Originally coined by George Orwell in his famous dystopian novel, 1984, doublethinking is the process of indoctrination where people begin to accept ideas as fact even when these ideas contradict each other.
Orwell describes our strong desires to fit in and to gain status in the community. That we will lead lives of contradiction if it means we will be seen, accepted and loved. But it comes with a price. Eventually, reality kicks in and it’s difficult to escape a world where truth is suspended.
Going against party lines or family and friends is difficult. Peer pressure is a powerful force and we are all biologically wired to fit in. It’s the way we survived for thousands of years. Thrown out of the tribe and you will not survive.
“If you are not with us, you must be against us.” When we have lost our ability to discern, temporarily suspend reality and turn over our decision-making to someone who is promising a “better future”–we begin to make dystopias a reality.