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earwax

Huxley vs. Orwell

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Although I haven't read either of these books (they are on my "to read" list), from that delightful cartoon I would say that Huxley was the more perspicacious of the two. People usually are consumed by their own indulgences.

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I think the propper response is "Bah! Humbug!"

For one thing, Huxley foresaw government relentlessly brain-washing all citizens to amke them conform. There were, for instance, subliminal messages played constantly during the night, propaganda of all sorts and daily rituals in praise of Ford (read the book). Not to mention the Soma drug.

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The section talking about book censorship reminded me of a Ray Bradbury quote: You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.

Which brings up another thing I thought about. Though Huxley and Orwell have both accurately predicted the way our world has evolved, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 has been the most accurate representation of the way pop culture and visual media have evolved.

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Yes, indeed.

It is not either-or, but both and others as well, included.

Unintentionally contradictory of Joseph Schumpeter's "creative destruction," writing in The Economy of Cities, Jane Jacobs pointed out that old technologies are not replaced, but only transformed. Her example was that the makers of brass fittings for horse tack went into other lines of work as the industrial revolution grew out.

So, too, here. We still have religion... and fascism... and brave new world entertainments... and more besides... It is not a matter of either-or. That would be too easy.

Besides, what difference does it make? If Brave New World distracts the distractable, that is also free will, is it not... assuming that such creatures actually have will in the first place. Julian Jaynes theorized that not all featherless bipeds are rational animals. Some people -- apparently many -- truly have no self.

Edited by Hermes

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Besides, what difference does it make? If Brave New World distracts the distractable, that is also free will, is it not... assuming that such creatures actually have will in the first place.

I would say that most people inhabiting the "Brave New World" had limited free will at best, and depending on social class almost none.

If you recall they were genetically manipulated in the fetal stage often to detriment. I think it was the epsilons that they introduced high doses of alcohol into their feeding in the fetal stage to induce mental retardation.

After being genetically altered they were then broken into segregated groups and brainwashed throughout their childhoods.

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The section talking about book censorship reminded me of a Ray Bradbury quote: You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.

Which brings up another thing I thought about. Though Huxley and Orwell have both accurately predicted the way our world has evolved, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 has been the most accurate representation of the way pop culture and visual media have evolved.

I completely agree Fahrenheit was much more poignant than 1984 or BNW. While 1984 and BNW both focused on the malevolent aspect and methods of state control, Fahrenheit 451 was set in such a future but focused more on the cultural vacuum left over from citizens outright rejection of the intellect, with malevolent state control portrayed accurately as the end result fitting of such a vacuum.

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