19 votes

1984 v. Brave New World. Aldous Huxley's Letter To George Orwell (Eric Blair)...

Read it, marvel at its prescience, and despair:

www.lettersofnote.com/2012/03/1984-v-brave-new-world.html

Huxley thinks our masters prefer the exercise of soft tyranny over Orwell's "boots in the face" control mechanism because it more efficiently brings about the "ultimate revolution" of deluded mass subservience to the aims of oligarchy. Is he wrong? Is Orwell wrong?

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Link to paper from Julian Huxley

Aldous' cousin and first secretary of UNESCO, that I mention below.

The intro is all nice and flowery. I read the whole thing. It's bald faced eugenics ala Margaret Sanger and her NAZI teachers.

http://www.dailypaul.com/170289/unesco-julian-huxley-1946-pdf

does he advocate coercive

does he advocate coercive eugenics or just eugenics in general?
(havent read it. will maybe print it at work tomorrow).

Huxley's vision

In my view is far more terrifying as the people love their slavery. The rulers have keep them without a guiding philosophy. At least in Orwell's 1984 the people hate their slavery.

Gilligan's picture

Agreed. The eugenics of BNW with people being bred

like cattle or dogs or plants or GMO foods is utterly horrifying. But in 1984 we never really find out if people hate their slavery as you say; we never find out if the Brotherhood really exists. And in the end, Winston loves Big Brother.

Huxley seems prescient; boots-on-the-face tyranny seems imminent (cf. Radley Balko's "Rise of the Warrior Cop" and all the checkpoint and cop videos seen here on the DP), but the eugenic approach does seem more "efficient" from a tyrannical point of view in the long term.

Thanks for that letter! It is really cool to see the link between two of my favorite books. Books that helped to wake me up.

I'd rather be a hungry patriot than a satisfied slave.

The answer

Is the Orwellian boot stomping on a human face foreve in foreign policy. On domestic policy, we have the Huxley orgy porgies like the Obama Mandate that recreational sex be subsidized by tax payers. This is to keep people distracted from real issues, and having a firm set of core beliefs and a sound philosphy on Natural Rights or belief in God is frowned on. We are constructing a thought police force(empowered by the NDAA) for those who refuse to be distracted by idiotic sensations.

As one can clearly see that

As one can clearly see that our current situation is a combination of the two. The use of Sodium Fluoride is to make the mind malleable, but it doesn't totally work on everybody, some people need larger doses; which they cannot put in the general water supply because it would kill or comatose those who don't require such high levels. So, for those who are less effected or not effected at all, we have Prozac, Ritalin, and now Lithium; We also have TV, subliminal messages, suggestive innuendo and a whole host of other mental games to modify behavior. Yet still, for those who either don't ingest any of that stuff or aren't effected highly enough, we have prisons; the most of any country to be exact.

So, as one can clearly see, it is not one particular ideology which we have subscribed to using but both; for that is the only way to eliminate threats to the unseen hand -one way or another, they got something for you.

I think the Prozac and TV

I think the Prozac and TV examples are BNW. Flouride is more of a 1984 tactic.

What was brilliant about BNW in a way that 1984 lacked was that the people actually demanded the soma, even knowing what it did. It's not like it was sold to them as food or medicine. Most people who ingest flouride do so either unknowingly or in the belief that it is harmless and cleans teeth. Very few people are awaare of flourides dark side and still willingly ingest it.

I can't stress this cartoon more strongly as a great way to sum up the differences (not my creation, btw):
http://abetterkuwait.wordpress.com/2011/08/19/1984-vs-brave-...

The postman boook is worth reading also, but it kind of belabors the point. about 75% of his whole premise can be understood from that cartoon lol.

I liked the illustration you

I liked the illustration you provided the link for; I would suggest that it should be in every school, however, I fear as though the kids never read those books anymore, if they even read at all. So, posting that illustration in schools would be futile.

I'll check out the Postman book. Personally, I think one or both were, in a covert attempt, trying to warn people of things to come; however, nobody listened, and now we find ourselves in our current situation of bondage and servitude.

Ron Paul vs. Big Brother 2012

The choice is clear.

LL on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LibertyPoet
sometimes LL can suck & sometimes LL rocks!
http://www.dailypaul.com/203008/south-carolina-battle-of-cow...
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

Cyril's picture

On Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's BNW...

I read both long ago, and I have fuzzier memory of 1984 vs. BNW...

Now, just opinion but, besides the character plots themselves, and rather more on the general setting:

In all sincerity:

1984 ... is a forgiving parody of what we ALREADY have today.

It's just more subtle: they use the alienating power of ignorance and TV addiction in lieu and place of cell walls and chains...

BNW, on the other hand, is probably the dearest secret wish of our today's evil for their future of enslaving us.

Their plans have glitches, though. They didn't expect grasses of Liberty such as the WWW, that we should protect DEARLY, nor did they expect Righteous like Ron Paul to be so resilient.

Again, just my feeling.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

yes they want slaves that dont know that they are slaves..

..happy slaves that work their asses of for them.
enough food. a pill to be happy. killed of once to old to work with death medicine.

sickening!!!!

time to awake the masses and push RP into highest office to kick these bastards into their nwo asses.

We need to inform the sleeping masses that rely solely on the mass media that blacks out Ron Paul or spins his message.
If every Paul supporter prints some hundred and puts them in their neighbourhood then we multiply our chances to win the nomination!

These flyers are all free to print:
http://www.mediafire.com/?s4snpbpsts5b3 <- all versions that are available.
- Including flyers geared towards 50+ generation.(If you know a place or neighbourhood with retirees where they might have an impact)

http://www.dailypaul.com/218640/ron-paul-promotional-flyer-f...
please share links.

Everyone can print them and distribute them everywhere to inform the masses. Mailboxes, windshields, public spaces, voting places, delegate meetings...

Gilligan's picture

Very nice candidate comparison sheets!

Good work!

I'd rather be a hungry patriot than a satisfied slave.

I happen to believe its more

I happen to believe its more BNW than 1984. And would even say it's hardly "soft tyranny". Granted there is some of that, but most of the problem is that it's hard to even quantify tyrrany as tyrrany if it's what people claim they want.

I've been saying this for a while: http://www.dailypaul.com/215773/its-no-wonder-you-guys-canno...

Huxley was way more insightful than Orwell and the problem he poses is way more morally ambigious. I highly recommend reading Huxley's "island" and B.F. Skinner's "Walden Two" for different twists on this sort of "oppression that isn't resisted".

Also, "Amusing Ourselves to Death" by Neil Postman presents the BNW, not 1984 case very clearly. His book was the inspiration for this very pwofound infographic:
http://abetterkuwait.wordpress.com/2011/08/19/1984-vs-brave-...

You;re the first person I've found on here who has laid out virtually the same case I've been arguing is the issue; It is NOT that there are powerful forces (big brother, masons, rosthchilds) that are using force to subdue people. Were that the case, the answer is straightfoward.

A telling scene in Brave New World is when the protoganist throws all of the Soma out of the window. Rather than "break the matrix" of all the common folk, as he had hoped, they almost rioted and killed him for taking what they (thought) they ttruly wanted.

Keep this thread alive please, I like this topic.

Thanks For The Links...

Reading the comments, I can't believe your post (Evan's first link above) was so unfairly downvoted. The infographic, I call it a cartoon, is fantastic. I implore readers here to open the link.

I am curious about Orwell's response (if any) to Huxley's letter. Anybody have it?

