85 George Orwell Quotes: Politics, Language & Society

george orwell quotes
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85 Most Inspiring George Orwell Quotes:

 

1. “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

2. “Most revolutionaries are potential Tories, because they imagine that everything can be put right by altering the shape of society; once that change is effected, as it sometimes is, they see no need for any other.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

3. “The main motive for nonattachment is a desire to escape from the pain of living, and above all from love, which, sexual or non-sexual, is hard work.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

4. “For a creative writer possession of the truth is less important than emotional sincerity.” — GEORGE ORWELL

5. “The child thinks of growing old as an almost obscene calamity, which for some mysterious reason will never happen to itself. All who have passed the age of thirty are joyless grotesques, endlessly fussing about things of no importance and staying alive without, so far as the child can see, having anything to live for. Only child life is real life.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

6. “A liberal is a power worshipper without the power.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

7. “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

8. “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

 

9. “Myths which are believed in tend to become true.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 



 

10. “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

11. “A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus:

1. What am I trying to say?

2. What words will express it?

3. What image or idiom will make it clearer?

4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

12. “Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proved innocent.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

13. “Many people genuinely do not wish to be saints, and it is possible that some who achieve or aspire to sainthood have never had much temptation to be human beings.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

14. “Not to expose your true feelings to an adult seems to be instinctive from the age of seven or eight onwards.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

15. “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

16. “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

 

17. “I do not wish to comment on the work; if it does not speak for itself, it is a failure.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

18. “Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

19. “To survive it is often necessary to fight and to fight you have to dirty yourself.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

20. “Orthodoxy means not thinking–not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

21. “We of the sinking middle class may sink without further struggles into the working class where we belong, and probably when we get there it will not be so dreadful as we feared, for, after all, we have nothing to lose.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

22. “Power-worship blurs political judgment because it leads, almost unavoidably, to the belief that present trends will continue. Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

23. “Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

24. “Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

25. “Perhaps a man really dies when his brain stops, when he loses the power to take in a new idea.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

26. “We may find in the long run that tinned food is a deadlier weapon than the machine-gun.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

27. “The fact is that certain themes cannot be celebrated in words, and tyranny is one of them. No one ever wrote a good book in praise of the Inquisition.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

28. “Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

29. “Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 



 

30. “Autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful. A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

31. “The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

32. “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

33. “No advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

34. “It is one of the tragedies of the half-educated that they develop late, when they are already committed to some wrong way of life.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

35. “The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

36. “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

 

37. “The existence of good bad literature –the fact that one can be amused or excited or even moved by a book that one’s intellect simply refuses to take seriously –is a reminder that art is not the same thing as cerebration.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

38. “Progress is not an illusion, it happens, but it is slow and invariably disappointing.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

39. “The atom bombs are piling up in the factories, the police are prowling through the cities, the lies are streaming from the loudspeakers, but the earth is still going round the sun.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

40. “If you can feel that staying human is worthwhile, even when it can’t have any result whatever, you’ve beaten them.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

41.  “A tragic situation exists precisely when virtue does not triumph but when it is still felt that man is nobler than the forces which destroy him.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

42. “To an ordinary human being, love means nothing if it does not mean loving some people more than others.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

43. “Lack of money means discomfort, means squalid worries, means shortage of tobacco, means ever-present consciousness of failure-above all, it means loneliness.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

44.“Nationalism is power hunger tempered by self-deception.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

45. “Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

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

 

47. “A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial: that is, when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

48. “To a surprising extent the war-lords in shining armour, the apostles of the martial virtues, tend not to die fighting when the time comes. History is full of ignominious getaways by the great and famous.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

49. “A tragic situation exists precisely when virtue does not triumph but when it is still felt that man is nobler than the forces which destroy him.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

50. “War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

51. “The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

52. “One of the effects of a safe and civilized life is an immense over-sensitiveness which makes all the primary emotions somewhat disgusting. Generosity is as painful as meanness, gratitude as hateful as ingratitude.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

53. “Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 



 

54. “For the ordinary man is passive. Within a narrow circle (home life, and perhaps the trade unions or local politics) he feels himself master of his fate, but against major events he is as helpless as against the elements. So far from endeavoring to influence the future, he simply lies down and lets things happen to him.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

55. “Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

56. “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

57. “We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

58. “Language ought to be the joint creation of poets and manual workers.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

59. “All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

60. “A dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

61. “In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

62. “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

 

63. “Good novels are not written by orthodoxy-sniffers, nor by people who are conscience-stricken about their own orthodoxy. Good novels are written by people who are not frightened.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

64. “On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good and not quite all the time.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

65. “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

66. “Confession is not betrayal. What you say or do doesn’t matter; only feelings matter. If they could make me stop loving you-that would be the real betrayal.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

67. “We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

68. “Progress and reaction have both turned out to be swindles. Seemingly, there is nothing left but quietism — robbing reality of its terrors by simply submitting to it.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

69. “War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 



 

70. “The atmosphere of orthodoxy is always damaging to prose, and above all it is completely ruinous to the novel, the most anarchical of all forms of literature.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

71. “Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

72. “The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

73. “Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

74. “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

 

75. “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

 

76. “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

 

77. “If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

78. “At age 50, every man has the face he deserves.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

79.  “Men are only as good as their technical development allows them to be.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

80. “There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

81. “Enlightened people seldom or never possess a sense of responsibility.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

82. “The people will believe what the media tells them they believe.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

83. “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

 

84. “The upper class desire to remain so, the middle class wish to overthrow the upper class, and the lower class want a classless system.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

85. “Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.” — GEORGE ORWELL

 

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Bayo

Bayo is a digital content creator who works on behalf of various businesses and B&K MAG. He expresses his gratitude to everyone who has played a part in his professional and personal growth. Photography, travel and directing videos were an accidental passion but being a writer for Bonds and Kindness has always been the dream. He hopes you enjoy the site, you are the reason it exists.

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