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A democracy which makes or even effectively prepares for modern, scientific war must necessarily cease to be democratic. No country can be really well prepared for modern war unless it is governed by a tyrant, at the head of a highly trained and perfectly obedient bureaucracy.
Everyone who wants to do good to the human race always ends in universal bullying.
Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects... totalitarian propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have by the most eloquent denunciations.
Science has explained nothing; the more we know the more fantastic the world becomes and the profounder the surrounding darkness.
So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly arise and make them miserable.
To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs.
Originally posted by awake_and_aware
Question - Of which points or argument Huxley makes, do you disagree with?
When we consider pleasure, we do a tremendous injustice if we find the entertainment media to be the sole culprit of promoting illegitimate pleasure or hedonism. The subject is far too complex a web, which we have all shared in spinning.
What role, for example, has higher education played? Has it been any less a force in causing young minds to stumble? The reality is that there is nothing so vulgar left in human experience for which some educator from some institution cannot be found to justify it. In the name of literary license, anything passes off as permissible.
But thankfully, there are also voices of caution from higher education, such as Neil Postman’s. In his book Amusing Ourselves To Death, he contrasted the futuristic visions of George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World:
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 would want to read one…. 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 that we would become a trivial culture…. As Huxley remarked: 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 distractions.”
In 1984 people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.
I think Postman is right. Any pleasure—whether good or illegitimate can make us slaves. Hunger for even the simple pleasure of food may become a life-dominating drive. Oscar Wilde said, “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.” He’s got it wrong. The unrestrained appeasement of desire only expands hungers. Does not our experience tell us so?
It is true. The fences of our moral pasture have been torn down, leaving us much room to graze. But let us remember what G.K. Chesterton once said: Any time you pull down a fence, always ask why it was put there in the first place.