George Orwell Quotes

George Orwell quotes are taken from nearly 500 essays, books, novels and articles. As an anti-Stalinist and anti-Communist, Orwell was well-versed in the plight of the lower classes as well as governments attempting to maintain control. His insights into human nature and socio-economic conditions make his quotes particularly timeless.

War

  • "All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting."
  • "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."
  • "One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes a revolution in order to establish a dictatorship."
  • "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

Intelligence

  • "Enlightened people seldom or never possess a sense of responsibility."
  • "Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them."
  • "Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it."
  • "Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious."

Human Nature

  • "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
  • "Society has always seemed to demand a little more from human beings than it will get in practice."
  • "The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection."
  • "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."

Politics

  • "It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it; consequently, the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to any one meaning."
  • "In our time political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible."
  • "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."
  • "Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."
  • "Political chaos is connected with the decay of language... one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end."
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