In 1984, how are the Party's slogans of: "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength" true in our real world?

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

These are all paradoxes, examples of doublespeak, or conscious lies.

  • The Department of Defense is really the department of War.
  • The Central Intelligence Agency is really the Central Spying Agency.
  • The Department of Homeland Security is really the Department of Counter-terrorism.
  • Any commercial is a conscious lie: remember, the Pringles slogan?  "Once You Pop, You Can't Stop.”
  • Las Vegas: “What happens here, stays here.”
  • The Army: "Army of One"; "Be all you can Be."

In the dystopian world of 1984, the Party wants to reeducate its citizens, namely the outer party members and proles, through brainwashing.  They use several propaganda devices to do so: repetition, transfer, bandwagon, and testimonials.  They repeat these slogans repeatedly (repetition).  They want the to re-associate new meanings to these words (transfer): peace for war, strength for ignorance, and slavery for freedom.  Their main "celebrities" in doing so are Goldstein and Big Brother (testimonial), who don't really exist.  The Party fires up the people to salute B.B. and defile Goldstein during the Two Minutes Hate (bandwagon), a kind of commercial.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Are you asking for ways that these are *actually* true and war really is peace?  I can't see where you can make a really good argument that any of these is true.

The best I could do is the following arguments:

  • War is peace because we need to have some wars to protect our overall peace.  (WWII protected our long-term peace from Hitler.)
  • Freedom is slavery because when you are free you are constantly enslaved by decisions and worries.
  • Ignorance is strength because ignorance frees you from having to worry about the problems that you know about.  (If you don't know about global warming, you don't have to worry, if you never heard of Al Qaeda, why worry about terrorism.)
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