The real meaning of the belief war is peace in the

This preview shows page 19 - 21 out of 27 pages.

the real meaning of the belief “War Is Peace.” In the end, the supersates are not fighting against one another at all. The war is actually waged by each ruling group against its own subjects—with the intention of using surplus consumable goods, and serving the mental atmosphere that the society needs a hierarchy. Winston is not surprised by what he reads. After Julia arrives and they make love, he begins to read aloud Chapter One, “Ignorance Is Strength,” which begins with an overview of the class system with one underlying constant; history shows a recurring series of clashes for power with the low class remaining low.
By the late nineteenth century, the book claims, these patterns had become apparent but were of no real concern since historians had declared them as cyclical. Even variants of Socialism after 1900 aimed less and less for liberty and equality, but, instead, aimed for unfreedom and inequality. By the beginning of the twentieth century, there was no longer any reason for social or economic class distinction because machines had made a life of productivity and leisure possible for everyone. Although the descendants affected by the French, English, and American revolutions may have believed in equality, by the 1930s political thought had changed and a hierarchy had become desirable. This thinking explains how long-abandoned practices such as trial, torture, and public executions became more widespread. The new totalitarianism had leaders whose origins were in the salaried and upper middle class; therefore, wealth meant little to them, but power meant everything. Perhaps this interest in power stemmed from the fact that it became easier to control opinion through print and television. In this setting the high class knew how to maintain its power, for it relied on the principle that oligarchy is collectivism, that wealth and privilege can be defended when they are possessed jointly. The real effect, though, is that when the principle of private property is abolished, the real control is in the hands of a few. Together the Party owns everything in Oceania, but the decisions are made by a few. Ingsoc, based on this Socialist idea, resulted in a permanent economic inequality. The ruling group can only fall from power under the following circumstances: 1. defeat from the outside superstates 2. ineffective leadership causing the masses to revolt 3. allowing the dissatisfied Middle-Class to gain strength 4. losing its desire to rule In Oceania the continuation of the hierarchy is due to the persistence of the belief through children. One becomes an Inner or Outer Party member at age 16 after taking an exam. The proles really are no threat since their world has been shaped by the Party. They need no education, since military and commercial rivalries no longer exist and they have no intellect.

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture