November 06, 2008
While post-poll recriminations fly and whizz like bullets among the various pressure groups?Neocons for McCain, Neocons for Obama, White Supremacists for Obama, Black Supremacists for Obama, Black Supremacists for McCain, Hispanic Supremacists for McCain, Hispanic Supremacists for Obama, Bores for Biden, Lesbians for Palin, Sex-Crazed Teenage Boys for Palin (there?s probably a chapter of Sex-Crazed Teenage Boys for McCain somewhere out there)?we might care to ponder a passage near the end of Orwell?s 1945 essay, ?Notes on Nationalism?:
I think one must engage in politics ? using the word in a wide sense ? and that one must have preferences: that is, one must recognize that some causes are objectively better than others, even if they are advanced by equally bad means. As for the nationalistic loves and hatreds that I have spoken of, they are part of the make-up of most of us, whether we like it or not. Whether it is possible to get rid of them I do not know, but I do believe that it is possible to struggle against them, and that this is essentially a moral effort. It is a question first of all of discovering what one really is, what one’s own feelings really are, and then of making allowance for the inevitable bias. If you hate and fear Russia, if you are jealous of the wealth and power of America, if you despise Jews, if you have a sentiment of inferiority towards the British ruling class, you cannot get rid of those feelings simply by taking thought. But you can at least recognize that you have them, and prevent them from contaminating your mental processes. The emotional urges which are inescapable, and are perhaps even necessary to political action, should be able to exist side by side with an acceptance of reality.
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