After all they (the British ruling class) belonged to a class with a certain tradition, they had been to public schools where the duty of dying for your country, if necessary, is laid down as the first and greatest of the Commandments. They had to feel themselves true patriots, even while they plundered their countrymen. Clearly there was only one escape for them - into stupidity. They could keep society in its existing shape only by being unable to grasp that any improvement was possible. Difficult though this was, they achieved it, largely by fixing their eyes on the past and refusing to notice the changes that were going on round them.
An empire with a Victorian past could have afforded a lapse into stupidity, but can we???
One thing that has always shown that the English ruling class are morally fairly sound, is that in time of war they are ready enough to get themselves killed. Several dukes, earls and what nots were killed in the recent campaign in Flanders. (p. 60)
Do we need another war to pronounce our elite morally bankrupt? Are we not in war enough right now? Warring with oneself is a deadlier war, isn't it? Orwell calls England a 'family with the wrong members in control'. Still a family... We seem to have had the wrong members (perhaps even the right ones) get astray far too away to remember what a family is and how it feels...