'That was stupid, Winston, stupid!' he said. 'You should know better than to say a thing like that.'
He pulled the lever back and continued:
'Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We
are not interested in the good of others ; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or
happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different
from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who
resembled ourselves, were− cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came
very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They
pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that
just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that.
We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an
end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in
order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture.
The object of power is power.
Now do you begin to understand me?'
Winston was struck, as he had been struck before, by the tiredness of O'Brien's face. It was strong and fleshy
and brutal, it was full of intelligence and a sort of controlled passion before which he felt himself helpless;
but it was tired. There were pouches under the eyes, the skin sagged from the cheekbones. O'Brien leaned
over him, deliberately bringing the worn face nearer.