ORWELL NOT A FABIAN
To Orwell Today,
Did George Orwell have inside knowledge because of his membership of the Fabians?
Also I have often wondered whether there is a secondary meaning to the name. Why did Eric Blair choose that name?
All the best – love your site,
Orwell was never a member of the Fabian Society (led by Sidney and Beatrice Webb with adherents like George Bernard Shaw) which he said was comprised of blow-hard intellectuals pretending to be Socialists when deep down they were Communists lusting for power and control.
Here's an excerpt from the book THE ROAD TO WIGAN PIER which Orwell wrote in 1937 and which the so-called "Socialists" and Communists tried to have suppressed from publication:
Part Two: Chapter 11
"...The ugly fact is that most middle-class Socialists, while theoretically pining for a class-less society, cling like glue to their miserable fragments of social prestige....The Coles, Webbs, Stracheys, etc., are not exactly proletarian writers...Sometimes I look at a Socialist — the intellectual, tract-writing type of Socialist, with his pullover, his fuzzy hair, and his Marxian quotation — and wonder what the devil his motive really is. It is often difficult to believe that it is a love of anybody, especially of the working class, from whom he is of all people the furthest removed. The underlying motive of many Socialists, I believe, is simply a hypertrophied sense of order. The present state of affairs offends them not because it causes misery, still less because it makes freedom impossible, but because it is untidy; what they desire, basically, is to reduce the world to something resembling a chessboard. Take the plays of a lifelong Socialist like Shaw. How much understanding or even awareness of working-class life do they display? ... You get the same thing in a more mealy-mouthed form in Mrs Sidney Webb's autobiography, which gives, unconsciously, a most revealing picture of the high-minded Socialist slum-visitor. The truth is that, to many people calling themselves Socialists, revolution does not mean a movement of the masses with which they hope to associate themselves; it means a set of reforms which 'we', the clever ones, are going to impose upon 'them', the Lower Orders..."
Regarding your question about Eric Blair's choice of George Orwell as his pseudonym I have written my thoughts on that in GEORGE ORWELL'S PEN NAME. In a nutshell it is my opinion that he chose "George" after England's patron saint (who slew the dragon) and "Orwell" after a village in Cambridgeshire and a river in Suffolk.
All the best,
PS - For an explanation of how the word "Socialism" has been misused by non-Socialist political philosophies see LEFT, RIGHT & SOCIALISM
FABIAN'S WEBB WORSHIPPED LENIN
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