Orwell Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Orwell. Here they are! All 200 of them:

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Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
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George Orwell (1984)
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In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
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George Orwell
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All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.
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George Orwell
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The best books... are those that tell you what you know already.
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George Orwell (1984)
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The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.
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George Orwell (1984)
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The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.
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George Orwell
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It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
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George Orwell (1984)
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If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human faceβ€”for ever.
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George Orwell (1984)
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But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
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George Orwell (1984)
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We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
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George Orwell
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If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
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George Orwell
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Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.
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George Orwell (1984)
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In the face of pain there are no heroes.
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George Orwell (1984)
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If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Big Brother is Watching You.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.
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George Orwell (1984)
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It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.
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George Orwell (1984)
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The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.
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George Orwell (In Front of Your Nose: 1945-1950 (The Collected Essays, Journalism & Letters, Vol. 4))
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The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.
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George Orwell
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I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you happen to be insane.
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George Orwell (1984)
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People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
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George Orwell
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Orthodoxy means not thinking--not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull.Β 
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George Orwell (1984)
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On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.
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George Orwell (All Art is Propaganda: Critical Essays)
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Four legs good, two legs bad.
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?
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George Orwell (1984)
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News is something somebody doesn't want printed; all else is advertising.
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William Randolph Hearst
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We do not merely destroy our enemies; we change them.
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George Orwell (1984)
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The only good human being is a dead one.
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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Confession is not betrayal. What you say or do doesn't matter; only feelings matter. If they could make me stop loving you-that would be the real betrayal.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Sanity is not statistical.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
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George Orwell
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To die hating them, that was freedom.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Several of them would have protested if they could have found the right arguments.
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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Of pain you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain. In the face of pain there are no heroes.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself.
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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This work was strictly voluntary, but any animal who absented himself from it would have his rations reduced by half.
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.
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George Orwell (1984)
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All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.
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George Orwell (Homage to Catalonia)
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There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.
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George Orwell (1984)
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A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 1. What am I trying to say? 2. What words will express it? 3. What image or idiom will make it clearer? 4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?
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George Orwell (Politics and the English Language)
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The object of terrorism is terrorism. The object of oppression is oppression. The object of torture is torture. The object of murder is murder. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?
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George Orwell (1984)
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We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your own nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom.
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George Orwell (1984)
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You are a slow learner, Winston." "How can I help it? How can I help but see what is in front of my eyes? 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.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Under the spreading chestnut tree I sold you and you sold me: There lie they, and here lie we Under the spreading chestnut tree.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Winston Smith: Does Big Brother exist? O'Brien: Of course he exists. Winston Smith: Does he exist like you or me? O'Brien: You do not exist.
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George Orwell (1984)
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If you can feel that staying human is worth while, even when it can't have any result whatever, you've beaten them.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Man serves the interests of no creature except himself.
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.
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George Orwell (Shooting an Elephant)
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At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.
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George Orwell
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There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.
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George Orwell
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Let's face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short.
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.
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George Orwell
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If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.
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George Orwell
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No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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If you kept the small rules, you could break the big ones.
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George Orwell (1984)
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The masses never revolt of their own accord, and they never revolt merely because they are oppressed. Indeed, so long as they are not permitted to have standards of comparison, they never even become aware that they are oppressed.
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George Orwell (1984)
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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.
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George Orwell (1984)
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What can you do, thought Winston, against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy?
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George Orwell (1984)
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The greatest enemy of clear language is insincerity.
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George Orwell
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Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.
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George Orwell (1984)
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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.
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George Orwell
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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 that 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.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Duringο»Ώ times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
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George Orwell
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We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right.
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George Orwell
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Can you not understand that liberty is worth more than just ribbons?
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future.
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George Orwell (1984)
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April the 4th, 1984. To the past, or to the future. To an age when thought is free. From the Age of Big Brother, from the Age of the Thought Police, from a dead man - greetings!
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George Orwell (1984)
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The consequences of every act are included in the act itself.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Man is the only creature that consumes without producing
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable - what then?
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George Orwell (1984)
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A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims... but accomplices
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George Orwell
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If there really is such a thing as turning in one's grave, Shakespeare must get a lot of exercise.
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George Orwell (All Art is Propaganda: Critical Essays)
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You're only a rebel from the waist downwards,’ he told her.
