George Orwell: The Uncompromising Visionary

George Orwell: The Uncompromising Visionary


The thought police. Big Brother. Room 101. Even if you’ve never heard the name George
Orwell, you’ve heard of the concepts he created. As the legendary writer of Animal Farm, Orwell
took the volatile politics of the time he lived in, and used them to create twisted
dystopias and savage satires. His 1984 is a cry for freedom still banned
by repressive regimes across the world. Even now, nearly 70 years after his death,
barely a day goes by without some media personality describing something as “Orwellian”. Perhaps more so than any other writer of his
era, Orwell’s work is still powerfully relevant today. Yet how much do most people really know about
Britain’s greatest modern writer? Born in the early years of the 20th Century,
Orwell was a man of fascinating contradictions. He was a socialist who studied at Britain’s
most elite school; a passionate defender of oppressed peoples who despised Catholics and
homosexuals; and a committed atheist who on his deathbed demanded a Christian funeral. In today’s video, we’re traveling inside
the mind of this complex man… and discovering the origins of his most famous works. Eton Days
Given Orwell’s veneration of the working classes, you might expect to hear he was born
in straightened circumstances. Not a bit of it. When George Orwell was born on June 25, 1903
in Motihari, Bengal, it was into a family with claims to former greatness. His great grandfather had been a wealthy slaveowner
who’d married into the British aristocracy, leaving his family a fat pile of money to
live on. Unfortunately, it hadn’t quite been fat
enough and, by the time Orwell first opened his eyes, his father Richard had been reduced
to working for the British civil service in India. Despite this, both Richard and Orwell’s
young mother Ida tried to act like they were still as rich as ever, creating what Orwell
later called an atmosphere of “impoverished snobbery.” Not that Orwell was actually “Orwell”
at this point. Orwell’s birth name was Eric Arthur Blair;
he wouldn’t come up with his famous pseudonym until he was thirty. Still, we’re just gonna go ahead and use
“George Orwell” when referring to him throughout the video, partly because it’s
easier, and partly just to annoy any massive pedants watching. In 1905 or 6, Orwell’s life in India came
to an abrupt halt when Ida took him and his sister back to England for their education. At first, this meant attending a small Anglican
school not too far from Oxford. But then Orwell turned 11 and his mother shunted
him off to St Cyprian’s. A fashionable preparatory school near the
sea, St Cyprian’s was exactly the sort of place a respectable English family with aristocratic
links might send their boy. Sadly, Orwell’s family was by now so impoverished
that they were anything but “respectable”, and his new schoolmates didn’t let him forget
it. In a future essay on his schooldays, Such,
Such Were the Joys, Orwell would paint his life at St Cyprian’s as one spent at the
mercy of snobs piled upon snobs, with everyone fawning over those above them and sneering
down at those below. Still, St Cyprian’s did its job as a preparatory
school. By 1917, Orwell was prepared enough to win
a scholarship to Eton, a private school that’s long been synonymous with “posh bastards”. Not that Eton turned Orwell into the respectable
pillar of the establishment his parents were hoping for. It was while there that young Orwell began
to cultivate his lifelong distrust of authority figures, to immerse himself in the works of
socialist writers. By the time Orwell graduated, in 1921, he
was ready to ditch the aristocratic pretenses forever. So instead of going to university, he went
to Burma. For Richard and Ida, this was a little like
hearing that their son had ditched a future at Yale to work the deep fat frier at Chick-Fil-A.
Joining the colonial service was something Richard had done out of necessity, not choice. No graduate of Eton should be heading to Burma! Yet, come 1922, that’s exactly where Orwell
found himself. As a policeman in a colonial force occupying
a remote part of Asia. He must’ve known he would hate it. And he did. But Orwell’s time in Burma would prove to
be more than just an exercise in masochism. Rather, it would be the place that transformed
him from a melancholy schoolboy into a melancholy writer. Down and Out in Burma and London
When he later looked back on his time in Burma, Orwell would laconically report that nearly
everyone there hated him. After his arrival in 1922, he’d first tried
to play the role of a colonial oppressor, only to discover that lording it over the
Burmese made him miserable. So he began to instead try to befriend the
locals. But while he enjoyed their company, the basic
