'The real power, the power we have to fight for night and day, is not power over things, but over men.' Ben paused, and for a moment assumed again his air of a schoolmaster questioning a promising pupil: 'How does one man assert his power over another, Furniture?'
Furniture stared at his manicles, unable to respond, unable to even understand what Ben was asking.
'Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid immoral societies that the liberals imagined. A world of fear and treachery is torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress towards more pain. The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy everything. The sexual instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the elite. There will be no love, except the love of the Owners. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always -- do not forget this, Furniture -- always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- for ever.'
He paused as though he expected Furniture to speak. Furniture tried to shrink back into the surface of the bed again, away from the boot, away from the forcibly administered LSD and the PCP, away from the waterboarding and simulated executions, back into the isolation that had destroyed Jose and given birth to Furniture, the isolation Jose had hated but Furniture now craved. He could not say anything. His heart seemed to be frozen. Ben went on:
'And remember that it is for ever. The face will always be there to be stamped upon. The heretic, the enemy of society, will always be there, so that he can be defeated and humiliated over again. Everything that you have undergone since you have been in our hands -- all that will continue, and worse. The espionage, the betrayals, the arrests, the tortures, the executions, the disappearances will never cease. It will be a world of terror as much as a world of triumph. The more power we acquire, the less we will be tolerant: the weaker the opposition, the tighter the despotism. Our enemies will live for ever. Every day, at every moment, they will be defeated, discredited, ridiculed, spat upon and yet they will always survive. This drama that I have played out with you for almost four years will be played out over and over again generation after generation, always in subtler forms. Always we shall have the enemy here at our mercy, screaming with pain, broken up, contemptible -- and in the end utterly penitent, saved from himself, crawling to our feet of his own accord. That is the world that we are preparing, Furniture. A world of victory after victory, triumph after triumph after triumph: an endless pressing, pressing, pressing upon the nerve of power. You are beginning, I can see, to accept what that world will be like. But in the end you will do more than accept it. You will embrace it.
*Orwell's book is titled, Furniture. It has always been called Furniture, and it's always celebrated Our Leader's Glorious Vision of an Ownership Society.