Today’s Quotes: George Orwell

One of the greatest and most influential authors of the 20th century, Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pseudonym George Orwell, was born today in 1903 and died young in 1950. A brief sampling of his thinking:

“Political language — and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
– George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language”, 1946

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
― George Orwell

“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”
― George Orwell

“Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket. ”
― George Orwell

“The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.”
― George Orwell

“Patriotism has nothing to do with Conservatism. It is actually the opposite of Conservatism, since it is a devotion to something that is always changing and yet is felt to be mystically the same.”
― George Orwell

“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”
― George Orwell, 1984

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”
― George Orwell, 1984

“If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.”
― George Orwell

“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

“In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
― George Orwell

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
― George Orwell, Animal Farm

“In philosophy, or religion, or ethics, or politics, two and two might make five, but when one was designing a gun or an aeroplane they had to make four.”
― George Orwell, 1984

“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, 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, 1984

“Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from 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. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know what 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. Now you begin to understand me.”
― George Orwell, 1984

“Big Brother is Watching You.”
― George Orwell, 1984

“We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.”
― George Orwell, 1984

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