George Orwell Quotations

George Orwell

Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket.

A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more because he drinks.

Being in a minority, even a minority of one, did not make you insane. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.

Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it and wiser than the one that comes after it.

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

If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.

If you want a picture of the future -- just imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever.

Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.

On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good and not quite all the time.

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.

So much of left-wing thought is kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot.

The aim of a joke is not to degrade the human being but to remind him that he is already degraded.

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.

The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.

There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them.

The most important writer of the last century. Misunderstood, whether deliberately or otherwise, by those who chose to focus on the irrelevancies of his erroneous predictions, he understood before anyone else that those who control language control all thought. We are only beginning to understand what he was talking about, though I fear we will see more and more of it, as words continue to vanish from "polite" society. See Peter Wood for more detail.