The Proletariat


“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.” -George Orwell in his 1937 novel The Road to Wigan Pier

“I knew nothing about working-class conditions,” he confessed. “I had read the unemployment figures but I had no notion of what they implied; above all, I did not know the essential fact that ‘respectable’ poverty is always the worst. The frightful doom of a decent working man suddenly thrown on the streets after a lifetime of steady work, his agonized struggles against economic laws he does not understand, the disintegration of families, the corroding sense of shame—all this was outside the range of my experience.” Life, he wrote, “has to be lived in terms of effort.”

The working class, in other words, needs to work. No party that claims to represent the interests of the working class can afford to forget that.

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