full of coal dust, driving their shovels forward with arms and belly muscles of steel...


Victor Gollancz: "The most frequent argument which socialists have to face is precisely this: ‘I agree with you that Socialism would be wholly admirable if it would work-but it wouldn’t’...

...[This] objection was more frequently heard in 1919 than in 1927, in 1927 than at the end of the first Five Year Plan, and at the end of the first Five Year Plan than to-day-the reason being precisely that... the achievements of the Soviet Union are there to see...


George Orwell again: "In outward appearance [Barcelona] was a town in which the wealthy classes had practically ceased to exist...

...Everyone wore rough working class clothes.... All this was queer and moving. There was much in it that I did not understand, in some ways I did not even like it, but I recognized it immediately as a state of affairs worth fighting for.... There was no unemployment...you saw very few conspicuously destitute people, and no beggars.... Above all, there was a belief in the revolution and the future, a feeling of having suddenly emerged into an era of equality and freedom. Human beings were trying to behave as human beings and not as cogs in the capitalist machines. In the barbers’ shops were anarchist notices...solemnly explaining that barbers were no longer slaves...


#shouldread

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