Mr. Hitchens is like a defense lawyer who is charged with defending the indefensible, and who is therefore reduced to throwing dust in the eyes of the jury.

I made four fundamental points about Orwell as revealed in Homage to Catalonia, for which I believe I provided abundant textual evidence. First: he approved of a society that to all appearances was totalitarian. Second: his anticlericalism was vicious and intolerant. Third: he approved, or at least did not disapprove, except on narrowly practical grounds, of the employment of child soldiers. Fourth: his objection to Stalin's policy in Spain was that it was not revolutionary and would not lead to the establishment of the totalitarian society to which he had previously raised such hosannahs.

Mr. Hitchens does not refute any of these points. It does not yet seem to have occurred to him that extreme egalitarianism is inherently totalitarian. Give him another...

Introduce yourself to The New Criterion for the lowest price ever—and a receive an extra issue as thanks.
Popular Right Now