16.6.40

This morning’s papers make it reasonably clear that at any rate until after the presidential election, the U.S.A will not do anything, i.e. will not declare war, which in fact is what matters. For if the U.S.A is not actually in the war there will never be sufficient control of either business or labour to speed up production of armaments. In the last war this was the case even when the U.S.A was a belligerent.

It is impossible even yet to decide what to do in the case of German conquest of England. The one thing I will not do is to clear out, at any rate not further than Ireland, supposing that to be feasible. If the fleet is intact and it appears that the war is to be continued from America and the Dominions, then one must remain alive if possible, if necessary in the concentration camp. If the U.S.A is going to submit to conquest as well, there is nothing for it but to die fighting, but one must above all die fighting and have the satisfaction of killing somebody else first.

Talking yesterday to M.[1], one of the Jewish members of my L.D.V. section, I said that if and when the present crisis passed there would be a revolt in the Conservative party against Churchill and an attempt to force wages down again. He said that in that case there would be a revolution, “or at least he hoped so”. M. Is a manufacturer and I imagine fairly well off.

[1] Possibly Michael, the owner of the small clothing factory mentioned in Orwell’s diary entry of 3.9.40. Peter Davison

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9 Responses to 16.6.40

  1. Pingback: Airminded · Post-blogging 1940

  2. George konnte an das Lernen einiger germanischer Slogans denken.

    In yet another breach of contract, today France asked Britain to be released from the obligation not to make a separate peace.

  3. Fay Shirley says:

    @ JL3 – sorry that was too subtle for me – which German slogan?

    Saying “having the satisfaction of killing somebody else first” after yesterday’s entry – definitely not a liberal then.

  4. Fay Shirley~~
    I think it’s something like, “George should learn some Germanic catch-phrases.” I apologize.
    ~~~~~

    …..one must remain alive if possible, if necessary in the concentration camp.

    This would make an inspiring poster for the Underground. Art Deco. Silver on Black lithograph.

    …..die fighting, but one must above all die fighting and have the satisfaction of killing somebody else first.

    I believe Orwell is saying that, whatever the scenario, his goal is to keep England alive so that the revolution may proceed and he can get Coming Up for Air published by the Ministry of Ink and Paper who will recommend a refund from the Ministry of Obligation for that thirty quid.

  5. Steve says:

    Fay Shirley, wanting to kick some bad guy ass is not illiberal…or maybe you mean Liberal as in UK party politics?

  6. Pingback: George Orwell’s Blog: Now Things Get Interesting | The Loom | Discover Magazine

  7. Fay Shirley says:

    Liberal … I was just referring to the conversation two days ago https://orwelldiaries.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/14-6-40/
    especially Phil Barker and itwasntme.

    (And JL3, thanks for the elucidation.)

  8. Barry Larking says:

    “This morning’s papers make it reasonably clear that at any rate until after the presidential election, the U.S.A will not do anything, i.e. will not declare war, which in fact is what matters.”

    A chimeric belief which still haunts many accounts of the period and which is subject to one of the enduring myths of World War Two – “America was biding its time”.

    There never was any hope of the U.S.A. entering the war. At the time of the japanese assault on Hawaii, the U.S.A. had one of the smallest standing armies in the world and no substantive war making plans. It took more than a year for the Republic to galvanise itself, but many were aggrieved at being forced into the conflict and still are. “The wrong war against the wrong enemy” was the slogan of the American Right still in currency years after.

    All the material support to the United Kingdom was charged at the going rate and cash was insisted upon, which ruined the British economy for decades. In return the U.S.A. picked up the formula for the critical mass of an atomic weapon, radar and the cavity magnatron, jet engines and the Enigma secret amongst other things, including bases around the Atlantic, all for nothing except some rotting four stack destroyers. After the war Keynes, the greatest economist of the 20th century, was treated with distain and contempt when he tried to persuade the U.S.A. to turn some of the debt into a gift.

  9. Pingback: 3.9.40 « THE ORWELL PRIZE

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