Kipling spent the later part of his life in sulking, and no doubt it was political disappointment rather than literary vanity that accounts for this. Somehow history had not gone according to plan. After the greatest victory she had ever known, Britain was a lesser world power than before, and Kipling was quite acute enough to see this. The virtue had gone out of the classes he idealized, the young were hedonistic or disaffected, the desire to paint the map red had evaporated. He could not understand what was happening, because he had never had any grasp of the economic forces underlying imperial expansion. It is notable that Kipling does not seem to realize, any more than the average soldier or colonial administrator, that an empire is primarily a money-making concern.
~ George Orwell
Author: StJohn Piano
Published: 2018-12-09
Datafeed Article 78
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