'1984' Revisited—Reprised for Obvious Reasons

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Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2018-07-01 05:54

I've added 1984 to the books I'm currently reading or, as in this case, re-reading. I'm astonished anew at how prescient it was. (Also refreshing, after Dostoevsky and Hugo, to encounter a writer who just gets on with it.) I assume everyone here is acquainted with it, so every day will just add a direct quote without commentary. This one is apposite in light of today's demonstrations by mindless leftist thugs:

The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretense was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one's will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp. Thus, at one moment Winston's hatred was not turned against Goldstein at all, but, on the contrary, against Big Brother, the Party, and the Thought Police; and at such moments his heart went out to the lonely, derided heretic on the screen, sole guardian of truth and sanity in a world of lies.


Orwell, George. 1984

'It's time the wine industry

PhilipD's picture

'It's time the wine industry stopped taking safe stances to keep its primarily white audience comfortable'
~The Guardian

“You can’t believe a word these people say”

Bruno's picture

Meanwhile ....

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... evil Pelosi, Obleftivist pin-up, says she wants to name her Defund the Police Bill after "George Kirby." I say again, this is not about George Floyd, it's about George Soros.

'The City of Minneapolis is

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'The City of Minneapolis is spending $4,500 a day for private security for three council members... who have been outspoken proponents of defunding the Minneapolis Police Department.

A spokesperson for Minneapolis Police told FOX 9 the department does not have any recent police reports of threats against city council members.

Jenkins (one of the three) said she has not reported the threats to Minneapolis Police because she has been preoccupied with the dual crisis of the “global pandemic and global uprising” over the killing of George Floyd.'


Mr_Lineberry's picture

Isn't something I have looked into, and perhaps you chaps have, but why was the novel written at all?

The reason I ask is the Labour government in Britain elected in 1945 was all pretty tame, full of ex public school boys, establishment figures (Clement Attlee, for instance), and although there were a few nutters on the backbenches who made childish speeches, it wasn't much of a threat to the status quo.

Not only that but various leading figures, such as Hugh Gaitskell, spent the rest of their lives trying to abolish socialism from the labour party; found socialism all a bit silly and really weren't that into it.

From what I've read, even during the life of that government it was rather a stretch to think a "New Jerusalem" had been established.

The NHS was established, and some sharpie owners of coal mines and steel factories "saw them coming" - so Attlee and co were right royally shafted by paying 3 times what they were actually worth (tax free, too!) haha! - but it was all fairly harmless stuff.

And if anyone had suggested to Clement Attlee, or leading left wingers like Bevan or Michael Foot, there should be state surveillance, or curbs on personal liberties, they would have been shocked and totally opposed to it.

So yes, in the NZ of today you have good reason to fear, and with plenty of examples, but difficult to see that Britain in the late 1940s seemed in danger of totalitarianism.

Can anyone enlighten me?

Allen West Brings Sanity

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Black Lives Matter Baboon

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Nigel: Make Britonistan Safe Again

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Apparently another Islamosavage has run amok, and no one, including Jellyfish Johnson, will say anything:


Mr_Lineberry's picture

Really is appalling Philip isn't it? Just when you think the left won't sink any lower....they do.

On the other hand, such fundamentalism does tend to backfire, so fingers crossed!

Make Orwell Fiction Again!

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'This is no time to lose

PhilipD's picture

'This is no time to lose faith in the Government’s response. Political criticism from journalists and the Opposition is all well and good. It does not serve the country well if it undermines the trust, confidence, compliance and cooperation and ‘kindness’ necessary for New Zealanders to work together against Covid-19.'

June 23, 2020. Jack Vowles is in the Political Science programme at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington.



Mr_Lineberry's picture

As I despise Maori language and culture, dare I ask what "aroha" means?

I'd ask Rawiri but he hates Maori language and culture more than I do! haha!

(Speaking of which, one hilarious aspect of the Maoris that white racists - such as that dreadful Arden woman - never understand, is the Maoris all secretly hate each other! haha!!! ...get a group of them at a barbeque or something, few drinks, and then - it's all on! Haha! Hilarious to watch)

Big Sister Is Watching You

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And Hate is Aroha


Mr_Lineberry's picture

Have always said the franchise should be returned to what it was prior to the 1832 reform act. Voters confined to "the right sort" of people.

Imagine a requirement to own 100 acres of land, or $150,000 annual income, before getting the vote.
A Parliament which only reflected the views of 10,000 farmers.....

Ahhhhhh Bliss!!!

"I've Never Met Winston Churchill"

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Hilariously ignorant member of the Ugly Wimmin's League mouths off. Makes one wonder why we ever gave such woefully cretinous creatures the vote. I don't know which silly bitch is worse—the interviewee or the interviewer:

Very cheering!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

The re-telling of the West Point story was hilarious.

But most of all, telling the Dem-Scum where to get off. This cheered me up today, too, from the thoroughly unWoke Bob Jones:



Mr_Lineberry's picture

Great rally. Covered a lot of ground and I was delighted. Notice how the President hinted at what I was saying - piss the good guys off and it won't end well for the filth.

After a difficult month of left wing propaganda, and them sinking to new low after new low, this has cheered me up immensely! Restored my faith in what we are doing.

Some Humans, Some Democrats

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Some Humans in Tulsa:

Some Democrats in CHOP. The one in yellow on the right is especially attractive:


Mr_Lineberry's picture

I cannot wait for tomorrow!!!

It just annoys me the number of people who are complaining about recent events - like Ben Shapiro, like Bill whittle - who think it's all a debating competition. Just one more irrefutable argument, just one more witty putdown and the left will see the light.

As if the left wingers give a damn about logic or reason or debates (which they always lose).

In 1776 the patriots grabbed their guns and killed their way to freedom. Didn't debate, or have lecture tours of universities - just blasted away.

Unless I am missing something leftist America will only stop when it is demonstrated that......"knock it off or we will kill you". They are all cowards, don't forget.

President should ask some bikers to go to Seattle and dismantle chop/chaz - kill a hundred or so f@#kwits, and ask who wants to be next? Behave or else.


Lindsay Perigo's picture

You couldn't be more right. About 90% of the people purporting to be the good guys are just preening Narcissistic wankers, who conflate their vanity with individualism and trot out an ostentatious pseudo-intellectuality in the name of their wanking. Puke!

I am so looking forward to a yooooooooooooooooooge turn-out of actual humans—decent, freedom-loving patriots—at Orange the Magnificent's rally tomorrow. And to watch The Filth—academia, the media, snowflake moronnials, Dem-Scum, Obleftivists—freaking out, melting down and losing it every which way. Oh joy!!!!!

Humans lining up days in advance. This reminds me of Mario. Donald Trump is to politics what Mario Lanza was to opera. I don't expect anyone to get this, but I'm saying it anyway.

Martin Hanson Replies to Patrick Cooper

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"I totally agree totally with Patrick Cooper (June 13). These statue defacers remind me of those 'students' who need their universities to be 'safe spaces'; they cannot handle the fact that with diversity comes difference of opinion, and some people will disagree with them, but rather than argue with evidence and logic, they scream and howl like spoiled children. Richard Dawkins put it brilliantly when he said to students who were upset by Germaine Greer: ‘A university is not a ‘safe space’. If you need a safe space, leave, go home, hug your teddy & suck your thumb until ready for university.’

"Their statue defacement is simply a pathetic form of virtue-signalling; history cannot be altered by cover-up."


Mr_Lineberry's picture

Rather sad. If you are wondering how this happened, it was when you were wanking.

