If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
Totalitarianism, if not fought against, could triumph anywhere.
No advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer.
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.
Outside, even through the shut window-pane, the world looked cold.
Winston had disliked her from the very first moment of seeing her. He knew the reason. It was because of the atmosphere of hockey−fields and cold baths and community hikes and general clean−mindedness which she managed to carry about with her. He disliked nearly all women, and especially the young and pretty ones. It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the amateur spies and nosers−out of unorthodoxy.
All propaganda is lies, even when one is telling the truth.
I sometimes think that the price of liberty is not so much eternal vigilance as eternal dirt.
We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future. We shall take part in it as handfuls of dust and splinters of bone. But how far away that future may be, there is no knowing. It might be a thousand years. At present nothing is possible except to extend the area of sanity little by little. We cannot act collectively. We can only spread our knowledge outwards from individual to individual, generation after generation. In the face of the Thought Police there is no other way.
It is a curious sensation, being a customer where you have been a slave's slave.
Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing.
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.
What is above all needed is to let the meaning choose the word, and not the other way around. In prose, the worst thing you can do with words is to surrender to them.
Windmill or no windmill, he said, life would go on as it had always gone on -- that is, badly.
This work was strictly voluntary, but any animal who absented himself from it would have his rations reduced by half.
War is evil, but it is often the lesser evil.
Those who 'abjure' violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf.
The best books... are those that tell you what you know already.
Under the spreading chestnut tree
I sold you and you sold me.
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.
Many people genuinely do not want to be saints, and it is probable that some who achieve or aspire to sainthood have never felt much temptation to be human beings.
My best fishing-memory is about some fish that I never caught.
It appeared that even in Barcelona there were hardly any bullfights nowadays; for some reason all the best matadors were Fascists.
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.
At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.
Since pacifists have more freedom of action in countries where traces of democracy survive, pacifism can act more effectively against democracy than for it. Objectively the pacifist is pro-Nazi.
Progress is not an illusion, it happens, but it is slow and invariably disappointing. There is always a new tyrant waiting to take over from the old -- generally not quite so bad, but still a tyrant. Consequently two viewpoints are always tenable. The one, how can you improve human nature until you have changed the system? The other, what is the use of changing the system before you have improved human nature? They appeal to different individuals, and they probably show a tendency to alternate in point of time. The moralist and the revolutionary are constantly undermining one another.
There are always plenty of not quite certifiable lunatics walking the streets, and they tend to gravitate towards bookshops, because a bookshop is one of the few places where you can hang about for a long time without spending any money. In the end one gets to know these people almost at a glance. For all their big talk there is something moth-eaten and aimless about them.
What mattered was that the room over the junk-shop should exist. To know that it was there, inviolate, was almost the same as being in it. The room was a world, a pocket of the past where extinct animals could walk.
It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought...should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words.
Even the humblest Party member is expected to be competent, industrious, and even intelligent within narrow limits, but it is also necessary that he should be a credulous and ignorant fanatic whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation, and orgiastic triumph. In other words it is necessary that he should have the mentality appropriate to a state of war. It does not matter whether the war is actually happening, and, since no decisive victory is possible, it does not matter whether the war is going well or badly. All that is needed is that a state of war should exist.
Public opinion is less tolerant than any system of law.
For a second, two seconds, they had exchanged an equivocal glance, and that was the end of the story. But even that was a memorable event, in the locked loneliness in which one had to live.
Huge events like the Ukraine famine of 1933, involving the deaths of millions of people, have actually escaped the attention of the majority of English russophiles.
What opinions the masses hold, or do not hold, is looked upon as a matter of indifference. They can be granted intellectual liberty becasue they have no intellect.
Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them. There is almost no kind of outrage-torture, imprisonment without trial, assassination, the bombing of civilians-which does not change its moral color when it is committed by 'our' side. The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.
One of the most horrible features of war is that all the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.
Many of the people who came to us were of the kind who would be a nuisance anywhere but have special opportunities in a bookshop.
An earthquake is such fun when it is over.
Clover was a stout motherly mare approaching middle life, who had never quite got her figure back after her fourth foal.
When I joined the militia I had promised myself to kill one Fascist -- after all, if each of us killed one they would soon be extinct.
The distinguishing mark of man is the hand, the instrument with which he does all his mischief.
The family had become in effect an extension of the Thought Police. It was a device by means of which everyone could be surrounded night and day by informers who knew him intimately.
He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.
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 on might evaporate.
I believe that the BBC, in spite of the stupidity of its foreign propaganda and the unbearable voices of its announcers, is very truthful. It is generally regarded here as more reliable than the press.
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. Sometimes, he said, when sleeping on the Embankment, it had consoled him to look up at Mars or Jupiter and think that there were probably Embankment sleepers there. He had a curious theory about this. Life on earth, he said, is harsh because the planet is poor in the necessities of existence. Mars, with its cold climate and scanty water, must be far poorer, and life correspondingly harsher. Whereas on earth you are merely imprisoned for stealing sixpence, on Mars you are probably boiled alive. This thought cheered Bozo, I do not know why. He was a very exceptional man.
Good novels are not written by orthodoxy-sniffers, nor by people who are conscience-stricken about their own orthodoxy. Good novels are written by people who are not frightened.
Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.
Bad writers are nearly always haunted by the notion that Latin or Greek words are grander than Saxon ones.
Past events, it is argued, have no objective existence, but survive only in written record and in human memories. The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon. And since the Party is in full control of all records and in equally full control of the minds of its members, it follows that the past is whatever the Party chooses to make it.
If pacifists imagine that one can somehow "overcome" the German army by lying on one's back, let them go on imagining it, but let them also wonder occasionally whether this is not an illusion due to security, too much money and a simple ignorance of the way in which things actually happen.
If you kept the small rules, you could break the big ones.
The clock struck half past two. In the little office at the back of Mr. McKechnie's bookshop, Gordon -- Gordon Comstock, last member of the Comstock family, aged twenty-nine and rather moth-eaten already -- lounged across the table, pushing a fourpenny packet of Player's Weights open and shut with his thumb.
Suddenly, by the sort of violent effort with which one wrenches one's head away from the pillow in a nightmare, Winston succeeded in transferring his hatred from the face on the screen to the dark−haired girl behind him. Vivid, beautiful hallucinations flashed through his mind. He would flog her to death with a rubber truncheon. He would tie her naked to a stake and shoot her full of arrows like Saint Sebastian. He would ravish her and cut her throat at the moment of climax. Better than before, moreover, he realized why it was that he hated her. He hated her because she was young and pretty and sexless, because he wanted to go to bed with her and would never do so, because round her sweet supple waist, which seemed to ask you to encircle it with your arm, there was only the odious scarlet sash, aggressive symbol of chastity.
And remember, comrades, your resolution must never falter. No argument must lead you astray.
He did not suppose, from what he could remember of her, that she had been an unusual women, still less an intelligent one; and yet she had possessed a kind of nobility, a kind of purity, simply because the standards that she obeyed were private ones. Her feelings were her own, and could not be altered from the outside. It would not have occurred to her that an action which is ineffectual thereby becomes meaningless. If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love.
A tragic situation exists precisely when virtue does not triumph but when it is still felt that man is nobler than the forces which destroy him.
The two aims of the Party are to conquer the whole surface of the earth and to extinguish once and for all the possibility of independent thought. There are therefore two great problems which the Party is concerned to solve. One is how to discover, against his will, what another human being is thinking, and the other is how to kill several hundred million people in a few seconds without giving warning beforehand.
There is hardly such a thing as a war in which it makes no difference who wins. Nearly always one side stands more or less for progress, the other side more or less for reaction.
If men would behave decently, the world would be decent.
He hated her because she was young and pretty and sexless,because he wanted to go to bed with her and would never do so .
Within any important issue, there are always aspects no one wishes to discuss.
No man should be allowed to be the President who does not understand hogs, or hasn't been around a manure pile.
Weak or strong, clever or simple, we are all brothers.
Waiters are seldom socialists.
She spent an astonishing amount of time in attending lectures and demonstrations, distributing literature for the Junior Anti-Sex League, preparing banners for Hate Week, making collections for the savings campaign, and such-like activities. It paid, she said; it was camouflage. If you kept the small rules you could break the big ones.
In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning.
The "herrenvolk" master race are all around you, threading their way on their bicycles between the piles of rubble or rushing off with jugs and buckets to meet the water cart. It is queer to think that these are the people who once ruled Europe, from the Channel to the Caspian Sea and might have conquered our own island, if they had known how weak we were.
Most people approve of capital punishment, but most people wouldn't do the hangman's job.
What mattered were individual relationships, and a completely helpless gesture, an embrace, a tear, a word spoken to a dying man, could have value in itself. Proles, it suddenly occurred to him, had remained in this condition. They were not loyal to a party or a country or an idea, they were loyal to one another.
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.
Day is over, night has come. Today is gone, what's done is done. Embrace your dreams, through the night. Tomorrow comes with a whole new light.
Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist.
The fact is that every war suffers a kind of progressive degradation with every month that it continues, because such things as individual liberty and a truthful press are simply not compatible with military efficiency.
