Famous Quotes By George Orwell


  1. A family with the wrong members in control that, perhaps, is as near as one can come to describing England in a phrase.
  2. 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.
  3. As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents.
  4. Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
  5. 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.
  6. For a creative writer possession of the 'truth' is less important than emotional sincerity.
  7. Four legs good, two legs bad.
  8. Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.
  9. Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
  10. Good writing is like a windowpane.
  11. Happiness can exist only in acceptance.
  12. He was an embittered atheist, the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him.
  13. I doubt whether classical education ever has been or can be successfully carried out without corporal punishment.
  14. 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?
  15. If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.
  16. In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
  17. 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.
  18. In our time political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.
  19. 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.
  20. Liberal: a power worshipper without power.
  21. Mankind is not likely to salvage civilization unless he can evolve a system of good and evil which is independent of heaven and hell.
  22. Men are only as good as their technical development allows them to be.
  23. Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
  24. Nationalism is power hunger tempered by self-deception.
  25. No advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer.
  26. No one can look back on his schooldays and say with truth that they were altogether unhappy.
  27. Not to expose your true feelings to an adult seems to be instinctive from the age of seven or eight onwards.
  28. Oceania was at war with Eurasia therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia.
  29. On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.
  30. 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.
  31. Patriotism is usually stronger than class hatred, and always stronger than internationalism.
  32. People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. Serious sport is war minus the shooting.
  36. Society has always seemed to demand a little more from human beings than it will get in practice.
  37. Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.
  38. The best books... are those that tell you what you know already.
  39. The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labor.
  40. 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.
  41. The intellectual is different from the ordinary man, but only in certain sections of his personality, and even then not all the time.
  42. The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.
  43. The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.
  44. There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them.
  45. 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.
  46. To walk through the ruined cities of Germany is to feel an actual doubt about the continuity of civilization.
  47. War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.
  48. War is a way of shattering to pieces... materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable and... too intelligent.
  49. War is evil, but it is often the lesser evil.
  50. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
  51. War is war. The only good human being is a dead one.
  52. We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.
  53. We may find in the long run that tinned food is a deadlier weapon than the machine-gun.
  54. We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
  55. Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie... a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.
  56. Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

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