Narratives And The Oceanic Principle

"Oceania is at war with Eurasia. They have always been at war with Eurasia." 
- George Orwell (1984)

Individuals will generally follow, obey, and respect a well-reasoned narrative. However, as soon as ‘talking point inconsistencies’ and ‘circumstantial dissonance’ arise – threatening to undo the narrative – an explanation is needed to restore symmetry. Tragically, though, storytellers (i.e., those crafting narratives) will often avoid giving crucial explanations, because the explanations will erode the original intent of the said narrative. Furthermore, in the interest of maintaining the resolve of the narrative, these inconsistencies and dissonance will be incorporated by the storytellers over time with what can be called the ‘Oceania Principle.’ George Orwell, commenting on the Oceania Principle, once stated, “The past [is] altered [to absorb inconsistencies and dissonance, yet] the past [has] never been altered.” Simply stated, the storyteller adjusts the narrative, but the narrative has never changed – it has always been that way.

Now, people who prefer a tidy universe and the ease of naiveté will welcome the storyteller’s use of the Oceania Principle, as it brings about needed symmetry to an uncomfortable and conflicted narrative. (Note: Developing amnesia to ‘inconsistent talking points’ or reconciling ‘circumstantial dissonance’ is often tedious and challenging work).

Other individuals, who recognize the hypocrisy of the storytellers, as well as the unresolved inconsistencies and dissonance, will continue to question and demand reasonable explanations – and rightfully so. Unfortunately, in the interest of maintaining power and control, storytellers will often poison the well – they will brand the inquisitor with negative labels. While questions can innocently retrieve desired explanations, it is important to keep in mind that a question – toward a narrative that has undergone the Oceania Principle – is not innocent, but hostile. Questions cannot only undo a disingenuous narrative but also expose the storyteller’s antics.

In conclusion, concerning the Oceania Principle: narratives are always changing, narratives are never changing, questions are deemed as evil, and inquisitors are disturbers of so-called ‘generally accepted narratives.’

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