The girl from the fiction department… was looking at him Winston… She was very young, he thought, she still expected something from life… She would not accept it as a law of nature that the individual is always defeated… All you needed was luck and cunning and boldness. She did not understand that there was no such thing as happiness, that the only victory lay in the far future, long after you were dead.
The fallacy is to believe that under a dictatorial government you can be free inside.
It England is a family in which the young are generally thwarted and most of the power is in the hands of irresponsible uncles and bedridden aunts.
The Assault Guards had one submachine-gun between ten men and an automatic pistol each; we at the front had approximately one machine-gun between fifty men, and as for pistols and revolvers, you could only procure them illegally. As a matter of fact, though I had not noticed it till now, it was the same everywhere. The Civil Guards and Carabineros, who were not intended for the front at all, were better armed and far better clad than ourselves. I suspect it is the same in all wars-always the same contrast between the sleek police in the rear and the ragged soldiers in the line.
The writers I care about most and never grow tired of are: Shakespeare, Swift, Fielding, Dickens, Charles Reade, Flaubert and, among modern writers, James Joyce, T. S. Eliot and D. H. Lawrence. But I believe the modern writer who has influenced me most is Somerset Maugham, whom I admire immensely for his power of telling a story straightforwardly and without frills.
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 and 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 toward more pain.
When one watches some tired hack on the platform mechanically repeating the familiar phrases -- bestial atrocities, iron heel, blood-stained tyranny, free peoples of the world, stand shoulder to shoulder -- one often has a curious feeling that one is not watching a live human being but some kind of dummy, the appropriate noises are coming out of his larynx, but his brain is not involved.
The process of mass-media deception has to be conscious, or it would not be carried out with sufficient precision, but it also has to be unconscious, or it would bring with it a feeling of falsity and hence of guilt.... To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies all this is indispensably necessary.
During the first two months of the war it was the Anarchists more than anyone else who had saved the situation, and much later than this the Anarchist militia, in spite of their indiscipline, were notoriously the best fighters among the purely Spanish forces.
How could you communicate with the future? It was of its nature impossible. Either the future would resemble the present, in which case it would not listen to him: or it would be different from it, and his predicament would be meaningless.
I had the lonely child's habit of making up stories and holding conversations with imaginary persons, and I think from the very start my literary ambitions were mixed up with the feeling of being isolated and undervalued. I knew that I had a facility with words and a power of facing unpleasant facts, and I felt that this created a sort of private world in which I could get my own back for my failure in everyday life.
As a rule they will refuse even to sample a foreign dish, they regard such things as garlic and olive oil with disgust, life is unliveable to them unless they have tea and puddings.
As soon as you think of fishing you think of things that don't belong to the modern world. The very idea of sitting all day under a willow tree beside a quiet pool -- and being able to find a quiet pool to sit beside- belongs to a time before the war, before radio, before aeroplanes, before Hitler.
One wants to live, of course, indeed one only stays alive by virtue of the fear of death.
All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.
You must have seen great changes since you were a young man," said Winston tentatively. The old man's pale blue eyes moved from the darts board to the bar, and from the bar to the door of the Gents ... "The beer was better," he said finally. "And cheaper! When I was a young man, mild beer -- wallop we used to call it -- was fourpence a pint. That was before the war, of course." "Which war was that?" said Winston. "It's all wars," said the old man vaguely. He took up his glass, and his shoulders straightened again. "'Ere's wishing you the very best of 'ealth!
Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
For it is the condition of his rule that he shall spend his life trying to impress the 'natives,' and so in every crisis he has got to do what the 'natives' expect of him... A sahib has got to act like a sahib; he has got to appear resolute, to know his own mind and do definite things.
The past is a curious thing. It's with you all the time. I suppose an hour never passes without your thinking of things that happened ten or twenty years ago, and yet most of the time it's got no reality, it's just a set of facts that you've learned, like a lot of stuff in a history book. Then some chance sight or sound or smell, especially smell, sets you going, and the past doesn't merely come back to you, you're actually IN the past. It was like that at this moment.
in moments of crisis one is never fighting against an external enemy but always against one's own body.
All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.
Pessimism is reactionary because it makes the very idea of improving the world impossible.
When you make love you're using up energy; and afterwards you feel happy and don't give a damn for anything. They can't bear you to feel like that. They want you to be bursting with energy all the time. All this marching up and down and cheering and waving flags is simply sex gone sour. If you're happy inside yourself, why should you get excited about Big Brother and the Three-Year Plans and the Two Minute Hate and all the rest of their bloody rot?"
That was very true, he thought. There was a direct, intimate connection between chastity and political orthodoxy. For how could the fear, the hatred, the lunatic credulity which the Party needed in its members be kept at the right pitch except by bottling down some powerful instinct in using it as a driving force? The sex impulse was dangerous to the party, and the party had turned it to account.
We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end.
Apparently nothing will ever teach these people that the other 99 percent of the population exist.
Comrades," he said, "here is a point that must be settled. The wild creatures, such as rats and rabbits -- are they our friends or our enemies? Let us put it to the vote. I propose this question to the meeting: Are rats comrades?" The vote was taken at once, and it was agreed by an overwhelming majority that rats were comrades. There were only four dissentients, the three dogs and the cat, who was afterwards discovered to have voted on both sides.
They were governed by private loyalties which they did not question. What mattered were individual relationships, and a completely helpless gesture, an embrace, a tear, a word spoken to a dying man, could have value in itself.
You preferred to be a lunatic, a minority of one.
Let's face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short.
Antisemitism, for instance, is simply not the doctrine of a grown-up person.
If you ask any ordinary reader which of Dickens's proletarian characters he can remember, the three he is almost certain to mention are Bill Sykes, Sam Weller and Mrs. Gamp. A burglar, a valet and a drunken midwife-not exactly a representative cross-section of the English working class.
Language ought to be the joint creation of poets and manual workers.
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.
It said what he would have said, if it had been possible for him to set his scattered thoughts in order. It was the product of a mind similar to his own, but enormously more powerful, more systematic, less fear-ridden. The best books, he perceived, are those that tell you what you know already.
One can love a child, perhaps, more deeply than one can love another adult, but it is rash to assume that the child feels any love in return.
Few people have the guts to say outright that art and propaganda are the same thing.
A totalitarian society which succeeded in perpetuating itself would probably set us a schizophrenic system of thought, in which the laws of common sense held good in everyday life and in certain exact sciences, but could be disregarded by the politician, the historian, and the sociologist. Already there are countless people who would think it scandalous to falsify a scientific text-book, but would see nothing wrong in falsifying an historical fact.
The hospital is the antechamber to the tomb.
During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
The consciousness of being at war, and therefore in danger, makes the handing-over of all power to a small caste seem the natural, unavoidable condition of survival.
But the trouble is that conscious futility is something only for the young. One cannot go on "despairing of life" in to a ripe old age. One cannot go on being "decadent," since decadence means falling and one can only said to be falling if one is going to reach the bottom reasonably soon. Sooner or later one is obliged to adopt a positive attitude toward life and society.
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?
The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another.
England is the most class-ridden country under the sun. It is a land of snobbery and privilege, ruled largely by the old and silly.
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.
The modern writer who has influenced me most is W. Somerset Maugham.
Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.
The mind should develop a blind spot whenever a dangerous thought presented itself. The process should be automatic, instinctive. Crimestop, they called it in Newspeak.
The point is that the pleasures of spring are available to everybody, and cost nothing.
In trench warfare five things are important: firewood, food, tobacco, candles, and the enemy. In winter on the Zaragoza front they were important in that order, with the enemy a bad last.
All the while they were talking the half-remembered rhyme kept running through Winston's head. Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St. Clement's, You owe me three farthings, say the bells of St. Martin's! It was curious, but when you said it to yourself you had the illusion of actually hearing bells, the bells of a lost London that still existed somewhere or other, disguised and forgotten. From one ghostly steeple after another he seemed to hear them pealing forth. Yet so far as he could remember he had never in real life heard church bells ringing.
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.
All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery.
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.
The only evidence to the contrary was the mute protest in your own bones, the instinctive feeling that the conditions you lived in were intolerable and that at some other time they must have been different.
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.
Day is over, night has come. today is gone, what's done is done. embrace your dreams, through the night, tomorrow comes with a whole new light.
To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle.
Joyce is a poet and also an elephantine pedant.
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.
A family with the wrong members in control; that, perhaps, is as near as one can come to describing England in a phrase.
I understand HOW. I do not understand WHY.
From the proletarians nothing is to be feared. Left to themselves, they will continue from generation to generation and from century to century, working, breeding, and dying, not only without any impulse to rebel, but without the power of grasping that the world could be other than it is.
This life we live nowadays. It's not life, it's stagnation death-in-life. Look at all these bloody houses and the meaningless people inside them. Sometimes I think we're all corpses. Just rotting upright.
In this game that we're playing, we can't win. Some kinds of failure are better than other kinds, that's all.
It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.
