In George Orwell’s 1984, doublethink is the process of convincing a person that something is true, despite an obvious contradiction. One example of this is used when at one-point people are told that the chocolate and tobacco rations are dropping, while at another they are told that they are rising as a celebration. The amounts that were used in both instances were the same, except that when it is described as a celebration, people are happy about it.
Another instance of double think is the constant state of war that is going on. The enemy changes regularly, but because of doublethink, and the framing by the party of the news, people are not encouraged to note that the enemy changes. The current enemy has always been the enemy, and Big Brother is always winning. Winston’s torture is all about getting him to accept doublethink without question. He is taught to accept beyond all doubt that what looks like four fingers are actually five, and that the Party has never been at war with anyone except their current enemy.
The political system is steeped in doublethink. The Ministry of Love tortures, and the ministry of truth is invested in the promotion of doublethink. Doublethink is an important part of the political structure because through the use of newspeak and constant brain washing, the people will believe whatever they are told. They will not revolt at the drop in rations if they are told that it isn’t a drop, despite obvious evidence to the contrary.
They will not question a war that they are always told they are winning, even though the enemy changes without their notice. Since the state is always at war, strict rations and restrictions are necessary. In short, the Party and Big Brother uses doublethink to stay in unquestioned and undisputed power.