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1984


            Our political leaders should read the book 1984 by George Orwell. In this book, Orwell looks ahead to the year 1984 and shares his prophetic view of a totalitarian future. As the story progresses, the protagonist, Winston Smith, slowly begins to rebel against the tyrannical government of Oceania also known as the Party. In doing this, he acknowledges that his hate for the Party will eventually lead to his death. Winston must keep his hate concealed, however, because the citizens of Oceania are monitored at all hours by the Thought Police via telescreens located in every room and throughout the city. The Party is so afraid of insurrection among its peoples that it devises a language called Newspeak. A full conversion to the language of Newspeak would make all disobedient ideas impossible by omission of all words that could be used to describe "unorthodox" political thought. .
             The Party is founded upon several principles. They are: WAR IS PEACE; SLAVERY IS FREEDOM; and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. Understanding of these seemingly contradictory dogmas can best be explained by the Newspeak word "doublethink". Doublethink is the power to hold two completely contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accept both of them. Winston has a difficult time understanding the zealots who so unquestioningly embrace anything that the Party proclaims. One reason for this is that he is exposed to proof of the Party's lies on a daily basis at his job in the Ministry of Truth. There, his sole duty is to rewrite records and alter newspaper articles to be consistent with the Party's previous predictions and promises. This is done under the Party's belief that "Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past." As the story unfolds, Winston joins an underground organization dedicated to the overthrow of the Party. However, Winston soon finds out that the only person he can trust is himself.


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