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The Orwell Essay That's Even More Pertinent Than '1984' Right Now.

Orwell essay on english language

Jan 25, 2017. Put down that sci-fi novel and pick up "Politics and the English Language." In an age of fake news, notably from Russian state propaganda outlets, George Orwell’s political insights are topical and acute. A statue of the great man was unveiled yesterday outside BBC Broadcasting House. If anything, though, Orwell is better known for his views on language. His celebrated essay Politics and the English Language (1946) expounds six “elementary rules” for good writing. These include the maxims, repeated in many style guides since, to never use the passive voice if you can use the active; and never use a metaphor, simile or figure of speech that you’re used to seeing in print. One admirer, Andrew Marr, says the essay is “an almost holy text for many thousands of journalists .

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Politics and the English Language Summary | GradeSaver

Orwell essay on english language

Jun 23, 2017. If you've ever thought of yourself as a writer, chances are that you have opinions about George Orwell's “Politics and the English Language.” First published in 1946. From glowing exaltations to severe critiques, I was curious what working writers had to say about the famed essay. I mined NYPL's Articles. In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them. Orwell was wrong about one thing: that political euphemism was a phenomenon of his time.

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Politics and the English Language, by George Orwell - YouTube

Orwell essay on english language

Jul 16, 2016. I was horrified to find the only version of this peerless essay available on YouTube was read by Siri. Unacceptable! One of George Orwell’s main concerns with capitalist, fascist, or communist societies was the ruthlessness they showed toward all other forms of government and towards any dissent of the people. Orwell pointed out that governments such as Stalin’s in Russia and Mao Tse-tung’s in China manipulated the masses, educating them through the media to do whatever the government wanted. Propaganda, the manipulation of words, was their major tool for brainwashing the people, just as it had been for Hitler in Germany. Their leaders tell them that the enemies want to kill them. Hitler’s words had hypnotized a nation and set Germans to harassing and killing Jews and other “non-Aryans.” Orwell said that nations respond to the language of their inconceivably foolish leaders because people are easily frightened. It is a fight of ideologies that will only end when one nation finally destroys the other. In we see this situation reflected in the three great powers that continually war with each other: Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia. Orwell said that language makes humans easy to control—control their language and you control the people. A simple example of that notion was brought home to me one day when I was talking to a young Chinese woman who told me that her dialect had no word that matched the English word for privacy. Privacy was a concept her parents didn’t understand.

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George Orwell's Six Rules for Writing Clear and Tight Prose Open.

Orwell essay on english language

May 20, 2016. Most everyone who knows the work of George Orwell knows his 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language” published here, in which he rails against careless, confusing, and unclear prose. “Our civilization is decadent,” he argues, “and our language must inevitably share in the general collapse. Better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist, and critic. His work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism. Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry, fiction, and polemical journalism. He is best known for the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945) and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). His non-fiction works, including The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), documenting his experience of working class life in the north of England, and Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, are widely acclaimed, as are his essays on politics, literature, language, and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". Orwell's work continues to influence popular and political culture, and the term Orwellian – descriptive of totalitarian or authoritarian social practices – has entered the language together with many of his neologisms, including Big Brother, Thought Police, Room 101, memory hole, newspeak, doublethink, proles, unperson, and thoughtcrime. His great-grandfather Charles Blair was a wealthy country gentleman in Dorset who married Lady Mary Fane, daughter of the Earl of Westmorland, and had income as an absentee landlord of plantations in Jamaica.

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George Orwell Politics and the English Language -

Orwell essay on english language

Politics and the English Language, the essay of George Orwell. First published April 1946 by/in Horizon, GB, London. Is a beautifully written language crime, though it pretends to lay down the law. Furthermore I just noticed that its final law is rather curious. Orwell begins with the unjustified premise that language is in decline – unjustified because while he viciously attacks contemporary cases of poor writing, he provides no evidence that earlier times had been perennially populated by paragons of literary virtue. He proceeds to shore up the declining language with style suggestions that, regrettably enough, have never turned a Dan Brown into a George Orwell. Customers who buy into Orwell's shit also buy Strunk and White, and further milquetoast simulacra of one or the other, so it's worth looking more closely at what he proposes. Let's start off in time honored Language Log style, by seeing how Orwell breaks his own rules. Showing a lack of imagination that would be worthy of someone who lacked imagination, Orwell suggests the following rule, his fourth rule, a rule that in various forms has been heard many times both before and since. Verily shall I yawn unto you Orwell's unoriginal original (c.f. this discussion of how it predates Orwell): So, Orwell writes "it is generally assumed", which is passive.

