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Totalitarianism

History

The Duchess Of Atholl: Nobility For Stalin

In the film version of George Orwell’s book Keep The Aspidistra Flying, the main character, a struggling writer, assumes correctly that because a benefactor of writers is wealthy, said benefactor is therefore a communist. This assumption was very much a reality in the upper class intellectual world of 1930s Britain. For it was not only the expensively educated like Stephen Spender and W.H. Auden–and on a more sinister level, Kim Philby–who were pro-Stalin, but also Nancy Cunard, the daughter of a shipping magnate. This zeitgeist was so pervasive, that this pampered faction had a titled conservative in their ranks; who, ironically, defended Stalinism out of British imperialist motives. This figure was the Duchess of Atholl aka Katherine Marjory Stewart-Murray, who despite representing the Conservative Party member in Parliament clashed with her fellow conservatives because of their support for appeasing Hitler. Very much a “premature anti-fascist,” she expressed her disgust at the government’s deal-cutting with and outright support of fascist dictators by frequently resigning; first as Conservative Whip in 1937… Keep Reading

Politics

Anti-Trump Leftists More Big Brother Than Trump

Back in January, a two-word phrase uttered by Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway gave George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four its biggest sales boost in years. In response to White House secretary Sean Spicer’s assertion that, contrary to the mainstream media’s head-count, citizens who attended the Trump swearing-in represented the “largest audience” ever to appear at an inauguration, Conway defended his claim, stating that he was merely giving out “alternative facts.” For many on the anti-Trump left, this phrase was evidence that Big Brother had arrived in the White House, and, perhaps to understand the nature of the “beast” in the oval office, (one purchaser called Nineteen Eighty-Four the “Perfect Primer for Potus 45”) purchased en masse copies of Orwell’s 68-year-old novel, making it a best-seller on Amazon. Pundits went further in the comparison than merely Trump abusing language. For mainstream media journalists, the administration was trying control information rather than sharing it. Keep Reading

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