Freedom

Orwell wrote in 1984 that “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four.” In the context of the story, it’s clear what this means: The Party wants people to follow the principles of doublethink and believe whatever the Party proclaims, regardless of actual truth; thus, the ability to say that two plus two make four represents freedom of thought.

We can look at this quotation differently, however. The vast majority of people believe that two plus two equals four, and anyone who seriously believes that two plus two equals five is considered uneducated or even insane. Therefore, in our society, we are often not free to say whatever we want. Though our thoughts cannot be monitored and are still held private, there are limits on what we can express to the outside world. Indeed, in order to be accepted in society, we have to abandon some of the ideals of freedom of expression. It’s all part of the mob mentality that holds society together.

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make five.

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