What does this Party slogan mean? "Who controls the present controls the past, who controls the past controls the future."

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First, the party slogan in George Orwell's book 1984 is actually "Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past," not "Who controls the present controls the past, who controls the past controls the future."

This slogan first appears early in the book, in passing. Later, it occurs in a more substantive discussion between O'Brien and Winston. In Winston's perception, the past has "never been altered," despite the fact there is unambiguous evidence that the Party has regularly engaged in historic revisionism. "All that was needed," Winston recalls, "was an unending series of victories over your own memory."

In other words, the slogan posits that actions of today determine the course of events tomorrow. It further posits that actions taken in the present are inspired by events that have occurred in the past. In order to inspire actions designed to advance the ideological cause of the party, therefore, the presentation of the past needs to be done in such a...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 527 words.)

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