Brothers and sisters, I will use Oldspeak in this article to make my point clear.
All smart governments in history have outlawed flag-burning: Iraq, North Korea, China, Cuba…all havens of freedom, peace, and justice.
Those places were around anterevtion (before the revolution), back when oldthinkers (capitalists, classical liberals, libertarians, et. al.) threatened freedom through encouraging ownlife (individuality).
Today, we have the Party to ensure Ingsoc is forever, and to purge oldthinkers from Oceania (formerly North and South America, England, Australia, and some places in Africa). Oldthinkers unbellyfeel (read: lack the full emotional understanding and blind acceptance of) Ingsoc.
No one is permitted to burn the Oceania flag, or show any dissent. Dissent is crimethink (thoughtcrime). Crimethinkers must be purged. Goodthink (Party orthodoxy) can only thrive when thought is controlled, and any action which defies this strict orthodoxy is a threat to the power of the Party, and thus to freedom (i.e. slavery).
If we were to allow the burning of the Oceanian flag, or dissent of any kind, it would allow people to question the authority of Big Brother (our glorious leader who lead the revolution). This authority must go unquestioned, both for the Victory of Oceania and for the continuation of Ingsoc (English Socialism). As we all know, Ignorance is Strength.
Oceanians are permitted only to burn the flag of Eurasia, a nation with which we are at war, and with which we have always been at war. In fact, this activity is encouraged, as it shows strengthened loyalty to the Party through hatred towards the Party’s enemies. Any remorse for the barbarians in Eurasia goes in direct opposition to loyalty to the Party, therefore this must not be permitted.
How can freedom exist if we allow people to do as they like? Simply stated, it can’t. All freedom, all peace, all justice, comes from the Party, under the guidance of Big Brother. For the sake of freedom, we must dictate what activities persons are permitted to do, and monitor their actions.
Oldthinkers believe in the slavery of the individual over one’s own self. They called this “freedom,” as though a single person can be free, without the guidance of Big Brother or the collective knowledge of the Party to show them what freedom is. Ingsoc advocates the freedom of the Party over the people in all fields of life. Victory can only be achieved through purging (murdering) oldthinkers, thus removing the crimethink before it spreads to others.
Flag-burning is a very visible display of dissent, and would automatically contaminate the minds of all Oceanians who see it. As Comrade O’Brien has said before, a vision of the future is of a boot stamping on a human face, forever. This is freedom. Do you honestly think freedom can exist in allowing people to dissent against the Party that grants all freedom? Of course it cannot. The Party says it can’t. Not only is it doubleplusstupid (very, very stupid) to think it can, it’s unpossible even to presume it can. Ingsoc is forever.
“Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.” – Joseph Stalin