Example.... If at his rally tomorrow the President put the call out for patriots to grab their guns and drain the swamp once and for all, would you comply?

Or would you have some poofy discussion about.... "The non aggression principle"?

(See what I'm getting at here?)

This stuff can end very quickly, devastatingly so, but the left play on your sense of goodwill. Hence.... you lose.

"Every statue and street building has been renamed ...."

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Letter from Patrick Cooper to Gisborne Herald

In George Orwell's “1984” he wrote that “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. History has stopped.”

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, throughout the US and Great Britain, the Marxist iconoclasts are at work. Statues of Confederate generals and British slave traders have been removed, Penny Lane of Beatles fame is to be renamed as is Gladstone Hall in the University of Liverpool, Churchill's statue in Westminster has been vandalised with graffiti and London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has announced the creation of a new “Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm” which will examine all London landmarks to decide whether they should be removed or renamed according to the diktats of the commissars.

Interestingly, Hitler wanted Nelson's column removed from Trafalgar Square and taken to Berlin, had the planned Nazi invasion of Britain, Operation Sealion, succeeded, because he knew it was regarded by the British people as a symbol of the country's greatness.

In their quest for totalitarian conformity, the Marxist commissars will not stop at statues. They are going after works of art too. “Gone With the Wind” has disappeared from online circulation. They'll be banning the works of Rudyard Kipling and H.G. Wells soon. Politically incorrect plays and paintings will be next. Let us hope that it doesn't all end up in a Maoist culture war where we are all subjected to “struggle sessions” and ritual humiliation until we subscribe to the prevailing groupthink, as evidenced by the police “taking the knee” in both America and Great Britain.

These civic statues and buildings are all historical artefacts. If you erase them, then there is no history. If there is no history then the Marxist vandals can fill the void with whatever vile claptrap they decide to come up with. That is why the Endeavour models must be reinstated.

Patrick Cooper


Here's more of the relevant excerpt from 1984, a scene between Winston Smith and his mistress Julia:

Sometimes he talked to her of the Records Department and the impudent forgeries that he committed there. Such things did not appear to horrify her. She did not feel the abyss opening beneath her feet at the thought of lies becoming truths. He told her the story of Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford and the momentous slip of paper which he had once held between his fingers. It did not make much impression on her. At first, indeed, she failed to grasp the point of the story.

‘Were they friends of yours?’ she said.

‘No, I never knew them. They were Inner Party members. Besides, they were far older men than I was. They belonged to the old days, before the Revolution. I barely knew them by sight.’

‘Then what was there to worry about? People are being killed off all the time, aren’t they?’

He tried to make her understand. ‘This was an exceptional case. It wasn’t just a question of somebody being killed. Do you realize that the past, starting from yesterday, has been actually abolished? If it survives anywhere, it’s in a few solid objects with no words attached to them, like that lump of glass there. Already we know almost literally nothing about the Revolution and the years before the Revolution. Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And that process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.

Cancel Woke-Fascism! Make Orwell Fiction Again!

Anti-Speech Maketh the Anti-Human

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What was slightly horrible was that from the stream of sound that poured out of his mouth, it was almost impossible to distinguish a single word. Just once Winston caught a phrase—"complete and final elimination of Goldsteinism"—jerked out very rapidly and, as it seemed, all in one piece, like a line of type cast solid. For the rest it was just a noise, a quack-quack-quacking. And yet, though you could not actually hear what the man was saying, you could not be in any doubt about its general nature. He might be denouncing Goldstein and demanding sterner measures against thought-criminals and saboteurs, he might be fulminating against the atrocities of the Eurasian army, he might be praising Big Brother or the heroes on the Malabar front—it made no difference. Whatever it was, you could be certain that every word of it was pure orthodoxy, pure Ingsoc. As he watched the eyeless face with the jaw moving rapidly up and down, Winston had a curious feeling that this was not a real human being but some kind of dummy. It was not the man's brain that was speaking; it was his larynx. The stuff that was coming out of him consisted of words, but it was not speech in the true sense: it was a noise uttered in unconsciousness, like the quacking of a duck.

Steve Hilton Also Identifies 1984 Resurgent

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... but still, none dares call it Filth:

It's Here!

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Here are the Thought Police. New Zealistan, May, 2019:


Olivia's picture

Just incredible how profoundly Orwell understood this stuff. Salient.


Lindsay Perigo's picture

As Bruno reminded me today:

"It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself – anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called."—1984 Chapter 5.

China's Thought Police

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What The Filth, including Apple who are helping the Chicoms with this, are proposing also for the West:


China's chilling dictatorship is moving quickly to introduce social scorecards, in which all citizens will be monitored 24/7 and ranked on their behavior.

The Communist Party’s plan is for every one of its 1.4 billion citizens to be at the whim of a dystopian social credit system, and it’s on track to be fully operational by the year 2020.

An active pilot program has already seen millions of people each assigned a score out of 800 and either reap its benefits or suffer its consequences — depending on which end of the scale they sit.

Under the social credit scheme, points are lost and gained based on readings from a sophisticated network of 200 million surveillance cameras — a figure set to triple in 18 months.

The program has been enabled by rapid advances in facial recognition, body scanning and geo-tracking.

The data is combined with information collected from individuals’ government records — including medical and educational — along with their financial and internet browsing histories. Overall scores can go up and down in “real time” dependant on the person’s behaviour but they can also be affected by people they associate with.

“If your best friend or your dad says something negative about the government, you’ll lose points too,” the ABC reports.

The mandatory “social credit” system was first announced in 2014 in a bid to reinforce the notion that “keeping trust is glorious and breaking trust is disgraceful,” according to a government document.

In a Foreign Correspondent episode, to air on the ABC tonight, financial credit system Alipay, Tianjin general manager Jie Cong, summarised the system in black and white.

“If people keep their promises they can go anywhere in the world,” he said. “If people break their promises they won’t be able to move an inch!”


Under the system, those deemed to be “top citizens” are rewarded bonus points.

The benefits of being ranked on the higher end of the scale include waived deposits on hotels and rental cars, VIP treatment at airports, discounted loans, priority job applications and fast-tracking to the most prestigious universities.

Dandan, a young mother and marketing professional, is proud of her high score. If she keeps it up her infant son will be more likely to get into a top school.

“China likes to experiment in this creative way … I think people in every country want a stable and safe society,” she said.

“We need a social credit system. We hope we can help each other, love each other and help everyone to become prosperous.”


But it doesn’t take much to end up on the wrong side of the scale with an estimated 10 million people are already paying the price of a low rating.

Jaywalking, late payments on bills or taxes, buying too much alcohol or speaking out against the government, each cost citizens points.

Other mooted punishable offences include spending too long playing video games, wasting money on frivolous purchases and posting on social media, according to Business Insider.

Penalties range from losing the right to travel by plane or train, social media account suspensions and being barred from government jobs.

Chinese journalist Liu Hu is one of millions who have already amassed a low social credit rating. Liu Hu was arrested, jailed and fined after he exposed official corruption.

“The government regards me as an enemy,” Liu Hu told the ABC.

He is now banned from travelling by plane or fast train. His social media accounts with millions of followers have been suspended. He struggles to find work.

“This kind of social control is against the tide of the world. The Chinese people’s eyes are blinded and their ears are blocked. They know little about the world and are living in an illusion.” Liu Hu said.

Seventeen people who refused to carry out military service were last year barred from enrolling in higher education, applying for high school, or continuing their studies, Beijing News reported.

