I would first like to clarify for purposes of accuracy (unless we want to be rewriting history à la 1984) that both my editions have a different version of the quote. In both editions the quote reads as follows:
One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?
O'Brien, who is half mad, exults to Winston that his regime has given up any pretense of holding power for a higher purpose. There is no rationale, O'Brien argues, for torture, persecution, or holding power. The object of each thing its itself.
O'Brien says the government of Oceania has come closer than either the communists or the fascists in attaining this ideal of power for power's sake. His conception of power aligns with the rationale of the Nazi concentration camps as described by Primo Levi: "there is...
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