Marvin Folkertsma

“Freedom is Slavery” offers a host of villains in civil society to whom the American public is “enslaved” under the guise of being free, and could be seen as similar to what Orwell had in mind. Thus, freedom to choose one’s own healthcare plan or no healthcare plan at all is slavery to the insurance companies; Americans “addicted” to oil to drive gas guzzlers is slavery to Exxon and its partners; freedom to eat French fries is slavery to McDonald’s clever advertising campaigns; and freedom to make your own investment decisions is slavery to Wall Street. In fact, Orwellian liberalism assumes that citizens’ own decisions to live their lives pretty much as they please constitutes slavery to someone or another in a so-called “free country,”

Which leaves us with what is likely the most important slogan of Orwellian Liberalism, “Ignorance is Strength,” which means in this context that ignorant citizens constitute the foundation of the liberal establishment. President Obama could not get away with statements about “millionaires and billionaires not paying their fair share” of the income tax without the silent collusion of Americans’ ignorance about how much the upper two percent actually pay in taxes. Similarly, the country’s energy shortages could not conceivably exist with an informed citizenry that is aware of how well-connected environmental activists have prevented production in resources where North America dominates, such as coal, natural gas, and shale oil. Further, the propaganda campaign centering on an alleged “consensus” over anthropogenic global warming could not possibly succeed with an attentive public.

In short, “Ignorance is Strength” for Orwellian Liberals; pierce it, and the whole century-old liberal-progressive project collapses in a heap of prevarications and pretense.

If this happens, liberals’ presumption to govern on the basis of the other two slogans, as well as a thick vocabulary of Orwellian Double Speak, will collapse as well. The question is whether this situation can endure indefinitely, as it did in “1984.” The answer depends on Americans’ determination to reclaim control of their government.


Marvin Folkertsma

Dr. Marvin Folkertsma is a professor of political science and fellow for American studies with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. The author of several books, his latest release is a high-energy novel titled "The Thirteenth Commandment."