Uighur poet and filmmaker, Tahir Hamut, who fled to the US, told the ABC that China’s surveillance system “suddenly ramped up after the end of 2016”.

“Since then, advanced surveillance technology which we’ve never seen, never experienced, never heard of, started appearing,” he said.

This story originally appeared in news.com.au.

September 17

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"But how can you stop people remembering things?" cried Winston, again momentarily forgetting the dial. "It is involuntary. It is outside oneself. How can you control memory? You have not controlled mine!" O'Brien's manner grew stern again. He laid his hand on the dial. "On the contrary," he said, "you have not controlled it. That is what has brought you here. You are here because you have failed in humility, in self-discipline. You would not make the act of submission which is the price of sanity. You preferred to be a lunatic, a minority of one. Only the disciplined mind can see reality, Winston. You believe that reality is something objective, external, existing in its own right. You also believe that the nature of reality is self-evident. When you delude yourself into thinking that you see something, you assume that everyone else sees the same thing as you. But I tell you, Winston, that reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes; only in the mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal. Whatever the Party holds to be truth is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party. That is the fact that you have got to relearn, Winston. It needs an act of self-destruction, an effort of the will. You must humble yourself before you can become sane." He paused for a few moments, as though to allow what he had been saying to sink in. "Do you remember," he went on, "writing in your diary, 'Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four'?" "Yes," said Winston. O'Brien held up his left hand, its back toward Winston, with the thumb hidden and the four fingers extended. "How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?" "Four." "And if the Party says that it is not four but five— then how many?" "Four." The word ended in a gasp of pain. The needle of the dial had shot up to fifty-five. The sweat had sprung out all over Winston's body. The air tore into his lungs and issued again in deep groans which even by clenching his teeth he could not stop. O'Brien watched him, the four fingers still extended. He drew back the lever. This time the pain was only slightly eased.

"How many fingers, Winston?" "Four." The needle went up to sixty. "How many fingers, Winston?" "Four! Four! What else can I say? Four!" The needle must have risen again, but he did not look at it. The heavy, stern face and the four fingers filled his vision. The fingers stood up before his eyes like pillars, enormous, blurry, and seeming to vibrate, but unmistakably four. "How many fingers, Winston?" "Four! Stop it, stop it! How can you go on? Four! Four!" "How many fingers, Winston?" "Five! Five! Five!" "No, Winston, that is no use. You are lying. You still think there are four. How many fingers, please?" "Four! Five! Four! Anything you like. Only stop it, stop the pain!" Abruptly he was sitting up with O'Brien's arm round his shoulders. He had perhaps lost consciousness for a few seconds. The bonds that had held his body down were loosened. He felt very cold, he was shaking uncontrollably, his teeth were chattering, the tears were rolling down his cheeks. For a moment he clung to O'Brien like a baby, curiously comforted by the heavy arm round his shoulders. He had the feeling that O'Brien was his protector, that the pain was something that came from outside, from some other source, and that it was O'Brien who would save him from it. "You are a slow learner, Winston," said O'Brien gently. "How can I help it?" he blubbered. "How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four." "Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane."

NB from Linz—I cannot by copyright reproduce any more. Get the book, then look around and realise anew or for the first time perhaps that the Thought Police are now truly here!


Make Orwell Fiction Again

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Britonistan Thought Police, stars of Obleftivist wet dreams, demand reporting of even non-"criminal" "hate" thoughts. This is what Susan Devoy sought for New Zealand, with the support of ARISIS Auckland shills:

September 14

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The beatings grew less frequent, and became mainly a threat, a horror to which he could be sent back at any moment when his answers were unsatisfactory. His questioners now were not ruffians in black uniforms but Party intellectuals, little rotund men with quick movements and flashing spectacles, who worked on him in relays over periods which lasted— he thought, he could not be sure— ten or twelve hours at a stretch. These other questioners saw to it that he was in constant slight pain, but it was not chiefly pain that they relied on. They slapped his face, wrung his ears, pulled his hair, made him stand on one leg, refused him leave to urinate, shone glaring lights in his face until his eyes ran with water; but the aim of this was simply to humiliate him and destroy his power of arguing and reasoning. Their real weapon was the merciless questioning that went on and on hour after hour, tripping him up, laying traps for him, twisting everything that he said, convicting him at every step of lies and self-contradiction, until he began weeping as much from shame as from nervous fatigue. Sometimes he would weep half a dozen times in a single session. Most of the time they screamed abuse at him and threatened at every hesitation to deliver him over to the guards again; but sometimes they would suddenly change their tune, call him comrade, appeal to him in the name of Ingsoc and Big Brother, and ask him sorrowfully whether even now he had not enough loyalty to the Party left to make him wish to undo the evil he had done. When his nerves were in rags after hours of questioning, even this appeal could reduce him to sniveling tears. In the end the nagging voices broke him down more completely than the boots and fists of the guards. He became simply a mouth that uttered, a hand that signed whatever was demanded of him. His sole concern was to find out what they wanted him to confess, and then confess it quickly, before the bullying started anew. He confessed to the assassination of eminent Party members, the distribution of seditious pamphlets, embezzlement of public funds, sale of military secrets, sabotage of every kind. He confessed that he had been a spy in the pay of the Eastasian government as far back as 1968. He confessed that he was a religious believer, an admirer of capitalism, and a sexual pervert. He confessed that he had murdered his wife, although he knew, and his questioners must have known, that his wife was still alive. He confessed that for years he had been in personal touch with Goldstein and had been a member of an underground organization which had included almost every human being he had ever known. It was easier to confess everything and implicate everybody. Besides, in a sense it was all true. It was true that he had been the enemy of the Party, and in the eyes of the Party there was no distinction between the thought and the deed.

September 13

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Parsons gave Winston a glance in which there was neither interest nor surprise, but only misery. He began walking jerkily up and down, evidently unable to keep still. Each time he straightened his pudgy knees it was apparent that they were trembling. His eyes had a wide-open, staring look, as though he could not prevent himself from gazing at something in the middle distance. "What are you in for?" said Winston. "Thoughtcrime!" said Parsons, almost blubbering. The tone of his voice implied at once a complete admission of his guilt and a sort of incredulous horror that such a word could be applied to himself. He paused opposite Winston and began eagerly appealing to him: "You don't think they'll shoot me, do you, old chap? They don't shoot you if you haven't actually done anything— only thoughts, which you can't help? I know they give you a fair hearing. Oh, I trust them for that! They'll know my record, won't they? You know what kind of a chap I was. Not a bad chap in my way. Not brainy, of course, but keen. I tried to do my best for the Party, didn't I? I'll get off with five years, don't you think? Or even ten years? A chap like me could make himself pretty useful in a labor camp. They wouldn't shoot me for going off the rails just once?"

"Are you guilty?" said Winston.

"Of course I'm guilty!" cried Parsons with a servile glance at the telescreen. "You don't think the Party would arrest an innocent man, do you?" His froglike face grew calmer, and even took on a slightly sanctimonious expression. "Thoughtcrime is a dreadful thing, old man," he said sententiously. "It's insidious. It can get hold of you without your even knowing it. Do you know how it got hold of me? In my sleep! Yes, that's a fact. There I was, working away, trying to do my bit— never knew I had any bad stuff in my mind at all. And then I started talking in my sleep. Do you know what they heard me saying?" He sank his voice, like someone who is obliged for medical reasons to utter an obscenity. "' Down with Big Brother!' Yes, I said that! Said it over and over again, it seems. Between you and me, old man, I'm glad they got me before it went any further. Do you know what I'm going to say to them when I go up before the tribunal? 'Thank you,' I'm going to say, 'thank you for saving me before it was too late.'"

