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George Orwell/ The road to Wigan Pier

George Orwell/ The Road to Wigan Pier
13.

And finally, is there anything one can do about it ?

In the first part of this book I illustrated, by a few brief sidelights, the kind of mess we are in; in this second part I have been trying to explain why, in my opinion, so many normal decent people are repelled by the only remedy, namely by Socialism. Obviously the most urgent need of the next few years is to capture those normal decent ones before Fascism plays its trump card. I do not want to raise here the question of parties and political expedients. More important than any party label (though doubtless the mere menace of Fascism will presently bring some kind of Popular Front into existence) is the diffusion of Socialist doctrine in an effective form. People have got to be made ready to ACT as Socialists. There are, I believe, countless people who, without being aware of it, are in sympathy with the essential aims of Socialism, and who could be won over almost without a struggle if only one could find the word that would move them. Everyone who knows the meaning of poverty, everyone who has a genuine hatred of tyranny and war, is on the Socialist side, potentially. My job here, therefore, is to suggest – necessarily in very general terms – how a reconciliation might be effected between Socialism and its more intelligent enemies.

(…)
( Penguin Books 1975, first published by Victor Gollancz in 1937)
Commisioned by the Left Book Club (who perhaps got more than they bargained for), George Orwell set out to explore the coal areas of Lancashire and Yorkshire at a time of mass unemployment.

In a series of painfully clear descriptions – of the mines, of unemployment, of overcrowding and malnutrition, Orwell exposed a cruel system. In this, and in his bitter attack on fashionable, intellectual and bourgeois socialists, his ‘Urban Rides’ are that rarity: the polemic that loses none of its force with the passage of time. (on back cover)George Orwell/ The Road to Wigan Pier
13.

And finally, is there anything one can do about it ?

In the first part of this book I illustrated, by a few brief sidelights, the kind of mess we are in; in this second part I have been trying to explain why, in my opinion, so many normal decent people are repelled by the only remedy, namely by Socialism. Obviously the most urgent need of the next few years is to capture those normal decent ones before Fascism plays its trump card. I do not want to raise here the question of parties and political expedients. More important than any party label (though doubtless the mere menace of Fascism will presently bring some kind of Popular Front into existence) is the diffusion of Socialist doctrine in an effective form. People have got to be made ready to ACT as Socialists. There are, I believe, countless people who, without being aware of it, are in sympathy with the essential aims of Socialism, and who could be won over almost without a struggle if only one could find the word that would move them. Everyone who knows the meaning of poverty, everyone who has a genuine hatred of tyranny and war, is on the Socialist side, potentially. My job here, therefore, is to suggest – necessarily in very general terms – how a reconciliation might be effected between Socialism and its more intelligent enemies.

(…)
( Penguin Books 1975, first published by Victor Gollancz in 1937)
Commisioned by the Left Book Club (who perhaps got more than they bargained for), George Orwell set out to explore the coal areas of Lancashire and Yorkshire at a time of mass unemployment.

In a series of painfully clear descriptions – of the mines, of unemployment, of overcrowding and malnutrition, Orwell exposed a cruel system. In this, and in his bitter attack on fashionable, intellectual and bourgeois socialists, his ‘Urban Rides’ are that rarity: the polemic that loses none of its force with the passage of time. (on back cover)

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