Was George Orwell a Marxist?

OrwellBurmaPassport

In short, George Orwell was a socialist but not a Marxist. One does not always follow the other. Here is an account from Isaac Deutscher on the specific gap between the Anglo-Saxon Left and Marxism: Like most British socialists, Orwell had never been a Marxist. The dialectical-materialist philosophy had always been too abstruse for him. From instinct rather than consciousness he had been a staunch rationalist. The distinction between the Marxist and the rationalist is of some importance. Contrary to an opinion widespread in Anglo-Saxon countries, Marxism is not at all rationalist in its philosophy: it does not assume that … Continue reading

Keith Somerville on Africa’s Long Road Since Independence

As a journalist, Keith Somerville was stationed in Malawi in 1981 to monitor regional radio coverage. The BBC World Service maintained the Monitoring Service, with bases in Kenya and Malawi, to track events across southern, central and eastern Africa. The Monitoring Service worked both for the BBC and its funder, the British government, and routinely passed on information to the Ministry of Defence and, by extension, to the intelligence services. The radio networks played a vital role in Africa because of widespread illiteracy, as well as the lack of infrastructure and logistics necessary for a functioning press. Radio broadcasts offered … Continue reading

Full interview: Yanis Varoufakis

As the Greek crisis is far from over, I decided to reach out to Yanis Varoufakis and get his perspective on the challenges of the past and present. Major issues hang in the balance today: the future of Europe in particular, and the question of capitalism in general. This was as much the case when Varoufakis left office, as it is right now. White: There has been much debate on the European Left as to whether or not the change in Syriza’s policy represented a betrayal of the party’s original aims. Is that a fair characterisation? Do you think the … Continue reading