And in the general hardening of outlook that set in ... practices which had been long abandoned ... -- imprisonment without trial, the use of war prisoners as slaves, public executions, torture to extract confessions, the use of hostages and the deportation of whole populations -- not only became common again, but were tolerated and even defended by people who considered themselves enlightened and progressive.
To turn his head and look at her would have been inconceivable folly. With hands locked together, invisible among the press of bodies, they stared steadily in front of them, and instead of the eyes of the girl, the eyes of the aged prisoner gazed mournfully at Winston out of nests of hair.
A generation of the unteachable is hanging upon us like a necklace of corpses.
In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
O'Brien: How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?
Winston: By making him suffer. O'Brien: Exactly. 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 and 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.
If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable -- what then?
In Moulmein, in lower Burma, I was hated by large numbers of people -- the only time in my life that I have been important enough for this to happen to me.
The real test of character is how you treat someone who has no possibility of doing you any good.
In a way, the world-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.
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.
Some people have a knack, for example, of being able to tell when someone's lying to them. They may not know what the truth is, but they can tell when someone is trying to lead them astray or sell them something shady. I think he had that ability to an amazing degree. I also think he thought, without saying it explicitly, that you can convince a crowd of something that's not true more easily than you can one person at a time.
Oceania was at war with Eurasia; therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia.
On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.
Her feelings were her own, and could not be altered from outside. It would not have occurred to her that an action which is ineffectual thereby becomes meaningless. If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love.
It is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during 'God save the King' than of stealing from a poor box.
I am struck again by the fact that as soon as a working man gets an official post in the Trade Union or goes into Labour politics, he becomes middle-class whether he will or no. ie. by fighting against the bourgeoisie he becomes a bourgeois. The fact is that you cannot help living in the manner appropriate and developing the ideology appropriate to your income.
After all, that is what the merely casual onlooker always sees -- the outward appearance, the non-functional, the surfaces of things. No one who is really involved in the landscape ever sees the landscape.
When I was young and had no sense
In far-off Mandalay I lost my heart to a Burmese girl As lovely as the day. Her skin was gold, her hair was jet, her teeth were ivory; I said, "For twenty silver pieces, Maiden, sleep with me." She looked at me, so pure, so sad, The loveliest thing alive, And in her lisping, virgin voice, Stood out for twenty-five.
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.
At age fifty, every man has the face he deserves.
What can you do against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy?
Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism as I understand it.
The fact that has got to be faced is that to abolish class-distinctions means abolishing a part of yourself. Here am I, a typical member of the middle class. It is easy for me to say that I want to get rid of class-distinctions, but nearly everything I think and do is a result of class-distinctions. All my notions -- notions of good and evil, of pleasant and unpleasant, of funny and serious, of ugly and beautiful -- are essentially middle-class notions; my taste in books and food and clothes, my sense of honour, my table manners, my turns of speech, my accent, even the characteristic movements of my body, are the products of a special kind of upbringing and a special niche about half-way up the social hierarchy.
But what a way to do things-never to perform a decent action until you are kicked into it and the rest of the world has ceased to believe that your motives can possibly be honest.
If people cannot write well, they cannot think well. And if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.
The energy that actually shapes the world springs from emotions -- racial pride, leader-worship, religious belief, love of war -- which liberal intellectuals mechanically write off as anachronisms, and which they have usually destroyed so completely in themselves as to have lost all power of action.
You are imagining that there is something called human nature which will be outraged by what we do and will turn against us. But we create human nature. Men are infinitely malleable.
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
All art is propaganda.
They clichés will construct your sentences for you -- even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent -- and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself.
Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness.
The mutability of the past is the central tenet of Ingsoc. Past events, it is argued, have no objective existance, but survive only in written records and in human memories. The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon. And since the Party is in full control of all records, and in equally full control of the minds of its members, it follows that the past is whatever the Party chooses to make it.
If he thinks he floats off the floor, and if I simultaneously think I see him do it, then the thing happens.
Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proved innocent.
For if in careless summer days
In groves of Ashtaroth we whored, Repentant now, when winds blow cold, We kneel before our rightful lord; The lord of all, the money-god, Who rules us blood and hand and brain, Who gives the roof that stops the wind, And, giving, takes away again; Who spies with jealous, watchful care, Our thoughts, our dreams, our secret ways, Who picks our words and cuts our clothes, And maps the pattern of our days; Who chills our anger, curbs our hope, And buys our lives and pays with toys, Who claims as tribute broken faith, Accepted insults, muted joys; Who binds with chains the poet's wit, The navvy's strength, the soldier's pride, And lays the sleek, estranging shield Between the lover and his bride.
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?
We are not content with negative obedience, nor even with the most abject submission. When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will. We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us: so long as he resists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him. We burn all evil and all illusion out of him; we bring him over to our side, not in appearance, but genuinely, heart and soul. We make him one of ourselves before we kill him. It is intolerable to us that an erroneous thought should exist anywhere in the world, however secret and powerless it may be. Even in the instant of death we cannot permit any deviation.
The Party said that Oceania had never been in alliance with Eurasia. He, Winston Smith, knew that Oceania had been in alliance with Eurasia as short a time as four years ago. But where did that knowledge exist? Only in his own consciousness, which in any case must soon be annihilated. And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed -- if all records told the same tale -- 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.' And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. ‘Reality control', they called it: in Newspeak, ‘doublethink'.
Do you remember writing in your diary," he said, "that it did not matter whether I was a friend or an enemy, since I was at least a person who understood you and could be talked to? You were right. I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you happen to be insane.
We of the sinking middle class may sink without further struggles into the working class where we belong, and probably when we get there it will not be so dreadful as we feared, for, after all, we have nothing to lose.
The stuff was like nitric acid, and moreover, in swallowing it one had the sensation of being hit on the back of the head with a rubber club.
All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong, but like it a little stronger with each year that passes -- a fact which is recognized in the extra ration issued to old-age pensioners.
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.
To hang on from day to day and from week to week, spinning out a present that had no future, seemed an unconquerable instinct, just as one's lungs will always draw the next breath so long as there is air available.
Now that I have made this catalogue of swindles and perversions, let me give another example of the kind of writing that they lead to. This time it must of its nature be an imaginary one. I am going to translate a passage of good English into modern English of the worst sort. Here is a well-known verse from Ecclesiastes:
I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. Here it is in modern English: Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.
His answer to every problem, every setback was "I will work harder!" --which he had adopted as his personal motto.
The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible.
In general, the greater the understanding, the greater the delusion; the more intelligent, the less sane.
On each landing, opposite the lift shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran.
In foreign politics many intellectuals follow the principle that any faction backed by Britain must be in the wrong. As a result, ‘enlightened' opinion is quite largely a mirror-image of Conservative policy. Anglophobia is always liable to reversal, hence that fairly common spectacle, the pacifist of one war who is a bellicist in the next.
Then the face of Big Brother faded away again and instead the three slogans of the Party stood out in bold capitals:
WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.
She's beautiful,' he murmured.
'She's a metre across the hips, easily,' said Julia. 'That is her style of beauty,' said Winston.
He realised how easy it was to present an appearance of orthodoxy while having no grasp whatever of what orthodoxy meant. In a way, the world-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.
In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues.
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!
The moralist and the revolutionary are constantly undermining one another. Marx exploded a hundred tons of dynamite beneath the moralist position, and we are still living in the echo of that tremendous crash. But already, somewhere or other, the sappers are at work and fresh dynamite is being tamped in place to blow Marx at the moon. Then Marx, or somebody like him, will come back with yet more dynamite, and so the process continues, to an end we cannot foresee.
A dirty joke is not, of course, a serious attack on morality, but it is a sort of mental rebellion, a momentary wish that things were otherwise.
The dead men had become martyrs and their degradation was forgotten.
England is not the jewelled isle of Shakespeare's much-quoted message, nor is it the inferno depicted by Dr Goebbels. More than either it resembles a family, a rather stuffy Victorian family, with not many black sheep in it but with all its cupboards bursting with skeletons. It has rich relations who have to be kow-towed to and poor relations who are horribly sat upon, and there is a deep conspiracy of silence about the source of the family income. It is a family in which the young are generally thwarted and most of the power is in the hands of irresponsible uncles and bedridden aunts. Still, it is a family. It has its private language and its common memories, and at the approach of an enemy it closes its ranks. A family with the wrong members in control -- that, perhaps is as near as one can come to describing England in a phrase.
At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas of which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is 'not done' to say it... Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the high-brow periodicals.
The Ministry of Truth, which concerned itself with news, entertainment, education, and the fine arts. The Ministry of Peace, which concerned itself with war. The Ministry of Love, which maintained law and order. And the Ministry of Plenty, which was responsible for economic affairs.
The Victorian happy ending -- a vision of a huge loving family of three or four generations, all crammed together in the same house and constantly multiplying, like a bed of oysters.
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.
No one I met at this time -- doctors, nurses, practicantes, or fellow-patients -- failed to assure me that a man who is hit through the neck and survives it is the luckiest creature alive. I could not help thinking that it would be even luckier not to be hit at all.
War is a way of shattering to pieces... materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable and... too intelligent.