My opinion is that Huxley and Orwell's "argument" is as old as the philosophical question of free will versus determinism itself. Anotherwords, does man see himself for what he is or only as others wish him to see himself, or a mixture of the two? In my view, each man, to a varying degree, is a house divided within himself. Part of him yearns for awareness, truth, freedom, responsibility, moral agency, and another part craves blissful ignorance, falsehood, inconsequentiality, comfort, numbness (h/t Pink Floyd). Which part predominates in the mass of men collectively decides the character of society. The part predominate differs in different places and different times.

I have said here before I wish neither to rule or be ruled, but at all times in history we find people who are susceptible to rule and those ambitious to rule them. Again, what is man, independent rational actor, or sophisticated machine? Both authors foresaw dystopia, but as you rightly say Orwell at least implied there was a way forward because the mechanism of control was imposed from without not from within. On the question of soft tyranny, are we responsible for our own conditioning? If yes, from the very beginning of our existence, or only after a certain point?

I've been on a huge Huxley

I've been on a huge Huxley kick lately. And I'm probably severly baiased here, but I find that Orwell may have been a better fiction writer, Huxley was a far better philosopher and thinker in general.

Orwell's story is better in an entertainment sense. More action, more suspense.

But Huxley has fascinating insights into consciousness and "freedom". Very simlar to buddhism or any other spiritual practice that would claim that being "free" from external coercion is only half the battle. the real coercion comes from sorting through the various competing internal forces and finding out one's own true motives.

This is a common theme you find in a lot of Huxley's work, both fiction and non fiction, from "Doors of Perception" where he basically takes acid to explore his own mind and what it is (worth reading, but make sure to get the version with "Heaven and Hell" attached, as the latter is more scientific and less artsy description of mind altering drugs), to "The Perrenial Philosophy" where he explores various eastern philosophies (i have yet to read this one)

Regarding the whole determinism vs metaphysical libertarian debate (I consider compatibilists to have it closest to correct) some books worth reading are:

Godel Escher and Bach (anything I write here won't do it justice. just read it)
The Mind's I - a collection of essays edited by Hofstadler and daniel Dennet. Has amazing and well known essays on this from John Searle to various sci fi writers.

Regarding Pink Floyd, actually Roger Waters was so impressed by Postman's book that he titled one of his solo albums "Amused to Death" (sick album. I'd say Waters's best while solo)

Huxley and Buddah?

Per Buddah, enlightenment and nirvana is reached through overcoming one's worldly desires.

Huxley specifically addresses the exploitation of human desire as a means of social control.

So, it appears they stand at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of how to reach enlightenment, nirvana and freedom.

Huxley specifically addresses

Huxley specifically addresses overcoming ones inner desires as an additional way to be free from an 'oppressive force' (not an external one like a dictator, but an inner one: onses desires) in Island, Heaven and Hell, and (not as thoroughly) Brave New World P.S.

You can even see some of this speculating in Doors of Perception when he talks about the mind at large, but thats more of a 'fun read' than a clear concise point.

He also did touch on this slightly in BNW through the dialogues and thoughts of the protoganist and his one buddy and "the savage", but its more subtle. The 3 books listed above are more allong the lines of buddhism.

if you're curious here's

if you're curious here's where I'm coming from/what Ive read regarding this specific 'rabbit hole', in roughly the order i read it:

Godel Escher and Bach: a must read. covers so much in such an entertaining fashion
http://www.amazon.com/G%C3%B6del-Escher-Bach-Eternal-Golden/...

Brave New World: classic
http://www.amazon.com/Brave-New-World-Aldous-Huxley/dp/00608...

Brave New World Revisited: non fiction book Huxley wrote decades after BNW. Some of it is very insightful on the mind and internal freedom. the stuff on population control and other socialist stuff is junk
http://www.amazon.com/Brave-New-World-Revisited-P-S/dp/00608...

Amusing Ourselves to Death: nonfictionbook that inspired the cartoon (not infographic, sorry) about how internal coercion is the real threat. Not storm troopers. (also listen to Waters' Amusing Ourselves to Death while reading for synergy lol)
http://www.amazon.com/Amusing-Ourselves-Death-Discourse-Busi...

