George Orwell is perhaps best known for his two anti-Stalinist novels, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty Four, both of which are often misused as a warning against socialism of any kind. But this obscures Orwell’s own radical socialist politics. Orwell’s books and journalism display a deep commitment to the poor and the dispossessed – writing passionately about unemployment in the North of England during the Depression, the condition of those enslaved overseas by the British Empire – and an abiding hatred of the British capitalist class. His socialism, especially after his involvement in the Spanish Civil War, was defined by a commitment to revolution and workers democracy, rejecting both the tyranny of Stalinism and the mild reformism of the Labour Party. This short introduction to Orwell’s life and his writings argues that he remained committed to international socialism and the need for revolutionary change until the end of his life.
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