Retrograde. Bamboozlement! More Bamboozlement!

Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World, Visions

It is not the dark authoritarian vision of Orwell’s 1984 that is coming true but that of chilling indulgence adumbrated by Huxley's Brave New World. In Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history; people will come to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think. Orwell feared those who would ban books; Huxley feared no one would want to read one. Orwell feared the truth would be concealed from us; Huxley feared it would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance; Orwell feared we would become a captive culture; Huxley feared we’d become a trivial one. In Orwell’s prophecy, people are controlled by inflicting pain; in Huxley’s by inflicting pleasure.

8 comments:

  1. The lines are from the famous book Amusing Ourselves to Death by American media theorist and cultural critic Neil Postman
    .

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a wonderful post. You have a great collection of articles tucked away in this site of yours.

    The presentation of the content though deserves a better aesthetic treatment. May I suggest a site redesign?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nazeer,
    Thanks for dropping in a line!
    About the redesign thinggy...I like to play around with it often. I have already changed it about five times. An this time i really like my Rasta colors :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like the lines from Neil postman too.

    Could you suggest books regarding Bollywood that I could add to my reading list?

    ReplyDelete
  5. That requires a separate post. Hang around and I will come up with
    something, although not necessarily about any wood but about best books on Indian Cinema.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Was the comparison not authored by Sham Lal? I find Orwell to be more rounded off, though.

    ReplyDelete
  7. No, I looked around and the lines are by Neil Postman. Sham Lal had a habit of quoting stuff and then writing according to certain author.

    P.S. You must have realized, I have been quoting stuff from your diary :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. On 21 October 1949, Huxley wrote to George Orwell, author of Nineteen Eighty-Four, congratulating Orwell on "how fine and how profoundly important the book is". In his letter to Orwell, he predicted:

    "Within the next generation I believe that the world's leaders will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging them and kicking them into obedience."[7]

    - from Huxley, Aldous (1969). Grover Smith. ed. Letters of Aldous Huxley. London: Chatto & Windus.

    ReplyDelete

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