Goldstein says that the war being waged against another superpower is not the real war. What is the real war?

Expert Answers
luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Goldstein says that war's purpose is to perpetuate hysteria, ignite anger and hatred, and control the population.  Fear keeps the masses somewhat in control.  By keeping the people aware of their enemies, the government keeps people's focus of fear, anger, and hatred on that enemy.  People spend their energies on hating the opposing forces and have no energy to focus on the government. War also gives the masses a job.  Soldiers are needed constantly because there is always a state of war.  Not only are soldiers needed to fight the wars but people are needed to man the factories that make items of warfare - weapons, tanks, etc.  War is good for the economy in that it provides so many jobs.  Employment keeps the people happy because they are making some money (though in "1984", people's income was just high enough to sustain them with little left over for frills).  Employment, especially jobs that require lots of overtime, keeps the people tired.  Tired people don't have the energy to do much more than work, eat, and fall asleep so they can wake up and go to work again.  War keeps people content and controlled.  The real war, then, is the war that the government perpetuates in order to control the population.  In "1984", control of the masses is the goal of the government.