Sixty years following its first publication and twenty-five since the fateful year, George Orwell’s 1984 remains a mystery to the experts. They convene often in exotic places to agree that Orwell wrote a dystopia on the communist take-over of Britain and America. They concur how he reversed the final two digits of the year he wrote the book — 1948 — to arrive at the title 1984. They write that Orwell was not a prophet and few predictions fill his volume. These consensus beliefs on 1984 by the experts still shape the views of tens of millions of citizens who read Orwell’s work in the public schools and colleges.
Betsy Ross didn’t sew the first flag. Jesus wasn’t really born on December 25. Columbus didn’t discover America. We hear these statements all the time, for we live in an era where the foundational stories that define our national identity and bind us together as a people are being constantly deconstructed. We are told that the heroic stories of the founding of Christianity and the founding of our great republic are mere myths, factually inaccurate, and no more important or meaningful than the fanciful fairy tales told to amuse children.
In politics, it seems, nothing succeeds like failure. The most successful men in American political history are its most spectacular failures. Consider that the most important responsibilities that a President has are preserving our liberties and keeping the peace. Yet the Presidents we celebrate the most are those who led the nation into war and expanded the power of the state.
Benito Mussolini has an infamous place in modern history, as well he should. Nearly everyone knows Mussolini as the dictator of Fascist Italy and the ally of Nazi Germany in the Second World War. But that is only part of the story.