When the party made mistakes that placed them in a bad light, party leadership would simply collect and destroy all historical evidence. For example, if party leaders made a certain claim, but it was eventually proven "untrue," then the written record of the claim would be expunged. Or, if promises were made and not kept, then the record would be wiped clean. Then, party leaders would place in the public archives, called "The Times," alternate falsified "records" that made the party look good. The problem in Oceania were those poor saps and minions who questioned leadership; the problem was never leadership. If the masses would submit to party rule, there would be no problems in the kingdom.
Orwell's fictional novel was to help people of his day understand that leaders without accountablity will constantly manipulate the masses for their own selfish ends. It is the duty of those being led to hold their leaders accountable. But beware; if accountablity is brought to bear, party leadership will simply go about trying to change the record and mold the collective memory of the masses. Orwell describes the process in this manner.
As soon as all the corrections which happened to be necessary in any particular number of The Times had been assembled and collated, that number would be reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected copy placed on the files in its stead. This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound-tracks, cartoons, photographs—to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance. Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct, nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary. In no case would it have been possible, once the deed was done, to prove that any falsification had taken place.Orwell may have been a prescient Baptist.
In His Grace,