Thursday, 15 November 2007

War, fear and truth

Orwell reminds us that the fear produced by war and terrorism allows those in power to create their own truth.
Perhaps it would have surprised George Orwell, poet laureate of the Cold War, to find himself so much in our thoughts in this second decade of the post-Cold War age. The Soviet Union is 15 years dead, its imperium in the East long since ended. China has entered into a peculiar economic symbiosis with the American capitalist juggernaut. And yet, in this new post-ideological world, no writer is more vital than Orwell, not least because he helps us see how deeply that earlier struggle has marked us, helps us read the signs it has inscribed on the body of our politics.

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