Winston realised that he needed to develop a strategy to deal with ‘dangerous thoughts’. The process should be automatic, instinctive. Crimestop, they called it in Newspeak.
He set to work to exercise himself in crimestop. He presented himself with propositions —
‘the Party says the earth is flat’, ‘the party says that ice is heavier than water’ —
and trained himself in not seeing or not understanding the arguments that contradicted them.
Winston thought it needed great powers of reasoning and improvisation to deal with these ideas. He felt the arithmetical problems raised, for instance, by such a statement as ‘two and two make five’ were beyond his intellectual grasp.
Winston believed it needed also a sort of athleticism of mind, an ability at one moment to make the most delicate use of logic and at the next to be unconscious of the crudest logical errors.
Stupidity was as necessary as intelligence, and as difficult to attain.
Winston did not realise that the kind of mentality to live in 1984 is simply not to analyse. Not to think, not to remember that a leader said one thing in January and the opposite in April.
The average Sheep has no opinion, knows nothing, waits to be told and then repeats.