Goldstein's answer to this question takes up a significant number of pages within 1984 and serves as one of the most significant political analyses to come out of Orwell 's books, discussing from both a theoretical and a practical perspective the rationale by which the Party maintains power and control....
Goldstein's answer to this question takes up a significant number of pages within 1984 and serves as one of the most significant political analyses to come out of Orwell's books, discussing from both a theoretical and a practical perspective the rationale by which the Party maintains power and control. It would be impossible to do full justice to that analysis here.
First, note that the Party's central task is maintaining a stable and self-perpetuating hierarchical structure. Secondly, note that, according to Goldstein, the nations of Oceania, Eastasia, and Eurasia exist in a state of perpetual warfare with one another (a war which cannot actually be won by any of the combatants and is at this point, in reality, being fought mainly to perpetuate itself). These two factors are not incompatible with one another: in fact, that state of perpetual warfare is a critical factor which allows the Party to maintain its grip on larger society.
Ultimately, paradoxical as it might seem, one of the primary purposes of this war is to destroy and waste materials. This is because any improvement in living conditions is actually understood as representing a risk to that hierarchical society—as populations have their basic needs met, gain more leisure time, and gain more access to education, any class structure's insistence on inequality becomes undermined. The war, then, serves as a way of keeping the population impoverished in order to ensure the continued stability of the social structure. At the same time, this state of perpetual warfare serves to focus the mental and emotional energies of the population around the war, which is likewise to the further advantage the Party.
In addition, Goldstein describes the degree to which the Party exercises coercive control over its own members. Indeed, when we think of 1984, we tend to perceive it in terms of being a surveillance state, but it's important here to note that the greater part of its coercive energies are focused upon the Party members themselves. As far as the Proles are concerned, the Party largely relies on their own collective poverty and ignorance to keep them subjugated.
But fellow Party Members can become a threat, and so from them it demands complete adherence to the party line (with any dissension, no matter how small, grounds to be culled). The Party controls history, manipulating and rewriting sources and documents to support its current claims. It controls language, and it even seeks to control the expression of thought. Through these tools of mental manipulation, it is able to sustain itself and maintain power.