Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Worth repeating

A friend reminded me of what George Orwell wrote in 1941 in England Your England, the first part of The Lion and the Unicorn [yes, I chose that Russian website quite deliberately]:
In intention, at any rate, the English intelligentsia are Europeanized. In the general patriotism of the country they form a sort of island of dissident thought. England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of
standing to attention during ‘God save the King’ than of stealing from a poor box. All through the critical years many left-wingers were chipping away at English morale, trying to spread an outlook that was sometimes squashily pacifist, sometimes violently pro-Russian, but always anti-British. It is questionable how much effect this had, but it certainly had some. If the English people suffered for several years a real weakening of morale, so that the Fascist nations judged that they
were ‘decadent’ and that it was safe to plunge into war, the intellectual sabotage from the Left was partly responsible.
The intellectual sabotage from the Left, both soft and hard, is very largely responsible for the mess we are in with regards to the European Union as well as other enemies of Anglospheric traditions and liberties. It is particularly odd in that a great many of this country's real intellectuals were and are on the right of the political spectrum, yet it is somehow assumed that to be an intellectual you need to be left-wing. The phenomenon is not new: one saw it in Russia before 1917 but that is not a precedent I should like to see any country to follow.

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