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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.
We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
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.
Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing.
If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.
Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
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.
...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.
Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
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.
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.
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 bucket
People sleep peacably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.
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.
But the thing that I saw in your face no power can disinherit: No bomb that ever burst shatters the crystal spirit.
No doubt alcohol, tobacco, and so forth, are things that a saint must avoid, but sainthood is a thing that human beings must avoid.
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.
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.
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