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George Orwell
1903 - 1950

Author of Animal Farm (1946), 1984 (1948), and other works. Orwell was a socialist, but suspicious of extreme political view-points. His most successful novels were warnings about totalitarian regimes and dictatorships, paradoxically the inevitable results of the socialism he favoured.

Books by George Orwell
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1984 (1992)
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Animal Farm (1946)
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Complete Novels of George Orwell (1990)
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People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

Men can only be highly civilized while other men, inevitably less civilised, are there to guard and feed them.

1942 - from an essay on Rudyard Kipling
While the Pobble was in the water some unidentified creatures came and ate his toes off, and when he got home his aunt remarked: It's a fact the whole world knows, That Pobbles are happier without their toes, which is funny because it has a meaning, and one might even say a political significance. For the whole theory of authoritarian government is summed up in the statement that Pobbles are happier without their toes.

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

Four legs good, two legs bad.

1946 - from Animal Farm
The patriotism of the middle class is a thing to be made use of.

Mar.1941 - from a letter to Partisan Review
I sometimes think that the price of liberty is not so much eternal vigilance as eternal dirt.

Almost certainly we are moving into an age of totalitarian dictatorships. An age in which freedom of thought will be at first a deadly sin and later on a meaningless abstraction. The autonomous individual is going to be stamped out of existence.

Fascism after all is only a development of capitalism.

Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.

1948 - from 1984
Society has always seemed to demand a little more from human beings than it will get in practice.

from A Collection of Essays
Myths which are believed in tend to become true.

The weakness of all left-wing parties is their inability to tell the truth about the immediate future.

Political language - and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists - is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give the appearance of solidity to pure wind.

Circus dogs jump when the trainer cracks the whip, but the really well-trained dog is the one that turns somersaults when there is no whip.

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.

All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.

1960 - from Animal Farm
Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.

As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents.

I sometimes think that the price of liberty is not so much eternal vigilance as eternal dirt.

1937 - from The Road to Wigan Pier
Every intelligent boy of sixteen is a Socialist. At that age one does not see the hook sticking out of the rather stodgy bait.

1936 - from Keep the Aspidistra Flying
A humanitarian is always a hypocrite.

Freedom is the right to tell people what they don't want to hear.

1937 - from The Road to Wigan Pier