Perhaps the aim of Socialism is not to make the world perfect but to make it better.
Envy is a horrible thing. It is unlike all other kinds of suffering in that there is no disguising it, no elevating it into tragedy. It is more than merely painful, it is disgusting.
Empire -- in essence nothing but mechanisms for exploiting coloured labor.
Autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful.
I do not think one can assess a writer's motives without knowing something of his early development. His subject matter will be determined by the age he lives in... but before he ever begins to write he will have acquired an emotional attitude from which he will never completely escape. It is his job, no doubt, to discipline his temperament and avoid getting stuck at some immature stage, in some perverse mood; but if he escapes from his early influences altogether, he will have killed his impulse to write.
In the nineteenth century some parts of the world were unexplored, but there was almost no restriction on travel.:; Up to 1914 you did not need a passport for any country except Russia.:; The European emigrant, if he could scrape together a few pounds for the passage, simply set sail for America or Australia, and when he got there no questions were asked.:; In the eighteenth century it had been quite normal and safe to travel in a country with which your own country was at war.
In a way, the world−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.
The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in.
The aim of a joke is not to degrade the human being, but to remind him that he is already degraded.
All the papers that matter live off their advertisements, and the advertisers exercise an indirect censorship over news.
One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ' Socialism ' and ' Communism ' draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, 'Nature Cure' quack, pacifist, and feminist in England.
The idea that you can somehow remain aloof from and superior to the struggle World War II, while living on food which British sailors have to risk their lives to bring you, is a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security.
It was true that there was no such person as Comrade Oglivy, but a few lines of print and a couple of faked photographs would soon bring him into existence... Comrade Oglivy, who had never existed in the present, now existed in the past, and when once the act of forgery was forgotten, he would exist just as authentically, and upon the same evidence, as Charlemagne or Julius Caesar.
The whole experience of being hit by a bullet is very interesting and I think worth describing in detail.
The thing that strikes me more and more, is the extraordinary viciousness and dishonesty of political controversy in our time. I don't mean merely that controversies are acrimonious. They ought to be that when they are on serious subjects. I mean that almost nobody seems to feel that an opponent deserves a fair hearing or that the objective truth matters as long as you can score a neat debating point.
It was soon noticed that when ever there was work to be done the cat could never be found.
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.
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.
In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.
When the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys.He becomes a sort of hollow,posing dummy,the conventional figure of a sahib.For it is the condition of his rule that he shall spend his life in trying to impress the "natives",and so in every crisis he has got to do what the "natives" expect of him.He wears a mask and his face grows to fit it.
If publishers and editors exert themselves to keep certain topics out of print, it is not because they are frightened of prosecution but because they are frightened of public opinion. In this country intellectual cowardice is the worst enemy a writer or journalist has to face, and that fact does not seem to me to have had the discussion it deserves.
A not-too-distant explosion shakes the house, the windows rattle in their sockets, and in the next room the class of 1964 wakes up and lets out a yell or two. Each time this happens I find myself thinking, "Is it possible that human beings can continue with this lunacy very much longer?" You know the answer, of course.
We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future.
For, when you are approaching poverty, you make one discovery which outweighs some of the others. You discover boredom and mean complications and the beginnings of hunger, but you also discover the great redeeming feature of poverty: the fact that it annihilates the future. Within certain limits, it is actually true that the less money you have, the less you worry.
The result of this is that so-called peace propaganda is just as dishonest and intellectually disgusting as war propaganda. Like war propaganda, it concentrates on putting forward a ‘case', obscuring the opponent's point of view and avoiding awkward questions.
Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.
Circus dogs jump when the trainer cracks his whip, but the really well-trained dog is the one that turns his somersault when there is no whip.
Power-worship blurs political judgment because it leads, almost unavoidably, to the belief that present trends will continue. Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible.
The cost of reading, even if you buy books instead of borrowing them and take in a fairly large number of periodicals, does not amount to more than the combined cost of smoking and drinking.
As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me. They do not feel any enmity against me as an individual, nor I against them. They are only 'doing their duty.'
A fat man is never so happy as when he is describing himself as "robust."
News is something somebody doesn't want printed; all else is advertising.
Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.
The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.
The secret of rulership is to combine a belief in one's own infallibility with a power to learn from past mistakes.
It was not desirable for the proles to have strong political feelings. All that was required of them was a primitive patriotism which could be appealed to whenever it was necessary to make them accept longer working hours or shorter rations. And even when they became discontented, as they sometimes did, their discontent led nowhere, because, being without general ideas, they could only focus it on petty specific grievances.
Everything faded into mist. The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth.
Is the English press honest or dishonest? At normal times it is deeply dishonest. All the papers that matter live off their advertisements, and the advertisers exercise an indirect censorship over news. Yet I do not suppose there is one paper in England that can be straightforwardly bribed with hard cash. In the France of the Third Republic all but a very few of the newspapers could notoriously be bought over the counter like so many pounds of cheese.
Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it. It seems to me nonsense, in a period like our own, to think that one can avoid writing of such subjects. Everyone writes of them in one guise or another. It is simply a question of which side one takes and what approach one follows. And the more one is conscious of one's political bias, the more chance one has of acting politically without sacrificing one's aesthetic and intellectual integrity.
It was only a hopeless fantasy,
it passed like an April day, but a look and a word and the dreams they stirred they have stolen my heart away.
Good prose should be transparent, like a window pane.
For weeks past he had been making ready for this moment, and it had never crossed his mind that anything would be needed except courage. The actual writing would be easy. All he had to do was to transfer to paper the interminable restless monologue that had been running inside his head, literally for years.
Man is the only real enemy we have. Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished forever.
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.
The Penguin books are splendid value for sixpence, so splendid that if other publishers had any sense they would combine against them and suppress them.
Creeds like pacifism or anarchism, which seem on the surface to imply a complete renunciation of power, rather encourage this habit of mind. For if you have embraced a creed which appears to be free from the ordinary dirtiness of politics ... the more you are in the right (and) everybody else should be bullied into thinking otherwise.
The secret of a successful restaurant is sharp knives.
She had had her momentary flowering, a year, perhaps, of wildrose beauty, and then she had suddenly swollen like a fertilized fruit and grown hard and red and coarse, and then her life had been laundering, scrubbing, laundering, first for children, then for grandchildren, over thirty years. At the end of it she was still singing.
It was so important that she should understand something of what his life in this country had been; that she should grasp the nature of the loneliness that he wanted her to nullify. And it was so devilishly difficult to explain. It is devilish to suffer from a pain that is all but nameless. Blessed are they who are stricken only with classifiable diseases! Blessed are the poor, the sick, the crossed in love, for at least other people know what is the matter with them and will listen to their belly-achings with sympathy. But who that has not suffered it understands the pain of exile?
Of course the post-war development of cheap luxuries has been a very fortunate thing for our rulers. It is quite likely that fish-and-chips, art-silk stockings, tinned salmon, cut-price chocolate (five two-ounce bars for sixpence), the movies, the radio, strong tea, and the Football Pools have between them averted revolution. Therefore we are some-times told that the whole thing is an astute manoeuvre by the governing class -- a sort of 'bread and circuses' business -- to hold the unemployed down. What I have seen of our governing class does not convince me that they have that much intelligence. The thing has happened, buy by an un-conscious process -- the quite natural interaction between the manufacturer's need for a market and the need of half-starved people for cheap palliatives.
Did all his trouble, then, simply boil down to that? Just complicated, unmanly whinings; poor-little-rich-girl stuff? Was he no more than a loafer using his idleness to invent imaginary woes? A spiritual Mrs Wititterly? A Hamlet without poetry? Perhaps. And if so, did that make it any more bearable? It is not the less bitter because it is perhaps one's own fault, to see oneself drifting, rotting, in dishonour and horrible futility, and all the while knowing that somewhere within one there is the possibility of a decent human being.
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.
I'm fat, but I'm thin inside... there's a thin man inside every fat man.
Liberal: a power worshipper without power.
The English will never develop into a nation of philosophers. They will always prefer instinct to logic and character to intelligence. But they must get rid of their downright contempt for 'cleverness'. They cannot afford it any longer. They must grow less tolerant of ugliness, and mentally more adventurous. And they must stop despising foreigners. They are Europeans and ought to be aware of it.
Writing a novel is agony.
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.
Preventive war is a crime not easily committed by a country that retains any traces of democracy.
According to Buddhist belief, those who have done evil in their lives will spend the next incarntation in the shape of a rat, a frog or some other low animal.
You believe that reality is something objective, external, existing in its own right. You also believe that the nature of reality is self-evident. When you delude yourself into thinking that you see something, you assume that everyone else sees the same thing as you. But I tell you, Winston, that 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 Paty, which is collective and immortal.
Winston was gelatinous with fatigue.
Winston stopped reading, chiefly in order to appreciate the fact that he was reading, in comfort and safety. He was alone: no telescreen, no ear at the keyhole, no nervous impulse to glance over his shoulder or cover the page with his hand. The sweet summer air played against his cheek. From somewhere far away there floated the faint shouts of children: in the room itself there was no sound except the insect voice of the clock. He settled deeper into the arm-chair and put his feet up on the fender. It was bliss, it was eternity.
