i just figured it out. the ending in Orwell’s “1984”. it’s not about the system which defeats you. no system can alter the unalterable in each human being. it’s the man himself who yields to his fears. the system is a mere touchstone in the sense of “test or criterion for determining the quality or genuineness of a thing”. it brings out the worst or the best in people. it’s like my chess teacher used to say: you don’t lose because the other one is better at playing, you lose because of your own shortcomings.