"Who denounced you?" said Winston. "It was my little daughter," said Parsons with a sort of doleful pride. "She listened at the keyhole. Heard what I was saying, and nipped off to the patrols the very next day. Pretty smart for a nipper of seven, eh? I don't bear her any grudge for it. In fact I'm proud of her. It shows I brought her up in the right spirit, anyway." He made a few more jerky movements up and down, several times casting a longing glance at the lavatory pan. Then he suddenly ripped down his shorts. "Excuse me, old man," he said. "I can't help it. It's the waiting."

He plumped his large posteriors onto the lavatory pan. Winston covered his face with his hands. "Smith!" yelled the voice from the telescreen. "6079 Smith W! Uncover your face. No faces covered in the cells." Winston uncovered his face. Parsons used the lavatory, loudly and abundantly. It then turned out that the plug was defective, and the cell stank abominably for hours afterwards.

September 11

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It was curious to think that the sky was the same for everybody, in Eurasia or Eastasia as well as here. And the people under the sky were also very much the same— everywhere, all over the world, hundreds or thousands of millions of people just like this, people ignorant of one another's existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same— people who had never learned to think but who were storing up in their hearts and bellies and muscles the power that would one day overturn the world. If there was hope, it lay in the proles! Without having read to the end of the book, he knew that that must be Goldstein's final message. The future belonged to the proles. And could he be sure that when their time came, the world they constructed would not be just as alien to him, Winston Smith, as the world of the Party? Yes, because at the least it would be a world of sanity. Where there is equality there can be sanity. Sooner or later it would happen: strength would change into consciousness. The proles were immortal; you could not doubt it when you looked at that valiant figure in the yard. In the end their awakening would come. And until that happened, though it might be a thousand years, they would stay alive against all the odds, like birds, passing on from body to body the vitality which the Party did not share and could not kill.

September 6

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Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. The Party intellectual knows in which direction his memories must be altered; he therefore knows that he is playing tricks with reality; but by the exercise of doublethink he also satisfies himself that reality is not violated. The process has to be conscious, or it would not be carried out with sufficient precision, but it also has to be unconscious, or it would bring with it a feeling of falsity and hence of guilt.

Doublethink lies at the very heart of Ingsoc, since the essential act of the Party is to use conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty. To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies— all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth. Ultimately it is 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 of history.

Orwell, George. 1984 (Modern Classics Series): Big Brother Is Watching You - A Political Sci-Fi Dystopia (p. 167). e-artnow. Kindle Edition.


Brant Gaede's picture

If you're a genius and a socialist and don't deny the latter, you might write "1984" or some such--or die screaming.


September 4

Lindsay Perigo's picture

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. Physical rebellion, or any preliminary move toward rebellion, is at present not possible. From the proletarians nothing is to be feared. Left to themselves, they will continue from generation to generation and from century to century, working, breeding, and dying, not only without any impulse to rebel, but without the power of grasping that the world could be other than it is. They could only become dangerous if the advance of industrial technique made it necessary to educate them more highly; but, since military and commercial rivalry are no longer important, the level of popular education is actually declining. What opinions the masses hold, or do not hold, is looked on as a matter of indifference. They can be granted intellectual liberty because they have no intellect.

September 2

Lindsay Perigo's picture

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. But they had been foreshadowed by the various systems, generally called totalitarian, which had appeared earlier in the century, and the main outlines of the world which would emerge from the prevailing chaos had long been obvious. What kind of people would control this world had been equally obvious. The new aristocracy was made up for the most part of bureaucrats, scientists, technicians, trade-union organizers, publicity experts, sociologists, teachers, journalists, and professional politicians. These people, whose origins lay in the salaried middle class and the upper grades of the working class, had been shaped and brought together by the barren world of monopoly industry and centralized government. As compared with their opposite numbers in past ages, they were less avaricious, less tempted by luxury, hungrier for pure power, and, above all, more conscious of what they were doing and more intent on crushing opposition. This last difference was cardinal. By comparison with that existing today, all the tyrannies of the past were half-hearted and inefficient. The ruling groups were always infected to some extent by liberal ideas, and were content to leave loose ends everywhere, to regard only the overt act, and to be uninterested in what their subjects were thinking. Even the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages was tolerant by modern standards. Part of the reason for this was that in the past no government had the power to keep its citizens under constant surveillance. The invention of print, however, made it easier to manipulate public opinion, and the film and the radio carried the process further. With the development of television, and the technical advance which made it possible to receive and transmit simultaneously on the same instrument, private life came to an end. Every citizen, or at least every citizen important enough to be worth watching, could be kept for twenty-four hours a day under the eyes of the police and in the sound of official propaganda, with all other channels of communication closed. The possibility of enforcing not only complete obedience to the will of the State, but complete uniformity of opinion on all subjects, now existed for the first time.

Down the Memory Hole

Lindsay Perigo's picture

The first men on the moon didn't plant an American flag on it, according to The Filth in Hollywood:


August 31

Lindsay Perigo's picture

War, it will be seen, is now a purely internal affair. In the past, the ruling groups of all countries, although they might recognize their common interest and therefore limit the destructiveness of war, did fight against one another, and the victor always plundered the vanquished. In our own day they are not fighting against one another at all. 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. The very word "war," therefore, has become misleading. It would probably be accurate to say that by becoming continuous war has ceased to exist. The peculiar pressure that it exerted on human beings between the Neolithic Age and the early twentieth century has disappeared and been replaced by something quite different. The effect would be much the same if the three superstates, instead of fighting one another, should agree to live in perpetual peace, each inviolate within its own boundaries. For in that case each would still be a self-contained universe, freed forever from the sobering influence of external danger. A peace that was truly permanent would be the same as a permanent war. 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.

August 29

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All members of the Inner Party believe in this coming conquest as an article of faith. It is to be achieved either by gradually acquiring more and more territory and so building up an overwhelming preponderance of power, or by the discovery of some new and unanswerable weapon. The search for new weapons continues unceasingly, and is one of the very few remaining activities in which the inventive or speculative type of mind can find any outlet. In Oceania at the present day, Science, in the old sense, has almost ceased to exist. In Newspeak there is no word for "Science." The empirical method of thought, on which all the scientific achievements of the past were founded, is opposed to the most fundamental principles of Ingsoc. And even technological progress only happens when its products can in some way be used for the diminution of human liberty.

In all the useful arts the world is either standing still or going backwards. The fields are cultivated with horse plows while books are written by machinery. But in matters of vital importance— meaning, in effect, war and police espionage— the empirical approach is still encouraged, or at least tolerated. The two aims of the Party are to conquer the whole surface of the earth and to extinguish once and for all the possibility of independent thought. There are therefore two great problems which the Party is concerned to solve. One is how to discover, against his will, what another human being is thinking, and the other is how to kill several hundred million people in a few seconds without giving warning beforehand. In so far as scientific research still continues, this is its subject matter.

August 27

Lindsay Perigo's picture

All of the disputed territories contain valuable minerals, and some of them yield important vegetable products such as rubber which in colder climates it is necessary to synthesize by comparatively expensive methods. But above all they contain a bottomless reserve of cheap labor. Whichever power controls equatorial Africa, or the countries of the Middle East, or Southern India, or the Indonesian Archipelago, disposes also of the bodies of scores or hundreds of millions of ill-paid and hard-working coolies. The inhabitants of these areas, reduced more or less openly to the status of slaves, pass continually from conqueror to conqueror, and are expended like so much coal or oil in the race to turn out more armaments, to capture more territory, to control more labor power, to turn out more armaments, to capture more territory, and so on indefinitely.

