Why Hitchens Matters
Christopher Hitchens explains Why Orwell Matters , in his book, and does so with feeling. One can see that he identifies strongly with his countryman, and the identification is not totally misplaced. The would-be Big Brothers on the left indeed vilified Hitchens for several years for daring to question the lines they laid down. As Orwell often observed, the sectarian Left often chooses an expedient set of litmus tests for political correctness, which often follow the principle of ignoring the beam in their friend’s eyes and concentrating on the mote in those they seek to cast out. Hitchens had his own litmus tests, but they were considerably more justifiable. A mix of attachment to free speech, consistent atheism, and friendship led him to make intellectual attitudes to the Salman Rushdie fatwa such a test.