Spanish Sketches

Martin Tyrrell at The Dublin Review of Books:

Three ideas that are central to all Orwell’s subsequent, serious writing were formed in Spain. First, that socialism works. Second, that socialism works, but beware, for it can take an authoritarian turn. (Homage to Catalonia in part tells a similar story to Animal Farm ‑ the utopia betrayed from within when its leaders start to suit themselves.) Third, that those who betray lie brazenly, weaving an elaborate web of self-serving falsehood. “[I]n Spain,” wrote Orwell in the 1942 “Looking Back on the Spanish War”, “for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which did not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie. I saw great battles reported where there had been no fighting, and complete silence where hundreds of men had been killed … This kind of thing is frightening to me, because it often gives me the feeling that the very concept of objective truth is fading from the world.”

more here.