It should be noted that the fighting never really moves beyond the edges of the disputed areas. The frontiers of Eurasia flow back and forth between the basin of the Congo All of the disputed territories contain valuable minerals, and some of them yield important vegetable products such as rubber which in colder climates it is necessary to synthesize by comparatively expensive methods. But above all they contain a bottomless reserve of cheap labor. Whichever power controls equatorial Africa, or the countries of the Middle East, or Southern India, or the Indonesian Archipelago, disposes also of the bodies of scores or hundreds of millions of ill-paid and hard-working coolies. The inhabitants of these areas, reduced more or less openly to the status of slaves, pass continually from conqueror to conqueror, and are expended like so much coal or oil in the race to turn out more armaments, to capture more territory, to control more labor power, to turn out more armaments, to capture more territory, and so on indefinitely. It should be noted that the fighting never really moves beyond the edges of the disputed areas. The frontiers of Eurasia flow back and forth between the basin of the Congo and the northern shore of the Mediterranean; the islands of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific are constantly being captured and recaptured by Oceania or by Eastasia; in Mongolia the dividing line between Eurasia and Eastasia is never stable; round the Pole all three powers lay claim to enormous territories which in fact are largely uninhabited and unexplored; but the balance of power always remains roughly even, and the territory which forms the heartland of each superstate always remains inviolate. Moreover, the labor of the exploited peoples round the Equator is not really necessary to the world's economy. They add nothing to the wealth of the world, since whatever they produce is used for purposes of war, and the object of waging a war is always to be in a better position in which to wage another war. By their labor the slave populations allow the tempo of continuous warfare to be speeded up. But if they did not exist, the structure of world society, and the process by which it maintains itself, would not be essentially different.

August 23

Lindsay Perigo's picture

"The members of the Brotherhood have no way of recognizing one another, and it is impossible for any one member to be aware of the identity of more than a very few others. Goldstein himself, if he fell into the hands of the Thought Police, could not give them a complete list of members, or any information that would lead them to a complete list. No such list exists. The Brotherhood cannot be wiped out because it is not an organization in the ordinary sense. Nothing holds it together except an idea which is indestructible. You will never have anything to sustain you except the idea. You will get no comradeship and no encouragement. When finally you are caught, you will get no help. We never help our members. At most, when it is absolutely necessary that someone should be silenced, we are occasionally able to smuggle a razor blade into a prisoner's cell. You will have to get used to living without results and without hope. You will work for a while, you will be caught, you will confess, and then you will die. Those are the only results that you will ever see. There is no possibility that any perceptible change will happen within our own lifetime. We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future. We shall take part in it as handfuls of dust and splinters of bone. But how far away that future may be, there is no knowing. It might be a thousand years. At present nothing is possible except to extend the area of sanity little by little. We cannot act collectively. We can only spread our knowledge outwards from individual to individual, generation after generation. In the face of the Thought Police, there is no other way."

August 21

Lindsay Perigo's picture

O'Brien was strolling up and down, one hand in the pocket of his black overalls, the other holding his cigarette.

"You understand," he said, "that you will be fighting in the dark. You will always be in the dark. You will receive orders and you will obey them, without knowing why. Later I shall send you a book from which you will learn the true nature of the society we live in, and the strategy by which we shall destroy it. When you have read the book, you will be full members of the Brotherhood. But between the general aims that we are fighting for, and the immediate tasks of the moment, you will never know anything. I tell you that the Brotherhood exists, but I cannot tell you whether it numbers a hundred members, or ten million. From your personal knowledge you will never be able to say that it numbers even as many as a dozen. You will have three or four contacts, who will be renewed from time to time as they disappear. As this was your first contact, it will be preserved. When you receive orders, they will come from me. If we find it necessary to communicate with you, it will be through Martin. When you are finally caught, you will confess. That is unavoidable. But you will have very little to confess, other than your own actions. You will not be able to betray more than a handful of unimportant people. I shall have become a different person, with a different face."

August 17

Lindsay Perigo's picture

The terrible thing that the Party had done was to persuade you that mere impulses, mere feelings, were of no account, while at the same time robbing you of all power over the material world. When once you were in the grip of the Party, what you felt or did not feel, what you did or refrained from doing, made literally no difference. Whatever happened you vanished, and neither you nor your actions were ever heard of again. You were lifted clean out of the stream of history. And yet to the people of only two generations ago, this would not have seemed all-important, because they were not attempting to alter history. They were governed by private loyalties which they did not question. What mattered were individual relationships, and a completely helpless gesture, an embrace, a tear, a word spoken to a dying man, could have value in itself.

The proles, it suddenly occurred to him, had remained in this condition. They were not loyal to a party or a country or an idea, they were loyal to one another. For the first time in his life he did not despise the proles or think of them merely as an inert force which would one day spring to life and regenerate the world. The proles had stayed human. They had not become hardened inside. They had held onto the primitive emotions which he himself had to relearn by conscious effort. And in thinking this he remembered, without apparent relevance, how a few weeks ago he had seen a severed hand lying on the pavement and had kicked it into the gutter as though it had been a cabbage stalk.

"The proles are human beings," he said aloud. "We are not human."

August 15

Lindsay Perigo's picture

"I don't imagine that we can alter anything in our own lifetime. But one can imagine little knots of resistance springing up here and there—small groups of people banding themselves together, and gradually growing, and even leaving a few records behind, so that the next generation can carry on where we leave off."

"I'm not interested in the next generation, dear. I'm interested in us."

"You're only a rebel from the waist downwards," he told her.

She thought this brilliantly witty and flung her arms round him in delight.

In the ramifications of Party doctrine she had not the faintest interest. Whenever he began to talk of the principles of Ingsoc, doublethink, the mutability of the past and the denial of objective reality, and to use Newspeak words, she became bored and confused and said that she never paid any attention to that kind of thing. One knew that it was all rubbish, so why let oneself be worried by it? She knew when to cheer and when to boo, and that was all one needed. If he persisted in talking of such subjects, she had a disconcerting habit of falling asleep. She was one of those people who can go to sleep at any hour and in any position. Talking to her, he realized how easy it was to present an appearance of orthodoxy while having no grasp whatever of what orthodoxy meant. In a way, the world-view of the Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding they remained sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them no harm, because it left no residue behind, just as a grain of corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird.

August 13

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Syme had vanished. A morning came, and he was missing from work; a few thoughtless people commented on his absence. On the next day nobody mentioned him. On the third day Winston went into the vestibule of the Records Department to look at the notice board. One of the notices carried a printed list of the members of the Chess Committee, of whom Syme had been one. It looked almost exactly as it had looked before— nothing had been crossed out— but it was one name shorter. It was enough. Syme had ceased to exist; he had never existed.

The weather was baking hot. In the labyrinthine Ministry the windowless, air-conditioned rooms kept their normal temperature, but outside the pavements scorched one's feet and the stench of the Tubes at the rush hours was a horror. The preparations for Hate Week were in full swing, and the staffs of all the Ministries were working overtime. Processions, meetings, military parades, lectures, waxwork displays, film shows, telescreen programs all had to be organized; stands had to be erected, effigies built, slogans coined, songs written, rumors circulated, photographs faked. Julia's unit in the Fiction Department had been taken off the production of novels and was rushing out a series of atrocity pamphlets. Winston, in addition to his regular work, spent long periods every day in going through back files of the Times and altering and embellishing news items which were to be quoted in speeches.