Doors of Perception: written As he was tripping. cool read but less sciency than Heaven and Hell
http://www.amazon.com/The-Doors-Of-Perception-thINKing/dp/19...

Food of the Gods: Fun speculations about the effects of mushrooms on human evolutionary and cultural development. I dont disagree with this books speculatoins, but its not really why im interested in mushrooms. I dont so much care HOW we got where we are, i'm just first interested in figuring out where we even are.
http://www.amazon.com/Food-Gods-Original-Knowledge-Evolution...

Heaven and Hell: more of a sober lookback at the trip
http://www.amazon.com/The-Doors-Of-Perception-thINKing/dp/19...

Island: a very fascianting 'counterpoint' to BNW. this time the "soft tyrrany" is used for good (or is it)
http://www.amazon.com/Island-P-S-Aldous-Huxley/dp/0061561797...

THe Minds I: A collection of Essays on consciousness and what it is. With extensive commentary from Dennet and Hofstadler. Classic Essays in this field.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Minds-Fantasies-Reflections-Self/d...

Free Will: An intro philosophy trext that basically describes "Metaphysical libertarianism" vs "compatabilism" vs "determinism". The book was good as it concisely layed out the 3 positions. But the arguments for the first and third are so bad that it's hard to even make them seem believable, IMO. I'd recommending just a quick google to learn about these various position, not an entire book.
http://www.amazon.com/A-Contemporary-Introduction-Free-Will/...

Walden Two: in progress as we speak. (about 35%) Reminds me too much of Huxley's Island. Hopefully it will be different and worth reading
http://www.amazon.com/Walden-Two-B-F-Skinner/dp/0872207781/r...

The Perrenial Philosophy: yet to read. On Amazon Wish List
http://www.amazon.com/The-Perennial-Philosophy-Interpretatio...

What Is Your View Of 'Soft Tyranny'? Is It No Less Tyrannical...

because most men fail to realize its pervasive and insidious influence? I don't disagree that if you give a rat a pellet long enough he will come to desire it, expect it, rely upon and ultimately demand it, nor when faced with the discontinuation of his bribe that he will become restless, anxious, and angry. I am more interested in first causes. Are we born seeking bribes or are we conditioned to become that way? If our sense of entitlement is steadily, carefully schooled into us, is not personal responsibility for our low estate somewhat mitigated? Likewise, are we born guardians of our own freedom or are not the traits of self-reliance and liberty instilled into us by our forebears, and if so, how much credit do we dare take? America's history provides something of an answer. We have been the freest people the world has ever seen in our not so distant past despite our present condition of virtual servitude. So I think we are born both with something in us which yearns to be free and something else which yearns for a benevolent caretaker. Clearly the penchant for either can be brought out by careful cultivation.

In his letter Huxley mentions Freud but he doesn't mention his son-in-law Bernays, the intellectual father of modern mass propaganda. I think you are too quick to discount the power modern tools of psychological control have over us. Don't mistake me, at some point we do assume responsibility for our "conditioning", like now when it is all going wrong.

I dont think im too quick to

I dont think im too quick to discount the tools of mass propoganda. I'm just not that interested in looking at them from a moral angle. My view is made up - theyre bad. It's clear who the bad guys are and it's clear that why what theyre doing is bad.

I do agree that so long as there's:

1) external physical coercion
2) external psychological coercion

that one isn't truly free.

However, where, at least to me, it gets more morally ambigious is that even if 1 & 2 were eleminated and prevented, would someone be "truly free"? (wtf is this "true freedom" anyway?)

Or is there:
3) internal desires
that still must be overcome before one can say their true self is free to express itself
?

Again, if I'm giving off the impression that I dont think #1 or #2 exist or are bad, I'm sorry. I fully concede they exist and I fully concedee theyre bad to do to others. I just am more interested in exploring #3... In find it more interesting to think about and read about.

