1984 Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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What does Crimestop mean in 1984?

Crimestop in 1984 means the ability to censor any unorthodox thought before it has a chance to form.

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As explained in Goldstein's book on oligarchic collectivism, crimestop is the ability to self-censor any unorthodox thought. Goldstein calls it "collective stupidity." It is ability to catch a thought that might be on the verge of forming which runs against Party thinking. It also means living with mental contradictions while not acknowledging one is doing so. As Goldstein's book explains of crimestop:

It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction.

Goldstein also states that crimestop goes beyond mere stupidity. It means controlling one's thought processes to accept, without thinking, contradictory ideas. For example, it means accepting at the same time that the Party and Big Brother are perfect while knowing that they are imperfect. It is very close, in that sense, to doublethink but also to BLACKWHITE thinking, which means insisting that black is white to enemies but also believing that black is white if this is what the Party demands.

It is important to note that crimestop has nothing to do with stopping oneself from committing a physical crime, such as theft or arson. It jumps into play much earlier: it is about stopping any thought that could merely lead to a thoughtcrime. It means, in essence, giving up one's human ability to reason in a rational and logical way. It is an accurate account of the kind of delusional thinking that still occurs today.