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Sunday, April 21, 2024

George Orwell and free speech

This post is a collection of quotes from George Orwell (1903-1950) about free speech. There are 7 quotes listed below chronologically.


1. "And so the game continues. The logical end is a régime in which every opposition party and newspaper is suppressed and every dissentient of any importance is in jail. Of course, such a régime will be fascism." (Spilling the Spanish Beans, New English Weekly, 1937)


2. "It is almost impossible to think without talking... Take away freedom of speech and the creative faculties dry up." (As I Please, 1944)


3. "Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals." (Freedom of the Press, 1945)


4. "To exchange one orthodoxy for another is not necessarily an advance. The enemy is the gramophone mind, whether or not one agrees with the record that is being played at the moment." (Animal Farm, 1945)


5. "The enemies of intellectual liberty always try to present their case as a plea of discipline versus individualism. The issue of truth-versus-untruth is as far as possible kept in the background." (The Prevention of Literature, 1946)


6. "Every citizen, or at least every citizen important enough to be worth watching, could be kept for 24 hours a day under the eyes of the police in the sound of official propaganda, with all other channels of communication closed." (Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1949)


7. "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." (Original preface to Animal Farm, George Orwell: Some Materials for a Bibliography, 1953 posthumous)