She was very young...she still expected something from life, she did not understand that to push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing.
The Puritanical nonsense of excluding children and therefore to some extent women from pubs has turned these places into mere boozing shops instead of the family gathering places that they ought to be.
In the past the need for a hierarchal form of society has been the doctrine specifically of the High. It had been preached by kings and aristocrats and the priests, lawyers and the like who were parasitical upon them, and it had generally been softened by promises of an imaginary world beyond the grave.
Last of all came the cat, who looked round, as usual, for the warmest place, and finally squeezed herself in between Boxer and Clover; there she purred contentedly throughout Major's speech without listening to a word of what he was saying.
A Yorkshireman in the South will always take care to let you know that he regards you as an inferior. If you ask him why, he will explain that it is only in the North that life is 'real' life, that the industrial work done in the North is the only 'real' work, that the North is inhabited by 'real' people, the South merely by rentiers and their parasites. The Northerner has 'grit', he is grim, 'dour', plucky, warm-hearted and democratic; the Southerner is snobbish, effeminate and lazy -- that at any rate is the theory. Hence the Southerner goes north, at any rate for the first time, with the vague inferiority-complex of a civilized man venturing among savages, while the Yorkshireman, like the Scotchman, comes to London in the spirit of a barbarian out for loot.
Yet in the most mean, cowardly, hypocritical way the British ruling class did all they could to hand Spain over to Franco and the Nazis. Why? Because they were pro-Fascist, was the obvious answer.
Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
The greatest enemy of clear language is insincerity.
But it was alright, everything was alright, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.
The heresy of heresies was common sense.
If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.
The urge to shout filthy words at the top of his voice was as strong as ever.
We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future. We shall take part in it as handfuls of dust and splinters of bone. But how far away that future may be, there is no knowing.
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.
If you hate violence and don't believe in politics, the only major remedy remaining is education.
Posterity will never hear of you. You will be lifted clean out from the stream of history. We shall turn you into gas and pour you into the stratosphere. Nothing will remain of you; not a name in a register, not a memory in a living brain. You will be annihilated in the past as well as in the future. You will never have existed.
Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for YOUR sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples. Do you know what would happen if we pigs failed in our duty? Jones would come back! Yes, Jones would come back! Surely, comrades," cried Squealer almost pleadingly.
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.
If you want to know who rules over you, look at who you are not allowed to criticize.
Before the war, and especially before the Boer War, it was summer all the year round.
One wants to live, of course, indeed one only stays alive by virtue of the fear of death, but I think, as I thought then, that it is better to die violently and not too old.
The human beings did not hate Animal Farm any less now that it was prospering; indeed, they hated it more than ever.
The totalitarian states can do great things, but there is one thing they cannot do: they cannot give the factory-worker a rifle and tell him to take it home and keep it in his bedroom. That rifle, hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or laborer's cottage, is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.
War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.
I grew up in an atmosphere tinged with militarism, and afterwards I spent five boring years within the sound of bugles. To this day it gives me a faint feeling of sacrilege not to stand to attention during ‘God save the King'. That is childish, of course, but I would sooner have had that kind of upbringing than be like the left-wing intellectuals who are so ‘enlightened' that they cannot understand the most ordinary emotions.
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'.
The labor of the exploited peoples around the equator is not really necessary to the world's economy. They add nothing to the wealth of the world since whatever they produce is used for purposes of war, and the object of waging a war is always to be in a better position in which to wage another war.
By their labor, the slave populations allow the tempo of continuous warfare to be speeded up, but if they did not exist, the structure of world society and the process by which it maintains itself would not be essentially different. The primary aim of modern warfare, in accordance with the principles of double think, the same simultaneously recognized and not recognized by the directing brains of the Inner Party, is to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living.
Most revolutionaries are potential Tories, because they imagine that everything can be put right by altering the shape of society; once that change is effected, as it sometimes is, they see no need for any other.
All men are enemies. All animals are comrades.
What was happening was only the working-out of a process that had started years ago. The first step had been a secret, involuntary thought, the second had been the opening of the diary. He had moved from thoughts to words, and now from words to actions. The last step was something that would happen in the Ministry of Love. He had accepted it. The end was contained in the beginning.
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.
A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outlines and covering up the details.
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.
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
To survive it is often necessary to fight and to fight you have to dirty yourself.
Freedom of the Press, if it means anything at all, means the freedom to criticize and oppose.
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 controllable--what then?
The command of the old despotisms was "Thou shalt not." The command of the totalitarians was "Thou shalt." Our command is "Thou art."
All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong, but like it a little stronger with each year that passes.
The instrument (the telescreen, it was called) could be dimmed, but there was no way of shutting it off completely.
You will have to get used to living without results and without hope. You will work for a while, you will be caught, you will confess, and then you will die. Those are the only results you will ever see. There is no possibility that any perceptible change will happen within our lifetime. We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future. We shall take part in it as handfuls of dust and splinters of bone. But how far away that future may be, there is no knowing.
Serious sport is war minus the shooting.
What is not hereditary cannot be permanent.
The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?
The war is waged against its own subjects and its object is not the victory...but to keep the very structure of society intact.
What is above all needed is to let the meaning choose the word, and not the other way about . In prose, the worst thing one can do with words is surrender to them. When you think of a concrete object, you think wordlessly, and then, if you want to describe the thing you have been visualising you probably hunt about until you find the exact words that seem to fit it. When you think of something abstract you are more inclined to use words from the start, and unless you make a conscious effort to prevent it, the existing dialect will come rushing in and do the job for you, at the expense of blurring or even changing your meaning.
As for queueing-up, during the past five or ten years it has become what the psychologists call a conditioned reflex. If you put a dozen English people together, they form themselves into a queue almost instinctively.
It is brought home to you...that it is only because miners sweat their guts out that superior persons can remain superior.
We do not merely destroy our enemies; we change them.
Between pigs and human beings there was not and there need not be any clash of interest whatsoever.
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.
Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.
To die hating them, that was freedom.
Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date.
To exchange one orthodoxy for another is not necessarily an advance. The enemy is the gramophone mind, whether or not one agrees with the record that is being played at the moment.
On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.
If there is hope, it lies in the proles.
The paperweight was the room he was in, and the coral was Julia's life and his own, fixed in a sort of eternity at the heart of the crystal.
Like the crocodile, he strikes always at the weakest spot.
For years i had been resolved -- unconsciously at first, but consciously later on -- that when once my scholarship was won i would 'slack off' and cram no longer. This resolve, by the way, was so fully carried out that between the ages of thirteen and twenty-two or three i hardly ever did a stroke of avoidable work.
In our time political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.
To accept civilization as it is practically means accepting decay.
Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.
England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality.
The citizen of Oceania is not allowed to know anything of the tenets of the other two philosophies, but he is taught to execrate them as barbarous outrages upon morality and common sense. Actually, the three philosophies are barely distinguishable.
I'm fat, but I'm thin inside. Has it ever struck you that there's a thin man inside every fat man, just as they say there's a statue inside every block of stone?
Freedom of speech and of the Press are usually attacked by arguments which are not worth bothering about.
How could you communicate with the future? It was impossible. Either the future would resemble the present in which case it would not listen to him, or it would be different from it, and his predicament would be meaningless.
There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them.
Free speech is my right to say what you don't want to hear.
I trust that every animal here appreciates the sacrifice that Comrade Napoleon has made in taking this extra labour upon himself. Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure! On the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility. 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?
Don't you see that the whole aim of newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?
Political writing in our time consists almost entirely of prefabricated phrases bolted together like the pieces of a child's Meccano set. It is the unavoidable result of self-censorship. To write in plain, vigorous language one has to think fearlessly, and if one thinks fearlessly one cannot be politically orthodox.
Glory of war, indeed! In war, all soldiers are lousy, at least when it is warm enough. The men who fought at Verdun, at Waterloo, at Flodden, at Senlac, at Thermopylae -- every one of them had lice crawling over his testicles.
It is fatal to look hungry. It makes people want to kick you.
A dull, decent people, cherishing and fortifying their dullness behind a quarter of a million bayonets.
Never use a long word where a short one will do.
Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No one, at any rate no English writer, has written better about childhood than Dickens. In spite of all the knowledge that has accumulated since, in spite of the fact that children are now comparatively sanely treated, no novelist has shown the same power of entering into the child's point of view.
A 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.
Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.
Within certain limits, it is actually true that the less money you have, the less you worry.
Modern man is rather like a bisected wasp which goes on sucking jam and pretends that the loss of its abdomen does not matter.
What can you do, thought Winston, against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself; who gives your arguments a fair hearing and simply persists in his lunacy?
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.
The very word 'war', therefore, has become misleading. It would probably be accurate to say that by becoming continuous war has ceased to exist. ... War is Peace.
Poverty frees them from ordinary standards of behaviour, just as money frees people from work.
The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.
A dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.
One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution, one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.
Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
Truth becomes untruth if uttered by your enemy.
It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism' is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.
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."
― George Orwell, 1984.
