Disabusing Idiocy? Orwell and the Left
Orwell’s eminence has made his work a source of quotes to substantiate others’ views, rather detracting from his own voice. Firstly, his work needs to be set in a British social and political context. Secondly, he clearly and naturally modified his views over the years as the world changed around him, moving from non-Leninist but revolutionary socialism to being a professed supporter of the post-war British Labour government, which did include many leaders of the Independent Labour Party to which Orwell had earlier belonged. Even in Britain, the context of class/caste has changed to some degree since Orwell lived but then and now, it is difficult to set in an American context, where different socialist traditions across the Atlantic can cause confusion.