1. I. There are 3 kinds of people in the world, the high, middle and low.
II. No matter what you do
these 3 groups will exist.
Details: The essential structure of society has never altered.
War Is Peace
2. I. The splitting-up of the
world into 3 great super-states was an event which could be and indeed
was foreseen before the middle of the 20th century.
II. Eastasia is China, Japan,
Manchuria, Mongolia, Tibet and countries south of China.
Details: Eurasia has the whole of the northern part of the European
and Asiatic landmass, from Portugal to the Baring Straight. Oceania
has the Americas, the Atlantic isles including the British Isles, Australia,
and the southern portion of Africa.
3. I. The 3 super states are
always at war. They have been at war for the past 25 years.
II. Motives which were already
present to some small extent in the great wars of the early twentieth
century have now become dominant and are consciously recognizing and
Details: Its impossible for any of the super states to defeat
one another, and the super states have no real big difference between
4. I. To understand the nature
of the present war-for in spite of the regrouping which occurs every few
years, it is always the same war-one must realize in the first place that
it is impossible to be decisive.
II. Portions of it are constantly
changing hands, and it is the chance of seizing this or that fragment
by a sudden stroke of treachery that dictates the endless changes of
Details: The 3 super states are only fighting for the sake of it.
5. I. All the disputed territories
contain valuable minerals, and some of them yield important vegetable
products such as rubber.
II. But if they did not exist,
the structure of the world society, and the process by which it maintains
itself, would not be essentially different.
Details: The frontiers of the super-states are always moving. The disputed
territories are used as a place to obtain cheap labor. Its also
a place were many minerals are found.
6. I. The primary aim of modern
warfare (in accordance with the principles of doublethink, this aim is
simultaneously recognized and not recognized by the directing brains of
the Inner Party) is to use up the products of the machine without raising
the general standards of living
II. And in fact, without
being used for any such purpose, but by a sort of automatic process-by
producing wealth which it was sometimes impossible not to distribute-the
machine did raise the living standards of the average human being very
greatly over a period of about 50 years at the end of the 19th and the
beginning of the 20th centuries.
Details: As a whole the world is more primitive today than it
was fifty years ago.
7. I. But it was also clear
that an all-round increase in wealth threatened the destruction-indeed,
in some sense was the destruction-of a hierarchical society.
II. It conflicted with the
tendency toward mechanization which had become quasi-instinctive throughout
almost the whole world, and moreover, any country which remained industrially
backward was helpless in a military sense and was bound to be dominated,
directly or indirectly, by its more advanced rivals.
Details: For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike,
the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty
would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and once
they had done this, they would sooner or later realize that the privileged
minority had no function, and they would sweep it away.
8. I. Nor was it a satisfactory
solution to keep the masses in poverty by restricting the output of goods.
II. And in practice the only
way of achieving this was by continuous warfare.
Details: The problem was how to keep the wheels of industry turning
without increasing the real wealth of the world. Goods were made
but they didnt need to be given out.
9. I. The essential act of
war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products
of human labor.
II. And at the same time
the consequences of being at war, and therefor in danger, makes the
handling-over of all power to a small caste seem the natural, unavoidable
condition of survival.
Details: 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.
10. I. War, it will be seen,
not only accomplishes the necessary destruction, but accomplishes it in
a psychologically acceptable way.
II. Meanwhile no Inner Party
member wavers for an instant in his mystical belief that war is real,
and that it is bound to end in victoriously, with Oceania the undisputed
master of the entire world.
Details: It is precisely in the Inner Party that war hysteria
and hatred of the enemy are strongest.
11. I. All members of the Inner
Party believe in this coming conquest as an article of faith.
II. The scientists of today
are only developing new ways of trying to destroy the enemy or trying
to develop new truth drugs.
Details: The 2 aims of the Party are to conquer the whole surface
of the earth and to extinguish once and for all the possibility of independent
12. I. But none of these projects
ever comes anywhere near realization, and none of the 3 superstates ever
gains a significant lead on the others.
II. Mass slaughters of earlier
wars never repeated.
Details: The superstates still use the traditional weapons and that
nothing beats the atom bomb.
