George Orwell

He was an embittered atheist (the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him).

Autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful. A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats.

The great disadvantage, and advantage, of the small urban bourgeois is his limited outlook. He sees the world as a middle-class world, and everything outside these limits is either laughable or slightly wicked. One cannot really be a Catholic and grown up.

To accept civilization as it is practically means accepting decay.

Throughout recorded time . . . there have been three kinds of people in the world, the High, the Middle, and the Low. They have been subdivided in many ways, they have borne countless different names, and their relative numbers, as well as their attitude towards one another, have varied from age to age: but the essential structure of society has never altered. Even after enormous upheavals and seemingly irrevocable changes, the same pattern has always reasserted itself, just as a gyroscope will always return to equilibrium, however far it is pushed one way or the other. The aims of these three groups are entirely irreconcilable. The "Communism" of the English intellectual is something explicable enough. It is the patriotism of the deracinated.

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

If you have embraced a creed, which appears to be free from the ordinary dirtiness of politics-a creed from which you yourself cannot expect to draw any material advantage-surely that proves that you are in the right?

Prolonged, indiscriminate reviewing of books is a quite exceptionally thankless, irritating and exhausting job. It not only involves praising trash but constantly inventing reactions towards books about which one has no spontaneous feeling whatever.

He is as antisocial as a flea. Clearly, such people are undesirable, and a society in which they can flourish has something wrong with it.

The Catholic and the Communist are alike in assuming that an opponent cannot be both honest and intelligent.

As a rule they will refuse even to sample a foreign dish.

The English are probably more capable than most peoples of making revolutionary change without bloodshed. In England, if anywhere, it would be possible to abolish poverty without destroying liberty. No advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer.

At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity.

To an ordinary human being, love means nothing if it does not mean loving some people more than others. Myths which are believed intend to become true.

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

In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.

Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.

So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot.