Josefin Malmqvist

What Orwell can teach Democrats about elitism

Just read an article which follows quite nicely from my previous point of elitism within Socialdemoracy in Britian and Sweden. This time it’s about elitism within the Democrats across the Atlantic, something that might cost Obama the Presidency. The point is exactly the same though; how Socialists or Democrats loose track of who they are to represent and don’t live as they teach. George Orwell has the same conclusion, using Socialists and Christians in his example.

Jeff Greenfield for the The Slate writes:

”Elitism has bedeviled American liberalism for the better part of four decades. It undermined the presidential campaigns of Al Gore and John Kerry, and now it’s making mischief in the Obama campaign every bit as much as the omnipresence of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.”

”Orwell also rails against the condescension many on the left display toward those they profess to care most about. Describing a gathering of leftists in London, he says, ”every person there, male and female, bore the worst stigmata of sniffish middle-class superiority. If a real working man, a miner dirty from the pit, for instance, had suddenly walked into their midst, they would have been embarrassed, angry and disgusted; some, I should think, would have fled holding their noses.”

”And so, Orwell ruefully concluded, the snobbish socialists succeeded in depleting their own ranks. ”The ordinary decent person, who is in sympathy with the essential aims of Socialism, is given the impression that there is no room for his kind in any Socialist party that means business.”

”For Democrats at the moment, it is no doubt exasperating to watch working-class voters choose candidates whose economic tastes run to comforting the comfortable. And it may be cold comfort to learn that such impulses are not confined to time and place. But if you want to court these voters in a way that will resonate with them, you could do a lot worse than heeding the cautionary words of George Orwell.”

Read the entire article here.

Thank you Aneurin for the tip.