Freedom is described by Winston Smith, in George Orwell’s 1984, as being able to say 2+2=4. In other words, the ability to speak the truth. Right now, that freedom is in jeopardy and it seems to a good time to revisit why Orwell boiled freedom down to such a simple equation.
He was writing in a post-WW2 environment. An age of fascism and Stalin. Still, he’d find today’s political environment eerily familiar. Trump was documented as having lied 83 times in ONE DAY this past week. For him 2+2 never equals 4. It is always 5 as the Party in 1984 insist it is. America is suppose to be a land of the free but authorities do everything to make sure non-party members (and non-whites) are kept from the polls. Most of us live in the very proletarian quarters described by Orwell. We are watching Big Brother, newspeak, and the roots of thought police, take hold before our very eyes and wrought ruin upon us.
Trump may or may not be stopped. Either way, I am not sure the virile hostility and anti-human qualities of his movement will disappear. It is simply a modern incarnation of the totalitarianism of Orwell’s day. Trump may go but the ‘Party’ will survive and evolve, sending the Trumpets themselves to the Chestnut Tree Cafe (see 1984) as something stronger, more efficient and twice as dangerous replaces them.
In the meantime, the rest of us can only hope to cling to the ability of being able to say 2+2=4 for as long as possible. Still, one wonders if a Room 101 and betrayal await us all in the end. I hope not, for love is a wonderful thing.