fact of his Englishness was a barrier to friendship. As a result, he lived in a twilight state:
ashamed of his work and ashamed of his fellow colonials, but indelibly associated with them. Finally, in July 1927, while home on leave
in England, Orwell realized he couldn’t take any more. He resigned from the colonial police. But rather than chuck in the towel and go
to university, Orwell instead decided to give his parents another heart attack. Renting a cheap room in East London, Orwell
dressed himself as a tramp and went off to live among the poorest of the working classes. He did that on and off for the next four years. It’s been speculated that Orwell was trying
to assuage the guilt he felt from his time in Burma, the guilt of being part of a privileged
elite actively oppressing others. Whatever the truth, right up until 1932, Orwell
lived alongside tramps and beggars, sometimes loafing around London, sometimes picking hops
in Kent. At some point, he made his way to Paris, where
he spent a year and a half in biting poverty, working irregularly in hotels and grimy restaurants. Despite this, Orwell was not actually poor. While he spent a lot of time experiencing
poverty, his life in the slums was not a constant thing. He’d spend a few weeks there, then return
to his parents’ home to decompress for a bit before restarting the cycle. It was this approach that gave him time to
finally start writing. Not that he crapped out masterpieces from
the go. Orwell’s first tales were awful. Like, the sort of prose that instinctively
makes literary professors projectile vomit across the lecture hall. The few writer friends he had would actually
read his painfully earnest stories together just to make themselves laugh. But Orwell stuck with it. From 1928 to 1932 he worked hard to improve
his prose, until he’d finally mastered a pared-down, minimalist style which wasn’t
Hemmingway, but at least didn’t send anyone who read it into spasms of laughter. For his first book, that was good enough. Down and Out in Paris and London hit the bookshelves
in January, 1933. A lightly fictionalized retelling of Orwell’s
time among the destitute, Down and Out is famous today for its clear eyed reporting
of life at the bottom. In 1933, though, it was potentially scandalous. So much so that Orwell – or, in some tellings,
his publisher – decided to release it not under his birth name, but under a pseudonym. And so it was that Eric Arthur Blair came
to be known to history as George Orwell. While Down and Out didn’t exactly fly off
the shelves, it did earn some stellar reviews. Good enough that Orwell’s publisher asked
if he had any more. We can only hope Orwell responded with a sly
little smile. In his three short decades on Earth, he’d
already amassed enough material to make himself famous. The Road to Barcelona
The next few years saw a stream of books from Orwell, all based on his own life. Down and Out was followed by Burmese Days,
Orwell’s bitter attack on the colonial system. But while Down and Out had been close to reportage,
Burmese Days introduced one of the key characteristics of Orwell’s fiction: a lonely protagonist
trapped in an oppressive system who can’t seem to escape no matter what he does. A year after Burmese Days came out, A Clergyman’s
Daughter landed, based on Orwell’s own experience working for a cheap private school. This was followed in 1936 by Keep the Aspidistra
Flying, a semi-satire of Orwell’s time living respected-but-penniless on the edges of London’s
literary scene. Yet if Keep the Aspidistra Flying was slightly
tongue in cheek, it was still haunted by Orwell’s pet themes of poverty and the dehumanising
power of social systems. Which is why, the same year Aspidistra was
released, Orwell got the offer of a lifetime. Victor Gollancz was a wealthy leftwing publisher
who wanted to know if Orwell would take a commission writing about poverty in England. For this, Gollancz would be willing to pay
£500. To make that a little easier, in today’s
money it would be like someone offering you over $45,000 for a short book written however
you saw fit. As Orwell probably didn’t say: Ker-ching! For the next two months, Orwell lived in the
north of England among destitute working towns, gathering material. It was a grim experience, one comprising nights
of bedpans and bitter cold. In Orwell’s hands, though, it became The
Road to Wigan Pier. Wigan Pier is the book where Orwell famously
proclaimed himself a socialist, a belief he would hold for the rest of his life. However, it’s also the book where Orwell
took other English socialists to task for not living by their convictions. Victor Gollancz was so disappointed that he
would only publish it with an introduction that basically said don’t listen to this
guy, he’s an idiot. Still, Orwell got his £500 and, on June 9,
was even able to marry his girlfriend, Eileen Maud O’Shaughnessy. But while Wigan Pier may have seemed like
