Anybody read "Homage to Catalonia" by George Orwell? If so what do you think of it in general?
I think its the best book honestly for anyone who wants to learn about an ancom society. I love how its framed as a story of Orwell's experiences and what he saw there rather than a long, boring essay about ancom economics or whatever. Makes it 1000x more interesting for non lefties to get to know the subject.
I've read it but I'm not really sure this book is for "learn[ing] about an ancom society." First of all Revolutionary Calalonia was an anarcho-syndicalist, not anarcho-communist experiment. Second of all most of the book is about Orwell's experiences not Catalonian society, and his positive reflections on it all concern his excitement about seeing the working class in power not the anarchist form that exercise of power took.
I was under the impression that Orwell was a cunt and leftypol has never claimed him as /our guy/. Not strictly on topic but should give Asimov's review on 1984 a gander. It changed my old man's opinion on him being a top bloke to a shit cunt in one read through.
A lot of this is wank. Asimov is just being autistic when he says such-and-such is implausible; obviously Orwell never meant a lot of things in the book literally as predictions. Asimov seems to be judging 1984 as if it were a nerdy sci-fi novel which tries to make a serious guess at what life would be like in the future. Obviously it is going to come up short by those standards since Orwell was never attempting that.
He is plain wrong when he says that Orwell 'seems to suppose, in fact, that the British Empire is the dominant member of the British-American combination'. Britain is described as 'Airstrip One' implying a subordinate status within Oceania. The use by the government of Britain-centric terms like Ingsoc must be confined to Britain and meant to appeal to British patriotism.
'in one of the more laughable parts of the book, he goes on and on concerning the necessity of permanent war as a means of consuming the world's production of resources and thus keeping the social stratification of upper, middle, and lower classes in being' Again, wasn't meant literally. Incessant world war was obviously never going to happen but governments absolutely do use war to stimulate the economy and promote domestic unity (as Asimov admits soon after).
The only interesting thing here is the observation that Newspeak is not a good take on what oppressive governments do with language. Weird that Orwell would get this wrong since he railed against the 'exuberant inebriation of loquacity' (as Asimov puts it) and promoted concise, direct English. Newspeak is still a thought-provoking idea though.
Brilliant essayist, shit-tier novelist. Shit-tier novelist, and apparently a shit-tier book reviewer. Completely autistic, like says.
It's an interesting book since Orwell is telling events he participed directly, but reading just Homage to Catalonia and basing your views on the Spanish Civil War on it gives a very one-sided and biased account of events.
There are a lot of things to criticize Orwell for, but many leftists go way overboard. There’s a difference between being a demsucc and a trot who buys Western lies about the USSR but still wants socialism, and an actual reactionary who is racist and likes imperialism. He was the former, not the latter.
And yet, the USA has been at war for 95% of its existence. Germany and France are talking about creating an EU army. Since 1914 the world has been in a permanent state of war. 1914-1918 WWI, 1918 onwards colonial expansion, 1939-1945 WWII, 1945-1989 Cold War, 1990 onwards UN/NATO has been in Yugoslavia, Africa. 2000s wars in Middle East. 2019 we're again in a new Cold War, China/USA/Russia are all working on new AI weapons, US and Russia left that mid-range nuclear treaty.
We're absolutely in a state of permanent war that keeps consuming resources, destroying the planet, killing off the working class and keeping everyone in fear. As Žižek said, "The state of always being moments away from tragedy is the tragedy."
Homage to Catalonia is a good story I know it's autobiographical but not very useful as an actual historical examination of the Spanish Civil War. Good read for babey leftists or people interested in the Spanish Civil War, not much more though. Also Orwell's a liberal bitch fuck that guy, his use of the term "Stalinists" detracts from the book pretty hard
I know fam, I was quoting Asimov's criticism there. Should have greentexted it.
I know. I was just commenting on the text. I have read Asimov's critique.
Boring romanticism of Catalonians, cherry-picked to ignore many of the more problematic episodes they had, including George Orwell's OWN fuck ups.
Ah yes, the reason american soldiers confiscated a book that claims Stalin has become no different to Churchill and Truman and as bad as them because they were based stalin fans and suspected it of being anti-stalin propaganda rather than because it was communist propaganda. Enormous ML brains on display everyday on /nuleftypol/
That is why the American soldiers gave them to the Soviets, right? This may surprise a liberal like you, but the Soviet Union and even Stalin were quite popular among the worldwide public back then.
??? Either way this shit is documented in multiple places.
astonishing brainpower both of you
You guys really don't realise that the answer is just that the allies at that point still wanted to have better relations with the soviets and tried to avoid things that would piss them off?
Animal Farm is pretty clearly a pro-socialist book. The revolution itself is portrayed as a good thing that was betrayed by ambitious and treacherous leadership, until it was no better than capitalism. You can say that this is unfair to the USSR, that it’s an example of Trotskyist/left communist/anarchist criticisms that don’t take into account the real situation the Soviets were in, and I would agree. But you can’t tell that the point of the book is that socialism is bad, or capitalism is superior, it’s very clearly the opposite.
Even from a ML perspective you can point at people like Gorbachev and such as representative of revisionists.
I have these books full of Orwell's essays and book reviews and read those at a young age – a lot of that is very interesting and would recommend it. There's one which is just about what it's like to write book reviews where he would get a bunch of titles sent by a publisher and they'd sit on his shelf for two weeks before he'd skim them right before the deadline, stay up for 30 hours and hack out a bunch of reviews while chain smoking cheap tobacco. Like "fuuuuck this sucks I hate this."
His writing was very clear and direct, though. I don't think he ever had consistent politics, and was very critical of anarchist politics in one essay (the one on Gulliver's Travels) and he seemed to believe he was a little bug who was going to get crushed at any moment. Can't say I blame him really.
Orwell is a romanticist. Asimov is a linearly realist. Obviously they don’t see eye to eye.
Imagine liking a Trot who supported Anarkiddies against the Soviet backed Government.
It was ok.
tl;dr of the book: The war was is pretty lame if youre not send to the active front, its sucky, my weapon was trash, you wait a lot, you take some potshots at the fascists from time to time, spaniards are shit at logistics, my wifes in a hotel nearby for some reason, its cold, fuck I ran out of smokes
What Asimov is saying is that Orwell busied himself with sectarian shitposting instead of attacking actual reactionaries even during the height of WW2. Asimov's view, as far as I knew, was not a controversial opinion at all on Zig Forums but somehow it seems to be one now.