Jeff Sawtell (Orwell's writing has nothing to offer genuine socialists, M Star February 7) is very wrong on a number of counts.
Yes, Orwell may have been pompous - he was a product of the British public school system in the early 20th century, which has left its mark indelibly on many who pass through its portals, socialists included.
Beaten and humiliated for bed-wetting as a child by his masters and peers, Orwell hardened up emotionally and developed the British version of the Hapsburg lip - its stiff British counterpart.
As an adult Orwell put his neck on the line in the Spanish Poum and got a bullet through it for his trouble.
Yes, Jeff, he was subsidised by an aunt, but was Marx never given a sub by Engels? Did Lenin buy his own wigs and pay for his own digs when hiding out from the Okhrana secret police before the October revolution?
Orwell, I believe, did become disillusioned with communism as portrayed by Stalin, whose distortions and his version of Marxism as a mechanical top-down interpretation of Lenin resulted in such travesties of socialism as the gulag, and Lysenko superimposing an analysis of class and dialectics onto the world of biology in Soviet science and all that that entailed.
Orwell's great work 1984 illuminated the uses to which language as a tool of oppression could be twisted out of shape.
The restriction of words within a language the mutation of the very language itself to be an instrument of state mind control with the concomitant heresy of independent thought along with the ability to form complex ideas were anathema to a big brother society.
The ruling class will of course colour its conclusions, as with Orwell's depressive Animal Farm as, "all revolutions are doomed to failure" because of our innately corrupt and therefore unchangeable "human nature."
I believe that there is nothing within our being to do with societies and their construction which is not amenable and malleable to change via human agency, provided that as socialists we are forever vigilant.