13. I. None of the 3 superstates
ever attempts any maneuver which involves the risk of serious defeat.
II. It is therefor realized
on all sides that however often Persia, or Egypt, or Java, or Ceylon
may change hands, the main frontiers must never be crossed by anything
Details: The people of the superstates are not allowed any contact with
foreigners because it would make the people see that the foreigners
are really very similar to them, making them not want to fight each
14. I. Under this lies a fact
never mentioned aloud, but tacitly understood and acted upon: namely,
that the conditions of life in all 3 superstates are very much the same.
II. Here it is necessary
to repeat what has been said earlier, that by becoming continuos war
has fundamentally changed its character.
Details: On the contrary, so long as they remain in conflict they
prop one another up, like 3 sheaves of corn.
15. I. In past ages, a war,
almost by definition, was something that sooner or later came to an end,
usually in unmistakable victory or defeat.
II. While wars could be won
or lost, no ruling class could be completely irresponsible.
Details: In philosophy, or religion, or ethics, or politics, two
and two make five, but when one is designing a gun or an airplane they
had to make four. Physical facts could not be ignored.
16. I. But when war becomes
literally continuos, it also ceases to be dangerous.
II. They are obliged to prevent
their followers from starving to death in numbers large enough to be
inconvenient, and they are obliged to remain at the same low level of
military techniques as their rivals; but once that minimum is achieved,
they can twist reality into whatever shape they choose.
Details: Nothing is efficient in Oceania except the Thought Police.
17. I. The war, therefor, if
we judge it by the standards of previous wars, is merely an imposture.
II. This-although the vast
majority of Party members understand it only in a shallower sense-is
the inner meaning of the Party slogan: WAR IS PEACE.
Details: The war is waged by each ruling group against its own
subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquest
of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact.
Ignorance Is Strength
18. see paragraph 1
19. I. The aims of these three
groups are entirely irreconcilable.
II. 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.
Details: The aim of the High is to remain where they are. The
aim of the Middle is to change places with the High. The aim of the
Low, when they have an aim-for it is an abiding characteristic of the
Low that they are too much crushed by drudgery to be more than intermittently
conscious of anything outside their daily lives-is to abolish all distinctions
and create a society in which all men shall be equal.
20. I. By the late 19th century
the recurrences of this pattern had become obvious to many observers.
II. As usual the High were
to be turned out by the Middle, who would then become the High; but
this time by conscious strategy, the High would be able to maintain
their position permanently.
Details: Oceania has Ingsoc, Eurasia has Neo-Bolshevism and Death-worship
21. I. The new doctrines arose
partly because of the accumulation of historical knowledge, and the growth
of the historical sense, which had hardly existed before the 19th century.
II. Imprisonment without
trial, the use of POWs as slaves, public executions, torture to extract
Details: Every new political theory, by what ever name it called
itself, led back to hierarchy and regimentation.
22. I. It was only after a
decade of national wars, civil wars, revolutions and counterrevolutions
in all parts of the world that Ingsoc and its rivals emerged as fully
worked-out political theories.
II. The possibility of enforcing
not only complete obedience of the will of the State, but complete uniformity
of opinion on all subjects, now existed for the first time.
Details: With the development of television, and transmit simultaneously
on the same instrument, private life came to an end. All the citizens
could be watched 24/7.
23. I. After the revolutionary
period of the 50s and 60s, society regrouped itself, as always, into High,
Middle, and Low.
II. Ingsoc has carried out
the main item in the Socialist program, with the result, foreseen and
intended beforehand, that economic inequality has been made permanent.
Details: Individually, no member if the Party owns anything, except
petty personal belongings. Collectively, the Party owns everything in
Oceania, because it controls everything and disposes of the products
as it is fit.
24. I. But the problems of
perpetuating a hierarchical society go deeper than this.
II. Ultimately the determining
factor is the mental attitude of the ruling class itself.
Details: There are 4 ways a ruling group can fall from power. Its
either conquered by someone outside, or it governs really badly which
causes the people to revolt, or it allows a strong and discontented
25. I. After the middle of
the present century, the 1st danger had in reality disappeared.
II. The consciousness of
the masses only needs to be influenced in a negative way.
