Apropos Nothing

This is my favorite George Orwell quotation. He wrote it in 1944, in a review of a book by James Burnham called The Machiavellians:

Any theory which is obviously dishonest and immoral (“realistic” is the favourite word at this moment) will find adherents who accept it just for that reason. Whether the theory works, whether it attains the result aimed at will hardly be questioned. The mere fact that it throws ordinary decency overboard will be accepted as proof of its grown-upness and consequently of its efficacy.

Sometimes, when pundits explain to me what I ought to consider “realistic,” and “grown up,” I marvel at how true this still is.

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