Doublethink In 1984

1496 Words6 Pages
Doublethink is in many ways indicative of the hopelessness felt by societies under totalitarian rule. By exercising Doublethink, people were not just giving up on resisting the oppressive system. They gave up hope for any political thought, criticism or perception of reality, falling into unconditional support for those in charge. O’Brien embodies this purpose of destroying hope when he tortures Winston in order to instill Doublethink and says, “If you have ever cherished any dreams of violent insurrection, you must abandon them. There is no way in which the Party can be overthrown. The Rule of the Party is forever: Make that the starting point of your thoughts” (Pg 262). By accepting the party’s permanence, by giving up hope for a better future…show more content…
There are many parallels between the experiences of Orwell’s Ingsoc totalitarianism, and Communist Russia’s. In both there is a one party system where the “Party” and Communist party, ruled alone. In both systems, the ruling elite twisted and turned their political policies and opinions, while destroying anyone who opposed them (or cared to remember these twists) through things like show trials and purges, all of which also occurs in both systems. But where the two systems differ is in their stated end goals. The Communist party’s goal was to bring on full Communism, a workers’ paradise. And in pursuit of this, the Communist party wasn’t just justified in seizing control and carrying out massacres; it became infallible as the only authority, which knew the way to attain paradise. In the case of Ingsoc, O’Brien puts it best when Orwell writes, “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness; only power” (Orwell, Pg. 263). This difference between Ingsoc and Communism is hugely important to understanding the message of…show more content…
It simply needs the same will, infallibility and control over the past of the Communists and Ingsoc Party. With these three components, a regime, which oppresses all of society, including the apparatchiks themselves, for an indefinite period of time, can be established. 1984 isn’t just a warning against the evils of Communism and Fascism. It’s a warning against a new model of governance where power can be maintained more permanently than ever before. Orwell himself clearly says this when he writes, as quoted by Christopher Hitchens, “The scene of the book [1984] is laid in Britain in order to emphasize that the English-speaking races are not innately better than anyone else and that totalitarianism, if not fought against, could triumph anywhere” (Hitchens, Pg. 85). This is why 1984 is relevant, 25 some years after the collapse of Communism, because it’s a warning against the threat posed by totalitarianism in all its forms, regardless of whether they involve ideology. It’s a warning that if people are not careful, the devil can climb back out of hell, onto the real world, as he did in the 20th

More about Doublethink In 1984

Open Document