Tag Archives: orwell

On Left-wing Politics

Two op-eds in the New York Times (first, second) about the problem of elites in a left-wing political party.

Can the Democratic Party, as it is currently constructed, maintain its commitment to a redistributive agenda?…Asking people to think of themselves as compassionate and to pay higher taxes is one thing — many Democrats have made that leap — but ask them to live in a mixed income neighborhood or ask them to have their kid give up her spot at Princeton, and you get a different response. (Tom Edsall)

It takes a brave politician to question the privileges enjoyed by the upper middle class. Recently, there have been failed attempts to make zoning laws more inclusive in supposedly liberal cities like Seattle and states like California and Massachusetts. The handout on mortgage interest appears to be an indestructible deduction (unlike in Britain, where the equivalent tax break was phased out under both Conservative and Labour governments by 2000). (Richard Reeves)

George Orwell, book review, 1939:

In a prosperous country, above all in an imperialist country, left­-wing politics are always partly humbug. There can be no real reconstruction that would not lead to at least a temporary drop in the English standard of life, which is another way of saying that the majority of left-wing politicians and publicists are people who earn their living by demanding something that they don’t genuinely want.