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Ministry of Plenty: Wikis

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The Ministry of Plenty (in Newspeak, Miniplenty) is one of the ministries from George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four that governs Oceania. The other ministries are the Ministry of Truth, the Ministry of Peace and the Ministry of Love.[1]

The Ministry of Plenty is in control of Oceania's planned economy. It oversees public access to food, supplies, and goods. It is also in charge of rationing these goods. As told in Goldstein's book, the economy of Oceania is very important, and it's necessary to have the public continually create useless and synthetic supplies or weapons for use in the war, while they have no access to the means of production. This is the central theme of Oceania's idea that a poor, weak populace is easier to rule over than a wealthy, powerful populace. Telescreens often make reports on how Big Brother has been able to increase economic productivity, even when productivity has actually gone down (see Ministry of Truth).

The Ministry hands out statistics which are "nonsense". When Winston is adjusting some Ministry of Plenty's figures, he explains this:

But actually, he thought as he readjusted the Ministry of Plenty's figures, it was not even forgery. It was merely the substitution of one piece of nonsense for another. Most of the material that you were dealing with had no connection with anything in the real world, not even the kind of connection that is contained in a direct lie. Statistics were just as much a fantasy in their original version as in their rectified version. A great deal of time you were expected to make them up out of your head.

This system of ludicrous quotas and falsified results is probably a reference to the quotas of the planned economy and other statistical falsifications (such as the 1937 Census) of the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. Like the other ministries, the Ministry of Plenty does the opposite of its name, since it is in charge of maintaining poverty, scarcity, and financial shortages. Orwell made a similar reference to the Ministry of Plenty in his allegorical work Animal Farm when in the midst of a blight upon the farm, Napoleon the pig orders the silo to be filled with sand, then to place a thin sprinkling of grain on top, which fools human visitors into being dazzled about Napoleon's boasting of the farm's superior economy.

References

  1. ^ Orwell, George (1949). Nineteen Eighty-Four. Secker and Warburg. ISBN 0452284236.  

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