The Clare Spark Blog

November 17, 2012

Index to Orwell blogs

The administrative State?

Eric Blair's family 1916

Eric Blair’s family 1916

Compare Orwell’s pessimism to his admirer John Dos Passos’s sunnier views, who wrote of Orwell in his later years, and once voiced this more optimistic assessment of humanity’s future:

[Responding to German students as to what is admirable about USA:] “I told them they should admire the United States not for what we were but for what we might become. Selfgoverning democracy was not an established creed, but a program for growth. I reminded them that industrial society was a new thing in the world and that although we Americans had gone further than any people in spreading out its material benefits we were just beginning, amid crimes, illusions, mistakes and false starts, to get to work on how to spread out what people needed much more: the sense of belonging, the faith in human dignity, the confidence of each man in the greatness of his own soul without which life is a meaningless servitude….Faith in self-government, when all is said and done, is faith in the eventual goodness of man.” (p.508, Virginia Spencer Carr’s bio of John Dos Passos, whose USA trilogy, written in his younger years, was one of the most radical and brilliant of all the left-wing literature. After his quarrel with Hemingway during the Spanish Civil War, he gradually turned away from the Left, but his optimism and defense of the dissenting individual are the legacy of the Enlightenment.)


  1. […] have already posted blogs on George Orwell (, but had not yet read his essays from the early 1940s. I now have a clearer and bleaker idea of […]

    Pingback by Some irregular thoughts on George Orwell | YDS: The Clare Spark Blog — December 27, 2014 @ 9:09 pm | Reply

  2. […] and Dutt were materialist historians, but only Dutt inverted freedom and slavery (see Orwell blogs: . For the latter, while demonizing finance capital and their Social Democratic facilitators in […]

    Pingback by The Devil in history? A. J. P. Taylor vs. R. Palme Dutt | YDS: The Clare Spark Blog — September 1, 2013 @ 5:45 pm | Reply

  3. […] and lying in general. (See, or For most Anglo-American critics, Orwell is a good “Socialist,” a “decent” fellow who […]

    Pingback by Orwell, superpatriots, and the election | YDS: The Clare Spark Blog — June 24, 2013 @ 4:56 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: