What is doublethink?

 

 

Doublethink is the ability to accept two contradictory beliefs at the same time and to believe they are both true. In 1984, the Party uses doublethink as propaganda and psychological manipulation of its leadership and the public. The results are people (or in the novel a society) who lose the ability to form independent thoughts, remaining deceiving peace, because the person is completely unaware of any conflict or contradiction.

Eventually, it becomes possible for the Party to convince the public of anything, even if it’s the exact opposite of what the public already knows to be true, as the Party is able to control your memories, to choose to forget something, as well as to forget about the forgetting process.

Orwell defines doublethink as, ”To know and to not know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy is impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy. To forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself.”

A democracy as untruthful as its published facts – A comment on Kellyanne Conway`s alternative facts

Facts don’t lie, but Trumps facts are lies.

Given that Donald Trump has been the president of the USA for only 3 months and doesn’t show a sign of changing tactics,

it is more important then ever that especially the media and every single one of us remind each other every day that the world has facts, that we don’t get to create the truth.

 

Meanwhile there are many different statistics who give an overview about how often, about what and in which way Trump spreads lies. One says that in 62 days of mandate, there was only one day where Donald Trump told no falsehoods. What happened on that day, was he ill, did he oversleep that day?

 

To most of us it is obvious that Donald Trump is a serial liar. However, I think many of us are not always sure what this means for us practically, especially since his lies are often focused on silly issues that don’t seem to matter. The perfect example of this is the fact that Trump claimed that the crowd at the swear – in ceremony stretched down the National Mall to the Washington Monument and had in total more than 1 million people, which was a falsehood. Even independent observers reported that the attendance was far smaller than the crowd at the first Obama inauguration.

This political strategy is not just about spreading lies, in order that eventually the citizens lose the clear view about what is the truth and what is actually false. To further the manipulation, Kellyanne Conway, the Advisor of Donald Trump used the euphemism “alternative facts” to describe the untruths given to the press, when she was confronted by that in an interview. This shows how Trump and his party are putting themselves in a good-looking position, even when its obvious that they tell falsehoods, that they are ignoring the truth, masking there lies as “alternative facts” and putting there focus on operating with opinions and not with facts. That makes it easy for them to argue, because opinions can´t be unmasked as untruths.

The alarming part is not the lie itself, but given the fact, that the first statement from the new president to the nation is a falsehood. And since that day nothing changed, his lies aren’t surprising anymore, because it happens every single day. Actually disinformation was something for dictatorships and failed states, for example a totalitarian state as in George Orwells “1984”, until now… Today a nation – as a democracy – has to deal with this problem and with a president, who´s policy is characterized through ignorance about the truth. “Which is not a virtue or challenging political correctness, that´s just not knowing what you are talking about” Obama once said.

 

The USA will depend more than ever on the independent press – finding the truth, reporting it, and holding Trump accountable for his lies. They have to confront the public with that everyday, to openly call him a liar and indicate his lies every time.

This will be a challenge and exhausting but necessary, because it´s the only way of not loosing the consciousness about what is the truth and what is actually a falsehood.

 

Trump can´t get away with saying and doing whatever he wants. When that happens, the USA can no longer be called a democracy.

 

Characterization of Winston Smith

The dystopian novel „1984“ written by George Orwell, published in 1949 depicts a totalitarian world of government surveillance and public manipulation, in which the protagonist Winston Smith lives. The states are under the control of the privileged elite of the “Inner Party” which forms the government.

Winston Smith lives in Oceania, one of three inter-continental superstates that divided the world after a global war.

The following essay will describe the character of Winston Smith.

Will Smith is a thirty-nine year old man (p.3, l. 17) who has a meagre appearance, fair hair and a sanguine face (p. 4, l. 5-6) and suffers from a “varicose ulcer above his right ankle” (p.3, l. 17-18).

He is a member of the Outer Party and works for the Ministry of Truth (p. 5, l. 11-12), which handles “news, entertainment, education and the fine arts“ (p.6, l. 16-17) and lives in London, the chief city of Airstrip One, which belongs to the state Oceania (p. 5, l. 13-15). Although this is his home, he has an aversion against this city (p. 5, l. 13) and can`t remember his childhood (p. 5, l. 26-27).

He buys a book, which is actually not allowed for Party members (p. 8, l. 8-14) and starts to write a diary, an act punishable by death (p. 8, l. 22-25), to escape Big Brothers tyranny an mind control and to harbour his own inner thoughts, which questions the ruling Party.

This points out his tendency to be rebellious against the system, by writing “down with Big Brother” (p. 20, l. 24) in his diary.

The section p. 9, l.14-24 shows how thoughtful Winston is.

But he is also paranoia about the Party. As soon as he writes “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER” in his diary, Winston is positive that the Thought Police will quickly capture him for committing a thoughtcrime (p. 21, 22, l. 29-36)

 

Winston Smith represents the average person, which is why the reader can easily identifies himself with him and see the world from his point of view and imagine themselves in his position.