Orwell's cruellest insight is that people have little desire to know the truth. This is an important challenge to a certain kind of optimism in the liberal tradition. The core texts of liberal toleration, such as Milton's Areopagitica and Mill's On Liberty, take for granted that individuals will wish to know the truth. They contend that in the absence of censorship, truth will eventually emerge and be recognised as such. But even in democracies this may not always be true.
Shades of 1984? Definitely.
In the world Orwell describes, it is not socialism that has failed, but rather modernity and mass democracy.