One of the slogans of the totalitarian Party in Nineteen Eighty-Four was:
Who controls the past controls the future.
Who controls the present controls the past.
Our own totalitarians (who call themselves “conservative” and “Republican,” as Orwell’s Party called its doctrine “English Socialism”) seem to agree, with Dick Armey in the lead. They’re willing to trash the Jamestown Colony and Teddy Roosevelt, and turn Alexander Hamilton on his head.
Winston Smith says, “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four. If that is granted, all else follows.” But of course those who think that the new Empire is superior to mere reality agree with the torturer (sorry, that should be “enhanced interrogator”) O’Brien, that “sometimes they are five; sometimes they are three; sometimes they are all of them at once.” After all, if we torture enough captives, and enough facts, we can make our own reality, can’t we, Karl?