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George Orwell

June 25, 1903 - January 21, 1950 ·


There is something wrong with a regime that requires a pyramid of corpses every few years.

- George Orwell (1940) ·

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

- George Orwell (1953) ·

Poverty frees them from normal standards of behaviour, just as money frees people from work

- George Orwell (1933) ·

And there is another feeling that is a great consolation in poverty. I believe everyone who has been hard up has experienced it. It is a feeling of relief, almost of pleasure, at knowing yourself at last genuinely down and out. You have talked so often of going to the dogs--and well, here are the dogs, and you have reached them, and you can stand it. It takes off a lot of anxiety.

- George Orwell (1933) ·

It is a trade like any other; quite useless, of course — but, then, many reputable trades are quite useless.

- George Orwell (1933) ·

But they do not think, because they have no leisure for it; their life has made slaves of them.

- George Orwell (1933) ·

As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me.

- George Orwell (1941) ·

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

- George Orwell (1949) ·

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU.

- George Orwell (1949) ·

WAR IS PEACE.
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY.
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

- George Orwell (1949) ·

'Who controls the past,' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'

- George Orwell (1949) ·

If there is hope, it lies in the proles.

- George Orwell (1949) ·

We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.

- George Orwell (1949) ·

The object of waging a war is always to be in a better position in which to wage another war.

- George Orwell (1949) ·

In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.

- George Orwell (1949) ·

The invention of print, however, made it easier to manipulate public opinion, and the film and the radio carried the process further. With the development of television, and the technical advance which made it possible to receive and transmit simultaneously on the same instrument, private life came to an end. Every citizen, or at least every citizen important enough to be worth watching, could be kept for twenty-four hours a day under the eyes of the police and in the sound of official propaganda, with all other channels of communication closed. The possibility of enforcing not only complete obedience to the will of the State, but complete uniformity of opinion on all subjects, now existed for the first time.

- George Orwell (1949) ·

We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. 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. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

- George Orwell (1949) ·

The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites.

- George Orwell (1949) ·

To die hating them, that was freedom.

- George Orwell (1949) ·

The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible.

- George Orwell (1949) ·

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

  3. Never use the passive voice where you can use the active.

  4. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

  5. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

- George Orwell (1946) ·

George Orwell's rules for writing.