I wrote the following in answer to a reader's question asking for names of people involved in hi-jacking 1984 for their own political purposes:

The first Capitalist to see how 1984 could be used to their advantage was Orwell's very own publisher Fredrick Warburg. When he read the manuscript he was confident it would appeal to the Conservative party. At that time Churchill was running for election hoping to be Prime Minister again. Now that WWII was over, during which time Churchill had been meeting secretly with Stalin over plans to hand Europe to the Soviet Union, Churchill was now back to banging the drum against Communism. Orwell's publisher obviously didn't realize that Orwell had despised Churchill and his cohorts Roosevelt and Stalin ever since the Tehran Conference where they conspired to divide the world into three super-states.

At the Yalta Conference, held near the end of the war, Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill again disgusted Orwell by the way they salivated over the remains of once-free Europe. Years later it turned out that the man standing behind Roosevelt at the Yalta Conference, Alger Hiss, was a proven Communist:

Cold War's Unlearned Lessons Doom Us to Repeat History. Accuracy in Academia
...The other rather interesting character - who we knew was a spy, who we knew was a communist - was Alger Hiss. He was a high level official at the State Department identified by Whittaker Chambers as one of the spies in the State Department. Chambers would carry the information back to the Soviets from Alger Hiss. There is a document in the Venona Papers which documents Hiss as a Soviet spy, who after the Yalta conference, was Roosevelt's right hand man and received a medal from the Soviet Union for his activities against the United States. The medals were either the Order of the Red Star or the Order of the Red Banner. And those medals are not like the Order of Lenin. The Order of Lenin was given to all kinds of political persons all over Moscow. But the Order of the Red Star and the Order of the Red Banner, were only given for combat heroism, or operations behind enemy lines. Well, we were the enemy lines that Alger Hiss operated behind...

Whittaker Chambers, an editor at Time magazine, was an ex-Communist who in the early years after the war exposed Alger Hiss as a Communist.

Also in the early 1950s Senator Joseph McCarthy attempted to expose Communist infiltration in America but was villified by the press and turned into an object of ridicule. In recent years it's been admitted that everything he said was true:


Orwell would have supported Chambers and McCarthy for their attempts to expose Communism because he himself was one of Communism's greatest enemies, as evidenced by his writing career. Orwell took the threat of Communist infiltration of the UK government very seriously and when asked for his opinion of who he suspected of being Communists he wrote out a list, about which he has been villified just as Chambers and McCarthy were:


In 1984 Orwell described how the Communists hid behind "newspeak" words like Comintern so as not to draw attention to themselves. Here's the excerpt from the Appendix section of 1984, pages 247-248:

"...So far as it could be contrived, everything that had or might have political significance of any kind was fitted into the B vocabulary. The name of every organization, or body of people, or doctrine, or country, or institution, or public building, was invariably cut down into the familiar shape; that is, a single easily pronounced word with the smallest number of syllables that would preserve the original derivation. In the Ministry of Truth, for example, the Records Department, in which Winston Smith worked, was called Recdep, the Fiction Department was called Ficdep, the Teleprogrammes Department was called Teledep, and so on. This was not done solely with the object of saving time. Even in the early decades of the twentieth century, telescoped words and phrases had been one of the characteristic features of political language; and it had been noticed that the tendency to use abbreviations of this kind was most marked in totalitarian countries and totalitarian organizations. Examples were such words as Nazi, Gestapo, Comintern, Inprecorr, Agitprop. In the beginning the practice had been adopted as it were instinctively, but in Newspeak it was used with a conscious purpose. It was perceived that in thus abbreviating a name one narrowed and subtly altered its meaning, by cutting out most of the associations that would otherwise cling to it. The words Communist International, for instance, call up a composite picture of universal human brotherhood, red flags, barricades, Karl Marx, and the Paris Commune. The word Comintern, on the other hand, suggests merely a tightly-knit organization and a well-defined body of doctrine. It refers to something almost as easily recognized, and as limited in purpose, as a chair or a table. Comintern is a word that can be uttered almost without taking thought, whereas Communist International is a phrase over which one is obliged to linger at least momentarily..."

After 1984 was published in the United States it came to Orwell's attention that the Capitalist element was trying to portray 1984 as anti-Socialism. Orwell had his publisher write a disclaimer to set the record straight. Orwell told the world that 1984 was NOT a criticism of Socialism because he himself was a Socialist and had been a supporter of the Labour Party (imperfect as it was).

Orwell had hoped that his message in 1984 describing the horrific manifistations of Capitalism AND Communism would be obvious to readers. But, as in Animal Farm, the message hadn't been clear enough and those who would want to profit from misinterpretations were successful in distorting its ultimate message to those who wanted to see it that way.

Orwell would have been enraged, had he lived to learn it, that a far-right organization in the United States - the John Birch Society - had arranged to have the last four digits of their telephone number changed to "1984". This was the same organization that on the day of President Kennedy's assassination had taken out a full-page hate-ad against him in the Dallas Morning News.


As far as 1984 being used as a tool in the Communist's hands, that was not a possibility. On the contrary, the only people in the Soviet Union who were allowed to read 1984 were the Party leaders who made sure the masses never saw a copy.

There have been many people and organizations over the years, from the right AND the left, who have tried to twist 1984 into a condemnation of "socialism" and claim Orwell as their own. But Orwell doesn't belong to the left or the right. He belongs to the middle. ~ Jackie Jura


Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~

email: orwelltoday@gmail.com
website: www.orwelltoday.com