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Samizdata quote of the day

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act

George Orwell

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16 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Mr Ed

    There was never a man so hated, as he who told the truth.

  • Niall Kilmartin

    Here’s another Orwell quote: “If you compare commercial advertising with political propaganda, one thing that strikes you is its relative intellectual honesty. The advertiser at least knows what he is aiming at – that is, money – whereas the propagandist, when he is not a lifeless hack, is often a neurotic working off a private grudge and actually desirous of the exact opposite of the thing he advocates.” [George Orwell, review of ‘Beggar My Neighbour’ in Horizon, September 1943.

    Given Orwell’s left-wing standpoint, this recognition of the superior honesty of commerce is noteworthy.

    (There are of course Adam Smith quotes that treat commercial and political propaganda as more on a level. It would be fair to say that Smith is talking about what we would call crony capitalism; propaganda aimed at securing government favours.)

  • Nicholas (Self-Sovereignty) Gray

    In a world of lies, where everyone else lies and is lied to, would anyone recognise an honest statement? Hitler told the truth about his ambitions in ‘Mein Kampf’, and no-one believed him. That is, no other politician believed him. Perhaps because they always tell, and expect to be told, lies?

  • Jacob

    “Hitler told the truth about his ambitions in ‘Mein Kampf’, and no-one believed him.”

    The German people believed him and that’s why they voted for him. His gaining power was no accident.

    The ayatollahs of Iran are also telling the truth.

  • And the followers of the current occupant of the White House want to be lied to.

    (Oh, during my last hospitalization the staff performed a brain check on me by asking who the president is. Apparently “The Big Zero” is an acceptable answer.)

  • RRS

    By comparison of quotes, I am wondering if anyone will be brash enough in the coming 2016 general election (if not before) to cite (especially to particular audiences) the MLK invocation to judge:

    “. . . by the quality of their character.”

  • Mr Ed

    Oh, during my last hospitalization the staff performed a brain check on me by asking who the president is.

    Please, next time, say ‘Joe Biden… Just kidding!‘.

  • I note with disgust that Bernie – Honeymoon in the USSR -Sanders has been using this quote.

    Orwell is currently rotating at 2500 RPM somewhere in Oxfordshire

  • Fred the Fourth

    Hell’s bell, Leslie. You owe me a new keyboard.

  • Fred the Fourth

    “bells”, not “bell”, of course. Hell could not get anyone’s attention these days with just one bell.

  • RRS

    Sorry:

    “… by the CONTENT of their character.”

  • I went on holiday.

    I pitched a tent.

    It was Mein Kampfsite and I was only expanding my Lebensraum.

  • CaptDMO

    “.telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act..”
    WOW! Who knew that “political gaffe” was revolutionary?

  • Ljh

    I don’t know. Post modernism has taken us so far into the realms of wishful thinking on economics, gender, climate forecasting, that I no longer think the gatekeepers are practising deceit, which implies a knowledge of and deliberate suppression of reality, but rather the West has entered a new religious phase in which the belief in six impossible things before breakfast is the spiritual exercise of choice. Bring back the Enlightenment!

  • RRS

    @ Ljh,

    Oh yes, you are onto a track of the beast.

    Those self-anointed who would take unto themselves those determinations, yet can not distinguish mere information from knowledge.

  • Julie near Chicago

    NickM — You’re doing it again.

    Good one. :>)!