We have always been at war with Eurasia.
At least that's what they say. And they say that it's still 1985, as it was the last year and the year before.
Tell me, why do I remember, when no one else does?
The official records state, at least the last time I checked, that the Three Year War against Eurasia started in 1982. Four years before that, the records said we engaged Eastasia in the Three Year War. When the war broke out, the Party promised that the war would end in 1985, and it has been 1985 for the past seven years.
The Party is always right. We have always been at war with Eurasia.
Am I the only one who remembers? I do not know. I have talked with friends and been brushed off. I have approached people in the streets and come off as a madman. I have been confined to lunatic asylums multiple times, until I cease my questioning and am released.
The people believe in the Party. They celebrate the official "increase" in chocolate rations without a shred of hypocrisy. They do not know that 1985 has already passed. Or they do, and do not care.
The past is immutable, but memory is not.
We trust in reality. We trust in induction, trust in our senses. Trust in the official records. Trust in the Party.
But when reality is in conflict memory, one eventually gives way.
Misrememberances. Jamais vu. False memories. Memory is not a reliable source. What we believe does not always match what is real. And so when the two conflict, we update our beliefs to fit our reality.
We trust in reality, but not our own minds.
But reality can break. Documents can be forged. Data destroyed. Photographs doctored. Conspiracies labelled. Reality is forged by those in power, who have the ability to change that which has been set in stone.
(The Party invented airplanes. The Party has always invented airplanes.)
And when reality changes, memories change along with it. Is it more likely that the entire world is against you, that everything breaks at once, that all written records, all photographs, were swapped out in the middle of the night? or that your memories are incorrect?
Even if you could find a brotherhood of men who still believe the past as it used to be, what then? What differentiates you from the masses of conspiracies, of other unfounded beliefs? Your memories have no basis in reality, they are by definition unfounded.
Either live with false beliefs, or accept the new reality. One is easier to live with than the other.
We have always been at war with Eastasia.