George Orwell Was A Prophet

     …though I doubt that he wanted to be:

     Joe Biden’s government is now planning for the Ukraine conflict to last years – “perhaps decades” – with no clear victor, according to insider claims.
     POLITICO – a German-owned outlet the “intelligence community” often uses to plant information – spoke to a number of current and former officials “granted anonymity to describe sensitive issues” who believe Ukraine could become a frozen conflict.
     “We are planning for the long term, whether it looks frozen or thawed,” said a source the report described as a “U.S. official familiar with the Biden administration’s discussions on Ukraine.”

     [Cited at Ace of Spades HQ. The article itself is behind a paywall.]

     If you think I’ve been citing 1984 too often, have a look at the following, which Orwell inserted into the book: a composition that was purported to be the manifesto of the Emmanuel Goldstein-led opposition to The Party, but was in fact a product of The Party itself:

     The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent. Even when weapons of war are not actually destroyed, their manufacture is still a convenient way of expending labour power without producing anything that can be consumed. A Floating Fortress, for example, has locked up in it the labour that would build several hundred cargo-ships. Ultimately it is scrapped as obsolete, never having brought any material benefit to anybody, and with further enormous labours another Floating Fortress is built. In principle the war effort is always so planned as to eat up any surplus that might exist after meeting the bare needs of the population. In practice the needs of the population are always underestimated, with the result that there is a chronic shortage of half the necessities of life; but this is looked on as an advantage. It is deliberate policy to keep even the favoured groups somewhere near the brink of hardship, because a general state of scarcity increases the importance of small privileges and thus magnifies the distinction between one group and another. By the standards of the early twentieth century, even a member of the Inner Party lives an austere, laborious kind of life. Nevertheless, the few luxuries that he does enjoy his large, well-appointed flat, the better texture of his clothes, the better quality of his food and drink and tobacco, his two or three servants, his private motor-car or helicopter—set him in a different world from a member of the Outer Party, and the members of the Outer Party have a similar advantage in comparison with the submerged masses whom we call ’the proles’. The social atmosphere is that of a besieged city, where the possession of a lump of horseflesh makes the difference between wealth and poverty. And at the same time the consciousness of being at war, and therefore in danger, makes the handing-over of all power to a small caste seem the natural, unavoidable condition of survival.

     Did you skip over the passages from the book when you first made your acquaintance with Orwell’s masterpiece? You shouldn’t have.

     It may not be the case that the “Inner Party” that currently rules these United States “lives an austere, laborious kind of life,” but the rest of Orwell’s analysis holds together brilliantly. Yet even our political elite will soon be maintained “near the brink of hardship,” for the drive for unbounded and absolute power eschews all other considerations. Present trends continuing, men who lust for unbounded and absolute power will ultimately displace the sybarites that currently reign, by virtue of their superior ruthlessness:

     But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law—men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims—then money becomes its creators’ avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they’ve passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.

     Rand may not have envisioned the transition from a dominant “looter class” to a supreme “murderer class,” but her very own logic presages exactly that. Should we live to see such days – and I pray that we won’t – remember that you read it here first.

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  1. I would not exactly see him so much as a prophet as a supremely honest analyst of his own journalism and experiences. (He set an example for you and me?)

    However he did leave our parents, and thus us, what could be labeled as a Jeremiad.

    Something you left unsaid, perhaps saved for a future screed:
    That Randian snippet warns of the fate of a zero-sum game society. Keywords: SJWs, envy, Do not covet.

    Progs, whose morals are framed by their Death Cult, love that we don’t take these warnings seriously.

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