Late at night, when crowds of rowdy proles roamed the streets, the town had a curiously febrile air. The rocket bombs crashed oftener than ever, and sometimes in the far distance there were enormous explosions which no one could explain and about which there were wild rumors.

The new tune which was to be the theme song of Hate Week (the "Hate Song," it was called) had already been composed and was being endlessly plugged on the telescreens. It had a savage, barking rhythm which could not exactly be called music, but resembled the beating of a drum. Roared out by hundreds of voices to the tramp of marching feet, it was terrifying.

Orwell vs. Orwell

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

1984 was a truly great book. Too bad George Orwell was himself a socialist. So was Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein. So curious that all these early-1900s geniuses liked it! Shock Orwell referred to socialism as "elementary common sense".

August 11

Lindsay Perigo's picture

"You can turn round now," said Julia.

He turned round, and for a second almost failed to recognize her. What he had actually expected was to see her naked. But she was not naked. The transformation that had happened was much more surprising than that. She had painted her face.

She must have slipped into some shop in the proletarian quarters and bought herself a complete set of make-up materials. Her lips were deeply reddened, her cheeks rouged, her nose powdered; there was even a touch of something under the eyes to make them brighter. It was not very skillfully done, but Winston's standards in such matters were not high. He had never before seen or imagined a woman of the Party with cosmetics on her face. The improvement in her appearance was startling. With just a few dabs of color in the right places she had become not only very much prettier, but, above all, far more feminine. Her short hair and boyish overalls merely added to the effect. As he took her in his arms a wave of synthetic violets flooded his nostrils. He remembered the half-darkness of a basement kitchen and a woman's cavernous mouth. It was the very same scent that she had used; but at the moment it did not seem to matter.

"Scent, too!" he said.

"Yes, dear, scent, too. And do you know what I'm going to do next? I'm going to get hold of a real woman's frock from somewhere and wear it instead of these bloody trousers. I'll wear silk stockings and high-heeled shoes! In this room I'm going to be a woman, not a Party comrade."

August 9

Lindsay Perigo's picture

With Julia, everything came back to her own sexuality. As soon as this was touched upon in any way she was capable of great acuteness. Unlike Winston, she had grasped the inner meaning of the Party's sexual puritanism. It was not merely that the sex instinct created a world of its own which was outside the Party's control and which therefore had to be destroyed if possible. What was more important was that sexual privation induced hysteria, which was desirable because it could be transformed into war fever and leader worship. The way she put it was: "When you make love you're using up energy; and afterwards you feel happy and don't give a damn for anything. They can't bear you to feel like that. They want you to be bursting with energy all the time. All this marching up and down and cheering and waving flags is simply sex gone sour. If you're happy inside yourself, why should you get excited about Big Brother and the Three-Year Plans and the Two Minutes Hate and all the rest of their bloody rot?"

That was very true, he thought. 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. They had played a similar trick with the instinct of parenthood. The family could not actually be abolished, and, indeed, people were encouraged to be fond of their children in almost the old-fashioned way. The children, on the other hand, were systematically turned against their parents and taught to spy on them and report their deviations. The family had become in effect an extension of the Thought Police. It was a device by means of which everyone could be surrounded night and day by informers who knew him intimately.

August 7

Lindsay Perigo's picture

The young, strong body, now helpless in sleep, awoke in him a pitying, protecting feeling. But the mindless tenderness that he had felt under the hazel tree, while the thrush was singing, had not quite come back. He pulled the overalls aside and studied her smooth white flank. In the old days, he thought, a man looked at a girl's body and saw that it was desirable, and that was the end of the story. But you could not have pure love or pure lust nowadays. No emotion was pure, because everything was mixed up with fear and hatred. Their embrace had been a battle, the climax a victory. It was a blow struck against the Party. It was a political act.

Anti-Sex League

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Is anyone getting how Orwell, in 1948, foresaw the #MeToo Ugly Wimmin's movement of 2018?

Here's an edifying antidote to this anal-retentive neo-Puritanism of our time: the magnificent Fritz Wunderlich performs the magnificent Robert Stolz's Blonds or brunettes, I love *all* women:

Fritz, nowadays, of course, would have to be sent off for sensitivity re-education.

I on the other other hand would merely re-educate him re salmon: you can get it from a can any time, with no ridiculous position, momentary pleasure or damnable expense involved.

August 5

Lindsay Perigo's picture

"What is your name?" said Winston. "Julia. I know yours. It's Winston—Winston Smith." "How did you find that out?" "I expect I'm better at finding things out than you are, dear. Tell me, what did you think of me before that day I gave you the note?" He did not feel any temptation to tell lies to her. It was even a sort of love offering to start off by telling the worst. "I hated the sight of you," he said. "I wanted to rape you and then murder you afterwards. Two weeks ago I thought seriously of smashing your head in with a cobblestone. If you really want to know, I imagined that you had something to do with the Thought Police."

The girl laughed delightedly, evidently taking this as a tribute to the excellence of her disguise. "Not the Thought Police! You didn't honestly think that?" "Well, perhaps not exactly that. But from your general appearance—merely because you're young and fresh and healthy, you understand—I thought that probably—"

"You thought I was a good Party member. Pure in word and deed. Banners, processions, slogans, games, community hikes—all that stuff. And you thought that if I had a quarter of a chance I'd denounce you as a thought-criminal and get you killed off?"

"Yes, something of that kind. A great many young girls are like that, you know."

"It's this bloody thing that does it," she said, ripping off the scarlet sash of the Junior Anti-Sex League and flinging it onto a bough.

August 3

Lindsay Perigo's picture

From over scrubby cheekbones eyes looked into Winston's, sometimes with strange intensity, and flashed away again. The convoy was drawing to an end. In the last truck he could see an aged man, his face a mass of grizzled hair, standing upright with wrists crossed in front of him, as though he were used to having them bound together. It was almost time for Winston and the girl to part. But at the last moment, while the crowd still hemmed them in, her hand felt for his and gave it a fleeting squeeze. It could not have been ten seconds, and yet it seemed a long time that their hands were clasped together. He had time to learn every detail of her hand. He explored the long fingers, the shapely nails, the work-hardened palm with its row of calluses, the smooth flesh under the wrist. Merely from feeling it he would have known it by sight. In the same instant it occurred to him that he did not know what color the girl's eyes were. They were probably brown, but people with dark hair sometimes had blue eyes. To turn his head and look at her would have been inconceivable folly. With hands locked together, invisible among the press of bodies, they stared steadily in front of them, and instead of the eyes of the girl, the eyes of the aged prisoner gazed mournfully at Winston out of nests of hair.

Awfully compelling

Shane Pleasance's picture

I have now been forced to re-read this damn book. I find it even more disturbing than I used to. I came across a few episodes of this series some months back - the opening titles tailed with the revealing of the flag left me feeling queasy. I could not watch the series.


