Nordic female equality, socialism, and Orwell
Almost two thousand years ago, the Roman historian Tacitus observed the unusually prominent place of women in the Germanic tribes; for example, in a battle, the women would be present, lustily cheering on the men.
The Germanic belief in the high status of women has taken on a somewhat different form today. Fjordman writes:
If you want to see how the USA will be if Hillary wins the election, take a look at this. Norway’s center-left government has issued a warning to 140 companies that still don’t have enough women on their boards of directors: Appoint more, or be dissolved.LA replies:
I was just watching John Edwards on CSPAN campaigning for president, talking about why he supports the DREAM Act, which would, he said, provide college tuition for all immigrants, on the basis that all people must be treated equally. The Democrats want every human need and desire you can think of to be handled by the federal government.
Jeff C. writes:
You write: “Which only underscores Orwell’s remark that the sad duty of intelligent men is to keep repeating the obvious.”LA replies:
Yes, now that you remind me. But how does that change what I’ve written?Jeff C. replies:
Because of Orwell’s belief in socialism, I infer that his definition of “intelligent men” is radically different from yours—yet you use his quote to support your position, when it only does so if you take it out of context. Funny is all.LA replies:
It’s nice the way you imply bad faith on my part.Jeff C. replies:
I don’t think you did it deliberately, so it doesn’t imply bad faith.LA replies:
Then there is a profound contradiction in Orwell’s thought which he would have had to resolve had he lived longer. The egalitarian tyranny in Norway described by Fjordman is on a continuum with the egalitarian tyranny portrayed in Animal Farm. Orwell still imagined some kind of “democratic socialism,” in which equality of outcome would be compatible with freedom. But even the left has since then realized that this is false and has dropped the old forms of state-ownership-based socialism, and it’s likely that Orwell would have too.Paul K. writes:
You probably know this, but the quote, “We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men” appears in Orwell’s review of “Power: A New Social Analysis” by Bertrand Russell, originally printed in January 1939 and available in “George Orwell: The Collected Essays, Journalism & Letters” (1968), p. 375-6.LA replies:
I did not know (or perhaps forgot) the original quote. What intrigues me is that Orwell, like me, is describing this situation—where the first duty of intelligent man is to keep repeating the obvious—as a bad situation, not a normal situation. It’s a situation in which normal understandings and normal rationality have broken down, overwhelmed by ideological distortions of reality, with their accompanying slogans, hatred, conspiracy theories, etc.Paul K. writes:
I’m convinced he would have. He had too much decency, courage, love of country and intellectual honesty to do otherwise.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 13, 2007 12:31 PM | Send