George Orwell

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George Orwell - (25. juni 1903 – 21. januar 1950)

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George Orwell var engelsk forfatter og journalist. Orwell var politisk og kulturel kommentator samt romanforfatter og nok den mest beundrede engelsksprogede essayist i det 20. århundrede. Han er bedst kendt for to romaner, Kammerat Napoleon (originaltitel Animal Farm) og 1984 (originaltitel Nineteen Eighty-Four).

Indholdsfortegnelse


Citater

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four. If that is granted, all else follows. (Nineteen Eighty-Four)


A totalitarian state is in effect a theocracy, and its ruling caste, in order to keep its position, has to be thought of as infallible. But since, in practice, no one is infallible, it is frequently necessary to rearrange past events in order to show that this or that mistake was not made, or that this or that imaginary triumph actually happened. Then, again, every major change in policy demands a corresponding change of doctrine and a revaluation of prominent historical figures. (The Prevention of Literature)


Consider for instance some comfortable English professor defending Russian totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, ‘I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so’. Probably, therefore, he will say something like this: While freely conceding that the Soviet régime exhibits certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigours which the Russian people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement. (Politics and the English Language)


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 an appearance of solidity to pure wind. (Politics and the English Language)


When human beings are governed by ‘thou shalt not’, the individual can practice a certain amount of eccentricity; when they are supposedly governed by ‘love’ or ‘reason’, he is under continuous pressure to make him behave and think in exactly the same way as everyone else. (Politics vs Literature)


The really frightening thing about totalitarianism is not that it commits ‘atrocities’ but that it attacks the concept of objective truth: it claims to control the past as well as the future. (As I Please, 4. februar 1944)


It is not easy to find a direct economic explanation of the behaviour of the people who now rule the world. The desire for pure power seems to be much more dominant than the desire for wealth. (As I Please, 29. november 1946)


We have got to admit that if Fascism is everywhere advancing, this is largely the fault of the Socialists themselves. Partly it is due to the mistaken communist tactic of sabotaging democracy, i.e. sawing off the branch you are sitting on; but still more to the fact that Socialists have, so to speak, presented their case wrong side foremost. They have never made it sufficiently clear that the essential aims of Socialism are justice and liberty (The Road to Wigan Pier)


The thing that attracts ordinary men to Socialism and makes them willing to risk their skins for it, the ‘mystique’ of Socialism, is the idea of equality; to the vast majority of people Socialism means a classless society, or it means nothing at all. (Homage to Catalonia)


To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself. That was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink. (Nineteen Eighty-Four)


If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – for ever. (Nineteen Eighty-Four)

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