England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution.
The USA has of course long since been added to this list. I don't know if it's true of other one-time parts of the Empire or not. Left-wing American intellectuals, and the far larger coterie of left-wingers who like to think of themselves as smarter than everyone else, have been predominantly of this mind for several decades now.
The passage from Orwell above is quoted in this piece in the Telegraph about the role of leftist contempt for their own countrymen in enabling, among other things, the horrendous organized sexual abuse, including out-and-out rape, of white girls by Pakistani Muslim men in Rotherham.
We don’t need to rehearse the facts. We’ve all read them, and reeled away in horror. The interesting question is how and why would any country allow the racialised gang-rape of its own daughters?
Why? Because too many in that country, especially on the Left, most especially in the Labour Party, despise their own ordinary people: the white working classes.
Take this comment by Jack Straw, Labour MP for Blackburn, and Home Secretary from 1997-2001, when the Rotherham atrocities were beginning. “The English are potentially very aggressive, very violent.” It is almost unimaginable that any senior politician would say this of his own people in America, Russia or France. Yet here it comes straight out of the mouth of a very senior politician indeed – along with many other expressions of Guardianista sneering: at the white working classes with their “chav culture”, “BNP values”, “Gillian Duffy bigotry” and so forth.
What kind of message does Straw’s statement send to everyone else? It says that the English are dislikeable, that they are to be feared, and contained, to be treated with contempt. It says that the ordinary English are a nasty race who need to be diluted by mass immigration; it says, in particular, that poor white English people are especially worthless.
It is not, however, at all "unimaginable that any senior politician would say this of his own people in America, Russia or France." I can't think of any examples quite as straightforward as Straw's from senior politicians, but among the left at large, especially the wealthy and those in academia, journalism, and entertainment, such talk is normal. And does anyone doubt that, for instance, Hillary Clinton is privately of similar mind? (The remark about mass immigration is particularly applicable here, when so many left-wing voices clearly see the diminishment of white America as desirable in itself.) There is evidence that President Obama's own views, unedited, and among those whom he considers his peers, which is to say wealthy liberals, are similar, as suggested by the famous "bitter clingers" remarks, never meant to be made public:
And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
Obama was actually trying to express sympathy for working-class people here, which perhaps makes his lack of comprehension of them even more obtuse. The sad fact is that snobbery is a major component of liberal-leftism in this country. I'm sure there are leftists out there who really know and do not despise most of their fellow-countrymen, especially working-class whites, but they have almost no visible presence in the public face of liberalism. (Look, I found one.)
The Telegraph writer quotes Orwell again:
...who once said that, however silly or sentimental, English patriotism is “a comelier thing than the shallow self-righteousness of the left-wing intelligentsia”.
"Comelier"--yes, a good choice of word. Decades ago, the casting off of my own youthful leftism began in part with the same recognition. I became disgusted by the disgust my fellow leftists evidenced toward their own country and countrymen. Another important factor was simply empirical: I began to suspect that leftist diagnoses of our problems were not very accurate, and leftist policies not generally the best solutions, or even workable.
Not that most of the right's are adequate, either.