Probably the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing-fields of Eton, but the opening battles of all subsequent wars have been lost there.
Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.
Dickens is one of those authors who are well worth stealing.
The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.
The atom bombs are piling up in the factories, the police are prowling through the cities, the lies are streaming from the loudspeakers, but the earth is still going round the sun.
The atmosphere of orthodoxy is always damaging to prose, and above all it is completely ruinous to the novel, the most anarchical of all forms of literature.
He was an embittered atheist, the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him.
The Catholic and the Communist are alike in assuming that an opponent cannot be both honest and intelligent.
Many people genuinely do not want to be saints, and it is probable that some who achieve or aspire to sainthood have never felt much temptation to be human beings.
What can you do against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy?
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?
Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals.
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
No one can look back on his schooldays and say with truth that they were altogether unhappy.
But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it; consequently, the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to any one meaning.
The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns, as it were, instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink.
The aim of a joke is not to degrade the human being, but to remind him that he is already degraded.
Not to expose your true feelings to an adult seems to be instinctive from the age of seven or eight onwards.
Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.
In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.
Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac.
War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.
Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket.
As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents.
No advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer.
One can love a child, perhaps, more deeply than one can love another adult, but it is rash to assume that the child feels any love in return.
Part of the reason for the ugliness of adults, in a child's eyes, is that the child is usually looking upwards, and few faces are at their best when seen from below.
Happiness can exist only in acceptance.