thread: 2007-01-19 : The Jungle Books
On 2007-01-25, Curly wrote:
Thank you, Jeff Z., that essay really hit home for me.
As an American who consumes countless goods made in Chinese sweatshops, I’d say Orwell’s words are still pretty fucking relevant:
“All left-wing parties in the highly industrialized countries are at bottom a sham,because they make it their business to fight against something which they do not really wish to destroy. They have internationalist aims, and at
the same time they struggle to keep up a standard of life with which those aims are incompatible. We all live by robbing Asiatic coolies, and those of us who are ‘enlightened’ all maintain that those coolies ought
to be set free; but our standard of living, and hence our
‘enlightenment’, demands that the robbery shall continue.”
I’d also like to point out that Orwell used the term “blimp” several times, which reminds me to recommend the Powell and
Pressberger film ‘The Life And Times of Colonel Blimp’. Blimp was a british cartoon character mocking the 19th century jingoistic imperialist blowhard. The film version refused to make Blimp a pure buffoon, and thus is similar to Orwell’s semi-apology for Kipling.
While you’re watching that, make it a double feature with “The Man Who Would Be King” starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine, with Christopher Plummer as Rudyard Kipling… directed by John Huston.
Can anyone here distill the colonialist value-system into a “progression of sin”, so we can play Dogs In The Vineyard as idealistic Brits who go-off to civilize India?
(And then, to really get depressed, we can use it to re-enact the British broken promises that set the stage for today’s acrimony between Sunni and Shia in Iraq.)