Checking the Facts: George Orwell’s Fabricated Quote About People Electing Corrupt Politicians

Checking the Facts: George Orwell's Fabricated Quote About People Electing Corrupt Politicians

A falsely attributed quote to George Orwell saying that the people who elect corrupt politicians are not victims but accomplices is circulating online. The Orwell Society and the Orwell Foundation confirmed to Reuters that this quote did not belong to the English writer.

Laura Wood of Skoob Books poses for a photo with a copy of ‘1984’ by George Orwell in central London on June 9, 2013. The novel, which takes place in a world of government surveillance, was first published by Secker and Warburg 64 years ago on June 8, 1949. REUTERS / Toby Melville (BRITTANY – Tags: SOCIETY POLICY)

“A people who elect corrupt politicians, impostors, thieves and traitors are not victims… but accomplices. George Orwell, ”the messages say (here, here, here, here).

Quote is generally misattributed to Orwell: Newsweek attributed the quote to Orwell in a 2018 article (here), the quote also appears on multiple quotes sites including GoodReads (here, here), and it’s been shared on social media by various famous people since at least 2016 (here, here, here, here).

Newsweek stated that Orwell wrote the quote in the 1940s, supposedly based on a book by Orwell’s work titled “The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell: As I please, 1943-1945 “. However, Reuters found no evidence of the citation in an archived version of the book visible here, nor in the other three volumes of …

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