Details: There are 3 main problems. The 1st is that the world is unconquerable,
but could only be conquered though slow demographic changes. 2nd is,
the masses never revolt of their own accord, and they never revolt
merely because they are oppressed.
26. I. Given this background,
one could infer, if one did not know it already, the general structure
of the Oceanic society.
II. In the terms of our earlier
classification, the proles are the Low, for the slave populations of
the equatorial lands, who pass constantly from conqueror to conqueror,
are not a permanent or necessary part of the structure.
Details: The Inner Party is only 6 million, only around 2 percent of
Oceania. Inner Party described as brain of the state; the Outer Party
is the hands.
27. I. In principle, membership
in these 3 groups is not hereditary. The child of the Inner Party parents
is in theory not born into the Inner Party.
II. Who wields the power
isnt important, provided that the hierarchical structure remains
always the same.
Details: Admission to either branch of the Party is by examination,
taken at the age of sixteen. Nor is there any racial discrimination,
or any marked domination of one province by another.
28. I. All the beliefs, habits,
tastes, emotions, mental attitudes that characterize our time are really
designed to sustain the mystique of the Party and prevent the true nature
of present-day society from being perceived.
II. In a Party member, on
the other hand, not even the smallest deviation of opinion on the most
unimportant subject can be tolerated.
Details: Left to themselves, the Proles wont rebel, they will
only go on with their normal lives.
29. I. A Party member lives
from birth to death under the eye of the Thought Police.
II. But in any case an elaborate
mental training, undergone in childhood and grouping itself around the
Newspeak words crimestop, blackwhite, and doublethink, makes him unwilling
and unable to think too deeply on any subject whatever.
Details: A Party member is always being watched, even when hes
30. I. A Party member is expected
to have no private emotions and no respites from enthusiasm.
II. This demands continuous
alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which
really embraces all the rest, which is known in Newspeak as doublethink.
Details: Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.
31. I. The alteration of the
past is necessary for two reasons, one of which is subsidiary and, so
to speak, precautionary.
II. This day-to-day falsification
of the past, carried out by the Ministry of Truth, is as necessary to
the stability of the regime as the work of repression and espionage
carried out by the Ministry of Love.
Details: He must be cut off from the past, just as he must be
cut off from foreign countries, because it is necessary for him to believe
that he is better off than his ancestors and that the average level
of material comfort is rising.
32. I. The mutability of the
past is the central tenet of Ingsoc.
II. In Newspeak its
called doublethink, although doublethink comprises else as well.
Details: since the Party is in full control of all the records,
and in equally full control of the minds of its members, it follows
that the past is whatever the Party chooses to make it.
33. I. Doublethink means the
power of holding 2 contradictory beliefs in ones mind simultaneously,
and accepting both of them.
II. Ultimately, its
by means of doublethink that the Party has been able-and may, for all
we know, continue to be able for thousands of years-to arrest the course
Details: Even in using the word doublethink it s necessary to
34. I. All past oligarchies
have fallen from power either because they ossified or because they grew
II. For the secret of rulership
is to combine a belief in ones own infallibility with the power
from past mistakes.
Details: Oligarchies fallen from power because either they became stupid
and arrogant, failed to adjust themselves to changing circumstances,
and were overthrown, or they became liberal and cowardly.
35. I. It need hardly be said
that the subtlest practitioners of doublethink are those who invented
doublethink and know that its a vast system of mental cheating.
II. If human equality is
to be forever averted-if the High, as we have called them, are to keep
their places permanently-then the prevailing mental condition must be
Details: war hysteria increases in intensity as one rises in the
social scale. The attitude of the people in the disputed territories
is that they will just get a new person ruling them, but they will do
the same work. The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war,
the Ministry of Love with torture, and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation.
36+37. I. But there is 1 question
which until this moment we have almost ignored.
II. But deeper than this
lies the original motive, the never-questioned instinct that 1st led
to the seizure of power and brought doublethink, the Thought Police,
continuos warfare, and all the other necessary paraphernalia into existence
afterwards. This motive really consists
Details: Why, should human equality be averted? What
is the motive for this huge, accurately planned effort to freeze history
at a particular moment in time?"
And above all of the Inner Party, depends upon doublethink.