August 1

Lindsay Perigo's picture

He opened the diary. It was important to write something down. The woman on the telescreen had started a new song. Her voice seemed to stick into his brain like jagged splinters of glass. He tried to think of O'Brien, for whom, or to whom, the diary was written, but instead he began thinking of the things that would happen to him after the Thought Police took him away. It would not matter if they killed you at once. To be killed was what you expected. But before death (nobody spoke of such things, yet everybody knew of them) there was the routine of confession that had to be gone through: the groveling on the floor and screaming for mercy, the crack of broken bones, the smashed teeth and bloody clots of hair. Why did you have to endure it, since the end was always the same? Why was it not possible to cut a few days or weeks out of your life? Nobody ever escaped detection, and nobody ever failed to confess. When once you had succumbed to thoughtcrime it was certain that by a given date you would be dead. Why then did that horror, which altered nothing, have to lie embedded in future time?

July 30

Lindsay Perigo's picture

"That's right. Outside the Law Courts. It was bombed in— oh, many years ago. It was a church at one time. St. Clement's Dane, its name was." He smiled apologetically, as though conscious of saying something slightly ridiculous, and added: "Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St. Clement's!"

"What's that?" said Winston.

"Oh— Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St. Clement's. That was a rhyme we had when I was a little boy. How it goes on I don't remember, but I do know it ended up, Here comes a candle to light you to bed, Here comes a chopper to chop off your head. It was a kind of a dance. They held out their arms for you to pass under, and when they came to Here comes a chopper to chop off your head they brought their arms down and caught you. It was just names of churches. All the London churches were in it— all the principal ones, that is."

Winston wondered vaguely to what century the church belonged. It was always difficult to determine the age of a London building. Anything large and impressive, if it was reasonably new in appearance, was automatically claimed as having been built since the Revolution, while anything that was obviously of earlier date was ascribed to some dim period called the Middle Ages. The centuries of capitalism were held to have produced nothing of any value. One could not learn history from architecture any more than one could learn it from books. Statues, inscriptions, memorial stones, the names of streets— anything that might throw light upon the past had been systematically altered.

A Good Discussion of Orwell

Doug Bandler The Second's picture

Great discussion on Orwell from Tom Woods and guest:

He was an anti-totalitarian socialist. In the interview, they discuss the reason for this. He was pre-1950s and didn't see the rise of the administrative state.

July 26

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Winston sat back against the window sill. It was no use going on. He was about to buy some more beer when the old man suddenly got up and shuffled rapidly into the stinking urinal at the side of the room. The extra half-liter was already working on him.

Winston sat for a minute or two gazing at his empty glass, and hardly noticed when his feet carried him out into the street again. Within twenty years at the most, he reflected, the huge and simple question, "Was life better before the Revolution than it is now?" would have ceased once and for all to be answerable. But in effect it was unanswerable even now, since the few scattered survivors from the ancient world were incapable of comparing one age with another. They remembered a million useless things, a quarrel with a workmate, a hunt for a lost bicycle pump, the expression on a long-dead sister's face, the swirls of dust on a windy morning seventy years ago; but all the relevant facts were outside the range of their vision. They were like the ant, which can see small objects but not large ones. And when memory failed and written records were falsified— when that happened, the claim of the Party to have improved the conditions of human life had got to be accepted, because there did not exist, and never again could exist, any standard against which it could be tested.

July 24

Lindsay Perigo's picture

The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him, the ease with which any Party intellectual would overthrow him in debate, the subtle arguments which he would not be able to understand, much less answer. And yet he was in the right! They were wrong and he was right. The obvious, the silly, and the true had got to be defended. Truisms are true, hold on to that! The solid world exists, its laws do not change. Stones are hard, water is wet, objects unsupported fall toward the earth's center. With the feeling that he was speaking to O'Brien, and also that he was setting forth an important axiom, he wrote: Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

July 20

Lindsay Perigo's picture

He picked up the children's history book and looked at the portrait of Big Brother which formed its frontispiece. The hypnotic eyes gazed into his own. It was as though some huge force were pressing down upon you— something that penetrated inside your skull, battering against your brain, frightening you out of your beliefs, persuading you, almost, to deny the evidence of your senses. In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense.

July 19

Lindsay Perigo's picture

He remembered how once he had been walking down a crowded street when a tremendous shout of hundreds of voices—women's voices—had burst from a side street a little way ahead. It was a great formidable cry of anger and despair, a deep loud "Oh-o-o-o-oh!" that went humming on like the reverberation of a bell.

His heart had leapt. It's started! he had thought. A riot! The proles are breaking loose at last! When he had reached the spot it was to see a mob of two or three hundred women crowding round the stalls of a street market, with faces as tragic as though they had been the doomed passengers on a sinking ship. But at this moment the general despair broke down into a multitude of individual quarrels.

It appeared that one of the stalls had been selling tin saucepans. They were wretched, flimsy things, but cooking pots of any kind were always difficult to get. Now the supply had unexpectedly given out. The successful women, bumped and jostled by the rest, were trying to make off with their saucepans while dozens of others clamored round the stall, accusing the stallkeeper of favoritism and of having more saucepans somewhere in reserve.

There was a fresh outburst of yells. Two bloated women, one of them with her hair coming down, had got hold of the same saucepan and were trying to tear it out of one another's hands. For a moment they were both tugging, and then the handle came off. Winston watched them disgustedly. And yet, just for a moment, what almost frightening power had sounded in that cry from only a few hundred throats! Why was it that they could never shout like that about anything that mattered?

July 17

Lindsay Perigo's picture

The aim of the Party was not merely to prevent men and women from forming loyalties which it might not be able to control. Its real, undeclared purpose was to remove all pleasure from the sexual act. Not love so much as eroticism was the enemy, inside marriage as well as outside it. All marriages between Party members had to be approved by a committee appointed for the purpose, and— though the principle was never clearly stated— permission was always refused if the couple concerned gave the impression of being physically attracted to one another.

The only recognized purpose of marriage was to beget children for the service of the Party. Sexual intercourse was to be looked on as a slightly disgusting minor operation, like having an enema. This again was never put into plain words, but in an indirect way it was rubbed into every Party member from childhood onwards. There were even organizations such as the Junior Anti-Sex League which advocated complete celibacy for both sexes. All children were to be begotten by artificial insemination (artsem, it was called in Newspeak) and brought up in public institutions. This, Winston was aware, was not meant altogether seriously, but somehow it fitted in with the general ideology of the Party. The Party was trying to kill the sex instinct, or, if it could not be killed, then to distort it and dirty it. He did not know why this was so, but it seemed natural that it should be so. And so far as the women were concerned, the Party's efforts were largely successful.

July 11

Lindsay Perigo's picture

What was slightly horrible was that from the stream of sound that poured out of his mouth, it was almost impossible to distinguish a single word. Just once Winston caught a phrase—" complete and final elimination of Goldsteinism"— jerked out very rapidly and, as it seemed, all in one piece, like a line of type cast solid. For the rest it was just a noise, a quack-quack-quacking. And yet, though you could not actually hear what the man was saying, you could not be in any doubt about its general nature. He might be denouncing Goldstein and demanding sterner measures against thought-criminals and saboteurs, he might be fulminating against the atrocities of the Eurasian army, he might be praising Big Brother or the heroes on the Malabar front— it made no difference. Whatever it was, you could be certain that every word of it was pure orthodoxy, pure Ingsoc. As he watched the eyeless face with the jaw moving rapidly up and down, Winston had a curious feeling that this was not a real human being but some kind of dummy. It was not the man's brain that was speaking; it was his larynx. The stuff that was coming out of him consisted of words, but it was not speech in the true sense: it was a noise uttered in unconsciousness, like the quacking of a duck.

[Linz note: Orwell even foresaw modern "speech."]

