Here is an excerpt from an essay on George Orwell that I read this morning on the New York Times Sunday Book Review page:
… [W]henever perplexed Americans fret over Osama bin Laden or suicide killings, and delude themselves that material progress will cure these ills, I think of what Orwell wrote in 1940 about another charismatic monster. “Hitler, because in his own joyless mind he feels it with exceptional strength, knows that human beings don’t only want comfort, safety, short working-hours, hygiene, birth control and, in general, common sense; they also, at least intermittently, want struggle and self-sacrifice. . . . However they may be as economic theories, Fascism and Nazism are psychologically far sounder than any hedonistic conception of life.”
While I agree with the essayist about Osama bin Laden in this connection, I glean something more about current events from this quote to which the author does not allude. What could sum up more succinctly the impetus behind the snowballing rejection of Barack Obama’s liberal agenda of providing the security of universal health care, along with “comfort, safety, short working-hours, hygiene, birth control “ for all citizens than does this typically prescient insight of Orwell’s?
This quote shows exactly how, and why, the activist “Tea-baggers” have arisen to agitate against their own best interests by championing the likes of intellectual and ideological non-entities such as Sarah Palin, Rick Perry and Scott Brown.
And it shows, more chillingly, whom they most resemble within the larger context of history.
I know, I know... You’re laughing now…
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