After all, if #3 is true, then what? How do you know what your "true desire"? How can you be sure that what you think your true desire really is your true desire, etc?

So Then Are You A Radical Skeptic About The Whole...

notion of overcoming internal desires because they are impossible to recognize? If so I am not seeing the value for you in this line of study.

Also, another question. Upthread you say it is NOT malevolent external forces (Rothschilds, etc.) seeking to control us which we must overcome, it is our own conflicting motives. Here you allow that such external forces exist and that they are forces for ill. Perhaps before you were suggesting the evidence of Rothschildian manipulation is too weak to prove a claim of control-seeking?

I would think that absent external forces of social control, whether they are exercised psychologically or by force or the threat of force, we could say that a man's pattern of behavior is closer to being reflective of his "true" nature. But what if psychology has isolated mankind's basic unbidden motivations? Have they also refined tools with which to exploit our essential self? What I am saying is that "external psychological coercion" can only be effective if there exists within us a corresponding "internal desire" to exploit. Notice how fearful and jingoistic the country has become? Would we be such pantywaists and warmongers absent the mainstream media complex's tireless efforts to shove the terrorist bogeyman down our throats? Where I fail to see "moral ambiguity" is in the deliberate and concerted manipulation of our emotions. Any such considerations necessarily involve your #3 as well as your #2.

I tend to exaggerate. I dont

I tend to exaggerate. I dont mean to say that there arent evil cabals of people conspiring for power. Sometimes I may say they arent the problem, when i mean to say they arent the only problem, and in all liklihood aren't the PRIMARY problem.

An analogy I like to use is a bunch of people living under a pharoah. Sure, the pharoah has all the weapons and the wealth, etc. But he only controls a small % of loyalists who gain materially from his regieme. The pharoah certainly IS a problem and IS an oppressor.

But I think the main problem is the moral mandate of his rule. If you simply killed the pharoah and said to the people "you are free" they would probably freak out and kill you then reinstate a new pharoah. As they believed the bullshit that the pharoah was a god on earth and if you crossed him, you crossed god himself.

So I would say the main fight wouldn't be seeking to remove the pharoah. Sure that comes later. But firstly its a matter of convincing the masses that the pharoahs alleged moral mandate is a smokescreen.

re: desires... I dont know if theres an end point where one can say "ok, i have found true enlightment" but at least doing inner searching and trying to get closer and closer to that point can let one experience more of their true self coming through. I dunno...

Interestingly

Aldous Huxley's cousin was the founding Secretary of the UN health secretariat. He was also a notorious eugenicist and zero population growther. Their grandfather was a contemporary and friend of both Darwin and HG Wells (all of the above being Fabian socialists) and promoter of social Darwinism as "proof" of how superior humans are right to control and oppress inferior humans for their own pleasure or gain, this view morphing and twisting into the social Darwinism beliefs of Hitler and the third reich on the one hand and Prescott and daddy George Bush's support of zero population growth and eugenicism on the other.

Far from being "liberal", "progressive", or "scientific", both Darwin and the elder Huxley were quite clear to each other in their writings that Darwin's theories were not scientific but served as fertile ground for social darwinism social (and socialist) theories and population control.

Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

yes I would concede that

yes I would concede that Huxley was socialist.

However in my opinion their incorrect views on economic systems does not take away from Huxley's insights into the possibilities of the mind and what exactly it even is in the first place.

It's one thing to be a libertarian. It's another to refuse to admit to yourself that any author on any possible topic is wrong on that topic simply because he has incorrect political or economic views.

As a strange twist, there is a philosiophical view called "metaphysical libertarianism" that i kinda of wanted to believe, but it is simply unsupported by the logic (in my opinion). The "compatabilitst" are correct, in my view.

I believe it would be prudent

I believe it would be prudent of you to re-read FBI_Exposers comment; for I fear it has fallen on deaf ears.

