Wall Street Journal ‘Notable & Quotable’ & Response

George Orwell in “The Road to Wigan Pier” 1937

The first thing that must strike any outsider observer is that Socialism in it’s developed form is a theory confined entirely to the middle classes.  The typical Socialist is not, as tremulous old ladies imagine, a ferocious-looking working man with greasy overalls and a raucous voice.  He is either a youthful snob-Bolshevik who in five years’ time will quite probably have made a wealthy marriage and been converted to Roman Catholicism, or still more typically, a prim little man with a white-collar job, usually a secret teetotaller and often with vegetarian leanings, with a history of Nonconformity behind him, and, above all, with a social position which he has no intention of forfeiting.

This last type is surprisingly common in Socialist parties of every shade; it has perhaps been taken over en bloc from the old Liberal Party.  In addition to this there is the horrible prevalence of cranks wherever Socialists are gathered together.  One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words “Socialism” and “Communism” draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, “Nature Cure” quack, pacifist, and feminist in England.

One day this summer I was riding through Letchworth when the bus stopped and two dreadful looking old men got on to it.  They were both about sixty, both very short, pink, and chubby, and both hatless.  One of them was obscenely bald, and the other had long grey hair bobbed in the Lloyd George style.  They were dressed in pistachio-colored shirts and khaki shorts into which their huge bottoms were crammed so tightly that you could study every dimple.  Their appearance created a mild stir of horror on top of the bus.

The man next to me, a commercial traveller I should say, glanced at me, at them, and back again at me, and murmured “Socialists” as who should say, “Red Indians”.  He was probably right – the I.L.P. were holding their summer school at Letchworth.  But the point is that to him, as an ordinary man, a crank meant a Socialist and a Socialist meant a crank.


George Orwell was right in 1937, Socialists were thought of as the dregs of society, never do-wells or bomb throwers.  Then, just as today, the dangerous ones were part of society, with coats and ties, holding honorable positions, but as traitorous as the worst.  Those that the blame fell on, the hobos of the 30’s, I knew several, they had their organizations, but I don’t recall them ever agitating politically.  The agitating came from the ‘peace’ organizations.  They were all finally exposed as Soviet Communist fronts.

So, as Orwell noted, Socialists are of the middle class — but the movement always starts at the top.  It starts from dishonesty and corruption, driven by greed, and percolates downward where it finds the dissatisfied, righteously-wronged and the ‘world owes me a living’ agitators and followers.  Then the professionals move in, organize and guide the movement.  Where do the professionals come from?

Orwell, mentioning the ILP’s summer school, touched on it.  The Fabians, of the British intelligentsia, Marxist Socialists, moving to solve the world’s poverty problems, were educating Western Europe and the British Colonies into their beliefs.  Then they came to America in 1899 to do the same, except they educated the second tier of government, the aides and influencers to get their socialism legislated.  They were abetted by John D. Rockefeller’s funds, an international banker by then, and were very successful.  Rockefeller does leave one to wonder if he really knew the consequences of socialism, would he have encouraged them?  Probably!  Rockefeller was ruthless, didn’t believe in competition, and one of the most powerful men in the world.  His organizations still support the drive to a global government.  But the Socialism he supported may also be what destroys the move to a global government.

Samuel Gompers, founder of organized labor, said it very clearly; what destroys societies, “Whatever is done under the guise of philanthropy or social morality which in any way lessens initiative is the greatest crime that can be committed against the toilers.”  He was speaking of the Social busybodies and professional public moral experts which we have today in do-gooders, busybodies, nannies, feminists, multiculturalism, liberalism, progressiveness, political environmentalists, et al: and they have deteriorated American culture, the individual’s fiber and glue of patriotism, credence, fairism, dishonesty, corruption, violence, and government should-doers for themselves.  While their ‘for me’ is being interfered with or denied their believed ‘rights’ allows them to attack those that dissatisfies or denies them, from their imagined being wrong.

Socialism, once into the society with a life of it’s own, becomes a human mental disease, gravitating that way.  That the present administration strives that way too, makes Socialism’s deterioration of Americanism get a lot of help.  Socialists have no truths; they can only spread their lies! KNOW WHO YOU ARE VOTING FOR!

Toby Elster


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