Catching up with Orwell

Today, I happened to think of the Party slogan from George Orwell’s 1984:

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

And it occurred to me that we’ve reached the age of the second line.

How can freedom be slavery? How can a political culture devoted to the concept of human freedom turn around and call freedom slavery?

We’re seeing it happen now, I think.

The problem of freedom, from the progressive point of view, is that it makes inequality inevitable. Leave any group of people free to do whatever they want, and inequality will be the result. Some people have more talent or intelligence than others. Some have better work habits. Some did a better job picking their parents. It follows inevitably that the competition will have winners, losers, and lots of people in between.

The Left is convincing itself, more and more, that such inequality is unacceptable. Inequality is unjust. Inequality, it seems to them, is exactly equivalent to slavery.

Thus, freedom is slavery.

And we can’t have that. Freedom will have to go.

One thought on “Catching up with Orwell”

  1. Yes … I wonder if “freedom” is very interesting to college kids these days. It’s “inequality” that seems to prompt a lot of college activism, not lack of “freedom.”

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