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What do you buy

"The cosmetic manufacturers are not selling lanolin, they are selling hope...we no longer buy oranges, we buy vitality. We do not just buy an auto, we buy prestige."
~Vance Packard

 Aldous Huxley in his Brave New World Revisited:

"Most cosmetics are made of lanolin, which is a mixture of purified wool fat and water beaten up to an emulsion. This emulsion has many valuable properties: it penetrates the skin, does not become rancid and mildly antiseptic. But commercial propagandists do not speak of the genuine virtues of the emulsion. They give it some voluptuous name, talk misleadingly about feminine beauty and show pictures of gorgeous blondes nourishing their tissues with skin food. Cosmetic manufacturers do not sell lanolin, they are selling hope. For this hope, propagandists have so skillfully related to a deep-seated and almost universal feminine wish - the wish to be more attractive to members of the opposite sex.

We no longer buy oranges, we buy vitality. We do not buy just an auto, we buy prestige. In toothpaste we buy not a mere cleanser and antiseptic, but release from the fear of being sexually repulsive. With monthly bestseller we acquire culture, the envy of our less literate neighbors and the respect of the sophisticated."

 Sham Lal writing in an old essay titled A Bad Dream (can be found in the book A Hundred Encounters):

"But can everyone be given enough education to enable him to judge an argument between Bertrand Russell and Martin Heidegger? in a complex world in which even top academics cannot agree on facts, much less on their interpretation, how can we expect the Orwellian proles and the Huxleyian semi-morons, tightening up screws or making small entries in huge ledgers all day long, to have the nerve to face up to the truth even if they could see it? They cannot even face the truth of their own lives. That is why they take to pin-ups, juke joints, rock n'roll and singing commercials."

Well, in the same essay Sham Lal did warn that many will read Huxley for the same "un-Huxleyian reason".

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