"Tory anarchist" is a phrase that George Orwell used to describe himself. I just discovered it in a New York Review of Books piece by Simon Leys that discusses Orwell's diaries. I read the following paragraphs and something in me responds, "Yes, my God, yes."
Orwell’s revulsion toward all “the smelly little orthodoxies that compete for our souls” also explains his distrust and contempt of intellectuals: this attitude dates back a long way, as he recalls in a letter of October 1938:
What sickens me about left-wing people, especially the intellectuals, is their utter ignorance of the way things actually happen. I was always struck by this when I was in Burma and used to read anti- imperialist stuff.
If the colonial experience had taught Orwell to hate imperialism, it also made him respect (like the protagonist in a Kipling story) “men who do things.”
Well, no, not exactly. In my case distrust and contempt of intellectuals would involve a good deal of self-loathing. But if I narrow the scope of the revulsion to smelly little orthodoxies, left or right, yes, that seems spot on. To me the best of anthropology has always been the bits where we learn how things actually happen. And, yes, I do respect men (and women) who do things.