George Orwell’s Critique of Artes Liberales

25/11/2023 07:20


George Orwell’s Critique of Artes Liberales


 Aristotle’s liberalist perspective is close to the totalitarian picture of George Orwell’s 1984 satirical science fiction novel on the English socialism (Ingsoc) obtaining in Britain in 1948 after the Labour government, led by Clement Attlee, was elected to power, promising care to the people ‘from the cradle to the grave’.1 Orwell’s liberalist vision presents government care in the shape of ‘Big Brother’ who watches the TV viewers from the screen, and the Thought Police prepare to disappear those who criticize the Party, while their minds are processing the information received from the state propaganda organs.



 1984 details divisions on a post-World War Two (1939-45) continental scale, that is, between Oceania (ideology, Ingsoc), Eurasia (Soviet bloc), and Eastasia, where the totalitarianism of Ingsoc is characterized by slogans such as, ‘War is Peace’, ‘Freedom is Slavery’, and ‘Ignorance is Strength’:


 ‘The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation.’2



Moreover, although Ingsoc was a bleak picture of the consequences of a too-liberal education, Eastasia, that is, China, Indochina, Korea, and Japan, was characterized as ‘Obliteration of the Self’, also called ‘Death Worship’, which suggested where slavery went with those who saw themselves as liberals.


1 Churchill, Winston ‘From the cradle to the grave’ by Jad Adams, tes, July 28th, 1995, 1.00 AM, .

2 Orwell, George, 1984, ‘The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism’, Pt. II, Ch. IX, Secker & Warburg, June 8th, 1949.