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George Orwell Quotes on Truth, Power and Government

Our latest collection of George Orwell quotes that will inspire you to stand for what you believe is right.

George Orwell was a British journalist and author who is best known for his novels Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair in eastern India, on 25 June 1903. The son of a British colonial civil servant, he was educated in England and worked as a British Imperial Policeman in Burma before dedicating himself to becoming a writer.

George Orwell was a man of strong opinions who dedicated his energy to writing novels that were politically charged, first with Animal Farm in 1945, then with 1984 in 1949.

Both books have enjoyed enormous popularity over the years and have been turned into films.

Animal Farm, a bitter satire of the Soviet experiment, was Orwell’s first masterpiece. It brought him great acclaim and made him financially comfortable for the first time in his life.

1984 addressed the dangers of a totalitarian society and is regarded as one of the greatest classics of all time.

70 years after it was first published, it remains an important novel, mainly because of its deep analysis of the psychology of power and the ways that manipulations of language and history can be used as tools of control.

Orwell died in London on January 21, 1950. He will always be remembered for his remarkable journalism and essays that seem to be written for modern times years ago.

In his honor, below is our collection of inspirational, wise, and thought-provoking George Orwell quotes, collected from a variety of sources over the years.

Also, check out our list of The Lord of the Flies quotes on why humans need structure and rules.

George Orwell quotes on truth, power and government

1. “If you can feel that staying human is worthwhile, even when it can’t have any result whatever, you’ve beaten them.” ― George Orwell

2. “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” ― George Orwell

3. “The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better.” ― George Orwell

4. “Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” ― George Orwell

George Orwell quotes on truth, power and government

5. “Apparently nothing will ever teach these people that the other 99 percent of the population exist.” ― George Orwell

6. “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” ― George Orwell

7. “I hate purity, I hate goodness! I don’t want virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone to be corrupt to the bones.” ― George Orwell

8. “Within certain limits, it is actually true that the less money you have, the less you worry.” ― George Orwell

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9. “Nothing exists except through human consciousness.” ― George Orwell

10. “It is a horrible thing to have to enter into the details of inter-party polemics; it is like diving into a cesspool.” ― George Orwell
If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of Animal Farm quotes that will teach you the power of too much power.

George Orwell quotes that will inspire you to stand for truth

11. “If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.” ― George Orwell

12. “Perhaps the Party was rotten under the surface, its cult of strenuousness and self-denial simply a sham concealing iniquity.” ― George Orwell

13. “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.” ― George Orwell

14. “She had become a physical necessity, something that he not only wanted but felt he had the right to,” ― George Orwell

15. “The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect.” ― George Orwell

George Orwell quotes that will inspire you to stand for truth

16. “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.” ― George Orwell

17. “In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues….” ― George Orwell

18. “Perhaps a man really dies when his brain stops, when he loses the power to take in a new idea.” ― George Orwell

19. “Progress is not an illusion; it happens, but it is slow and invariably disappointing.” ― George Orwell

20. “Of pain you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain. In the face of pain there are no heroes.” ― George Orwell

George Orwell quotes that will change your mind

21. “We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.” ― George Orwell

22. “All the papers that matter live off their advertisements, and the advertisers exercise an indirect censorship over news.” ― George Orwell

23. “Confession is not betrayal. What you say or do doesn’t matter; only feelings matter. If they could make me stop loving you-that would be the real betrayal.” ― George Orwell

24. “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.” ― George Orwell

George Orwell quotes that will change your mind

25. “If there really is such a thing as turning in one’s grave, Shakespeare must get a lot of exercise.” ― George Orwell

26. “There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.” ― George Orwell (view more truth quotes)

27. “You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with ourselves.” ― George Orwell

28. “The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it. ” ― George Orwell

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29. “Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.” ― George Orwell

30. “The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.” ― George Orwell
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to check out our collection of political quotes that show all perspectives.

George Orwell quotes to inspire and teach

31. “The stars are a free show; it don’t cost anything to use your eyes” ― George Orwell

32. “It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage.” ― George Orwell

33. “If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.” ― George Orwell

34. “A generation of the unteachable is hanging upon us like a necklace of corpses.” ― George Orwell

35. “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.” ― George Orwell

36. “There are occasions when it pays better to fight and be beaten than not to fight at all.” ― George Orwell

George Orwell quotes to inspire and teach

37. “Sanity was statistical. It was merely a question of learning to think as they thought.” ― George Orwell

38. “No advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer.” ― George Orwell

39. “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” ― George Orwell

40. “The distinguishing mark of man is the hand, the instrument with which he does all his mischief.” ― George Orwell

George Orwell quotes to elevate your thinking

41. “Everyone believes in the atrocities of the enemy and disbelieves in those of his own side, without ever bothering to examine the evidence.” ― George Orwell

42. “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” ― George Orwell

43. “It was an act of self-hypnosis, a deliberate drowning of consciousness by means of rhythmic noise.” ― George Orwell

44. “Man is the only creature that consumes without producing.” ― George Orwell

inspirational George Orwell quotes

45. “In philosophy, or religion, or ethics, or politics, two and two might make five, but when one was designing a gun or an aeroplane they had to make four.” ― George Orwell

46. “Within any important issue, there are always aspects no one wishes to discuss.” ― George Orwell

47. “Poverty frees them from ordinary standards of behaviour, just as money frees people from work.” ― George Orwell

48. “So long as human beings stay human, death and life are the same thing.” ― George Orwell

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49. “Good prose should be transparent, like a window pane.” ― George Orwell

50. “Liberal: a power worshipper without power.” ― George Orwell

Powerful George Orwell quotes

51. “Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”― George Orwell

52. “Sanity is not statistical.”― George Orwell

53. “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”― George Orwell

54. “At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.”― George Orwell

55. “Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.”― George Orwell

56. “There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.”― George Orwell

57. “I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you happen to be insane.”― George Orwell

58. “If you kept the small rules, you could break the big ones.”― George Orwell

59. “Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull.”― George Orwell

60. “Can you not understand that liberty is worth more than just ribbons?”
George Orwell

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More George Orwell quotes

61. “The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.” – George Orwell

62. “We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future.” – George Orwell

63. “The consequences of every act are included in the act itself.” – George Orwell

64. “He was a lonely ghost uttering a truth that nobody would ever hear.” – George Orwell

65. “Power is not a means; it is an end.” – George Orwell

66. “The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon.” – George Orwell

67. “Happiness can exist only in acceptance.” – George Orwell

68. “It is a corrupting thing to live one’s real-life in secret. One should live with the stream of life, not against it.” – George Orwell

69. “There’s time for everything except the things worth doing.” – George Orwell

70. “The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.” – George Orwell

Which of these George Orwell quotes was your favorite?

George Orwell will always be remembered for his politically charged books. His works remain influential in popular culture and in political culture.

Orwell addressed some of the major political movements of his time and remains one of the greatest British writers. We hope his words have inspired you to stand for truth.

Did you enjoy these George Orwell quotes? Which of the quotes was your favorite? Let us know in the comment section below. Also, don’t forget to share with your friends and followers.

Norbert Juma, Lead Editor
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    June 2, 2021 at 8:13 AM

    there are many things he said that are NOT attributed to him, so i would say let it be. after all, consider the fact the US government tells me Lee Oswald shot JFK. he that controls the past controls the future

  2. Joe Miller

    June 24, 2020 at 8:58 PM

    42. “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” ― George Orwell — If you have a source for this please provide it. Unfortunately, it appears to be falsely attributed to Orwell even though thousands of sources, some as reputable as yours, do link him to the statement and it does sound like something he would say. See

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