If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face-for ever.
In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.
At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.
On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.
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. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.
If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.
If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
Society has always to demand a little more from human beings than it will get in practice.
Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.
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.
We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
Men use up their lives in heart-breaking political struggles, or get themselves killed in civil wars, or tortured in the secret prisons of the Gestapo, not in order to establish some central-heated, air-conditioned, strip-lighted Paradise, but because they want a world in which human beings love one another instead of swindling and murdering one another.
The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.
For weeks past he had been making ready for this moment, and it had never crossed his mind that anything would be needed except courage. The actual writing would be easy. All he had to do was to transfer to paper the interminable restless monologue that had been running inside his head, literally for years.
Freedom is the right to tell others what they don't want to hear.
The common people, on the whole, are still living in the world of absolute good and evil from which the intellectuals have long since escaped.
Fate seemed to be playing a series of extraordinarily unamusing jokes.
It is not possible for any thinking person to live in such a society as our own without wanting to change it.
In Oceania at the present day, Science, in the old sense, has almost ceased to exist. In Newspeak there is no word for 'Science.' The empirical method of thought, on which all the scientific achievements of the past were founded, is opposed to the most fundamental principles of Ingsoc.
Think of something you really care about. Then add hour to hour and calculate the fraction of your life that you've actually spent in doing it. And then calculate the time you've spent on things like shaving, riding to and fro on buses, waiting in railway junctions, swapping dirty stories, and reading the newspapers.
Cricket is a game full or forlorn hopes and sudden dramatic changes of fortune and its rules are so ill-defined that their interpretation is partly an ethical business.
The essence of oligarchical rule is not father-to-son inheritance, but the persistence of a certain world-view and a certain way of life ... A ruling group is a ruling group so long as it can nominate its successors... Who wields power is not important, provided that the hierarchical structure remains always the same.
Preventive war is a crime not easily committed by a country that retains any traces of democracy.
Using the word "political' in the widest possible sense. Desire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter other peoples' idea of the kind of society that they should strive after. Once again, no book is genuinely free from political bias. The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.
I'm fat, but I'm thin inside. Has it ever struck you that there's a thin man inside every fat man, just as they say there's a statue inside every block of stone?
The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.
... ages in which the dominant weapon is expensive or difficult to make will tend to be ages of despotism, whereas when the dominant weapon is cheap and simple, the common people have a chance... A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon - so long as there is no answer to it - gives claws to the weak.
One must choose between God and Man, and all "radicals" and "progressives", from the mildest liberal to the most extreme anarchist, have in effect chosen Man.
The mutability of the past is the central tenet of Ingsoc. Past events, it is argued, have no objective existance, but survive only in written records and in human memories. The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon. And since the Party is in full control of all records, and in equally full control of the minds of its members, it follows that the past is whatever the Party chooses to make it.
...to do anything that suggested a taste for solitude, even to go for a walk by yourself, was always slightly dangerous. There was a word for it in Newspeak: ownlife...
It's frightful that people who are so ignorant have so much influence.
The Party is not interested in the overt act. The thought is all we care about.
Good novels are not written by orthodoxy-sniffers, nor by people who are conscience-stricken about their own orthodoxy. Good novels are written by people who are not frightened.
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.
Language ought to be the joint creation of poets and manual workers.
But it was alright, everything was alright, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.
To say "I accept" in an age like our own is to say that you accept concentration-camps, rubber truncheons, Hitler, Stalin, bombs, aeroplanes, tinned food, machine guns, putsches, purges, slogans, Bedaux belts, gas-masks, submarines, spies, provocateurs, press-censorship, secret prisons, aspirins, Hollywood films and political murder.
How could you communicate with the future? It was impossible. Either the future would resemble the present in which case it would not listen to him, or it would be different from it, and his predicament would be meaningless.
Dickens is one of those authors who are well worth stealing.