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There’s another way to read what Orwell was getting at in Nineteen Eighty-Four

10 February, 2017

• BARONESS Whitaker tells us George Orwell was a schoolboy hero to her husband (Plinth George, Review, February 3) which means Ben Whitaker was probably taught to read Nineteen Eighty-Four as a critique of Stalinism, as we all were.

Only more recently has it become apparent that the super-state described as “Eurasia” in the book bears more than a passing resemblance to what we’ve been taught to know as “Europe”.

In fact Orwell published partly in response to the 1944 meeting of the Allied leaders in Tehran, at which he was “convinced that Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt consciously plotted to divide the world”.

“Europe” was the name given by America to the trading area it intended to dominate as its due for having entered (and won) the Second World War.

Through a package of fixed trade-deals and loans, the US ensured the European Zone would both host its air-bases and accept its foreign policies without demur; Britain – we need no reminding – would become Airstrip One. Kaleidoscopic Wikipedia now refers to the Marshall Plan loans as “aid”, a concept that was only introduced at about the same time they were paid off in the 1980s.

Orwell’s dystopia was self-policing, the subjection of the working class by the oligarchs’ complete and mediocrist control so effective as to easily draw thousands onto the streets in mass demonstration against an imaginary enemy.

HENRIETTA NASMYTH
Grove Terrace, NW5

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