the culmination of Orwell’s life’s work, events in Europe were about to send that life
careering in a whole new direction. Back in 1931, Spain had abolished its monarchy,
resulting in a new, liberal republic. At first, the republic had ticked along, but
then, in 1933, hardline conservatives had won the elections. In the aftermath, leftwing Catalans in Barcelona
had attempted to secede from Spain, only to be crushed by General Francisco Franco. While Franco’s bloody response turned him
into a darling of the right, it alienated the electorate. So much so that the Conservatives lost power
in 1936 to a leftist coalition. So Franco decided to do away with elections
altogether. On July 17, 1936, Franco launched his coup. Across Spain, military units rose up to depose
the government. They were successful in many areas, but not
all. In Madrid and Catalonia, leftwing counter-coups
kept the nationalists at bay. Suddenly, one part of Spain was under the
control of hard-right fascists, and the other part under the control of hardcore leftists. So the two sides did what came naturally. They executed tens of thousands of subversives
in their respective areas, then turned their guns on one another. In Britain, the siren song of the Spanish
Civil War called thousands of young men to go and fight on the republican side. On December 23, 1936, George Orwell joined
their number. Saying goodbye to Eileen, he stepped aboard
a train, heading first for the English Channel, then Paris, and then on to Barcelona. By the time he returned, his life would’ve
changed completely. Homage to Catalonia
It’s impossible to overstate both how complicated and how bloody the Spanish civil war was. On the bloody side, Republican mobs lynched
clergy in the streets, while Nationalists had their female enemies publicly raped. On the complicated side… well, just take
a look at Barcelona. Although nominally under Republican control,
Barcelona was actually home to multiple leftist factions, some of whom hated one another’s
guts. There were anarchists. Catalan nationalists. Trotskyites. Stalinists. Non-aligned Marxists who viewed everyone with
suspicion. There were soldiers armed by and under the
direction of the USSR, while out on the battlefields troops from Nazi Germany clandestinely trained
Franco’s guys. It was into this tangled web of alliances
that Orwell found himself plunged headlong in January, 1937. Although nominally there to cover the war,
Orwell lost no time signing up to fight. Initially, he wanted to join the International
Brigades, a Communist unit fighting around Madrid. But this proved difficult, so instead he joined
POUM, those non-aligned Marxists we mentioned a moment ago. In practical terms, this meant Orwell briefly
training in Lenin barracks before being sent out to fight on the Aragon front… if by
“fight” you mean “stand around in a trench getting bored.” Aragon was not where the action was. At all. After a couple of months Orwell was climbing
the walls. Again, he tried to join the International
Brigades. Again, it got him nowhere. Finally, crawling with lice and bored out
his mind, Orwell returned to Barcelona, just in time for the May Days. The May Days were a super-complicated power
struggle that played out on the streets of Barcelona between the Communists, various
anarchist factions, the Catalan nationalists, and the various Marxist groups. The important thing is that, during the fight,
the Communists went after the POUM. Which is how Orwell found himself sat on a
Barcelona rooftop with a gun, defending POUM headquarters as the left devoured itself. All told, maybe a thousand people died in
five days of street violence. But it was what came next that was really
shocking. In the aftermath, the Communists began a hard
propaganda drive against all groups that had opposed them. Anyone fighting for POUM was painted as a
fascist. Suddenly, joining the International Brigades
did not seem like the greatest idea. So, Orwell went back to the front. And there his story nearly ended. Lounging in a trench at Teruel, Orwell was
shot by a fascist sniper. The bullet passed through his throat, nearly
killing him. He lost so much blood that his death seemed
inevitable. Just think. Had that bullet been a few millimeters over,
we wouldn’t be here right now. “George Orwell” would be a name known
only to those teaching courses with names like “Socialist Writers of Interwar Britain.” Thankfully, the bullet passed clean through,
and Orwell lived. Taken off the front, with permanently-damaged
vocal cords, he was returned to Barcelona just in time for everything to go south. By the end of May, 1937, things in the city
had reached the point of no return. The Communists were moving against their enemies,
and the POUM was high on their list. Still badly wounded, Orwell realized he had
