We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future. We shall take part in it as handfuls of dust and splinters of bone. But how far away that future may be, there is no knowing. It might be a thousand years. At present nothing is possible except to extend the area of sanity little by little. We cannot act collectively. We can only spread our knowledge outwards from individual to individual, generation after generation. In the face of the Thought Police there is no other way.

George Orwell

1984. Part 2, Chapter 8. O’Brien is speaking here to Winston and Julia on the occasion of their visit to his home. He is describing the Brotherhood, a resistence group, which he is pretending to be a member of.