There’s no doubt about it, we live in a weird time in American history. Consider that our phones are tapped, our conversations are recorded, our purchases are monitored. Heck, even curiosity is becoming a crime! Some people are coping with these realizations by laughing about them, while others are fighting back, getting arrested, and getting (allegedly) tortured.
Some people, like me, aren’t doing anything about it at all. Truthfully, it’s all I can do to bitch about Ben Affleck being cast as Batman – because thinking about anything “serious” is depressing. Some days, though, depression seems like the right way to deal with … what would you even call it? This sudden realization that your country might be “the bad guy” now?
Whatever it’s called, you can bet George Orwell saw it coming, and his novel, 1984, laid it out well enough – even if he did come in 30 years early. Here are a few select George Orwell quotes, from books like Fahrenheit 451 (if he’d written it) and 1984, to get your gears grinding. Enjoy!
Orwell Quote no. 1
If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.
Orwell Quote no. 2
He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.
Orwell Quote no. 3
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face. Forever.
Orwell Quote no. 4
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
Oh, man – I want to stop right here for a moment and remind everyone that the United States, as a nation, has now been at war for twelve consecutive years. We’re fighting for “freedom”, but whose freedom hasn’t really been clarified to many peoples’ satisfaction. As for ignorance being strength, Fox News is regularly among the highest-rated news channels in the country, and the mental-midgets that watch that s*** still talk about “the mainstream media” like they’re not it.
Orwell Quote no. 5
Big Brother is Watching You.
Orwell Quote no. 6
Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
You’re pro-life AND pro-capital punishment? You support democracy AND gerrymandered congressional districts? You don’t see a problem here?
Orwell Quote no. 7
The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better.
Orwell Quote no. 8
The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power.
Orwell Quote no. 9
Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.
If you don’t believe people’s brains are being regularly smashed into goo and then re-formed in ways that allow them to be easily manipulated, controlled, and subdued, remember that there are people alive, today, in 2013, who believe the following ridiculous nonsense.
Orwell Quote no. 10
Orthodoxy means not thinking–not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.
Orwell Quote no. 11
For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?
Orwell Quote no. 12
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.
Orwell Quote no. 13
Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.
Thankfully, we live in a country that still has an organized revolution every couple of years. Don’t be stupid, kids: vote. As early and as often as you can.
Sources: George Orwell, via Inktank.