March 1, 2010 Leave a comment
The lefty blogosphere has had a lot of fun today at the expense of Newt Gingrich's pompous ignorance. What's sad is that he passes for an intellectual on the right. I think the idea being that if you sometimes use big words and taught history at Kennesaw State University, you must know what you are talking about. Anyway, Gingrich foolishly argued that George Orwell (i.e., 1984) would have opposed "socialized medicine." Alas for Newt, Orwell was actually quite the socialist. I found Ezra Klein to be the most pithy and quotable on the matter:
[Gingrich quote here:]Orwell points out, after ["1984]" became famous, that
the novel is not about the Soviet Union. The novel is about the logical
extension of centralized government in Great Britain. The novel is
proof of Hayek's principle that centralized planning inherently leads
to dictatorship, which is why having a secular, socialist machine try
to impose government-run health care on this country is such a
significant step away from freedom and away from liberty and towards a
A lot of people are noting that Orwell was a socialist and
Gingrich doesn't know what he's talking about, but I'm much more
appalled that Gingrich thinks a dystopic piece of fiction was "proof"
that "that centralized planning inherently leads to dictatorship" and
an argument against health-care reform. That's like me saying “The
Shawshank Redemption” is proof that prison walls are too weak and we
should invest serious money into reinforcing them against extremely
small rock picks.
Ahh, but yet smart enough to make the conservatives think he's an intellectual heavy-weight. I'm kind of curious just what kind of History professor he was back in the day.