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Unpacking Orwell's "Politics and the English Language" — Light Up.

Orwell essay on english language

May 14, 2017. Mentor and trustee Will Ferguson kicked things off last month by presenting on George Orwell's 1946 essay, "Politics and the English Language." Here's what he had to say about it Orwell's "Politics and the English Language" is probably my favourite essay. Writing is one of my great loves, and I have been. "Politics and the English Language" (1946) is an essay by George Orwell that criticises the "ugly and inaccurate" written English of his time and examines the connection between political orthodoxies and the debasement of language. The essay focuses on political language, which, according to Orwell, "is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to gi"Politics and the English Language" (1946) is an essay by George Orwell that criticises the "ugly and inaccurate" written English of his time and examines the connection between political orthodoxies and the debasement of language. The essay focuses on political language, which, according to Orwell, "is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." Orwell believed that the language used was necessarily vague or meaningless because it was intended to hide the truth rather than express it.

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George Orwell Politics and the English Language Mental Floss

Orwell essay on english language

Aug 14, 2008. In 1946, George Orwell published an essay in the British literary magazine Horizon, arguing against poor usage of English by modern writers. In the essay, Orwell cited five examples of "the English language as it is now habitually written." The examples are almost hilariously hard to follow. The first is. Title: Fifty Orwell Essays Author: George Orwell * A Project Gutenberg of Australia e Book * e Book No.: 0300011Language: English Date first posted: August 2003 Most recent update: December 2015 This e Book was produced by: Colin Choat Production notes: Author's footnotes appear at the end of the paragraph where indicated. All essays in this collection were first published during George Orwell's lifetime, and have appeared in a number of Orwell essay collections published both before and after his death. Details are provided on the George Orwell page at Project Gutenberg of Australia e Books are created from printed editions which are in the public domain in Australia, unless a copyright notice is included. We do NOT keep any e Books in compliance with a particular paper edition. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this file. This e Book is made available at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg Australia Licence which may be viewed online. THE SPIKE (1931) A HANGING (1931) BOOKSHOP MEMORIES (1936) SHOOTING AN ELEPHANT (1936) DOWN THE MINE (1937) (FROM “THE ROAD TO WIGAN PIER”) NORTH AND SOUTH (1937) (FROM “THE ROAD TO WIGAN PIER”) SPILLING THE SPANISH BEANS (1937) MARRAKECH (1939) BOYS’ WEEKLIES AND FRANK RICHARDS’S REPLY (1940) CHARLES DICKENS (1940) CHARLES READE (1940) INSIDE THE WHALE (1940) THE ART OF DONALD MCGILL (1941) THE LION AND THE UNICORN: SOCIALISM AND THE ENGLISH GENIUS (1941) WELLS, HITLER AND THE WORLD STATE (1941) LOOKING BACK ON THE SPANISH WAR (1942) RUDYARD KIPLING (1942) MARK TWAIN–THE LICENSED JESTER (1943) POETRY AND THE MICROPHONE (1943) W B YEATS (1943) ARTHUR KOESTLER (1944) BENEFIT OF CLERGY: SOME NOTES ON SALVADOR DALI (1944) RAFFLES AND MISS BLANDISH (1944) ANTISEMITISM IN BRITAIN (1945) FREEDOM OF THE PARK (1945) FUTURE OF A RUINED GERMANY (1945) GOOD BAD BOOKS (1945) IN DEFENCE OF P. WODEHOUSE (1945) NONSENSE POETRY (1945) NOTES ON NATIONALISM (1945) REVENGE IS SOUR (1945) THE SPORTING SPIRIT (1945) YOU AND THE ATOMIC BOMB (1945) A GOOD WORD FOR THE VICAR OF BRAY (1946) A NICE CUP OF TEA (1946) BOOKS VS. CIGARETTES (1946) CONFESSIONS OF A BOOK REVIEWER (1946) DECLINE OF THE ENGLISH MURDER (1946) HOW THE POOR DIE (1946) JAMES BURNHAM AND THE MANAGERIAL REVOLUTION (1946) PLEASURE SPOTS (1946) POLITICS AND THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE (1946) POLITICS VS. LITERATURE: AN EXAMINATION OF GULLIVER’S TRAVELS (1946) RIDING DOWN FROM BANGOR (1946) SOME THOUGHTS ON THE COMMON TOAD (1946) THE PREVENTION OF LITERATURE (1946) WHY I WRITE (1946) LEAR, TOLSTOY AND THE FOOL (1947) SUCH, SUCH WERE THE JOYS (1947) WRITERS AND LEVIATHAN (1948) REFLECTIONS ON GANDHI (1949) It was late-afternoon.