You seemed to have read the word "socialists" and jumped to conclusions. Socialism is a philosophy, but more importantly the Fabian Socialists, as FBI_Exposer was pointing out, have the philosophy that if one person is able to gain control of another person, by whatever means, then that is perfectly acceptable to use that person for whatever uses one might have. If you don't know of the Fabian Socialists, which Huxley was one, then it would be in your best interest to look into them.

You seem to infer that philosophy exists in-of-itself in some kind of vacuum void of interaction with anything else; however, philosophy is the basis for every -ism and belief system which exists today.

I was clear in my

I was clear in my understanding of it and clear in my response (or thought I thought).

I'll try to restate more clearly: I am aware that Huxley is no friend of libertarians or freedom politically speaking. That doesn't denegrate the quality of his insights into human consciousness and the mind.

Hope this is sufficiently succinct and straightfoward.

It has nothing to do with

It has nothing to do with libertarians. It has to do with a philosophical belief that it is acceptable to manipulate and control other people for their own ends. Unlike the general GOP and DEM voting public, who don't see what they want as controlling others, Huxley and the Fabians know that they would be controlling others and they think that it is perfectly acceptable

It would seem that you are not seeing the distinction between people who know they are manipulating and controlling people, and those who don't know that what they want is to manipulate and control other people. The difference is, in legal terms, intent Huxley and the Fabians have intent, while the general GOP and DEM voter does not.

What you responded to FBI_Exposer, like what you have just responded to me, has nothing to do with the original comments made by FBI_exposer or me. You keep saying Huxley is no friend to libertarians while neither nor FBI_Exposer said anything about libertarians. You mention about Huxley's ideas of the mind are great, ya da ya da, while responding to comments which made no reference to Huxley's ideas on the mind.

You seem to be hell-bent on talking about Huxley's ideas on mind, while you yourself are not listening. The Fabian Socialists are the Philosophical Arm and justification of the unseen hand which you claim doesn't exist.

BTW, Soma in BNW was created by somebody for some reason and there was no other reason in the book other than to make people malleable to their conditioning while making them feel fine with their lot in life. So, since BNW was such an efficient society one must wonder who created soma and for what purpose, other than of course to enslave the lower-level people. Also, I don't remember references in the book to the upper-level executives taking soma; I only remember that the low-level management and the general workers used soma; could this be their unseen hand?

ok cool Huxley was a bad man

ok cool Huxley was a bad man therefore not worth reading.

Same for hitler, Cicero, and any writer who was evil.

Happy?

I can't say for sure that Aldous was a bad man, but...

His cousin certainly was. He openly discussed using UN funds to reduce global population. He openly discussed that there was "life worth living" and "life not worth living" and centralized economic planners needed to make those determinations and then provide birth control and vaccines containing sterilization agents to populations who tended to produce lives "not worth living" with UN funds and through UN organizations.

Their grandfather certainly was bad as he had open documented discussions with HG Wells and Charles Darwin to use Darwin's self-admitted unscientific work as a means of social control and repression by elites via what later became known as social darwinism.

Perhaps Aldous was merely remarking on his cousin's and grandfather's positions and work. Or perhaps he was helping them envision their endgame. We don't know.

"Perhaps Aldous was merely

"Perhaps Aldous was merely remarking on his cousin's and grandfather's positions and work. Or perhaps he was helping them envision their endgame. We don't know."

Exactly.

In reading BNW P.S. I get the feeling that he is conflicted. Sort of like a Rosthchild scion who is becoming aware of his familys stock in trade and that it is the reason for everything he has and everything hsi family has, and has to decide to stay true to his own people, or side with what he thinks is right.

You see it a little bit in BNW in the inner dialogues of the protoganist, and you see it a lot more in other books of his.

He strikes me as a person whose heart is truly searching out answers of how an indivual can reconcile freedom amonogst external and internal demons in the world, while at the same time trying to handle his own internal demon (family vs what is right).