George Orwell´s "1984".

Georges Orwell´s “1984″.

Big Brother, the Party, oldspeak, Room 101, newspeak, thoughtcrime, doublethink, crimestop… Is “1984” really a dystopian fiction published in 1949, or a reflection of reality in 2015?

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”

“He was a fattish but active man of paralysing stupidity, a mass of imbecile enthusiasms – one of those completely unquestioning, devoted drudges on whom, more even than on the thought police, the stability of the Party depended.”

“War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.”

“Who controls the past, ran the Party slogan, controls the future: who controls the present, controls the past.”

“Orthodoxy means not thinking – not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”

“Sexual intercourse was to be looked on as a slightly disgusting minor operation, like having an enema.”

“The sexual act, successfully performed, was rebellion. Desire was thoughtcrime.”

“The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth.”

“The heresy of heresies was common sense. And what was terrifying was not that they would kill you for thinking otherwise, but that they might be right. For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?”

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”

“There was a direct, intimate connection between chastity and political orthodoxy. For how could the fear, the hatred and the lunatic credulity which the Party needed in its members be kept at the right pitch, except by bottling down some powerful instinct and using it as a driving force? The sex impulse was dangerous to the Party, and the Party had turned it to account.”

“If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love.”

“They can make you say anything – anything – but they can’t make you believe it. They can’t get inside you.”

“If you can feel that staying human is worth while, even when it can’t have any result whatever, you’ve beaten them.”

“… the object of waging a war is always to be in a better position in which to wage another war.”

“The primary aim of modern warfare (in accordance with the principles of doublethink, this aim is simultaneously recognised and not recognised by the directing brains of the Inner Party) is to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living.”

“If the machine were used deliberately for that end, hunger, overwork, dirt, illiteracy and disease could be eliminated within a few generations.”

“But it was also clear that an all-round increase in wealth threaten the destruction – indeed, in some sense was the destruction – of a hierarchical society. In a world in which everyone worked short hours, had enough to eat, lived in a house with a bathroom and a refrigerator, and possessed a motor-car or even an aeroplane, the most obvious and perhaps the most important form of inequality would already have disappeared. If it once became general, wealth would confer no distinction.”

“The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent. Even when weapons of war are not actually destroyed, their manufacture is still a convenient way of expending labour power without producing anything that can be consumed.”

“It is deliberate policy to keep even the favoured groups somewhere near the brink of hardship, because a general state of scarcity increases the importance of small privileges and thus magnifies the distinction between one group and another.”

“The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact.”

“But no advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimetre nearer. From the point of view of the Low, no historic change has ever meant much more than a change in the name of their masters.”

“Therefore, from the point of view of the new groups who were on the point of seizing power, human equality was no longer an ideal to be striven after, but a danger to be averted.”

“The essence of oligarchical rule is not father-to-son inheritance, but the persistence of a certain world-view and a certain way of life, imposed by the dead upon the living. A ruling group is a ruling group so long as it can nominate its successors. The Party is not concerned with perpetuating its blood but with perpetuating itself. Who wields power is not important, provided that the hierarchical structure remains always the same.”

“The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from ordinary hypocrisy: they are deliberate exercises in doublethink. For it is only by reconciling contradictions that power can be retained indefinitely.”

“There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.”

“Where there is equality there can be sanity.”

“We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”

“How does one man assert his power over another, Winston? – Winston thought. By making him suffer, he said. – Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – for ever.”

“But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.”

Share this post


Related posts