Doublethink is the acceptance of, and a mental capacity to accept contrary opinions or beliefs at the same time, especially as a result of political indoctrination.
George Orwell coined the term in his classic book 1984.
Does this sound familiar as excerpted from the novel: “The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.”
1984 was published in 1949. Interestingly it was published on the 6th of June, which is the date for my next Time Patrol book: D-Day. I’m finding many of Orwell’s concepts to be applicable to the series because the Time Patrol’s job is to make sure the past stays the same; while the Shadow is trying to change it. While the mission seems straightforward, lurking in the back of everyone’s mind is the profound question of whether the past should stay the same. They work off a fundamental fact: the present does exist. We’ve survived so far, while they do know many Earth timelines have not. The issue though is whether there is more to existence than just survival?
As a writer these are the questions we ponder in fiction. Especially science fiction. What if? What is best?
In today’s world, as we get more and more thrown at us in term of “information”, we’re almost being forced into double-think. In fact, some of the propagators of double-think are beginning to reap what they have sowed. Interesting times ahead!
Originally published at writeitforward.wordpress.com on March 11, 2016.