Three great dramas of the C20th

Within this linked post, via the boys, is this text:

Hitchens argued that Orwell was an intellectual of such tremendous consequence because he got the “three great dramas” of the 20th century right.

I’ll not make comment at this stage, but rather ask you – what do you consider the three great dramas of the C20th, given the constraints for the sake of the exercise, of there being just three?

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4 comments for “Three great dramas of the C20th

  1. dearieme
    November 21, 2019 at 18:59

    Three great dramas? How about WWI, Bolshevik Revolution, WWII?

    Other candidates would be the end of the Raj, the Versailles Treaty, the Great Depression, the Russo-Japanese War, the making of the people’s Republic of China, …

    If you think of WWI/Bolshies/Versailles/WWII as one drama in four acts then the big dramas in India and China could be added as the other two, given the historical importance of those cultures/economies.

  2. November 21, 2019 at 23:13

    In them Hitchens argued that Orwell was an intellectual of such tremendous consequence because he got the “three great dramas” of the 20th century right. These were: the moral unsustainability of imperialism, the rising danger of Fascism, and the soulless cruelty of Communism.

    Imperialism is still going strong, so Orwell was wrong about that. He was right about the immorality of imperialism but failed to predict that it would prosper.

    The political system we have at the moment in the West is very similar to fascism. It’s basically an internationalist version of fascism. So Orwell was wrong about that.

    As for communism, Orwell was so far to the Left that his views are almost indistinguishable from communism. He described himself as a democratic socialist but he was more of a democratic communist. He thought the problem with communism was that it just hadn’t been done properly.

    Communism in the Soviet Union became much milder after Stalin’s death and kept getting milder. Chinese Communism was a lot milder than Stalinism (notwithstanding hysterical American propaganda). I’d say Orwell was right about Stalinism, but you didn’t have to be a prophet to get that one right.

    Orwell was at best a second-rate thinker.

  3. November 21, 2019 at 23:21

    what do you consider the three great dramas of the C20th

    1) The establishment of US global hegemony, particularly US global cultural hegemony.

    2) The rise and rise of China.

    3) The growing irrelevance of Britain and Europe.

    But Hitchens seemed to be thinking in terms of ideas rather than facts. The three great intellectual/ideological dramas of the 20th century were

    1) The end of the political Left.

    2) The complete destruction of the concept of society and the apotheosis of selfish individualism.

    3 ) The establishment of a global monoculture based on what is laughingly described as American culture.

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