The Three Slogans of Liberalism

Marvin Folkertsma, If George Orwell had reduced The Three Slogans of the Party in Nineteen Eighty-Four to three words, he might have chosen Peace, Freedom, and Strength. But the absence of sentiments implied by these concepts would have left readers puzzled and angry.

Orwell was too honest for this subterfuge and too clever, as well; hence, he launched his dystopian account with a pair of beguiling contradictions that require explanation, and an adage that applies to every totalitarian system.

Thus, War is Peace means that conflict “eats up the surplus of consumable goods, and…helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that a hierarchical society needs.” Orwell explains that continuous war functions like everlasting peace by perpetuating Party dominance forever. Of course, this slogan appeals to party members only. For proles, war remains what it has always been: squalor, misery, death, and destruction.

Freedom is Slavery also sustains domestic political institutions. Party member O’Brien explains this best by reversing the word order to Slavery is Freedom: “Alone — free — the human being is always defeated. It must be so, because every human being is doomed to die, which is the greatest of all failures. But if he can make complete, utter submission, if he can escape from his identity, if he can merge himself in the Party so that he IS the Party, then he is all-powerful and immortal.”

The third slogan, Ignorance is Strength, is different in that other modifiers could be appended if one so chose. Orwell uses the word, strength, rendering this adage universally applicable to totalitarian systems, a point understood by the Putin and Mao wannabes among us. Thus, a population of ignoramuses shields totalitarian rulers from challenges to their legitimacy or policies. Their subjects are neither knowledgeable nor smart enough to question them. In fact, the goal of Newspeak is to corrupt the language and make questions impossible, adding security to a system based on citizens who chant slogans and act like sheep.

Which brings us to liberal (or progressive) ideologues, who have conjured an alluring trifecta that has spread to every institution in American society with extraordinary speed and penetration: Diversity, Inclusion, Equity. (For obvious reasons, advocates prefer a different word order). Differences between these words and Orwell’s slogans are important to understand. First, DIE devotees do not possess Orwell’s intellectual honesty, which means that implications of diversity, inclusion, and equity aren’t explored too carefully, if at all. Second, The Three Slogans of the Party are descriptive, not inspirational, in that Orwell’s explanation reveals their true meaning and their functioning in a totalitarian system. For DIE, it’s the other way around; the three words are inspirational but not paradoxical or enticing, luring readers to probe what their users really mean. In fact, Americans under a DIE regime have found this out the hard way.

Certainly, the reverential aura surrounding DIE cannot be doubted. An internet search generates page after page of entries that look like notes scribbled down by attendees at a narcissism convention. An endless procession of sites bursts with sanctimony and self-righteousness, many of which contain motivational quotes for practitioners’ use: “100 Powerful Diversity and Inclusion quotes…”; “66 Diversity Quotes – Inspirational Words of Wisdom”; or just “5 diversity and inclusion quotes…,” if you’re short on time. However, everyone, especially the more religiously inclined, should make time for a “diversity and inclusion daily message.” Prayer rugs not provided.

What do these terms mean? Internet searches often link diversity with inclusion and belonging, sometimes in a cutesy way: “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance,” states Verna Myers. From this comes belonging and, as devotees insist, results in equity. But it always begins with diversity, which has a mesmerizing effect on DIEhards.

Critics usually point out that DIE enthusiasts embrace diversity but stop short of accepting different viewpoints or white males, especially if they come together in the same package, which James Demore discovered at Google in 2018. But workforce diversity that mirrors American society is virtually impossible, as Heather Mac Donald and Martin Gurri have pointed out. Worse, viewpoint diversity has been vehemently, sometimes violently rejected by diversocrats for the past generation; witness the uproar triggered by Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, which sent hordes of liberals rushing to fainting couches, and the Biden administration creating a Ministry of Truth to combat a dangerous departure from liberal censorship. Hardly a confirmation of commitment to diversity.

The same is true for diversity’s sister concept, inclusion, which embraces experiences that have multiplied a thousandfold in recent years. Here’s a recent and instructive example: “500 School Districts Publicly Declare Only Woke Teachers Need Apply.” Can the true meaning of inclusion be made clearer?

Which leaves us with equity, perhaps the most slippery term of the three. Briefly defined, equitarians assume that differences in group outcomes in any category whatsoever constitute evidence of injustice, usually racism, and demand correction. As Jordan Peterson reminds us, this egregious assumption ignores actual experiences of ethnic and racial groups throughout history and eliminates two great achievements of Western civilization: equality of opportunity and equality before the law. Further, an equity regime dictates life outcomes of millions of people in thousands of groups, necessitating a bureaucratic police state that would put the Soviet Union to shame. This is the very definition of totalitarianism.

Still, the word itself sounds good, as do diversity and inclusion. A warning message should be attached: don’t append any words after them. But we must if we wish to be honest with ourselves, as Orwell was in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Thus, in the name of full disclosure, we are left with:

Diversity is Conformity

Inclusion is Exclusion

Equity is Tyranny

None need to worry that these slogans will warm liberal hearts and prompt them to emulate Orwell’s honesty. Americans know from tragic experiences that even minor challenges to the liberal censorship regime trigger ghastly reactions. Still, we must make the attempt.

If we don’t, America will DIE.

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