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Serving House Journal: Nonfiction: Duff Brenna: George Orwell and Language Control

Orwell essay on english language

Can there be a political writer who has not fallen in love with George Orwell's 1946 essay, “Politics and the English Language”? Part of its appeal is what's appealing about all of Orwell—its directness and honesty, its plainspokenness, its faith, against all evidence, that human affairs can be conducted morally, its sense of. “I’ve gotta use words when I talk to you,” Apeneck Sweeney tells his girlfriend Doris as he tries to explain how it is that “death is life and life is death.” Though he dwells near the bottom of the cultural food chain, T. Eliot’s protagonist nonetheless identifies a problem that has high-brow implications, and the 20th-century jitters, written all over it. For even a consciousness as coarse as Sweeney’s has intimations about how fragile words, in fact, are. And it is surely among Eliot’s intentions that those more sophisticated than Sweeney Agonistes should also “wrestle” with one of the central questions of our age—namely, how making coherent sense becomes increasingly problematic. Think of Prufock, worrying himself into night sweats because his allusion to Lazarus might be misunderstood (“That is not what I meant at all, / That is not it at all.”); or of nearly any character in The slippery; and the problem is only exacerbated when shoddy speech becomes the norm. At a time when we are surrounded by the bromides of advertisements and editorials, when language has an increasingly difficult time competing with the power of visual images, and perhaps most of all, when the case for clear writing raises scholarly eyebrows, the 50th anniversary of George Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language” is a useful occasion to ruminate about the long-term prospects for mounting clear, unequivocal prose against our continual cultural ruin. Long before efforts to destabilize language became a cottage industry and then a staple of academic politics, Orwell worried about the social implications of wretched speech. “All issues are political issues,” he declared with the same no-nonsense clarity that characterized nearly every paragraph, every sentence, indeed, every word he wrote. He then went on to finish the sentence by making it clear just how debased most political writing had become: “and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.” Orwell had recently completed when he wrote these words.

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Politics and the English Language Essay - 1215 Words | Bartleby

Orwell essay on english language

Politics and the English Language and Other Essays Paperback 9781849028363 George Orwell Books. George Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language,” begins by refuting common presumptions that hold that the decline of the English language is a reflection of the state of society and politics, that this degeneration is inevitable, and that it’s hopeless to resist it. This disempowering idea, he says, derives from an understanding of language as a “natural growth” rather than an “instrument which we shape for our own purposes” (251). As an instrument, language can be manipulated for various purposes. As Orwell will show, language can also manipulate those who use it unconsciously. He presents a list of corrupting habits that cause writers to think poorly and thus write poorly.