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George Orwell (1984)
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It is curious how people take it for granted that they have a right to preach at you and pray over you as soon as your income falls below a certain level.
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George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)
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The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from from ordinary hypocrisy: they are deliberate exercises in doublethink
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George Orwell (1984)
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But it was alright, everything was alright, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.
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George Orwell (1984)
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The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.
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George Orwell
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It is a feeling of relief, almost of pleasure, at knowing yourself at last genuinely down and out. You have talked so often of going to the dogs β€” and well, here are the dogs, and you have reached them, and you can stand it. It takes off a lot of anxiety.
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George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)
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The Seven Commandments: Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend. No animal shall wear clothes. No animal shall sleep in a bed. No animal shall drink alcohol. No animal shall kill any other animal. All animals are equal.
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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All men are enemies. All animals are comrades
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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Stupidity was as necessary as intelligence, and as difficult to attain.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
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George Orwell
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The distinguishing mark of man is the hand, the instrument with which he does all his mischief.
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn't, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares. But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell's dark vision, there was another - slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley's vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think. What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us. This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right.
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Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
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Windmill or no windmill, he said, life would go on as it had always gone on--that is, badly.
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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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.
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George Orwell (1984)
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The smell of her hair, the taste of her mouth, the feeling of her skin seemed to have got inside him, or into the air all round him. She had become a physical necessity.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Man is the only real enemy we have. Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished forever.
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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I hate purity, I hate goodness! I don't want virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone to be corrupt to the bones.
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George Orwell (1984)
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He was a lonely ghost uttering a truth that nobody would ever hear.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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The end was contained in the beginning.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, 'he that is not with me is against me'.
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George Orwell
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Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.
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George Orwell
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The stars are a free show; it don’t cost anything to use your eyes
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George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)
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And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposedβ€”if all records told the same taleβ€”then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.
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George Orwell (1984)
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In general, the greater the understanding, the greater the delusion; the more intelligent, the less sane.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Four legs good, two legs better! All Animals Are Equal. But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others.
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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Until they become conscious, they will never rebel
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George Orwell (1984)
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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 spurting out ink.
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George Orwell (Politics and the English Language)
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Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal.
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George Orwell (1984)
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His answer to every problem, every setback was β€œI will work harder!” β€”which he had adopted as his personal motto.
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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Everyone believes in the atrocities of the enemy and disbelieves in those of his own side, without ever bothering to examine the evidence.
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George Orwell
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Power is not a means; it is an end.
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George Orwell (1984)
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The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.
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George Orwell (The Lost Orwell: Being a Supplement to The Complete Works of George Orwell)
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If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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If there is hope, it lies in the proles.
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George Orwell (1984)
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If you set yourself to it, you can live the same life, rich or poor. You can keep on with your books and your ideas. You just got to say to yourself, "I'm a free man in here" - he tapped his forehead - "and you're all right.
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George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)
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But the thought of being a lunatic did not greatly trouble him; the horror was that he might also be wrong.
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George Orwell (1984)
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The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Those who control the present, control the past and those who control the past control the future.
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George Orwell (1984)
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You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.
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George Orwell (1984)
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That rifle on the wall of the labourer's cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.
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George Orwell
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So long as they (the Proles) continued to work and breed, their other activities were without importance. Left to themselves, like cattle turned loose upon the plains of Argentina, they had reverted to a style of life that appeared to be natural to them, a sort of ancestral pattern...Heavy physical work, the care of home and children, petty quarrels with neighbors, films, football, beer and above all, gambling filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult.
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George Orwell (1984)
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The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. 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.
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George Orwell (1984)
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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.
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George Orwell
β€œ
The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect.
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George Orwell (1984)
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So long as I remain alive and well I shall continue to feel strongly about prose style, to love the surface of the earth, and to take a pleasure in solid objects and scraps of useless information.
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George Orwell (Why I Write)
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Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four.
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George Orwell (1984)
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they say that time heals all things, they say you can always forget; but the smiles and the tears across the years they twist my heart strings yet!
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George Orwell (1984)
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You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with ourselves.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Surely, comrades, you don't want Jones back?
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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Only old Benjamin professed to remember every detail of his long life and to know that things never had been, nor ever could be much better or much worse--hunger, hardship, and disappointment being, so he said, the unalterable law of life.
