George Orwell (1903–1950):
Swift was a kind of anarchist, and Part IV of Gulliver’s Travels is a picture of an anarchistic Society, not governed by law in the ordinary sense, but by the dictates of ‘Reason’, which are voluntarily accepted by everyone. … This illustrates very well the totalitarian tendency which is explicit in the anarchist or pacifist vision of Society. In a Society in which there is no law, and in theory no compulsion, the only arbiter of behaviour is public opinion. But public opinion, because of the tremendous urge to conformity in gregarious animals, is less tolerant than any system of law. When human beings are governed by ‘thou shalt not’, the individual can practise a certain amount of eccentricity: when they are supposedly governed by ‘love’ or ‘reason’, he is under continuous pressure to make him behave and think in exactly the same way as everyone else. … It is often argued, at least by people who admit the importance of subject-matter, that a book cannot be ‘good’ if it expresses a palpably false view of life. We are told that in our own age, for instance, any book that has genuine literary merit will also be more or less ‘progressive’ in tendency. This ignores the fact that throughout history a similar struggle between progress and reaction has been raging, and that the best books of any one age have always been written from several different viewpoints, some of them palpably more false than others.
From “Politics vs. Literature — An examination of Gulliver’s travels” (1946). Polemic, No. 5 (London), September 1946. Appears online at http://orwell.ru/library/reviews/swift/english/e_swift (accessed 20130924).