Thought Police

Thought Police

The Thought Police ("thinkpol" in Newspeak) are the secret police of Oceania in George Orwell's dystopian novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four". It is the job of the Thought Police to uncover and punish thoughtcrime and thought-criminals, using psychology and omnipresent surveillance from telescreens to find and eliminate members of society who were capable of the mere thought of challenging ruling authority. The government attempts to control not only the speech and actions, but also the thoughts of its subjects, labeling unapproved thoughts with the term "thoughtcrime", or, in Newspeak, "crimethink". It was the thought police that had arrested Winston and Julia.

It also had much to do with Orwell's own "power of facing unpleasant facts", as he called it, and his willingness to criticize prevailing ideas which brought him into conflict with others and their "smelly little orthodoxies". Although Orwell described himself as a democratic socialist, many other socialists thought that his criticism of the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin damaged the socialist cause.

In the first half of the twentieth century, the Special Higher Police in Japan was sometimes known as the "Thought Police".

The term "Thought Police", by extension, has come to refer to real or perceived enforcement of ideological correctness, or preemptive policing where a person is apprehended in anticipation of the possibility that they may commit a crime, in any modern or historical contexts.

Jay Leno sometimes exclaims "thought police" if the audience finds a joke in his monologue offensive.

ee also

*Secret police
*List of fictional secret police and intelligence organizations

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • thought police — UK US noun [uncountable] showing disapproval a group that tries to control the way that people in a society think, usually for political reasons This word is sometimes used humorously about political parties that are considered to want to control …   Useful english dictionary

  • Thought Police — Thought Po|lice, the the police organization in George Orwell s story ↑1984, whose job is to control what people think and the way that they think. The expression thought police is sometimes used for describing any group that tries to tell other… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • THOUGHT POLICE —    The thought police, also called the Special Higher Police (Tokubetsu koto keisatsu, abbreviated Tokko), was a police force established to investigate and punish “dangerous” political groups and ideologies. In 1910, there was a conspiracy plot… …   Japanese literature and theater

  • thought police — noun A group that aims to control what other people think. These journalists are on their way to becoming thought police. Syn: Head Cop …   Wiktionary

  • thought police — noun [treated as plural] a group of people who aim to suppress ideas that deviate from the way of thinking that they believe to be correct …   English new terms dictionary

  • thought police — UK / US noun [uncountable] showing disapproval a group that tries to control the way that people in a society think, usually for political reasons. This word is sometimes used humorously about political parties that are considered to want to… …   English dictionary

  • thought police — /ˈθɔt pəlis/ (say thawt puhlees) noun Colloquial (derogatory) authoritarians who wish to regulate the way people think, especially in relation to political correctness …  

  • Police de la pensée — La Police de la Pensée (Thought Police dans l œuvre originale), est la police secrète d Océania, dans le roman dystopique 1984 de George Orwell. Son rôle est de découvrir et de punir les crimes de pensées (thoughtcrime) et les criminels de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • thought — (n.) O.E. þoht, geþoht, from stem of þencan to conceive of in the mind, consider (see THINK (Cf. think)). Cognate with the second element in Ger. Gedächtnis memory, Andacht attention, devotion, Bedacht consideration, deliberation. Second thought… …   Etymology dictionary

  • thought — noun 1 sth that you think ADJECTIVE ▪ comforting, good, happy, pleasant, positive ▪ It was a comforting thought that at least her father hadn t suffered. ▪ Before going on stage, I breathe deeply and t …   Collocations dictionary

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