Orwell’s book takes on form in our lifetime. It is called the European Union.

[I]f the EU were a state applying to join itself, it would fail to meet the minimum democratic criteria. When, as in Ireland or Denmark, it dislikes a referendum result, it strikes it down. When, as in Austria, it resents the outcome of a general election, it challenges it. When Euro-sceptics are elected in large numbers to its Parliament, the EU pursues legislation that would have the effect of disqualifying them.

However you voted on Thursday, however our fellow Europeans vote today, the EU will continue along the path to political integration. Mere elections will not be allowed to check the reigning ideology. For some of the accession countries, it must all seem horribly familiar.

Hat tip to Andrew Stuttaford.