“The Road to Wigan Pier” and how things never change

I just finished George Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier. For the unitiated, the first half of the book is about Orwell’s experiences living with poor coal mining families in the north of England. The second half is a description of why he thinks socialism has failed to gain a following in England, despite it being (in his opinion), so obviously right. As part of the reason, he says the following:

In addition to this there is the horrible – the really disquieting – 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.

Now, does anybody remember this?

The tone of the two attacks is similar, and I feel like “sushi-eating” in 2004 = “fruit-juice drinker” in 1934.

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