My thanks to Keith Windschuttle for his informative letter.
Mr. Schwartzs mastery of Albanian notwithstanding, he is absolved neither of the need to think clearly nor of the moral responsibility to remain minimally courteous.
My article was intended to point out several of the unpleasant aspects of Orwells book. Mr. Schwartz concentrates on only one of the aspects to which I alluded. The fact is that Orwell objected to Stalins policy not because it was so totalitarian but because it would not in his opinion lead to the kind of totalitarian society that he praised so highly at the beginning of his book. This is the very reverse of what he has usually been taken to mean. Whether or not Orwell was right about the intentions or practical results of Stalins policy is quite beside the point, as Mr. Schwartz would have realized had his powers of logic been equal to his self-proclaimed qualifications.
I have never been an apologist for Stalin: unlike Mr. Schwartz, who was once an apologist for Trotsky, which is no better than being an apologist for Stalin.