Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Orwell He Most Certainly Ain't

This one's the clincher, and it signals Hitch's journey from Trotskyland to Neo-Con-dom(I hyphenate because without the second hyphen it reads as a description of a product that randomly malfunctions with seriously unfortunate consequences) is complete. See, the "old left" believed in collective struggle - that a threat to all of us must be met by all of us who are able. Orwell saw the enemy in Spain, shouldered a rifle and fought it head on - took a bullet for it too. Orwell wasn't the only one either - think of the Lincoln Brigade. These were leftists who believed that the struggle against facism was worth more than their clever verbiage. Cries of "Let the proles do it!", something Hitch now joins Sullivan in demanding, would have been a direct betrayal of everything they believed in.

I'm not saying I would exchange Homage To Catalonia for Orwell dying on principle; nor am I suggesting that Hitch's best place is on any kind of battlefield (he's too old and slow, among other things). I too have my disagreements with "Operation Yellow Elephant" - it's in poor taste, it denigrates those who are serving, and never mind the guilt(moral, not emotional) one would face if one convinced some poor sap like Jonah Goldberg to go and he actually did get his head blown off (we lefty humanists love you all, even if you are the capitalist pig oppressors - you know not what you do). What I am saying is Hitch has no business at all invoking Orwell when he attacks anyone - especially on the left - and he should step right the eff off as the self-proclaimed modern interpreter of and intellectual heir to Orwell. He's given up that privilege.

Update: The good folks at SullyWatch have a much less elliptical disagreement.

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