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George Orwell – 57 Quotes

 

57 Quotes by George Orwell

 

Not to expose your true feelings to an adult seems to be instinctive from the age of seven or eight onwards.

– George Orwell


In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.

– George Orwell


The best books… are those that tell you what you know already.

– George Orwell


Part of the reason for the ugliness of adults, in a child’s eyes, is that the child is usually looking upwards, and few faces are at their best when seen from below.

– George Orwell


I doubt whether classical education ever has been or can be successfully carried out without corporal punishment.

– George Orwell


No advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer.

– George Orwell


A family with the wrong members in control that, perhaps, is as near as one can come to describing England in a phrase.

– George Orwell


It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it consequently, the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to any one meaning.

– George Orwell


We may find in the long run that tinned food is a deadlier weapon than the machine-gun.

– George Orwell


War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

– George Orwell


Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

– George Orwell


Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

– George Orwell


Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie… a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.

– George Orwell


If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.

– George Orwell


Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

– George Orwell


All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.

– George Orwell


He was an embittered atheist, the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him.

– George Orwell


Four legs good, two legs bad.

– George Orwell


Good writing is like a windowpane.

– George Orwell


War is war. The only good human being is a dead one.

– George Orwell


Men are only as good as their technical development allows them to be.

– George Orwell


On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.

– George Orwell


Mankind is not likely to salvage civilization unless he can evolve a system of good and evil which is independent of heaven and hell.

– George Orwell


It is also true that one can write nothing readable unless one constantly struggles to efface one’s own personality. Good prose is like a windowpane.

– George Orwell


The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns, as it were, instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink.

– George Orwell


Happiness can exist only in acceptance.

– George Orwell


Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.

– George Orwell


The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.

– George Orwell


There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them.

– George Orwell


We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.

– George Orwell


Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words, it is war minus the shooting.

– George Orwell


Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.

– George Orwell


People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

– George Orwell


We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.

– George Orwell


Patriotism is usually stronger than class hatred, and always stronger than internationalism.

– George Orwell


If you have embraced a creed which appears to be free from the ordinary dirtiness of politics – a creed from which you yourself cannot expect to draw any material advantage – surely that proves that you are in the right?

– George Orwell


Liberal: a power worshipper without power.

– George Orwell


Nationalism is power hunger tempered by self-deception.

– George Orwell


Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

– George Orwell


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.

– George Orwell


As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents.

– George Orwell


Society has always seemed to demand a little more from human beings than it will get in practice.

– George Orwell


In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

– George Orwell


In our time political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.

– George Orwell


The intellectual is different from the ordinary man, but only in certain sections of his personality, and even then not all the time.

– George Orwell


For a creative writer possession of the ‘truth’ is less important than emotional sincerity.

– George Orwell


No one can look back on his schooldays and say with truth that they were altogether unhappy.

– George Orwell


Serious sport is war minus the shooting.

– George Orwell


War is evil, but it is often the lesser evil.

– George Orwell


The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.

– George Orwell


Oceania was at war with Eurasia therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia.

– George Orwell


War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.

– George Orwell


The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labor.

– George Orwell


To walk through the ruined cities of Germany is to feel an actual doubt about the continuity of civilization.

– George Orwell


Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac.

– George Orwell


War is a way of shattering to pieces… materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable and… too intelligent.

– George Orwell


There is hardly such a thing as a war in which it makes no difference who wins. Nearly always one side stands more of less for progress, the other side more or less for reaction.

– George Orwell