An example of doublethink in George Orwell's novel 1984. The totalitarian government of Oceania is constantly at war with one of the other two totalitarian superpowers that dominate the world: Eurasia and Eastasia. The objective is not to win the war, but to maintain a constant state of war in order to keep its citizens under control. When it is at war with Eastasia, the government declares that it has always been at war with Eastasia, that its people are an eternally hated enemy that must be destroyed. When the sides change, the same thing is said about Eurasia. It is considered every patriotic citizen's duty to believe both statements are true.

In the book, the line first comes about when Oceania makes peace with Eurasia and declares war on Eastasia midway through the book. The protagonist sees people happily ripping down anti-Eurasia signs and replacing them with anti-Eastasia signs. All the while, the speakers blare, "Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia." No one questions this, even though they surely know it isn't true. After all, you wouldn't want the Thought Police thinking you were remembering history incorrectly, would you?



This somewhat common line comes up occasionally in geek conversation, usually in a sarcastic sense poking fun at coverups or changes in policy that aren't admitted by the government or other authority figures.
 

"Everyone knows that Christopher Columbus discovered America and was a great hero.  He didn't kill any Native Americans, he was nice to them!  Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia."

"GTKY nodes are not acceptable, nor have they ever been.  Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia."

"Al Gore invented the InternetArpanet?  What's that?  Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia."

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