And if our book consumption remains as low as it has been, at least let us admit that it is because reading is a less exciting pastime than going to the dogs, the pictures or the pub, and not because books, whether bought or borrowed, are too expensive.
I am well acquainted with all the arguments against freedom of thought and speech -- the arguments which claim that it cannot exist, and the arguments which claim that it ought not to. I answer simply that they don't convince me and that our civilisation over a period of four hundred years has been founded on the opposite notice.
As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me.
Some hams hanging in the kitchen were taken out for burial.
Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.
The food crank is by definition a person willing to cut himself off from human society in the hopes of adding five years onto the life of his carcase; that is, a person out of touch with common humanity.
Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling. Everything will be dead inside you. Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty and then we shall fill you with ourselves.
A man may take to drink because he feels himself a failure, but then fail all the more completely because he drinks.
If you turn the other cheek, you will get a harder blow on it than you got on the first one. This does not always happen, but it is to be expected, and you ought not to complain if it does happen.
Public opinion, because of the tremendous urge to conformity in gregarious animals, is less tolerant than any system of law.
Prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated hen-house.
England will still be England, an everlasting animal, stretching into the future and the past and like all living things having the power to change out of all recognition and yet remain the same.
One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.
We were once told that the aeroplane had "abolished frontiers"; actually it is only since the aeroplane became a serious weapon that frontiers have become definitely impassable.
But the thought of being a lunatic did not greatly trouble him; the horror was that he might also be wrong.
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 alone-- 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 -- greetings!
Real journalism is publishing something that somebody else does not want published -- the rest is just public relations.
The problem was how to keep the wheels of industry turning without increasing the real wealth of the world. Goods must be produced, but they must not be distributed.
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 .
Though I have no doubt exceptions can be brought forward, I think the following rule would be found generally true: that ages in which the dominant weapon is expensive or difficult to make will tend to 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.
Anything that hinted at corruption always filled him with a wild hope.
But every writer, especially every novelist, has a 'message,' whether he admits it or not, and the minutest details of his work are influenced by it. All art is propaganda.
Each of these passages has faults of its own, but, quite apart from avoidable ugliness, two qualities are common to all of them. The first is staleness of imagery; the other is lack of precision. The writer either has a meaning and cannot express it, or he inadvertently says something else, or he is almost indifferent as to whether his words mean anything or not. This mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence is the most marked characteristic of modern English prose, and especially of any kind of political writing. As soon as certain topics are raised, the concrete melts into the abstract and no one seems able to think of turns of speech that are not hackneyed: prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated hen-house.
As time went on, the Communists and the POUM wrote more bitterly about one another than about the Fascists.
A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering up all the details. 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. 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. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer.
No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.
Surely, comrades, you don't want Jones back?
But the problems of perpetuating a hierarchical society go deeper than this. There are only four ways in which a ruling group can fall from power. Either it is conquered from without, or it governs so inefficiently that the masses are stirred to revolt, or it allows a strong and discontented Middle group to come into being, or it loses its own self-confidence and willingness to govern.
We sleep peaceably in our beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf.
For a creative writer possession of the truth is less important than emotional sincerity.
The only good human being is a dead one.
In so far as it takes effect at all, pacifist propaganda can only be effective against those countries where a certain amount of freedom of speech is still permitted; in other words it is helpful to totalitarianism.
If you look for the working classes in fiction, and especially English fiction, all you find is a hole.
Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.
When I talk to anyone or read the writings of anyone who has any axe to grind, I feel that intellectual honesty and balanced judgement have simply disappeared from the face of the earth. Everyone's thought is forensic, everyone is simply putting a "case" with deliberate suppression of his opponent's point of view, and, what is more, with complete insensitiveness to any sufferings except those of himself and his friends.
Progress is not an illusion, it happens, but it is slow and invariably disappointing.
Political chaos is connected with the decay of language... one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end.
In this place you could not feel anything, except pain and the foreknowledge of pain.
I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you happen to be insane.
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.
Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie... a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.
Many people genuinely do not wish to be saints, and it is possible that some who achieve or aspire to sainthood have never had much temptation to be human beings.
Down here it was still the England I had known in my childhood: the railway cuttings smothered in wildflowers... the red buses, the blue policemen -- all sleeping the deep, deep sleep of England, from which I sometimes fear that we shall never wake till we are jerked out of it by the roar of bombs.
But the world itself is only a speck of dust. And man is tiny -- helpless! How long has he been in existence? For millions of years the earth was uninhabited.'
'Nonsense. The earth is as old as we are, no older. How could it be older? Nothing exists except through human consciousness.' 'But the rocks are full of the bones of extinct animals -- mammoths and mastodons and enormous reptiles which lived here long before man was ever heard of.' 'Have you ever seen those bones, Winston? Of course not. Nineteenth-century biologists invented them. Before man there was nothing. After man, if he could come to an end, there would be nothing. Outside man there is nothing.
Until one has some kind of professional relationship with books one does not discover how bad the majority of them are. In much more than nine cases out of ten the only objectively truthful criticism would be "This book is worthless," while the truth about the reviewer's own reaction would probably be "This book does not interest me in any way, and I would not write about it unless I were paid to.
Dickens seems to have succeeded in attacking everybody and antagonizing nobody.
A thing which I regret, and which I will try to remedy some time, is that I have never in my life planted a walnut. Nobody does plant them nowadays-when you see a walnut it is almost invariably an old tree. If you plant a walnut you are planting it for your grandchildren, and who cares a damn for his grandchildren?
The great enemy of clear language is insincerity.
Gambling, beer and football filled the horizons of their minds.
He examined the chess problem and set out the pieces. It was a tricky ending, involving a couple of knights. 'White to play and mate in two moves.' Winston looked up at the portrait of Big Brother. White always mates, he thought with a sort of cloudy mysticism. Always, without exception, it is so arranged. In no chess problem since the beginning of the world has black ever won. Did it not symbolize the eternal, unvarying triumph of Good over Evil? The huge face gazed back at him, full of calm power. White always mates.
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?
Vice is punished, but virtue is not rewarded.
A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one's will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp.
Reality is inside the skull.
Manchester is the belly and guts of the nation.
Our windmill was ruined. Our spirits were at their lowest. But, Napoleon seemed... triumphant.
Not to expose your true feelings to an adult seems to be instinctive from the age of seven or eight onwards.
I saw a little boy, perhaps ten years old, driving a huge cart-horse along a narrow path, whipping it whenever it tried to turn. It struck me that if only such animals became aware of their strength we should have no power over them, and that men exploit animals in much the same way as the rich exploit the proletariat.
No one can look back on his schooldays and say with truth that they were altogether unhappy.
Perhaps the Party was rotten under the surface, its cult of strenuousness and self-denial simply a sham concealing iniquity.
I did try very hard to tell the whole truth without violating my literary instincts.
I have the most evil memories of Spain, but I have very few bad memories of Spaniards.
The choice before human beings, is not, as a rule , between good and evil but between two evils. You can let the Nazis rule the world : that is evil; or you can overthrow them by war , which is also evil. There is no other choice before you, and whichever you choose you will not come out with clean hands.
He examined the chess problem and set out the pieces. It was a tricky ending, involving a couple of knights.
'White to play and mate in two moves.' Winston looked up at the portrait of Big Brother. White always mates, he thought with a sort of cloudy mysticism. Always, without exception, it is so arranged. In no chess problem since the beginning of the world has black ever won. Did it not symbolize the eternal, unvarying triumph of Good over Evil? The huge face gazed back at him, full of calm power. White always mates.
Ultimately it is the Christian attitude which is self-interested and hedonistic, since the aim is always to get away from the painful struggle of earthly life and find eternal peace in some kind of Heaven or Nirvana. The humanist attitude is that the struggle must continue and that death is the price of life.
The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking -- not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.
We are the dead,' he said.
'We are the dead,' echoed Julia dutifully. 'You are the dead,' said an iron voice behind them.
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
Big Brother is watching you.
Patriotism has nothing to do with Conservatism. It is actually the opposite of Conservatism, since it is a devotion to something that is always changing and yet is felt to be mystically the same.
Man's greatest drive is not love or hate but to change another person's writing.
She knew when to cheer and when to boo, and that was all one needed.
Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ever seen a dead donkey.
I knew that I had a facility with words and a power of facing unpleasant facts, and I felt that this created a sort of private world in which I could get my own back for my failure in everyday 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.
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 pleasure in solid objects and scraps of useless information. It is no use trying to suppress that side of myself. The job is to reconcile my ingrained likes and dislikes with the essentially public, non-individual activities that this age forces on all of us.
Najbolji način da se unište ljudi je da se im se uskrati razumijevanje vlastite povijesti.
Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words, it is war minus the shooting.
(in "The Sporting Spirit," Tribune, GB, London, December 1945).
The Ministry of Truth, which concerned itself with news, entertainment, education and fine arts.
The Ministry of Peace, which concerned itself with war.
The Ministry of Love, which maintained law and order.
And the Ministry of Plenty, which is responsible for economic affairs.
their names, in Newspeak:
Minitrue, Minipax, Miniluv and Miniplenty.