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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they had come to a time when no one dared speak his mind, when fierce, growling dogs roamed everywhere, and when you had to watch your comrades torn to pieces after confessing to shocking crimes.
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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He felt as though he were wandering in the forests of the sea bottom, lost in a monstrous world where he himself was the monster. He was alone. The past was dead, the future was unimaginable
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George Orwell (1984)
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He would say that God had given him a tail to keep the flies off, but that he would sooner have had no tail and no flies.
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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Does Big Brother exist?" "Of course he exists. The Party exists. Big Brother is the embodiment of the Party." "Does he exist in the same way as I exist?" "You do not exist.
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George Orwell (1984)
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It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage.
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George Orwell (1984)
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2 + 2 = 5
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George Orwell (1984)
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He was conscious of nothing except the blankness of the page in front of him, the itching of the skin above his ankle, the blaring of the music, and a slight booziness caused by the gin.
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George Orwell (1984)
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The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Ω„ΨΉΩ„ Ψ§Ω„Ω…Ψ±Ψ‘ Ω„Ψ§ ΩŠΩ‡Ω…Ω‡ Ψ£Ω† ΩŠΨ­Ψ¨Ω‡ Ψ§Ω„Ω†Ψ§Ψ³ Ψ¨Ω‚Ψ―Ψ± Ω…Ψ§ ΩŠΩ‡Ω…Ω‡ Ψ£Ω† ΩŠΩΩ‡Ω…ΩˆΩ‡
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George Orwell (1984)
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You will see me, where there is no darkness.
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George Orwell (1984)
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...the object of waging a war is always to be in a better position in which to wage another war.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Progress is not an illusion; it happens, but it is slow and invariably disappointing.
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George Orwell
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Freedom of the Press, if it means anything at all, means the freedom to criticize and oppose
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George Orwell
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What happens to you here is forever.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Under the spreading chestnut tree I sold you and you sold me--
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George Orwell (1984)
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Within certain limits, it is actually true that the less money you have, the less you worry.
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George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)
β€œ
She's beautiful,' he murmured. 'She's a metre across the hips, easily,' said Julia. 'That is her style of beauty,' said Winston.
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George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
For the first time he perceived that if you want to keep a secret you must also hide it from yourself. Β 
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George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.
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George Orwell
β€œ
You asked me once,' said O'Brien, 'what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.
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George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
It was possible, no doubt, to imagine a society in which wealth, in the sense of personal possessions and luxuries, should be evenly distributed, while power remained in the hands of a small privileged caste. But in practice such a society could not long remain stable. For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realise that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.
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George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.
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George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
He was an embittered atheist (the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him), and took a sort of pleasure in thinking that human affairs would never improve.
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George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)
β€œ
Tragedy, he precieved, belonged to the ancient time, to a time when there were still privacy, love, and friendship, and when the members of a family stood by one another without needing to know the reason.
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George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumble puppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists, who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny, β€œfailed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” In 1984, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that our desire will ruin us.
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Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
β€œ
He was a lonely ghost uttering a truth that nobody would ever hear. But so long as he uttered it, in some obscure way the continuity was not broken. It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage.
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George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
When I see an actual flesh-and-blood worker in conflict with his natural enemy, the policeman, I do not have to ask myself which side I am on.
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George Orwell (Homage to Catalonia)
β€œ
There are occasions when it pays better to fight and be beaten than not to fight at all.
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George Orwell (Homage to Catalonia)
β€œ
It was curious to think that the sky was the same for everybody, in Eurasia or Eastasia as well as here. And the people under the sky were also very much the same--everywhere, all over the world, hundreds or thousands of millions of people just like this, people ignorant of one another's existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same--people who had never learned to think but were storing up in their hearts and bellies and muscles the power that would one day overturn the world.
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George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
Perhaps a man really dies when his brain stops, when he loses the power to take in a new idea.
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George Orwell (Coming Up for Air)
β€œ
It struck him that in moments of crisis one is never fighting against an external enemy, but always against one’s own body... On the battlefield, in the torture chamber, on a sinking ship, the issues that you are fighting for are always forgotten, because the body swells up until it fills the universe, and even when you are not paralysed by fright or screaming with pain, life is a moment-to-moment struggle against hunger or cold or sleeplessness, against a sour stomach or an aching tooth.
