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Old 10-26-2008, 08:20 PM   #1
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Sd.405

Sunday Dispatch .405

Contrary to common belief, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley's vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.

Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism.

Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance.

Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy.

As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distraction."

In 1984, Huxley added, people are controled by inflicting pain. in Brave New World, they are controled by inflicting pleasure.

In short, Orwell feared what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.



~from Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman
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Old 10-30-2008, 08:48 PM   #2
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Old 10-30-2008, 09:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the iron horse View Post
"failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distraction."
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Old 10-31-2008, 08:01 PM   #4
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Good essay. Huxley was closer to the truth.
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Old 10-31-2008, 08:14 PM   #5
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Orwell was right during the times he was living. Huxley was looking at what most people don't look at which is decadence. Success has its dangerous temptations too.
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