1984

by: George Orwell

Goldstein Quotes

Quotes Goldstein Quotes
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 when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realize that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away.

In his manifesto, Goldstein describes the problem that the Party faces with the proles. If the conditions in which the proles live are anything but crushing, the proles will develop enough understanding to see that they are being exploited and to see that it is within their power to stop that exploitation by force. It’s in the Party’s interest therefore to keep the lower class uneducated and poor.

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.

In his book Goldstein describes the goals of the Party in a way that is later reflected by O’Brien’s conversations with Winston in the Ministry of Love. The Party seeks power for the sake of raw power, and the two kinds of power that exist in the world are the external power to conquer others and the internal power to conquer feelings and beliefs. The Party wants total control of both.

All 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.

Here, Goldstein remarks on the “total” part of totalitarianism. The Party does not just influence war and politics, but what brand of cigarette the people have access to, how they dress, who they have sex with, and what jobs they do. These choices and a thousand other aspects of life, both significant and subtle, are controlled by the Party in order to keep the people blind to their own condition.

The Party member, like the proletarian, tolerates present-day conditions because he has no standards of comparison. 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 constantly rising.

This section from Goldstein’s manifesto explains why the Party keeps such tight control of both history and personal memory. When things grow worse in Oceania the people are simply not allowed to see evidence that things were ever better. News reports are altered, and historical documents destroyed so that the present can be described by the Party in any way that it chooses and no one has any proof otherwise.