"ORWELL'S '1949 STATEMENT' REGARDING 'NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR' - "GEORGE ORWELL - A LIFE" BY BERNARD CRICK (PAGE 565/6. PENGUIN)
"Many other American papers, following 'Time' and 'Life' Magazines, were presenting it (George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four-Ed) as a comprehensive anti-socialist polemic. 'Ingsoc' was identified with the Labour Party (Ingsoc=English Socialism-Ed), and Oceania was being enthusiastically presented as the prophecy of either a Left-winger who had recanted, or of a distinguished English author who was writing about what would happen if liberty as free enterprise were not firmly defended.
"ORWELL WAS GREATLY DISTRESSED (AND VERY SICK-Ed). Fred Warburg('s)...triumph (The publisher's US promotion of '1984'-Ed) (was) somewhat dimmed by Orwell's unhappiness at these misunderstandings, or deliberate distortions. Orwell dictated a STATEMENT to Warburg, Warburg making short notes which he then 'dolled up' into a Press Release...Even the outline for this was a good effort from a sick man...and Warburg had produced his leading author's views faithfully : an unambiguous statement of what Orwell meant the book to say :
THE STATEMENT - AS WARBURG'S PRESS RELEASE (JUNE 1949)
ORWELL : "It has been suggested by some of the reviewers of 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' that it is the author's view that this, or something like this, is what will happen inside the next forty years in the Western world. This is not correct. I think that, allowing for the book being after all a parody, something like 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' COULD happen. This is the direction in which the world is going at the present time, and the trend lies deep in the political, social and economic foundations of the contemporary world situation.
"Specifically the danger lies in the structure imposed on Socialist and on Liberal capitalist communities, by the necessity to prepare for total war with the USSR - and the new weapons, of which of course the atomic bomb is the most powerful and the most publicized. But danger lies also in the acceptance of a totalitarian outlook, by intellectuals of all colours.
"The moral to be drawn from this dangerous nightmare situation is a simple one : DON'T LET IT HAPPEN. IT DEPENDS ON YOU."
WARBURG (as part of the Press Release) : "George Orwell assumes that if such societies as he describes in 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' come into being, there will be several super states. This is fully dealt with in the relevant chapters of 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'. It is also discussed from a different angle by James Burnham in 'The Managerial Revolution'.
"These super states will naturally be in opposition to each other, or (a novel point) will pretend to be much more in opposition than in fact they are. Two of the principal super states will obviously be the Anglo-American world, and Eurasia. If these two great blocks line up as mortal enemies, it is obvious that the Anglo-Americans will not take the name of their opponents, and will not dramatize themselves on the scene of history, as Communists.
Thus, they will have to find a new name for themselves. The name suggested in 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' is, of course, Ingsoc, but in practice a wide range of choices is open.
"In the USA, the phrase 'Americanism', or 'Hundred Per Cent Americanism' is suitable, and the qualifying adjective is as totalitarian as anyone could wish.
"If there is a failure of nerve, and the Labour Party breaks down in its attempt to deal with the hard problems with which it will be faced, tougher types than the present Labour leaders will inevitably take ove, drawn probably from the ranks of the Left, but not sharing the Liberal aspirations of those now in power.
"Members of the present British government, from Mr Attlee and Sir Stafford Cripps down to Aneurin Bevan, will NEVER willingly sell the pass to the enemy, and in general the older men, nurtured in a Liberal tradition, are safe; but the younger generation is suspect, and the seeds of totalitarian thought are probably widespread among them.
"It is invidious to mention names, but everyone could without difficulty think, for himself, of prominent English and American personalities whom the cap would fit".