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[George Orwell, In Defence of English Cooking, Penguin Books, 2005]


Um tratado (quatro textos pequenos) de bom senso. Impiedoso. Dá vontade de ir postando citações ao longo de uma semana. Coisa mais actual, a falar de nós e vizinhos. E muito mesmo dos vizinhos (já que nós somos sempre mais belos e inteligentes do que aqueles, portanto menos retratáveis).


1. "Ours was the one-eyed pacifism that is peculiar to sheltered countries with strong navies. For years after the war, to have any knowledge of or interest in military matters, even to know which end of a gun the bullet comes out of, was suspect in "enlightened" circles." [My country right or left, p. 3]


"Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writings of the younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States. Moreover they do not as a rule condemn violence as such, but only violence used in defence of the western countries" (Notes on nationalism, p. 26).


2. “Patriotism has nothing to do with conservatism. It is devotion to something that is changing but is felt to be mystically the same..." (My country left or right, p. 6)


"To this day it gives me a faint feeling of sacrilege not to stand to attention during "God save the King". That is childish, of course, but I would sooner have had that kind of upbringing than be like the left-wing intellectuals who are so "enlightened" that they cannot understand the most ordinary emotions". (My country right or left, p. 7)


3. (Dedicado ao blog Tugir) “All nationalists considerer it a duty to spread their own language to the detriment of rival languages, and among English-speakers this struggle reappears in subtler form as a struggle between dialects” (Notes on nationalism, p. 16)


4. pensando em tantos blogs ultraliberais portugueses acriticamente pró-americanos, onde tanto reconheço o nacionalismo "transferido" que Orwell afirma:


"Nationalism ... does not necessarily mean loyalty to a government or a country, still less to one's own country" (p.9) ... "The intensity with which they are held does not prevent nationalist loyalties from being transferable" (p. 16) … For the past fifty or a hundred years, transferred nationalism has been a common phenomenon among literary intellectuals … What remains constant in the nationalist is his own state of mind: the object of his feelings is changeable, and may be imaginary” ... (p.17)


"All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage – torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians - which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by “our” side." (p. 18)


"The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them..." (p. 19)


"Moreover, although endlessly brooding on power, victory, defeat, revenge, the nationalist is often somewhat uninterested in what happens in the real world. What he wants is to feel that is own unit is getting the better of some other unit, and he can more easily do this by scoring off an adversary than by examining the facts to see whether they support him. All nationalist controversy is at the debating-society level." (p. 22) [Meu sublinhado, já que é algo que sempre me surpreendeu no tal mundo blogoliberal luso]


5. "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 recognizing no other duty than of advancing its interests. Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism.…”. (Notes on nationalism, pp. 8-9)


"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 upon other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both military and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire of power."


6. é só abrir o livrinho, decerto há carapuços para me meter. Que tanto bom senso não será só nos outros que falta.

publicado às 11:04


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