John Roskam’s political sensibilities were kindled at age 14, when he read George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” in one night. Combined with his parents’ small-business, anti-Communist leanings, the book inspired a passion for free market liberalism that continues 30 years later.
“You could not be anything other than in favour of the individual and individual choice after reading “Animal Farm”, says Roskam, 44, the executive director of the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA). “It highlights the dangers of unrestrained collective action.”
The Spanish war and other events in 1936-37 turned the scale and thereafter I knew where I stood. Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it.