Table of Contents

Law and the State

Law and the State

A Political Economy Approach

New Horizons in Law and Economics series

Edited by Alain Marciano and Jean-Michel Josselin

Law and the State provides a political economy analysis of the legal functioning of a democratic state, illustrating how it builds on informational and legal constraints. It explains, in an organised and thematic fashion, how competitive information enhances democracy while strategic information endangers it, and discusses how legal constraints stress the dilemma of independence versus discretion for judges as well as the elusive role of administrators and experts.

Chapter 5: George Orwell and his cold wars: truth and politics

Manfred J. Holler


Manfred J. Holler* 1 INTRODUCTION This chapter is about truth-telling, personal opinions, secrets, and the matter of personal integrity and its protection. What follows is not research about George Orwell as a writer and social activist or a philosophical work on truth. Rather, Orwell is taken as an important paradigmatic case in identifying the problems of telling the truth as a writer and cultural figure concerned with politics. Moreover, because Orwell was not only a paradigmatic case but also a public figure, the evaluation of his behaviour has an impact on our social behaviour and our contemporary opinion about what is taken to be good and bad in politics and everyday life. The evaluation of public figures expresses social values and gives orientation to society and for this reason many legal systems contain, on the one hand, rules designed to protect the reputation of such personalities, but on the other permit the public dissemination of information about them and their private life. In the case of Orwell, the public evaluation of his character is of special importance because truth was one of his major concerns throughout his writing. For many, he was an icon of truth and personal integrity. Yet, more than half a century after his death, there is an ongoing and often rather controversial discussion about Orwell’s work and character. Was he a sincere, but perhaps ruthless, Cold War Warrior or was he corrupted by the ‘circumstances’ of his day? There are not only contradictions in his work,...

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