“We’ve been lucky,” he said “but it can’t last much longer. You’re young. You look normal and innocent. If you keep clear of people like me, you might stay alive for another fifty years.”
“No. I’ve thought it all out. What you do, I’m going to do. And don’t be too downhearted. I’m rather good at staying alive.”
“We may be together for another six months―a year―there’s no knowing. At the end we’re certain to be apart. Do you realize how utterly alone we shall be? When once they get hold of us there will be nothing, literally nothing, that either of us can do for the other. If I confess they’ll shoot you, and if I refuse to confess, they’ll shoot you just the same. Nothing that I can do or say, or stop myself from saying, will put off your death for as much as five minutes. Neither of us will even know whether the other is alive or dead. We shall be utterly without power of any kind. The one thing that matters is that we shouldn’t betray one another, although even that can’t make the slightest difference.”
“If you mean confessing,” she said, “we shall do that, right enough. Everybody always confesses. You can’t help it. They torture you.”
“I don’t mean confessing. Confession is not betrayal. What you say or do doesn’t matter; only feelings matter. If they could make me stop loving you―that would be the real betrayal.”
She thought it over. “They can’t do that,” she said finally. “It’s the one thing they can’t do. They can make you say anything―anything―but they can’t make you believe it. They can’t get inside you.”
“No,” he said a little more hopefully, ”no; that’s quite true. They can’t get inside you. If you can feel that staying human is worthwhile, even when it can’t have any result whatever, you’ve beaten them.”
George Orwell 1949
I think it interesting to consider the above passage in its literal story form and also in a slight parallel version that is just as relevant and perhaps even more pathologic to those of us who have chosen to remain human. In the story line, relationships of love (not our current prevailing insipid bastardized version of the word, but sincere devout love as in honoring one another with the utmost non-controlling respect) are outlawed by the Party. This mandate is proclaimed to be for the well being of all citizens, but in truth, it is a law to obstruct the natural forces of unity and loyalty that bond individuals together and have them prioritize one another’s thoughts, views, and desires over the Party’s propaganda.
The parallel version is happening on a constant basis in our society at present. In this version, the Party is ninety-five percent of you and your friends. And this “friend party” obstructs and destroys and obliterates and manipulates their “friends” ability to form positive synergistic balancing unions almost perpetually. The “friend party” progressively destabilizes their “friends” so they may feel strong and better about their own unbalanced and unstable state. Weakened friends can be controlled and manipulated with much less effort than those who are healthy and stable, and they also provide great distraction from your own bullying madness. The overwhelming majority of the herd will always subtly attack and sabotage any form of a stabilizing synergistic union (relationship) that occurs within their midst.
A final point worth noting about the passage is that when the Julia says “They can’t get inside you” and Winston agrees, the author is emphasizing that the choice to remain human and keep the Party outside of your thoughts and belief systems and feelings, may require your complete ostracism or even your ultimate death. If a person decides life or simple physical existence or the need to remain immersed within society prioritizes remaining human (again I would say 95% of our present herd), the battle is already lost…………and the Party (at least one of the many) is already inside of you.