no choice but to leave. Like, right now. In the end, he barely made it. As his friends from POUM were assassinated
or vanished into jails, Orwell and his wife managed to flee Catalonia for France, just
ahead of the clampdown. Had they been even a few hours slower, it’d
have been “goodbye place in the history books; hello place on the Socialist Writers
of Interwar Britain reading list.” By the end of June, Orwell was back in Britain,
safe from the inferno engulfing Catalonia. But his experience in Spain had changed him. While still a committed socialist, Orwell
had discovered a new, abiding hatred for Communism. It would be this hatred that would fuel his
two greatest works. “Some animals are more equal than others”
On April 1, 1939, Spain fell to Franco’s forces, heralding a fascist victory. For George Orwell, it was just another piece
of bad news in two years filled with them. On his return from the war, Orwell had written
Homage to Catalonia, now regarded as one of the best pieces of war reporting ever. In 1938, though, it was seen as a betrayal
of the leftwing, Communist-leaning audience he’d cultivated over the years. Despite great reviews, it barely shifted,
failing to reach even Orwell’s normal lows of three to four thousand copies sold. Just before its publication, Orwell collapsed
with breathing troubles. His subsequent diagnosis of tuberculosis only
confirmed that he was on a downward trajectory. By mid-1939, Orwell was ill, unloved by many
of his former readers, and deeply pessimistic about the future of Europe. When war finally broke out on September 3,
it just seemed to confirm his cynicism. That fall, he tried to join up to fight the
Nazis, but was refused because of his tuberculosis. So he joined the Home Guard, half-hoping it
would become a vehicle for revolutionary change like POUM. If you’ve ever watched Dad’s Army, you
can probably guess how that panned out. Finally, in 1941, desperate to be of some
help, Orwell joined the BBC, producing propaganda for its radio division. Today, Orwell’s time at the BBC is legendary,
not because of the work he did there – almost none of which survives – but because of the
tales. For instance, it’s said that 1984’s mental
torture chamber Room 101 was named for a real room where Orwell had to sit through endless
meetings. That’s probably a myth, but it does show
what Orwell thought of his time there. When he left in late 1943, he couldn’t wait
to see the back of the place. By 1944, both Orwell and Eileen were in a
bad place. Although they’d recently adopted a boy called
Richard, both were sick with serious illnesses. On top of that, there wasn’t a publisher
in England willing to take on Orwell’s latest novel, a fable about farm animals who revolt
against their owner. Yep, it’s time to talk about Animal Farm. A deceptively simple satire on the Russian
Revolution and its betrayal by Stalin, Animal Farm is the first of Orwell’s two late-life
masterpieces. But, in 1944, it was also a potential embarrassment. Stalin’s USSR was an ally. Not wanting to hurt the war effort, no-one
wanted to touch the book. Eventually, Orwell managed to find an American
publisher willing to take a chance, provided they could wait until WWII was over. Orwell agreed and, on August 17, 1945 Animal
Farm hit the shelves. It was an instant, colossal smash. Remember when we told you Orwell’s novels
usually sold 4,000-ish copies each? Animal Farm sold over 250,000 in its first
year alone. For some reason, the fable struck a cord with
readers in a way more complex fare like Homage to Catalonia never did. Maybe it was the timing. Maybe it was the endless quotability, like
the moment the pigs pronounce “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal
than others.” For whatever reason, Animal Farm was the hit
Orwell had dreamed of writing. The money poured in. He became famous. The CIA even contacted him for permission
to translate his book into Russian and smuggle it into the Soviet Union! Yet Orwell felt no joy at any of this. Just five months before Animal Farm’s release,
Eileen had died of cancer while Orwell was away on a newspaper assignment. Outwardly, Orwell bore her death with stoicism. But inside? Inside he was a mess. An angry, guilty, bitter mess. Early next year, he took his adopted son Richard
and left London for good. By now, his tuberculosis was nearly terminal. As man and boy headed to the remote islands
of Scotland, it must’ve seemed like Orwell was shortly to go the same way as Eileen. But not yet. Orwell still had one, last book in him. And it was this final book, written as he
drifted towards death’s doorway, that would change the world. 1948
If you look up the definition of “remote” in the dictionary, you’ll find a picture
of Jura island. Actually, that’s a lie. We just wanted a more interesting way of saying
