a contemplative approach to politics

Archive for February, 2012

Some things that inspire me

Posted by blindspotpolitics on February 26, 2012

So I’m writing some short essays for internship applications and I didn’t realize that 255 words was actually 255 characters. Woops! Well, I’m not going to waste this so here are two books by Orwell (well, really one essay and one book) and why they inspired me:

Politics and the English Language and Animal Farm – Orwell

I read the first a year and a half ago, the second when I was ten. I know, I know: Orwell was a vehement Democratic Socialist. He was, as Charles Murray would probably say, one of those good intentioned souls, who abhorred totalitarianism, and didn’t realize that the only way to secure equality in a democratic socialist state is along a similar authoritarian trajectory. However, his critique of modern politics in his essay on them is nothing short of brilliant. It was the first essay I read that revealed with scientific accuracy and emotional fortitude how politicians abuse the English language to gain political favor and make citizens believe that they need their help. He calls for simplicity in politics, just like Libertarians call for simplicity in government. I believe the two are interconnected, perhaps the former being a necessary pathway to the latter. Animal Farm is likewise a talented critique, highlighting the woes of authoritarianism and blind trust through a riveting allegory. The initial good intentions of the Animal socialist revolution, which brings “freedom” and “equality,” to all, soon evaporates as some members of society convince the rest that they deserve more. Animal nature, or really human nature, overcomes the farfetched notion of coercive communal sacrifice. To me, this is essentially a fictionalized version of Hayek’s Road to Serfdom. Perhaps, the best intentions, the worst results. Overall, his writing has inspired me to look critically at not only political systems, but also the leaders and intentions behind those systems.


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