“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” ~ George Orwell (pen name of Eric A. Blair) (June 25, 1903 to January 21, 1950)
Eric A. Blair was an English journalist, essayist, and novelist. He is best known for his satire Animal Farm (1945) and his dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). He was a democratic socialist, and he was a fierce critic of totalitarianism.
[Source: personal knowledge; dates and biographical information partially from Wikipedia; accessed August 13, 2010].
His writings contain cogent critiques of the editing of history and of the slippery use of language.
The George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language (the “Orwell Award”) was established in 1975 by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). Recent winners include Amy Goodman (co-founder of Democracy Now!) (2009), Jon Stewart and the cast of The Daily Show (2005), and Seymour Hersh (investigative journalist) and Arundhati Roy (writer) (both in 2004).
[Source: Wikipedia; accessed August 13, 2010].
Are we living in an age of universal deceit? Well, we have “spin.” We have numerous examples of public officials not being truthful. When I was in college, one of my professors used the phrase “The Big Lie” to describe lies told by American leaders during the Vietnam War and Watergate eras.
Journalists such as Amy Goodman “speak truth to power.”
Truth telling is the antidote to deceit and lies.
When I was dredging my memory for this quote, I was searching for variations such as “in a cynical age, hope is a subversive act” but couldn’t find any documented uses of this phrase.