Sartre’s Portrait of the Antisemite

When Orwell read Sartre’s book Antisemite and Jew, which the following text derives from, he went on to publish an uncharitable critique, intending to “give a good boot” to “that bag of wind.” The gist of his critique, which was that the way Sartre generalizes “The” anti-Semite as “always the same kind of person, recognizable…

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On Trump and the Nature of Lying

There’s a Midrash, I’m told, about the time God tells Abraham that he will finally conceive a child with his wife Sarah, long after they had abandoned any such efforts. As the Bible tells it, Sarah, who had been listening in on the heavenly message, laughs and says to herself (I paraphrase): even if I…

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On Utopias and Birds—or Lenin vs. Dostoevsky

Lenin vs. Dostoevsky In the 1860’s, Nikolai Chernishevsky wrote the manuscript for the novel A Vital Question: What is to be Done? while sitting in prison. Published in 1864, it became to some one of the most important works of the 19th century—notably, to Vladmir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known by his pen name Lenin, who…

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