As if we didn’t already know George Orwell was a genius

December 31st, 2007

From the unpublished preface of George Orwell’s Animal Farm:

If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

Entry Filed under: Books,Philosophy,Politics,Very Good Things

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. dpk  |  January 1st, 2008 at 10:56 am

    and also people’s right to tune you out.

    this quote smacks of the asinine but common assumption that unpopular or minority opinions are most likely correct and excatly what everyone else needs to hear and believe.

    there is no shortage of self-righteous prophets intent on grabbing any microphone to scream their gospel at you, and if liberty means anything it means not having to listen to them

  • 2. Elliot  |  January 1st, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    That’s true. Free speech doesn’t equal forced listening.

    On the other hand, I think he was talking about about the tendency of most people to try to suppress speech that they don’t agree with.

    In other words: you don’t have to listen, but you don’t get to keep me from saying it.

  • 3. Chris  |  January 1st, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    Knowing what Orwell believed in I think you nailed it Elliot he would have been more worried with the state suppressing people than forcing people to listen to others.

    “All the Animals are equal but some are more equal than others” ;)

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