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Orwell essay on english language

By Michael Dylan Welch. In 1946 George Orwell wrote “Politics and the English Language,” an essay that is still quoted by writing teachers today. Without too much effort, we can also apply what it has to say to haiku, both the writing of these little gems and to criticism about them as well. I've just referred to haiku as little. “In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer.“There is also a concerted effort to appropriate and pervert words that justify a means to an end. At this point, it is not inaccurate to say, that when most people talk of “Racists” or “Nazis“, they are talking about WHITES. Also, notice how calls for “diversity” only occur in WHITE societies. No one in the Middle East, Africa, or even Asia calls for more “diversity”, even though these places could probably benefit from it, especially Africa. The changes in our lexicon have been working, slowly and insidiously ever since the advent of Cultural Marxism, which is only slightly different from the Political/Economic Marxism which most are familiar with; the end goal is still the same, a repugnant and controlled society- the destruction of any semblance of an “individual”. Instead of the Bourgeoisie, today we hear “White Supremacist”, “Nazi”, “Bigot”, “Racist”, etc. Of course, anyone could be racist, except that the definition most of the useful idiots on the left refer to is: racism= privilege power.

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Politics and the English Language Summary -

Orwell essay on english language

Politics and the English Language,” though written in 1946, remains timely for modern students of language. In this essay, Orwell argues that the English language becomes “ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts. The thesis of this essay can be divided into two portions which co-exist throughout the essay and are frequently used to support each other. Orwell’s explains that modern English writers have a multitude of malicious tendencies which have been spread throughout all contexts of writing. He offers the opinion that these tendencies can be avoided if someone takes the time to do so. This will result in political regeneration, but must be done by all English writers not exclusively professional ones. Orwell latter goes on to assert that language corrupts thought and vice versa. The slovenliness of our language allows for foolish thinking, and this foolish thinking allows for slovenliness in our language. This cyclical process is often difficult to break because again bad habits provide us with very convenient and elegant sounding sentence structures. However as he stated early this course is reversible by all writers if they are willing to follow his six rules. The Intro of the essay asserts the notion that the English language has been disfigured by the human race and is on the residual decline as a resultant. Orwell attributes this downfall to politics and economic causes but goes on to outline his remedy to correct what he refers to as a “reversible” process. George Orwell goes on to cite passages from several prominent essays and articles, concluding on the similarities in their staleness of imagery and lack of precision. He criticizes the passages, stating that the incompetence and vagueness of such political writings desecrates correct English prose- construction. George Orwell begins by explaining the difference between newly invented and “dead” metaphors. Orwell rationalizes how many writers use extraneous verbs and nouns to pad sentences and create the illusion of symmetry. Orwell discusses the recurring tendency of bad writers to glorify shorter words with longer but not necessarily correct ones.

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Politics and the English Language: An Introduction - Ethics & Public Policy Center

Orwell essay on english language

George Orwell's widely read essay 'Politics and the English Language' links the decline of the English language to the degradation of the political process. This lesson explores Orwell's arguments and his time-tested advice to writers on how to improve their writing. An there be a political writer who has not fallen in love with George Orwell’s 1946 essay, “Politics and the English Language”? Part of its appeal is what’s appealing about all of Orwell—its directness and honesty, its plainspokenness, its faith, against all evidence, that human affairs can be conducted morally, its sense of being on the side of ordinary people, not of the sophisticated and powerful. The only people Orwell attacks by name in “Politics and the English Language” are two celebrated academics, Harold Laski and Lancelot Hogben, not the kind of minor-grade politicians and bureaucrats who would have made easy targets. “Politics and the English Language” begins as a lesson, and quite a good one, in how to write well (delivered in the form of an attack on people who write badly), and ends with the hope that better writing can engender a better society. What idea could be more attractive to writers than that what we do, if improved along the lines Orwell suggests, can improve not just our readers’ experience of our work, but the lives of everybody? To Orwell, the connection between the English language and politics was that the debasement of the latter requires the corruption of the former. “In our age,” he wrote—meaning, the age of the rise of totalitarianism—“there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer.” But saying this generates the hope—highly qualified, as hope always was in Orwell’s work—that better, clearer language could rob bad politics of its voice, and thereby might bring it to an end.