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George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
The past was alterable. The past never had been altered. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.
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George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live aloneβ€” to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone: From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of doublethink β€” greetings!
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George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
But you could not have pure love or pure lust nowadays. No emotion was pure, because everything was mixed up with fear and hatred. Their embrace had been a battle, the climax a victory. It was a blow struck against the Party. It was a political act.
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George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, 'I am going to produce a work of art.' I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.
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George Orwell (Why I Write)
β€œ
In a way, the worldβˆ’view of the Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding they remained sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them no harm, because it left no residue behind, just as a grain of corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird.
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George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
If he were allowed contact with foreigners he would discover that they are creatures similar to himself and that most of what he has been told about them is lies. The sealed world in which he lives would be broken, and the fear, hatred, and self-righteousness on which his morale depends might evaporate. It is therefore realized on all sides that however ofter Persia, or Egypt, or Java, or Ceylon may change hands, the main frontiers must never be crossed by anything except bombs.
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George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one. At one time it had been a sign of madness to believe that the Earth goes round the Sun; today, to believe the past is inalterable. He might be alone in holding that belief, and if alone, then a lunatic. But the thought of being a lunatic did not greatly trouble him; the horror was that he might also be wrong.
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George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
The president is a nationalist, which is not at all the same thing as a patriot. A nationalist encourages us to be our worst, and then tells us that we are the best. A nationalist, 'although endlessly brooding on power, victory, defeat, revenge,' wrote Orwell, tends to be 'uninterested in what happens in the real world.' Nationalism is relativist, since the only truth is the resentment we feel when we contemplate others. As the novelist Danilo KiΕ‘ put it, nationalism 'has no universal values, aesthetic or ethical.' A patriot, by contrast, wants the nation to live up to its ideals, which means asking us to be our best selves. A patriot must be concerned with the real world, which is the only place where his country can be loved and sustained. A patriot has universal values, standards by which he judges his nation, always wishing it wellβ€”and wishing that it would do better.
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Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
β€œ
A plongeur is a slave, and a wasted slave, doing stupid and largely unnecessary work. He is kept at work, ultimately, because of a vague feeling that he would be dangerous if he had leisure. And educated people, who should be on his side, acquiesce in the process, because they know nothing about him and consequently are afraid of him.
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George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)
β€œ
The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection, that one is sometimes willing to commit sins for the sake of loyalty, that one does not push asceticism to the point where it makes friendly intercourse impossible, and 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.
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George Orwell (In Front of Your Nose: 1945-1950 (The Collected Essays, Journalism & Letters, Vol. 4))
β€œ
To write or even speak English is not a science but an art. There are no reliable words. Whoever writes English is involved in a struggle that never lets up even for a sentence. He is struggling against vagueness, against obscurity, against the lure of the decorative adjective, against the encroachment of Latin and Greek, and, above all, against the worn-out phrases and dead metaphors with which the language is cluttered up.
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George Orwell
β€œ
He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.
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George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
It had become usual to give Napoleon the Credit for every Successful achievement and every stroke of good fortune. You would often hear one hen remark to another, β€œUnder the guidance of our leader, Comrade Napoleon, I have laid five eggs in six days” or two cows, enjoying a drink at the pool, would exclaim, β€œthanks to the leadership of Comrade Napoleon, how excellent this water tastes!”...
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
β€œ
The mistake you make, don't you see,is in thinking one can live in a corrupt society without being corrupt oneself. After all, what do you achieve by refusing to make money? You're trying to behave as though one could stand right outside our economic system. But one can't. One's got to change the system, or one changes nothing. One can't put things right in a hole-and-corner way, if you take my meaning.
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George Orwell (Keep the Aspidistra Flying)
β€œ
Comrades!' he cried. 'You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink the milk and eat those apples.
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
β€œ
There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But alwaysβ€” do not forget this, Winstonβ€” always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human faceβ€” forever.
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George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
Sometimes they threaten you with something - something you can't stand up to, can't even think about. And then you say, "Don't do it to me, do it to somebody else, do it to So-and-so." And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn't mean it. But that isn't true. At the time when it happens you do mean it. You think there's no other way of saving yourself, and you're quite ready to save yourself that way. You WANT it to happen to the other person. You don't give a damn what they suffer. All you care is yourself.
