Sixty years following its first publication and twenty-five since the fateful year, George Orwell’s 1984 remains a mystery to the experts. They convene often in exotic places to agree that Orwell wrote a dystopia on the communist take-over of Britain and America. They concur how he reversed the final two digits of the year he wrote the book — 1948 — to arrive at the title 1984. They write that Orwell was not a prophet and few predictions fill his volume. These consensus beliefs on 1984 by the experts still shape the views of tens of millions of citizens who read Orwell’s work in the public schools and colleges.
In politics, it seems, nothing succeeds like failure. The most successful men in American political history are its most spectacular failures. Consider that the most important responsibilities that a President has are preserving our liberties and keeping the peace. Yet the Presidents we celebrate the most are those who led the nation into war and expanded the power of the state.
Benito Mussolini has an infamous place in modern history, as well he should. Nearly everyone knows Mussolini as the dictator of Fascist Italy and the ally of Nazi Germany in the Second World War. But that is only part of the story.
The statement by Anita Dunn, Obama’s Communications Director, describing Mao Tse-tung (aka Mao Zedong) as one of her two favorite philosophers, is, of course, appalling. Sixty years ago China, which had been slowly progressing towards a free republic under Chaing Kai-shek, was placed into the hands of one the most ghastly thugs in history.
Reuters reported on October 14 that Benito Mussolini had been in the pay of British intelligence services during the First World War. The implication of the story is that Mussolini was paid to beat up Marxist peace protesters and that his “right wing” Fascist movement was a willing tool of British wealth. The position that Mussolini took, in fact, was the same position that Leon Trotsky and Vladimir Lenin were taking at the same time.
In 1909, in the great state of Illinois, school teachers one February day were directed to spend at least half the school day in public exercises, patriotic music, and recitations of sayings, verses, and speeches to mark the centennial birthday of a great hero. At the end of it all, they were to have their students face in the direction of Springfield and chant in unison the following:
Columbus Day — once a time to celebrate one of the heroes of modern Western Civilization — is dying a slow death. Besieged by leftwing loons and of little apparently utility to the shopping malls, the day to remember Christopher Columbus may simply fade away. According to a Columbus Day article in the Wall Street Journal:
Autumn had come to the Mediterranean, and more than a hint of the blustery winter to come was in the air, as two formidable armadas gathered for battle near Corinth. By far the larger force was the fleet commanded by Ali Pasha, servant of Ottoman Turkey’s Sultan Selim II.