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Politics and the English Language Essay - 1215 Words Bartleby

Orwell essay on english language

George Orwell's essay, Politics and the English Language, first published in 1946, talks about some “bad habits”, which have driven the English language in the wrong direction, that is, away from communicating ideas. In his essay he quotes five passages, each from a different author, which embody the faults he is talking. An there be a political writer who has not fallen in love with George Orwell’s 1946 essay, “Politics and the English Language”? Part of its appeal is what’s appealing about all of Orwell—its directness and honesty, its plainspokenness, its faith, against all evidence, that human affairs can be conducted morally, its sense of being on the side of ordinary people, not of the sophisticated and powerful. The only people Orwell attacks by name in “Politics and the English Language” are two celebrated academics, Harold Laski and Lancelot Hogben, not the kind of minor-grade politicians and bureaucrats who would have made easy targets. “Politics and the English Language” begins as a lesson, and quite a good one, in how to write well (delivered in the form of an attack on people who write badly), and ends with the hope that better writing can engender a better society. What idea could be more attractive to writers than that what we do, if improved along the lines Orwell suggests, can improve not just our readers’ experience of our work, but the lives of everybody?

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Words and things Prospect Magazine

Orwell essay on english language

On the 50th anniversary of Orwell's essay, Politics and the English Language, Andrew Marr finds political English in good health—thanks, in part, to Orwell's warnings. Power and brutality still hide behind evasive language, but are now more likely to do so in corporate culture. Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it. Our civilization is decadent and our language — so the argument runs — must inevitably share in the general collapse. It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes. Now, it is clear that the decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes: it is not due simply to the bad influence of this or that individual writer. But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely. A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language.

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Politics & The English Language-By George Orwell Essay Example for Free

Orwell essay on english language

George Orwell, Politics and the English Language First published in Horizon, April 1946 Later reprinted in the collection Shooting an Elephant and Other Essays in 1950; "Politics and the English Language" can be found in Harvest Books' paperback "A Collection of Essays" among other books. George Orwell. As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 70,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed. Free 5-day trial George Orwell's widely read essay 'Politics and the English Language' links the decline of the English language to the degradation of the political process. This lesson explores Orwell's arguments and his time-tested advice to writers on how to improve their writing. Published in 1946 in the journal, Horizon, George Orwell's seminal essay, Politics and the English Language, describes how lazy and imprecise phrases, stale images and jargon have diminished modern English prose.

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Language Log » Orwell's Liar

Orwell essay on english language

Nov 8, 2013. For anyone interested in the politics of left and right -- and in political journalism as it is practiced at the highest level -- George Orwell's works are indispensable. This week, in the year marking the 110th anniversary of his birth, we present a personal list of his five greatest essays. The winner and still champ. Somewhere or other Byron makes use of the French word longeur, and remarks in passing that though in England we happen not to have the word, we have the thing in considerable profusion. In the same way, there is a habit of mind which is now so widespread that it affects our thinking on nearly every subject, but which has not yet been given a name. As the nearest existing equivalent I have chosen the word ‘nationalism’, but it will be seen in a moment that I am not using it in quite the ordinary sense, if only because the emotion I am speaking about does not always attach itself to what is called a nation — that is, a single race or a geographical area. It can attach itself to a church or a class, or it may work in a merely negative sense, against something or other and without the need for any positive object of loyalty. By ‘nationalism’ I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled ‘good’ or ‘bad’. But secondly — and this is much more important — I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognising no other duty than that of advancing its interests. Both words are normally used in so vague a way that any definition is liable to be challenged, but one must draw a distinction between them, since two different and even opposing ideas are involved. By ‘patriotism’ I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally.

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Politics and the English Language Summary GradeSaver

Orwell essay on english language

George Orwell's essay “Politics and the English Language,” begins by refuting common presumptions that hold that the decline of the English language is a reflection of the state of society and politics, that this degeneration is inevitable, and that it's hopeless to resist it. This disempowering idea, he says. "Politics and the English Language" (1946) is an essay by George Orwell that criticises the "ugly and inaccurate" written English of his time and examines the connection between political orthodoxies and the debasement of language. The essay focuses on political language, which, according to Orwell, "is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." Orwell believed that the language used was necessarily vague or meaningless because it was intended to hide the truth rather than express it. This unclear prose was a "contagion" which had spread to those who did not intend to hide the truth, and it concealed a writer's thoughts from himself and others. In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of political parties.

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