Beauty is meaningless until it is shared.
One feels of him that there was much he did not understand, but not that there was anything that he was frightened of saying or thinking.
Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible.
All people who have reached the point of becoming nations tend to despise foreigners, but there is not much doubt that the English-speaking races are the worst offenders. One can see this from the fact that as soon as they become fully aware of any foreign race they invent an insulting nickname for it.
The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.
It is bound to be a failure, every book is a failure, but I do know with some clarity what kind of book I want to write.
The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.
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.
Bản chất của chiến tranh là tiêu diệt, không nhất thiết phải là con người, mà là sản phẩm do con người tạo ra.
You want a picture of the future? Imagine a boot trampling a human face.. forever. The moral to be drawn from this nightmarish situation is simple: Don't let it happen. It depends on you.
Good writing is like a windowpane.
To walk through the ruined cities of Germany is to feel an actual doubt about the continuity of civilization.
A liberal is a power worshipper without the power.
If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.
It reminded us that propaganda in some form or other lurks in every book, that every work of art has a meaning and a purpose -- a political, social and religious purpose -- that our aesthetic judgements are always coloured by our prejudices and beliefs.
Lack of money means discomfort, means squalid worries, means shortage of tobacco, means ever-present consciousness of failure-above all, it means loneliness.
While the game of deadlocks and bottle-necks goes on, another more serious game is also being played. It is governed by two axioms. One is that there can be no peace without a general surrender of sovereignty: the other is that no country capable of defending its sovereignty ever surrenders it. If one keeps these axioms in mind one can generally see the relevant facts in international affairs through the smoke-screen with which the newspapers surround them.
During five literary generations every enlightened person had despised him, and at the end of that time nine-tenths of those enlightened persons are forgotten and Kipling is in some sense still there.
The woman at the desk was a university graduate, young, colourless, spectacled, and intensely disagreeable. She had a fixed suspicion that no one -- at least, no male person -- ever consulted works of reference except in search of pornography. As soon as you approached she pierced you through and through with a flash of her pince-nez and let you know that your dirty secret was no secret from HER. After all, all works of reference are pornographical, except perhaps Whitaker's Almanack. You can put even the Oxford Dictionary to evil purposes by looking up words like ---- and ----.
It is not certain whether the effects of totalitarianism upon verse need be so deadly as its effects on prose. There is a whole series of converging reasons why it is somewhat easier for a poet than a prose writer to feel at home in an authoritarian society....what the poet is saying- that is, what his poem "means" if translated into prose- is relatively unimportant, even to himself. The thought contained in a poem is always simple, and is no more the primary purpose of the poem than the anecdote is the primary purpose of the picture. A poem is an arrangement of sounds and associations, as a painting is an arrangement of brushmarks. For short snatches, indeed, as in the refrain of a song, poetry can even dispense with meaning altogether.
Power is not a means; it is an end.
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.
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.
The alteration of the past is necessary for two reasons,
one of which is subsidiary and, so to speak, precaution- ary. The subsidiary reason is that the Party member, like the proletarian, tolerates present-day conditions partly be- cause he has no standards of comparison. He must be cut off from the past, just as he must be cut off from foreign countries, because it is necessary for him to believe that he is better off than his ancestors and that the average lev- el of material comfort is constantly rising. But by far the more important reason for the readjustment of the past is the need to safeguard the infallibility of the Party.
The plant is blind but it knows enough to keep pushing upwards towards the light, and it will continue to do this in the face of endless discouragements.
The mechanisation of the world could never proceed very far while taste, even the taste-buds of the tongue, remained uncorrupted, because in that case most of the products of the machine would be simply unwanted. In a healthy world there would be no demand for tinned food, aspirins, gramophones, gas-pipe chairs, machine guns, daily newspapers, telephones, motor-cars, etc. etc.; and on the other hand there would be a constant demand for the things the machine cannot produce. But meanwhile the machine is here, and its corrupting effects are almost irresistible. One inveighs against it, but one goes on using it. Even a bare-arse savage, given the change, will learn the vices of civilisation within a few months. Mechanisation leads to the decay of taste, the decay of taste leads to demand for machine-made articles and hence to more mechanisation, and so a vicious circle is established.
All the brass instruments and big drums in the world cannot turn ‘God Save the King' into a good tune, but on the very rare occasions when it is sung in full it does spring to life in the two lines:
Confound their politics, Frustrate their knavish tricks! And, in fact, I had always imagined that the second verse is habitually left out because of a vague suspicion on the part of the Tories that these lines refer to themselves.
The essence of oligarchical rule is not father-to-son inheritance, but the persistence of a certain world-view and a certain way of life ... A ruling group is a ruling group so long as it can nominate its successors ... Who wields power is not important, provided that the hierarchical structure remains always the same.
A fat man is never so happy as when he is describing himself as "robust.
Freedom of the Press,
if it means anything at all, means the freedom to criticize and oppose.
In the better light of the living room he noticed with interest that there actually was dust in the creases of her face.
The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon.
Formar parte de la minoría, aunque fuese una minoría de uno solo, no te convertía en loco. Había la verdad y la mentira, y aferrarse a la verdad, aunque fuese en contra del mundo entero, no era sinónimo de estar loco.
Four legs good, two legs bad.
To accept an unorthodoxy is always to inherit unresolved contradictions.
- 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.
However much you deny the truth, the truth goes on existing, as it were, behind your back.
There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always-- do not forget this, Winston-- 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 face-- forever.
Society has always to demand a little more from human beings than it will get in practice.
This business of petty inconvenience and indignity, of being kept waiting about, of having to do everything at other people's convenience, is inherent in working-class life. A thousand influences constantly press a working man down into a passive role. He does not act, he is acted upon. He feels himself the slave of mysterious authority and has a firm conviction that ‘they' will never allow him to do this, that, and the other. Once when I was hop-picking I asked the sweated pickers (they earn something under sixpence an hour) why they did not form a union. I was told immediately that ‘they' would never allow it. Who were ‘they'? I asked. Nobody seemed to know, but evidently ‘they' were omnipotent.
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.
We have become too civilized to grasp the obvious. For the truth is very simple. To survive you often have to fight, and to fight you have to dirty yourself. War is evil, and it is often the lesser evil. Those who take the sword perish by the sword, and those who don't take the sword perish by smelly diseases.
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.
If you have no money, men won't care for you, women won't love you; won't, that is, care for you or love you the last little bit that matters.
What can the England of 1940 have in common with the England of 1840? But then, what have you in common with the child of five whose photograph your mother keeps on the mantelpiece? Nothing, except that you happen to be the same person.
It had never occurred to him that the body of a woman of fifty, blown up to monstrous dimensions by childbearing, then hardened, roughened by work til it was coarse in the grain like an overripe turnip, could be beautiful. But is was so, and after all, he thought, why not?
Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism, as I understand it.
Patriotism is usually stronger than class hatred, and always stronger than internationalism.
The most stirring battle-poem in English is about a brigade of cavalry which charged in the wrong direction.
The class-struggle is the main source of progress, and therefore the nobleman who robs the peasant and goads him to revolt is playing a necessary part, just as much as the Jacobin who guillotines the nobleman.
The way to make a million dollars is to start a religion.
Sheer egoism... Writers share this characteristic with scientists, artists, politicians, lawyers, soldiers, successful businessmen -- in short, with the whole top crust of humanity.
All that was required of them (i.e. the brain-washed masses) was a primitive patriotism which could be appealed to whenever it was necessary to make them accept longer working hours or shorter rations. And even when they became discontented, as they sometimes did, their discontent led nowhere, because, being without general ideas, they could only focus it on petty specific grievances. The larger evils invariably escaped their notice.
Myths which are believed in tend to become true.
When you make love you're using up energy; and afterwards you feel happy and don't give a damn for anything. They can't bear you to feel like that. They want you to be bursting with energy all the time. All this marching up and down and cheering and waving flags is simply sex gone sour. If you're happy inside yourself, why should you get excited about Big Brother and the Three-Year Plans and the Two Minutes Hate and all the rest of their bloody rot?
The further a society drifts from the truth the more it will hate those who speak it.
The stuff that was coming out of his mouth consisted of words, but it was not speech in the true sense: it was a noise uttered in unconsciousness, like the quacking of a duck.
The English are not happy unless they are miserable, the Irish are not at peace unless they are at war, and the Scots are not at home unless they are abroad.
The inflated style is itself a kind of euphemism. A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outlines and covering up all the details. The great enemy of clear language is insincerity.
Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And that process is continuing day be day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except the endless present in which the party is always right.
Right thinking will be rewarded, wrong thinking punished.
If large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.
With its grace and carelessness, it seemed to annihilate a whole culture, a whole system of thought, as though all could be swept into a nothingness by a single splendid movement of the arm.
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.
Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble.
If there is any hope, it lies in the proles.
Human beings were behaving as human beings and not as cogs in the capitalist machine.
Has it ever occurred to you,' he said, 'that the whole history of English poetry has been de-termined by the fact that the English language lacks rhymes?
