The Party goes to great lengths to keep Oceania’s people ignorant. In 1984, Winston works at the Ministry of Truth, constantly rewriting current events to fit the ever-shifting political reality of a world that is endlessly at war. To stay in power, the Party depends on the unthinking trust of its people, who are actively discouraged from asking questions or engaging in any serious intellectual activity. Winston and his coworkers manufacture what passes for knowledge so that the people will accept anything the Party tells them.
Both total devotion and absolute antagonism are crucial parts of this overarching strategy. The people of Oceania are constantly encouraged to believe that they love Big Brother, who is the personified embodiment of the Party. In contrast, they are also pushed to hate their enemies, including mandatory participation in a daily Two Minutes Hate session. The actual truth, that the enemies change according to the politicians’ whims, is never mentioned.
The two-pronged approach to social control depends equally on supporting emotion and suppressing intellect. Through this strategy, the government effectively renders people unable to formulate a challenge to its control. The people lack the ability to formulate a challenge to the omnipresent false reality. The Party promotes paradoxical statements such as “war is peace” and “ignorance is strength.” Winston learns the hard way, after he attempts to rebel, that people can be persuaded to believe absolute falsehoods, such as “two plus two equals five.”