Former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich will deliver a speech titled “America at Risk: Camus, National Security, and Afghanistan” this Thursday at the right-wing American Enterprise Institute (AEI). The synopsis of the event at the AEI website notes that Gingrich will draw “on the lessons of Camus and Orwell” to “describe the dangers of a wartime government that uses language and misleading labels to obscure reality”:
Almost nine years after the 9/11 attacks, the United States has yet to confront the threat posed by the extremist and irreconcilable wing of Islam. Former Speaker of the House and AEI senior fellow Newt Gingrich will warn that now is the time to awaken from self-deception about the nature of our enemies and rebuild a bipartisan commitment, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, to defend America. Drawing on the lessons of Camus and Orwell, Gingrich will describe the dangers of a wartime government that uses language and misleading labels to obscure reality.
The irony here is that both French philosopher Albert Camus and British author George Orwell subscribed to political ideologies that Gingrich, who recently wrote “To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine,” would find anathema. Camus was an avowed atheist and one of the founders of humanist existentialism. He also was a member of several left-wing socialist and communist parties, including the French Communist Party, and wrote a famous essay calling for the unequivocal abolition of the death penalty. Later in his life, he became a noted anti-war activist advocating for peace between Algerian independence fighters and the French government. Meanwhile, Orwell moved to Spain specifically to fight in its civil war on behalf of the Workers Party of Marxist Unification, and his most famous book, 1984, warned about the dangers of a government that is always at war. Previously, Gingrich has cited Orwell and Camus to lecture about issues like financial bubbles and how radical the Obama administration supposedly is. Given his choice of role models, one has to wonder whether Gingrich is speaking out against anti-war secular socialists or endorsing them.