George Orwell quotes

May 30, 2012 | By | Reply More

I decided to spend an hour collecting some of my favorite quotes of George Orwell. It’s amazing how timeless he was, which is another way of saying that he understood human beings extremely well. Here are some of his quotes:

All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.

But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.

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

Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper.

Enlightened people seldom or never possess a sense of responsibility.

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

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

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

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

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.

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

Nationalism is power hunger tempered by self-deception.

One cannot really be a Catholic and grown up.

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

So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot.

Do remember that dishonesty and cowardice always have to be paid for. Don’t imagine that for years on end you can make yourself the boot-licking propagandist of the Soviet régime, or any other régime, and then suddenly return to mental decency. Once a whore, always a whore.

The whole idea of revenge and punishment is a childish day-dream. Properly speaking, there is no such thing as revenge. Revenge is an act which you want to commit when you are powerless and because you are powerless: as soon as the sense of impotence is removed, the desire evaporates also.

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

The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.

The aim of a joke is not to degrade the human being, but to remind him that he is already degraded.

To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.
Speaking the Truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act.

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.

There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them.
War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.

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

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About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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