George Orwell (25th June 1903 – 21st January 1950) was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and social commentator. His works deal with themes of social injustice, totalitarianism and he was an outspoken supporter of democratic socialism.
Much of his work centred around politics and his influence so great he gave us the word ‘Orwellian’ to describe something totalitarian or overly authoritarian, and many of his neologisms such as Cold War, Big Brother, Room 101, Memory Hole, Thought Police and others are part of every day language today.
Today we’re concentrating on Orwell’s thoughts on Power and Politics and we’ve chosen quotes that aren’t necessarily so well known from his novels, but also from the many essays and news pieces he authored too.
“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.”
“War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.”
“In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
“The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.”
“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”
“Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen.”
“In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer…”
“The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.”
“All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.”
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”