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George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. Never use a long word where a short one will do. If it is possible to cut a word out always cut it out. Never use the passive voice where you can use the active. Never use a foreign phrase a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
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George Orwell
β€œ
All writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. For all one knows that demon is simply the same instinct that makes a baby squall for attention. And yet it is also true that one can write nothing readable unless one constantly struggles to efface one's own personality. Good prose is like a windowpane.
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George Orwell (Why I Write)
β€œ
To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself -- that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word 'doublethink' involved the use of doublethink.
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George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
The ORDINARY RESPONSE TO ATROCITIES is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable. Atrocities, however, refuse to be buried. Equally as powerful as the desire to deny atrocities is the conviction that denial does not work. Folk wisdom is filled with ghosts who refuse to rest in their graves until their stories are told. Murder will out. Remembering and telling the truth about terrible events are prerequisites both for the restoration of the social order and for the healing of individual victims. The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma. People who have survived atrocities often tell their stories in a highly emotional, contradictory, and fragmented manner that undermines their credibility and thereby serves the twin imperatives of truth-telling and secrecy. When the truth is finally recognized, survivors can begin their recovery. But far too often secrecy prevails, and the story of the traumatic event surfaces not as a verbal narrative but as a symptom. The psychological distress symptoms of traumatized people simultaneously call attention to the existence of an unspeakable secret and deflect attention from it. This is most apparent in the way traumatized people alternate between feeling numb and reliving the event. The dialectic of trauma gives rise to complicated, sometimes uncanny alterations of consciousness, which George Orwell, one of the committed truth-tellers of our century, called "doublethink," and which mental health professionals, searching for calm, precise language, call "dissociation." It results in protean, dramatic, and often bizarre symptoms of hysteria which Freud recognized a century ago as disguised communications about sexual abuse in childhood. . . .
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Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
β€œ
We are not like that. We know that 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 terrorism is terrorism. The object of oppression is oppression. The object of torture is torture. The object of murder is murder. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?
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George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into; the other functions and faculties may be more godlike, but in point of time they come afterwards. A man dies and is buried, and all his words and actions are forgotten, but the food he has eaten lives after him in the sound or rotten bones of his children. I think it could be plausibly argued that changes of diet are more important than changes of dynasty or even of religion....Yet it is curious how seldom the all-importance of food is recognized. You see statues everywhere to politicians, poets, bishops, but none to cooks or bacon-curers or market gardeners.
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George Orwell (The Road to Wigan Pier)
β€œ
People are wrong when they think that an unemployed man only worries about losing his wages; on the contrary, an illiterate man, with the work habit in his bones, needs work even more than he needs money. An educated man can put up with enforced idleness, which is one of the worst evils of poverty. But a man like Paddy, with no means of filling up time, is as miserable out of work as a dog on the chain. That is why it is such nonsense to pretend that those who have 'come down in the world' are to be pitied above all others. The man who really merits pity is the man who has been down from the start, and faces poverty with a blank, resourceless mind.
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George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)
β€œ
Fear of the mob is a superstitious fear. It is based on the idea that there is some mysterious, fundamental difference between rich and poor, as though they were two different races, like Negroes and white men. But in reality there is no such difference. The mass of the rich and the poor are differentiated by their incomes and nothing else, and the average millionaire is only the average dishwasher dressed in a new suit. Change places, and handy dandy, which is the justice, which is the thief? Everyone who has mixed on equal terms with the poor knows this quite well. But the trouble is that intelligent, cultivated people, the very people who might be expected to have liberal opinions, never do mix with the poor. For what do the majority of educated people know about poverty?
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George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)
β€œ
In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense. And what was terrifying was not that they would kill you for thinking otherwise, but that they might be right. For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllableβ€”what then?
