Christopher Hitchens and Orwell
Many journalists like to think of themselves as a reincarnation of George Orwell, whose unbending integrity and attachment to the craft of writing and reporting is still an inspiration. Few of them can tick all the boxes, but Christopher Hitchens came closer than most. “Contrarianism” when he practiced it well, eventually meant not accepting other people’s lines, reflexive prejudices, and expedient complaisance. However, he missed on some points. As a former Trotskyist, even after his break with most of the so-called left over the Iraq War, he never abandoned his adulation for Trotsky. Hitchens all along considered Saddam Hussein to be a grotesquely evil figure, unlike many whose ethics were consistently ditched when it came to battling “imperialism,” just as Orwell had berated those who thought concentration camps were evil, but Gulags acceptable.