George Orwell

imaginative British writer concerned with social justice (1903-1950)

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It is a commonplace that the history of civilisation is largely the history of weapons. In particular, the connection between the discovery of gunpowder and the overthrow of feudalism by the bourgeoisie has been pointed out over and over again. And though I have no doubt exceptions can be brought forward, I think the following rule would be found to be generally true that ages in which the dominant weapon is expensive or difficult to make will be ages of despotism, whereas when the dominant weapon is cheap and simple, the common people have a chance. Thus, for example, tanks, battleships and bombing planes are inherently tyrannical weapons, while rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon --so long as there is no answer to it-- gives claws to the weak.Rate it:
The aim of a joke is not to degrade the human being but to remind him that he is already degraded.Rate it:
The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. This new version is the past and no different past can ever have existed. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or East Asia, but to keep the very structure of society intact.Rate it:
To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle.Rate it:
We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.Rate it:
People sleep peacably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.Rate it:
...Two and two are four. Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.Rate it:
Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket.Rate it:
All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.Rate it:
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.Rate it:
All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.Rate it:
An 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.Rate it:
Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing.Rate it:
At age 50, every man has the face he deserves.Rate it:
Big Brother is watching you.Rate it:
But the thing that I saw in your face no power can disinherit: No bomb that ever burst shatters the crystal spirit.Rate it:
Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.Rate it:
Enlightened people seldom or never possess a sense of responsibility.Rate it:
Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.Rate it:
For a creative writer possession of the truth is less important than emotional sincerity.Rate it:
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 endeavouring to influence the future, he simply lies down and lets things happen to him.Rate it:
Freedom is the right to say two plus two make four. If granted, all else follows.Rate it:
He who controls the past commands the future. He who commands the future conquers the past.Rate it:
I sometimes think that the price of liberty is not so much eternal vigilance as eternal dirt.Rate it:
If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.Rate it:
If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.Rate it:
If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- forever.Rate it:
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.Rate it:
In times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.Rate it:
Language ought to be the joint creation of poets and manual workers.Rate it:
Liberal: a power worshipper without power.Rate it:
No doubt alcohol, tobacco, and so forth, are things that a saint must avoid, but sainthood is a thing that human beings must avoid.Rate it:
On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good and not quite all the time.Rate it:
On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.Rate it:
Orthodoxy is Unconsciousness.Rate it:
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.Rate it:
Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.Rate it:
Progress is not an illusion, it happens, but it is slow and invariably disappointing.Rate it:
Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proved innocent.Rate it:
Society has always seemed to demand a little more from human beings than it will get in practice.Rate it:
The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection that one is prepared in the end to be defeated and broken up by life, which is the inevitable price of fastening one's love upon other human individuals.Rate it:
The great enemy of clear language is insincerity.Rate it:
The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.Rate it:
To a surprising extent the war-lords in shining armor, 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.Rate it:
To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.Rate it:
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.Rate it:
you can't live life without consequences. They occur regardless of the decision. A consequence is an outcome, good or bad. You can live life without regrets and thats what makes it worth it. Or you could live with regret and end up hanging yourself but thats still good. You paid for the rope so your feeding someones family. Something to be proud of before you kick the bucketRate it:

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