“Jura is remote,” without just saying “Jura is remote”. But Jura is remote, and the house Orwell and
Richard moved into was remote even for Jura. It was 8 miles from the nearest phone. 25 miles from the nearest village. To get from there to London would take over
two days. Naturally, Orwell loved it. For years now, he’d been turning a story
over in his head. A dystopian, sci-fi fantasy that would mix
together all his thoughts on Communism, what he’d seen in Catalonia, and totalitarianism
generally. Now he was effectively alone amid Jura’s
bleak wilderness, he could devote himself to the book entirely. For the next few months, Orwell worked ten
hour days hunched over a small desk, chain smoking cigarettes and working on his novel. By February, 1948, he had a first draft. Famously, he swapped the last two digits of
the date to make the title: 1984. That done, he promptly collapsed and nearly
died of tuberculosis. Rushed to hospital, Orwell was forced to undergo
brutal treatments just to survive. He had air injected directly into his lungs. Was given experimental medicines that caused
an allergic reaction that nearly killed him. Desperate to get his last novel out before
he kicked the bucket, he tried to hire a typist to take dictation. When no-one responded, he simply sat in bed,
getting weaker and weaker as he typed away. By the end of the year, he was back on Jura
again, where he finished the second draft. Almost immediately, he collapsed again. From that point on, he spent most of what
remained of his life in sanitoriums. By January, 1949, Orwell was barely clinging
to the world of the living, the effort of hanging in there itself almost killing him. Yet hang on he did, until, on June 8, 1949,
1984 was finally published. Almost immediately, the fight began over what
it meant. For some, the novel’s vision of Britain
under a Stalinistic dictatorship that watches people’s every move and polices their thoughts
represented Orwell’s final break with the left. For others, it was another satire the USSR,
this time one with far darker undertones than Animal Farm. Others saw in it a veiled attack on the Catholic
Church’s role in the Inquisition, while yet others thought it was an allegory for
the post-WWII order, where conferences at Yalta had carved up the globe. But that’s part of the genius of 1984. It can be reinterpreted in so many ways, a
free market libertarian, a committed anarchist, an anti-Stalin Communist, and a stuffy old
British conservative could all claim it as their own. Sadly, none of them had a chance to ask if
they were right. On January 21, 1950, George Orwell died of
his tuberculosis, aged just 46. Barely three months before, he’d married
Richard’s old babysitter, Sonia – the model for Julia in 1984. One of Orwell’s last acts was to ask for
a Christian burial. Although he was a lifelong atheist, it seems
he just couldn’t refuse a traditional goodbye. Not that it seems western culture will ever
truly say goodbye to Orwell. In the decade after her husband’s death,
Sonia Orwell methodically republished his old, out of print works. Thanks to Animal Farm’s mega-popularity,
people were now ready to read forgotten gems like Coming Up for Air, or essays like A Hanging
or Shooting an Elephant. By 1960, Orwell’s status as a literary icon
was cemented in Britain. There were animated films of Animal Farm. In the 1970s, David Bowie first tried to produce
a glam-rock musical, and then released a concept album based on 1984. Come the actual year 1984, Orwell’s work
was so well-known that it triggered a 12 month media frenzy. Today, George Orwell is a bona fide literary
superstar, a novelist whose name is as recognizable as that of Hemmingway. But even after all this time, the man himself
remains a mystery. As we stated in our opening, Orwell was a
man of many contradictions, an intellect that refused to be classified. Just type “Orwellian” into Google’s
news tab. You’ll find leftwing and rightwing writers
both using his name to decry their opponents; Remainers and Brexiters; capitalists and socialists,
everyone and his dog, all convinced they’ve got Orwell sussed. But to assume you can just stuff Orwell into
a box and label him misses the point. All his life, Orwell made a virtue of speaking
his mind, even if it meant biting the hand that fed him, even if it meant playing devil’s
advocate. In the end, we shouldn’t think of Orwell
as something as simplistic as a “leftwing writer” or a “rightwing writer”. Perhaps we should just think of him as a writer
who tried to tackle hypocrisy wherever he saw it, never compromising in his vision of
a fairer society. He may have only lived a mere 46 years, but
in his short time on Earth, Orwell managed to create complex masterpieces that defied
interpretation. Come 2084, even 2184, it seems likely we’ll
still be reading them.

