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The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism

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1 The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism
Emmanuel Goldstein

2 Who is Emmanuel Goldstein?
Look back at your vocabulary He was once a high-ranking party member until he betrayed the party Now he is supposedly the leader of the Resistance

3 What is this book? It is a book within a book. Winston is reading it in 1984 and we are reading what he is It is THE book of the Resistance Every member of the Brotherhood is supposed to read it Winston tells Julia she has to read it, but she asks Winston to read it to her instead

4 Chapter 1 – Ignorance is Strength
Since the beginning of civilization, there has been three kinds of people: The high, the middle, and the low They have been divided in many ways, had many ways, and tried to rebel After the upheaval ends, we are always left with these three kinds of people again *Winston stops reading here and jumps ahead to chapter 3

5 Chapter 3 – War is Peace The splitting up of the world into three great superstates was foreseen before the middle of the 20th century Europe had been absorbed by Russia forming Eurasia The British Empire had been absorbed by the United States forming Oceania Eastasia emerged after another decade of confused fighting

6 Chapter 3 – War is Peace In one combination or another, these three superstates are permanently at war, and have been so for the past 25 years It is a warfare of limited aims between combatants who are unable to destroy one another, have no material cause for fighting, and are not divided by any genuine ideological difference

7 Chapter 3 – War is Peace The war involves very small numbers of people, mostly highly trained specialists, and causes comparatively few casualties None of the three superstates could be definitely conquered even by the other two in combination – they are too evenly matched and their natural defenses are too formidable

8 Chapter 3 – War is Peace Between the frontiers of the three superstates, and not permanently in the possession of any of them , there is a rough quadrilateral with its corners at Tangier, Brazzaville, Darwin, and Hong Kong containing about 1/5 of the population of the world It is for the possession of these thickly populated regions and of the northern ice cap that the three powers are constantly struggling

9 1984 Map

10 Chapter 3 – War is Peace The primary aim of modern warfare is to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living As a whole, the world is more primitive than it was 50 years ago

11 Chapter 3 – War is Peace From the moment the machine made its first appearance it was clear to all thinking people that the need for human drudgery, and therefore to a great extent for human inequity had disappeared If the machine were deliberately used for that end, hunger, overwork, dirt, illiteracy, and disease could be eliminated within a few generations.

12 Chapter 3 – War is Peace The machine did raise the standard of living of the average human being very greatly over a period of about fifty years at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century

13 Chapter 3 – War is Peace 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

14 Chapter 3 – War is Peace The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labor 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

15 Chapter 3 – War is Peace The humblest party member is expected to be competent and industrious. He should also be an ignorant fanatic It does not matter whether the war is going well or badly – all that is needed is that a state of war should exist

16 Chapter 3 – War is Peace The two aims of the party:
To conquer the whole surface of the earth To extinguish once and for all the possibility of independent thought

17 Chapter 3 – War is Peace All three powers continue to produce atomic bombs and store them up but don’t use them War has remained the same for years Helicopters still used Bombing planes have been replaced by self-propelled projectiles Tank, torpedo, submarine, rifle, hand grenade still in use

18 Chapter 3 – War is Peace All three superstates need to make sure there is no contact with foreigners because they would realize that they are all similar and have been told lies The conditions of life in all three superstates are very much the same Political systems similar Similar ruling groups

19 Chapter 3 – War is Peace The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects and the object of war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society in tact This is the meaning of “War is Peace” At this point Winston goes back to Chapter 1

20 Chapter 1 – Ignorance is Strength
Back to the three groups (upper, middle, and lower classes) They have always had the same purposes Upper – Stay where they are Middle – Change places with the upper Lower – Create a society in which everyone is equal

21 Chapter 1 – Ignorance is Strength
With the development of machines it was no longer necessary to have the classes anymore – there was enough of everything for everyone to be wealthy But the upper class wouldn’t allow this The advances in technology also allowed people to be under constant surveillance

22 Chapter 1 – Ignorance is Strength
Each of the three superstates cannot be conquered except through slow demographic changes which a government with wide powers can easily avert

23 Chapter 1 – Ignorance is Strength
Problem is overproduction – need to keep the lower classes needy War uses up goods and takes care of the surplus

24 Chapter 1 – Ignorance is Strength
Big Brother: Infallible All powerful All good things are because of his leadership He will never die – no one knows when he was born He is the guise in which the Party chooses to represent itself to the world

25 Chapter 1 – Ignorance is Strength
In Oceania there is no law Thoughts and actions which, when detected, mean certain death are NOT formally forbidden, and the endless purges, arrests, tortures, imprisonments, and vaporizations are not inflicted as punishments for crimes which have actually been committed, but are merely the wiping-out of persons who might perhaps commit a crime at some time in the future

26 Chapter 1 – Ignorance is Strength
The contradictions in the government are necessary so that the government can retain power forever The entire government depends on doublethink

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