… Warrior for Truth and Beauty | City Journal. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
… Esolen rightly sees what the aesthete in James misses—that before our speech can be “developed, delicate, flexible, rich,” it must first be true. And here is where the social prophet in the author comes to the fore. “We have no choice now,” he tells his readers bluntly, “but to live in a world whose governments and most successful businesses are mills for the mass production of deceit.” George Orwell could not have put the matter more precisely, but it is what Esolen exhorts his readers to do in response that sets him apart: “We must not only refuse to give credit to the lie. We—and our children—must refuse to utter the lie, or to use its language.”I have long thought that the problem with 1984 is that Orwell never spent any time in the U.S. Had he done so he might have noticed how much better at propagandizing modern advertising was than what he imagined Big Brother's ham-handed minions doing.