100 thoughts to “George Orwell: The Uncompromising Visionary”

  1. At 4:37?!….
    Uhhh, did you mean "Burmese Days"
    And instead of Down and out in Burma and London, wrong book title too(Paris)

  2. After what you’ve said about Jurer Island, I cannot take anything you’ve said on here seriously, I’m really sad to say.

  3. Nice video but the Nord VPN does not work well. I paid for two years in advance, moved to work in another country, and the system is useless here; the connection becomes so slow that you just give up.

  4. a totalitarian state can be reached from any angle left or right its all about power and control and no poltical theory or religion for that matter can be held blameless it starts when rhetoric trumps reality on the path to power human descency is not wearing a cap in a certain colour truth dont have any political party philosophy or faith

  5. The part i know well about Franco and Spain is completely wrong, you are making up a story… so i guess the rest of your narrative is full of lies as well.

  6. 1984 a prophecy now coming to pass. …. orwell knew nazism/fascism was bad, but not as bad as the subtleties of bolshevism.

  7. shows how a really good idea, beautiful and creative in expression, can be appreciated by so many. how many saints, how many sinners have gazed upon the same?

  8. Reminded me of that time i was carrying a borrowed 1984 in my hand and some weird guy stopped me and questioned me about why i have this book? where i bought it? I was 14 back then.

  9. 1984 is a book i won't forget. The Persian translated book had 8 pages that describes War, i spent 3 night reading and realizing it till i fully understood the whole thing.
    Maybe i should read it again after more than a decade.

  10. A socialist who understood the evils of communism and its associated doctrines well. Still surprising as it was then. And as true.

  11. Here's one for the Yanks: "A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.".

  12. Facebook will soon be watching you all through the FaceTime camera, after there new patent is accepted, so they can watch your facial expressions. So turn off the Automatic update on your devices or you won’t even know it’s happened. Maybe a step to far. Cool video thanks.

  13. Let me tell you something, oops it's not what I was going to tell you. Good thing I don't have a VPN else they might know.

  14. Your use of the term “fascists” relating to Franco’s side follows many people’s usage, but it’s totally wrong. They sympathized with the other European fascists at the time, but were not fascists themselves.

  15. He died from tuberculosis in 1950?
    I thought that streptomycin had been finished developed just after the 2nd WW and marketed well before 1950.

  16. Almost no-one in Mexico has ever heard of George Orwell. I don't know if it due to the general lack of education or to the left-leaning dictatorship of the PRI for most of the twentieth century actively suppressing Animal Farm and 1984. In Spain everyone knows him while in Mexico even university professors have never heard of him.

  17. "Because it will annoy any… pedants"
    Brilliant! Thank you for making this insufferable pedant laugh and step down from her soapbox.

  18. He was a police spy and an informer , he handed over details to the police of Socialists which led to them being black listed , he was a typical bourgeois so called Socialist , some one who likes the theoretical side of Socialism but is horrified by the practice of Socialist revolution , he was lucky that there was no revolution because this police spy would have been shot.

