Friday, August 21, 2009

My Favourite Socialists

Econtalk has taken a summertime break from its usually technical/economics focused subject matter to host an interview with Christopher Hitchens about his book on George Orwell: by far my favourite (dead) socialist. I was inspired to read much of Orwell's work firstly by 1984, and then by Bernard Crick's magnificent biography.

Hitchens reminds us of the bravery of 'ordinary men' like Orwell in his literary attacks on, first, Imperialism, then Fascism and finally Stalinism. He got shot in the throat for the second of these: fighting in the Spanish Civil War. He was a quintessentially decent Englishman, who also believed in decency for all mankind.

There are few who have followed in his footsteps - though on recent performance I might nominate John Pilger as my favourite (living) socialist. Certainly for his recent, exoriating attack on President Obama. Watch the video yourself (though if you're still basking in the afterglow of Obama's election and that fairytale feeling that all is now well with the world then you may just want to pass on this one):

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