July 9

Lindsay Perigo's picture

"Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. Already, in the Eleventh Edition, we're not far from that point. But the process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead. Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of course, there's no reason or excuse for committing thoughtcrime. It's merely a question of self-discipline, reality-control. But in the end there won't be any need even for that. The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect. Newspeak is Ingsoc and Ingsoc is Newspeak," he added with a sort of mystical satisfaction. "Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?"

July 8

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Winston did not know why Withers had been disgraced. Perhaps it was for corruption or incompetence. Perhaps Big Brother was merely getting rid of a too-popular subordinate. Perhaps Withers or someone close to him had been suspected of heretical tendencies. Or perhaps— what was likeliest of all— the thing had simply happened because purges and vaporizations were a necessary part of the mechanics of government. The only real clue lay in the words "refs unpersons," which indicated that Withers was already dead. You could not invariably assume this to be the case when people were arrested. Sometimes they were released and allowed to remain at liberty for as much as a year or two years before being executed. Very occasionally some person whom you had believed dead long since would make a ghostly reappearance at some public trial where he would implicate hundreds of others by his testimony before vanishing, this time forever.

July 6

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Winston hardly knew Tillotson, and had no idea what work he was employed on. People in the Records Department did not readily talk about their jobs. In the long, windowless hall, with its double row of cubicles and its endless rustle of papers and hum of voices murmuring into speakwrites, there were quite a dozen people whom Winston did not even know by name, though he daily saw them hurrying to and fro in the corridors or gesticulating in the Two Minutes Hate. He knew that in the cubicle next to him the little woman with sandy hair toiled day in, day out, simply at tracking down and deleting from the press the names of people who had been vaporized and were therefore considered never to have existed. There was a certain fitness in this, since her own husband had been vaporized a couple of years earlier. And a few cubicles away a mild, ineffectual, dreamy creature named Ampleforth, with very hairy ears and a surprising talent for juggling with rhymes and meters, was engaged in producing garbled versions—definitive texts, they were called—of poems which had become ideologically offensive but which for one reason or another were to be retained in the anthologies.

July 5

Lindsay Perigo's picture

The girl with dark hair was coming toward him across the field. With what seemed a single movement she tore off her clothes and flung them disdainfully aside. Her body was white and smooth, but it aroused no desire in him; indeed, he barely looked at it. What overwhelmed him in that instant was admiration for the gesture with which she had thrown her clothes aside. With its grace and carelessness it seemed to annihilate a whole culture, a whole system of thought, as though Big Brother and the Party and the Thought Police could all be swept into nothingness by a single splendid movement of the arm. That too was a gesture belonging to the ancient time. Winston woke up with the word "Shakespeare" on his lips.

Quote for July 4

Lindsay Perigo's picture

With those children, he thought, that wretched woman must lead a life of terror. Another year, two years, and they would be watching her night and day for symptoms of unorthodoxy. Nearly all children nowadays were horrible. What was worst of all was that by means of such organizations as the Spies they were systematically turned into ungovernable little savages, and yet this produced in them no tendency whatever to rebel against the discipline of the Party. On the contrary, they adored the Party and everything connected with it. The songs, the processions, the banners, the hiking, the drilling with dummy rifles, the yelling of slogans, the worship of Big Brother— it was all a sort of glorious game to them. All their ferocity was turned outwards, against the enemies of the State, against foreigners, traitors, saboteurs, thought-criminals. It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children. And with good reason, for hardly a week passed in which the Times did not carry a paragraph describing how some eavesdropping little sneak—" child hero" was the phrase generally used— had overheard some compromising remark and denounced his parents to the Thought Police.

Quote for July 3

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Whether he wrote DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER, or whether he refrained from writing it, made no difference. Whether he went on with the diary, or whether he did not go on with it, made no difference. The Thought Police would get him just the same. He had committed— would still have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper— the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you.

Ain't this the truth?!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

There is some kind of emergent property that arises when the object shifts from the individual to the mob, except it is not an addition but a subtraction. Civility is removed and rationality becomes a long forgotten memory. It is as if the higher conceptual faculty were removed and all that is left is the verbal power of a savage chanting around a fire to some mystical ethereal spirit, and the occasional sexual call towards the nearest incarnate body of interest.

Exceptionally well said, Bruno.

What we need to figure out is how to unite "mystical ethereal spirit," which has an irresistible (but not supernatural) reality about which Objectivists have long been in denial, with "higher conceptual faculty."

#Rational passion and passionate rationality!!!!

Today's quote

Lindsay Perigo's picture

She was a bold-looking girl of about twenty-seven, with thick dark hair, a freckled face, and swift, athletic movements. A narrow scarlet sash, emblem of the Junior Anti-Sex League, was wound several times round the waist of her overalls, just tightly enough to bring out the shapeliness of her hips. Winston had disliked her from the very first moment of seeing her. He knew the reason. It was because of the atmosphere of hockey fields and cold baths and community hikes and general clean-mindedness which she managed to carry about with her. He disliked nearly all women, and especially the young and pretty ones. It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy.

"This one demonstration I

Jmaurone's picture

"This one demonstration I went to was quite illuminating and it has formed my concept of what all of these 'demonstrations' are all about. Individual idiots are usually quite tame when they are alone, they feel metaphysically imponent deep inside, they feel the Peter Keating void swallowing them whole. Put a large number of idiots together and you get a leftist 'demonstration', a mob."

As Nietzsche noted, "Madness is rare in individuals - but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule."

Sounds familiar

Bruno's picture

During my high school years, it was relatively common place for the leftist student group, literally called "the collective", to organize a school picket on fridays (the day all general demonstrations and strikes are made, so you get a three-day weekend).

When they first started doing it, I once decided to tag along and see what the demonstration would be like. After that one time, I would either wait for the picket to break off (after the first hour of the morning), or I would "physically remove" them so to speak from the front door and get in anyhow, boy oh boy they didn't like that at all.

This one demonstration I went to was quite illuminating and it has formed my concept of what all of these "demonstrations" are all about. Individual idiots are usually quite tame when they are alone, they feel metaphysically imponent deep inside, they feel the Peter Keating void swallowing them whole. Put a large number of idiots together and you get a leftist "demonstration", a mob.

There is some kind of emergent property that arises when the object shifts from the individual to the mob, except it is not an addition but a subtraction. Civility is removed and rationality becomes a long forgotten memory. It is as if the higher conceptual faculty were removed and all that is left is the verbal power of a savage chanting around a fire to some mystical ethereal spirit, and the occasional sexual call towards the nearest incarnate body of interest.

The mob walks through town chanting obscenities ad nauseam, the same tripe over and over again, like a dead record, the vocal cords vibrating in the same manner the legs were moving, moved by the base instictual will. By the time the "parade" is over, nobody remembers why they were there, usually a reason quite far removed from the official story the collective gives, the drooling beast behind the mayan veil adorned by their pupper masters.

The trail left behind is that of littered streets with "tags" scribbled on the walls of buildings, buds of rolled cigarettes and joints, beer bottles, and of course leftist flyers filled with high sounding leninist propaganda. The streets are not the only victims. Once the mob disperses, smaller groups of idiots quickly secure the nearby parks, where they lay on the ground in slobby hippie style, and proceed with the final inhaling of intoxicants before the school day is over, and the realization that saturday is a school day kicks back in.

All of that of course was innocent and childish compared to the much more destructive "demonstrations" that the vile likes of antifa perform. The above high schools mobs are their breeding ground, and a selection process of sorts. Only the most rotten filth takes it to the lower level. The one well described by that Orwell quote, Linzio.

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