  19. Great biographic as usual. Loved to get some more background on the guy who I voluntarily let me scare me awake as aI undertook to read 1984 as a teenager while living in a student dormitory. <3
    I would add that the original foreword to Animal Farm was censored from publication – a tet well reading as Orwell aims his heavy artillery directly at the british betrayal of the serbian chetnik leader, the larger than life heroic Draza Mihailovic, a guy who you guys definitely should make a biographic about.

  20. I have exchanged Orwell's name in a Messenger conversation with a friend yesterday 2 times and next thing this bio pops up in my YT suggestions.. big brother is really watching 🙂

  21. Animal Farm was required reading in 60’s high school. Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and Catcher in the Rye too. What are they reading now?

  22. People don't talk about down and out in Paris and London . I have probably read it over 30 times and now and then still read my favorite parts anyone who hasn't checked it out please do and thank me later.

    For those who have read it it's thought to be fairly accurate other than some things being out sink with the proper time frame. He did change the person who originally stole his money because he didn't want his parents finding out a French prostitute he rented was really the cause of the theft, and as Simon stated Orwell was not in near the danger of starving that the book acts like he was, still an excellent book though!

  23. I need more anti communist leftists in my life alway. Too damn many tankies, especially on twitter. And to think Orwell learned to hate communists BEFORE the USSR and the gulags. DX

  24. Be honest, Orwell would be SILENCED today.
    It;s over, it's way, way worse than he warned us.
    There is no longer and true dissent.

  25. Okay, I have to admit it, this is very good. I've a new respect for you SW. I always thought Orwell was a prophetic political commentator but a pretentious person and mediocre writer. You described the man I imagined. I wonder what he'd've written if he'd've been around now?

    Apparently there's no such word as "he'd've"!

  26. Oh wow. I know this is such a small bit of compliment. But I typically listen to your videos as a podcast so I mostly dont notice the introduction. But I like that your motto is: "History, one life at a time." Probably the most comfortable and sensible way to learn history. You're doing great work mate!

  27. Hey, Nord was Hacked, and they didnt catch it for an entire month. Meaning the hacker had their way for an entire month before anything was done about it. I hear their security team was very underfunded, but their marketing team was massively funded. Check out Jayz2cents for more info.

  28. The Left did not heed genuine intellectuals like Orwell and Koestler. They continued to be loyal to their false Utopias through the worst genocides . Now they have transferred their allegiance to another barbaric permanent dystopia.

  29. Look at todays society and compare it to 1984, we're half way there. How did he know what the world was going to be like in the future? Both him and Huxley was part of fabian society.

  30. I think Simon should slow down his speech when he does this channel so you don’t feel so much like your watching Today I Found Out and most of his other channels. Like something a little different like his business channel. But, this one could just be more like reading a biography of someone which is a slower pace with the pauses in different places than when he’s racing through his other scripts. Slowing down would be more respectful to the dead people instead of just racing through so you can cash in on your video.

  31. I just watched a show on the Absolute History YT channel about Brendan Bracken (“Churchill’s Secret Son”). Funny, but Bracken was Churchill’s Minister of Information during WW2. Eric Arthur Blair worked for and very much disliked Minister Bracken. He’s mentioned as the inspiration for “Big Brother” in Orwell’s “1984” and the Ministry of Information became the “Ministry of Truth”.

  32. 0:59 With all due respect, and I mean RESPECT, the greatest British modern writer was G. K. Chesterton. Change my mind.

  33. Orwell was just privy to all this information. An insider

    If people learned about the secret societies that have been ruling our world behind the sences.

    Wars invasions agendas everything the government do are planned many many years in advance..george orwell is just a tool

  34. “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

  35. George Orwell is why I'm a libertarian and he and HP Lovecraft are my favorite authors and a big inspiration for me to write books

  36. Sometimes we can't be pigeon holed and speculated upon.
    We are individuals and many faceted personalities among many.

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