George Orwell, rule of law, social science explanation, holism and individualism, liberalism, socialism, 1984, power lust


For although he was too strongly independent in his thinking to accept the Marxist or socialist dogmas of his associates, because they did not seem to square with experience, and though he admired the tough resistance of English character and legal institutions to tyranny, Orwell never did tumble to the understanding of man and government which had shaped each over the centuries. Failing to see the constants in human nature as the key to the political problem, he looked around the world both as he perceived it and his literary fellows portrayed it, and concluded that power lust was the strongest social force, and that as "men are infinitely malleable,"1 it would lead power hungry men to shape their fellow creatures to suit their will. This paper explores Orwell’s writings from the perspective of western legal theory and social science understandings of the individual and society to contrast Orwell’s conflicted positions with the educated thought of his own times.

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Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Political Science

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor