Possibly the most simultaneously amusing and irritating trend I have encountered in recent years in political and economic discussion has been a blatant distortion of the political philosophy of George Orwell by free marketers, who erroneously cite him at every turn in order to justify their failed philosophy and criticize "socialism," which is misidentified as everything from government preservation of capitalism to Soviet state capitalism. Excerpts and quotes from Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four provide a basis for an effective misappropriation of Orwell's work. Orwell was an ardent anti-authoritarian and anti-Stalinist, of course, but free marketers with little knowledge of political economy often mistakenly use his advocacy on that front to "argue" against libertarian variants of socialism, an enormous irony given Orwell's own democratic socialism and support of the anarchists and other libertarian socialists in the Spanish Revolution, combined with his military service in the Spanish Civil War. In Orwell's Homage to Catalonia, he expresses support for the aforementioned social revolution, in which horizontal federations of anarchist collectives were formed in several regions of Spain, and the means of production were collectivized and a libertarian socialist economy was established. He has this to say of the heavily anarchist region of Aragon. His support is not isolated to the region of Aragon, as he has similar words of support regarding the anarchist region of Catalonia, and the city of Barcelona, then placed in the control of anarchist workers and citizens rather than capitalists or Stalinists It's apparent that this work is most indicative of his support for an economic program of libertarian socialism. More than that, Orwell is known to have served in the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (POUM in Spanish), an anti-Stalinist libertarian Marxist militia that was later disbanded by the "democratic" government. Orwell is believed to be the tall figure near the back in this photo that stands a head above his comrades. What strikes me as most amusing about the rightist misappropriation of Orwell's work and legacy is its Orwellian nature. The idea of an anti-socialist using references to Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, works of an avowed socialist and anarchist sympathizer, to attack socialism when the socialist Orwell was attacking the anti-socialist Stalinism...ridiculous, and effectively the equivalent of screeching "freedom is slavery." And the double irony of the very same persons calling terms like "libertarian socialism" and "anarchist socialism" "Orwellian" in nature is absurd on its face! Assuredly, the anti-socialist will be hard-pressed to distort Orwell's clear advocacy here if he/she wishes to maintain any semblance of credibility, though I don't doubt that some will attempt it nonetheless.