The enemies of intellectual liberty always try to present their case as a plea for discipline versus individualism. The issue truth-versus-untruth is as far as possible kept in the background.
The four great motives for writing prose are sheer egoism, esthetic enthusiasm, historical impulse, and political purpose.
Real power is achieved when the ruling class controls the material essentials of life, granting and withholding them from the masses as if they were privileges.
And the bigger the fall, the bigger the joke. It would be better fun to throw a custard pie at a bishop than at a curate.
I have managed to make the Capitalist class pay me several pounds a week for writing books against Capitalism.
If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself. You must know all the while that it is there, but until it is needed you must never let it emerge into your consciousness in any shape that can be given a name.
The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.
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, "Under 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, "thanks to the leadership of Comrade Napoleon, how excellent this water tastes!."
Nearly all creators of Utopia have resembled the man who has toothache, and therefore thinks happiness consists in not having toothache. They wanted to produce a perfect society by an endless continuation of something that had only been valuable because it was temporary. The wider course would be to say that there are certain lines along which humanity must move, the grand strategy is mapped out, but detailed prophecy is not our business. Whoever tries to imagine perfection simply reveals his own emptiness.
One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes a revolution in order to establish a dictatorship.
But of course it was an American paper. The Americans always go one better on any kinds of beastliness, whether it is ice-cream soda, racketeering, or theosophy.
Don't you enjoy being alive? Don't you like feeling: This is me, this is my hand, this is my leg, I'm real, I'm solid, I'm alive! Don't you like this?
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.
The capitalists owned everything in the world, and everyone else was their slave. They owned all the land, all the houses, all the factories, and all the money. If anyone disobeyed them they could throw him into prison, or they could take his job away and starve him to death. When any ordinary person spoke to a capitalist he had to cringe and bow to him, and take off his cap and address him as 'Sir'
Now, comrades, what is the nature of this life of ours? Let us face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short.
Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? Has it ever occurred 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?
So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot.
There were times when the fact of impending death seemed as palpable as the bed they lay on, and they would cling together with a sort of despairing sensuality, like a damned soul grasping at his last morsel of pleasure when the clock is within five minutes of striking. But there were also times when they had the illusion not only of safety but of permanence.
What is peculiar to our own age is the abandonment of the idea that history could be told truthfully.
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.
Ages in which the dominant weapon is expensive or difficult to make will tend to be ages of despotism, whereas when the dominant weapon is cheap and simple, the common people have a chance 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.
His eye fell upon the aspidistra. Two years he had inhabited this vile room; two mortal years in which nothing had been accomplished.
Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.
At any given moment, there is a sort of all pervading orthodoxy, a general tacit agreement not to discuss large and uncomfortable facts.
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.
In my opinion nothing has contributed more to the corruption of the original idea of socialism as the belief that Russia is a socialist country.
The existence of good bad literature--the fact that one can be amused or excited or even moved by a book that one's intellect simply refuses to take seriously--is a reminder that art is not the same thing as cerebration.
We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now.
If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened--that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death.
They can't get inside you,' she had said. But they could get inside you.
The men who were well enough to stand had moved across the carriage to cheer the Italians as they went past. A crutch waved out of the window; bandaged forearms made the Red Salute. It was like an allegorical picture of war; the trainload of fresh men gliding proudly up the line, the maimed men sliding slowly down, and all the while the guns on the open trucks making one's heart leap as guns always do, and reviving that pernicious feeling, so difficult to get rid of, that war *is* glorious after all.
He Gandhi was not one of those saints who are marked out by their phenomenal piety from childhood onwards, nor one of the other kind who forsake the world after sensational debaucheries.
It struck him that the truly characteristic thing about modern life was not its cruelty and insecurity, but simply its bareness, its dinginess, its listlessness. Life, if you looked about you, bore no resemblance not only to the lies that streamed out of the telescreens, but even to the ideals that the party was trying to achieve.
It is quite true that it is wasteful, messy and the cause of avoidable work: all the same things could be said with equal truth of a baby.
In my opinion, nothing has contributed so much to the corruption of the original idea of socialism as the belief that Russia is a socialist country and that every act of its rulers must be excused, if not imitated. And so for the last ten years, I have been convinced that the destruction of the Soviet myth was essential if we wanted a revival of the socialist movement.
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 .
It is difficult to see how Gandhi's methods could be applied in a country where opponents of the regime disappear in the middle of the night and are never heard of again. Without a free press and the right of assembly, it is impossible not merely to appeal to outside opinion, but to bring a mass movement into being, or even to make your intentions known to your adversary. Is there a Gandhi in Russia at this moment? And if there is, what is he accomplishing?
Happiness can exist only in acceptance.
She had become a physical necessity, something that he not only wanted but felt he had the right to.
It is the same in all wars; the soldiers do the fighting, the journalists do the shouting, and no true patriot ever gets near a front-line trench, except on the briefest of propaganda tours.
How can you improve human nature until you have changed the system? The other, what is the use of changing the system before you have improved human nature? They appeal to different individuals, and they probably show a tendency to alternate in point of time. The Moralist and the Revolutionary are constantly undermining one another. Marx exploded a hundred tons of dynamite under the Moralist position, and we are still living in the echo of that tremendous crash. But already, somewhere or other, the sappers are are work and fresh dynamite is being tamped un place to blow Marx to the moon.
The main motive for nonattachment is a desire to escape from the pain of living, and above all from love, which, sexual or non-sexual, is hard work.
A man receiving charity always hates his benefactor- it is a fixed characteristic of human nature.
I am a degenerate modern semi-intellectual who would die if I did not get my early morning cup of tea and my New Statesman every Friday. Clearly I do not, in a sense, 'want' to return to a simpler, harder, probably agricultural way of life. In the same sense I don't 'want' to cut down on my drinking, to pay my debts, to take enough exercise, to be faithful to my wife, etc. etc. But in another and more permanent sense I do want these things, and perhaps in the same sense I want a civilization in which 'progress' is not definable as making the world safe for little fat men.
It is a mysterious thing, the loss of faith--as mysterious as faith itself.
Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.
But what is work and what is not work? Is it work to dig, to carpenter, to plant trees, to fell trees, to ride, to fish, to hunt, to feed chickens, to play the piano, to take photographs, to build a house, to cook, to sew, to trim hats, to mend motor bicycles? All of these things are work to somebody, and all of them are play to somebody. There are in fact very few activities which cannot be classed either as work or play according as you choose to regard them.
We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.
Orthodoxy is the ability to say two and two make five when faith requires it.
Society has always seemed to demand a little more from human beings than it will get in practice.
The relative freedom which we enjoy depends of public opinion. The law is no protection. Governments make laws, but whether they are carried out, and how the police behave, depends on the general temper in the country. If large numbers of people are interested in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it; if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.
A Socialist United States of Europe seems to me the only worth-while political objective today.
Then he suddenly lifted his leg, urinated over the plans, and walked out without uttering a word.
Progress and reaction have both turned out to be swindles. Seemingly, there is nothing left but quietism -- robbing reality of its terrors by simply submitting to it.
There is always one escape: into wickedness.
The high-water mark, so to speak, of Socialist literature is W.H. Auden, a sort of gutless Kipling.
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.
Salvador Dalí's aberrations are partly explicable. Perhaps they are a way of assuring himself that he is not commonplace. The two qualities that Dali unquestionably possesses are a gift for drawing and an atrocious egoism. ‘At seven', he says in the first paragraph of his book, ‘I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since.' This is worded in a deliberately startling way, but no doubt it is substantially true. Such feelings are common enough. ‘I knew I was a genius', somebody once said to me, ‘long before I knew what I was going to be a genius about.
There are occasions when it pays better to fight and be beaten than not to fight at all.
It is quite possible that in only seventy years our population will amount to about eleven millions, over half of whom will be old age pensioners.
The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.
It was not desirable for the paroles to have strong political feelings. All that was required of them was a primitive patriotism which could be appealed to whenever it was necessary to make them accept longer working hours or shorter rations. And even when they became discontented, as they sometimes did, their discontent led nowhere, because, being without general ideas, they could only focus it on petty specific grievances.
War is war. The only good human being is a dead one.
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.
The only thing for which we can combine is the underlying ideal of Socialism; justice and liberty. But it is hardly strong enough to call this ideal underlying. It is almost completely forgotten. It has been buried beneath layer after layer of doctnaire priggishness, party squabbles and half-backed progressivism until it is like a diamond hidden under a monition of dung. The job of the Socialist is to get it out again. Justice and liberty! Those are the words that have got to ring like a bugle across the world.
The atmosphere of orthodoxy is always damaging to prose, and above all it is completely ruinous to the novel, the most anarchical of all forms of literature.
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.
Imperialism as he Kipling sees it is a sort of forcible evangelising.
If I had understood the situation a bit better I should probably have joined the Anarchists.
Many people genuinely do not wish to be saints, and it is probable that some who achieve or aspire to sainthood have never felt much temptation to be human beings. If one could follow it to its psychological roots, one would, I believe, find that the main motive for "non-attachment" is a desire to escape from the pain of living, and above all from love, which, sexual or non-sexual, is hard work.