1984

It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage.


Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In


The tune had been haunting London for weeks past. It was one of countless similar songs published for the benefit of the proles by a sub-section of the Music Department. The words of these songs were composed without any human intervention whatever on an instrument known as a versificator.


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.


A ruling group is a ruling group so long as it can nominate its successors.


The mutability of the past is the central tenet of Ingsoc. Past events, it is argued, have no objective existence, but survive only in written records and in human memories. The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon. And since the Party is in full control of all records, and in equally full control of the minds of its members, it follows that the past is whatever the Party chooses to make it.


‘Has it ever occurred to you,’ he said, ‘that the whole history of English poetry has been determined by the fact that the English language lacks rhymes?’