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George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
The majority of pacifists either belong to obscure religious sects or are simply humanitarians who object to taking life and prefer not to follow their thoughts beyond that point. But there is a minority of intellectual pacifists, whose real though unacknowledged motive appears to be hatred of western democracy and admiration for totalitarianism. Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writing of the younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States …
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George Orwell
β€œ
Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland, Beasts of every land and clime, Hearken to my joyful tidings Of the golden future time. Soon or late the day is coming, Tyrant Man shall be o'erthrown, And the fruitful fields of England Shall be trod by beasts alone. Rings shall vanish from our noses, And the harness from our back, Bit and spur shall rust forever, Cruel whips shall no more crack. Riches more than mind can picture, Wheat and barley, oats and hay, Clover, beans, and mangel-wurzels, Shall be ours upon that day. Bright will shine the fields of England, Purer shall its water be, Sweeter yet shall blow its breezes On the day that sets us free. For that day we all must labour, Though we die before it break; Cows and horses, geese and turkeys, All must toils for freedom's sake. Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland, Beasts of every land and clime, Hearken well and spread my tidings Of the golden future time.
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
β€œ
Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thought-crime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by eactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. . . . The process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead. Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of course, there's no reason or excuse for commiting thought-crime. It's merely a question of self-discipline, reality-control. But in the end there won't be any need even for that. . . . Has it ever occcured to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?
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George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
...out from the door of the farmhouse came a long file of pigs, all walking on their hind legs...out came Napoleon himself, majestically upright, casting haughty glances from side to side, and with his dogs gambolling round him. He carried a whip in his trotter. There was a deadly silence. Amazed, terrified, huddling together, the animals watched the long line of pigs march slowly round the yard. It was as though the world had turned upside-down. Then there came a moment when the first shock had worn off and when, in spite of everything-in spite of their terror of the dogs, and of the habit, developed through long years, of never complaining, never criticising, no matter what happened-they might have uttered some word of protest. But just at that moment, as though at a signal, all the sheep burst out into a tremendous bleating of- "Four legs good, two legs better! Four legs good, two legs better! Four legs good, two legs better!" It went on for five minutes without stopping. And by the time the sheep had quieted down, the chance to utter any protest had passed, for the pigs had marched back into the farmhouse.
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
β€œ
How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?β€œ Winston thought. β€œBy making him suffer”, he said. β€œExactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery is torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but MORE merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress towards more pain. The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy – everything. Already we are breaking down the habits of thought which have survived from before the Revolution. We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed.
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George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
It is worth saying something about the social position of beggars, for when one has consorted with them, and found that they are ordinary human beings, one cannot help being struck by the curious attitude that society takes towards them. People seem to feel that there is some essential difference between beggars and ordinary 'working' men. They are a race apart--outcasts, like criminals and prostitutes. Working men 'work', beggars do not 'work'; they are parasites, worthless in their very nature. It is taken for granted that a beggar does not 'earn' his living, as a bricklayer or a literary critic 'earns' his. He is a mere social excrescence, tolerated because we live in a humane age, but essentially despicable. Yet if one looks closely one sees that there is no ESSENTIAL difference between a beggar's livelihood and that of numberless respectable people. Beggars do not work, it is said; but, then, what is WORK? A navvy works by swinging a pick. An accountant works by adding up figures. A beggar works by standing out of doors in all weathers and getting varicose veins, chronic bronchitis, etc. It is a trade like any other; quite useless, of course--but, then, many reputable trades are quite useless. And as a social type a beggar compares well with scores of others. He is honest compared with the sellers of most patent medicines, high-minded compared with a Sunday newspaper proprietor, amiable compared with a hire-purchase tout--in short, a parasite, but a fairly harmless parasite. He seldom extracts more than a bare living from the community, and, what should justify him according to our ethical ideas, he pays for it over and over in suffering. I do not think there is anything about a beggar that sets him in a different class from other people, or gives most modern men the right to despise him. Then the question arises, Why are beggars despised?--for they are despised, universally. I believe it is for the simple reason that they fail to earn a decent living. In practice nobody cares whether work is useful or useless, productive or parasitic; the sole thing demanded is that it shall be profitable. In all the modem talk about energy, efficiency, social service and the rest of it, what meaning is there except 'Get money, get it legally, and get a lot of it'? Money has become the grand test of virtue. By this test beggars fail, and for this they are despised. If one could earn even ten pounds a week at begging, it would become a respectable profession immediately. A beggar, looked at realistically, is simply a businessman, getting his living, like other businessmen, in the way that comes to hand. He has not, more than most modem people, sold his honour; he has merely made the mistake of choosing a trade at which it is impossible to grow rich.
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George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)