25 Incredible George Orwell Quotes On Power And Politics

Published May 8, 2015
Updated November 9, 2023
George Orwell Quotes

Source: Wikimedia

A paradox of George Orwell’s legacy is that the term Orwellian has come to mean a cynical manipulation of language. Of course, Orwell’s own prose fought constantly against such deceit. He was a carpenter of the English language, and his paragraphs are simple, unvarnished attempts at nailing together the truth.

Below are some of the most memorable George Orwell quotes on power and politics:

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25 Incredible George Orwell Quotes On Power And Politics
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His inventions, most notably the pigs of Animal Farm and the oppressive Party and Big Brother in his dystopian novel 1984, were the true masters of doublespeak.

While a character in 1984 may say, "It is the beautiful thing, the destruction of words," Orwell himself had a stubborn conviction that clear language could expose tyranny, failed logic, and lies. Orwell's writing, ironically, is not Orwellian.

Orwell opposed totalitarianism in all of its guises, whether British imperialism, European fascism, or Soviet communism.

His plain language can help us think through the "Orwellian" arguments we hear in our time, such as those in favor of benevolent dictators; the right of police to gun down citizens in the name of protecting them; the swallowing up of immense seas of metadata by government agencies in collusion with major corporations; the need for journalists and satirists to self-censor for their own safety; and the idea that "job-creators" deserve more influence than workers. Decades after Orwell screwed the words below together, the ideas they shape stand firm.

Want to learn more about Orwell? Check out this fantastic BBC docudrama depicting his life through his writing and remaining photos:

Images in this gallery are sourced from Wikimedia Commons and Flickr users 'stephan', Matt Paish, and Jason Pratt.

And if you enjoyed these powerful George Orwell quotes, we suggest you check out our other galleries on interesting quotes and insightful Mark Twain quotes about love, life and politics.

author
Savannah Cox
author
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.
editor
John Kuroski
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John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.
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Cox, Savannah. "25 Incredible George Orwell Quotes On Power And Politics." AllThatsInteresting.com, May 8, 2015, https://allthatsinteresting.com/george-orwell-quotes. Accessed May 27, 2024.