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Old 06-10-2013, 06:40 AM  
Loneiguana Loneiguana is offline
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1984 versus Brave New World

With all the Big Brother talk and concern with the NSA stuff, since it finally got media attention, I figured it would be a good time to start up a discussion between the two dystopian novels of 1984 and Brave New World.

If you haven't read one or both:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brave_New_World

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four

The main debate between the novels is which dystopian style government controls us.

Does negative, punishment style government control us? The Big Brother tactics (Like NSA) with punishment. Or does overabundance of positive stimulates brainwash us into submission Brave New World Style.

Huxley, The author of Brave New World, gets the debate going with a Letter to Orwell: http://www.lettersofnote.com/2012/03...new-world.html
Quote:

Wrightwood. Cal.
21 October, 1949

Dear Mr. Orwell,

It was very kind of you to tell your publishers to send me a copy of your book. It arrived as I was in the midst of a piece of work that required much reading and consulting of references; and since poor sight makes it necessary for me to ration my reading, I had to wait a long time before being able to embark on Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Agreeing with all that the critics have written of it, I need not tell you, yet once more, how fine and how profoundly important the book is. May I speak instead of the thing with which the book deals — the ultimate revolution? The first hints of a philosophy of the ultimate revolution — the revolution which lies beyond politics and economics, and which aims at total subversion of the individual's psychology and physiology — are to be found in the Marquis de Sade, who regarded himself as the continuator, the consummator, of Robespierre and Babeuf. The philosophy of the ruling minority in Nineteen Eighty-Four is a sadism which has been carried to its logical conclusion by going beyond sex and denying it. Whether in actual fact the policy of the boot-on-the-face can go on indefinitely seems doubtful. My own belief is that the ruling oligarchy will find less arduous and wasteful ways of governing and of satisfying its lust for power, and these ways will resemble those which I described in Brave New World. I have had occasion recently to look into the history of animal magnetism and hypnotism, and have been greatly struck by the way in which, for a hundred and fifty years, the world has refused to take serious cognizance of the discoveries of Mesmer, Braid, Esdaile, and the rest.

Partly because of the prevailing materialism and partly because of prevailing respectability, nineteenth-century philosophers and men of science were not willing to investigate the odder facts of psychology for practical men, such as politicians, soldiers and policemen, to apply in the field of government. Thanks to the voluntary ignorance of our fathers, the advent of the ultimate revolution was delayed for five or six generations. Another lucky accident was Freud's inability to hypnotize successfully and his consequent disparagement of hypnotism. This delayed the general application of hypnotism to psychiatry for at least forty years. But now psycho-analysis is being combined with hypnosis; and hypnosis has been made easy and indefinitely extensible through the use of barbiturates, which induce a hypnoid and suggestible state in even the most recalcitrant subjects.

Within the next generation I believe that the world's rulers 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 and kicking them into obedience. In other words, I feel that the nightmare of Nineteen Eighty-Four is destined to modulate into the nightmare of a world having more resemblance to that which I imagined in Brave New World. The change will be brought about as a result of a felt need for increased efficiency. Meanwhile, of course, there may be a large scale biological and atomic war — in which case we shall have nightmares of other and scarcely imaginable kinds.

Thank you once again for the book.

Yours sincerely,

Aldous Huxley
I, personally, believe that Brave New World style is more controlling of us in our present time. Our society has an overabundance of Drugs and pleasurable media to keep us distracted, among other positive stimulus. We allow advertisements to practically brainwash us through repetition (Propaganda requires repetition). I do believe we are practically conditioned to accept our place in society.

"And that," put in the Director sententiously, "that is the secret of happiness and virtue -- liking what you've got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny." (Huxley, Brave New World pg 26).

I can't discount the Big Brother aspect, though I don't think we have the wide spread violence of 1984. I very well could be wrong.

What do you guys think?

Here is a link to Brave New World Revisit, more essay's by Huxley explaining his views. I highly recommend reading it: http://www.huxley.net/bnw-revisited/

Edit: Also, feel free to talk about We by Yevgeny Zamyatin.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_(novel)

Or any other Dystopian books. I love Dystopian novels.

Last edited by Loneiguana; 06-10-2013 at 03:47 PM..
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:42 AM   #2
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A comic related to the Debate:
http://www.prosebeforehos.com/image-...nt-oppression/

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Old 06-10-2013, 07:00 AM   #3
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Only those two choices? How 'bout something in-between: I've read both books but don't recall all the details mainly the gist. I've often thought we've been living more like a Brave New World but I think there's some of 1984 too.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:54 AM   #4
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I think that it's different tactics for different people. Dope them up, indoctrinate from an early age, keep them entertained. That keeps a lot of people indifferent and controllable. But not everyone. Those that don't fall in line are mostly ignored, then ridiculed, and if they keep it up, they either get the boot on the neck in a literal sense or they get their name dragged through the mud in the media and turned into a villain.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Only those two choices? How 'bout something in-between: I've read both books but don't recall all the details mainly the gist. I've often thought we've been living more like a Brave New World but I think there's some of 1984 too.
I'm starting to change my mind and see a bit more 1984 nowadays. I use to be about 90 percent behind Brave New World. Now, that may be sliding more into both. Though, I still think the majority of control is through Brave New World style.

You should reread them. I try to every couple years.

If you haven't checked out We yet, do so. Those darn Russians know how to write a Dystopian.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by BigChiefTablet View Post
I think that it's different tactics for different people. Dope them up, indoctrinate from an early age, keep them entertained. That keeps a lot of people indifferent and controllable. But not everyone. Those that don't fall in line are mostly ignored, then ridiculed, and if they keep it up, they either get the boot on the neck in a literal sense or they get their name dragged through the mud in the media and turned into a villain.
That is how I tend to think. The savage 1984 style stuff is reserved for those who make it past the conditioning, the ridicule. The majority of people are kept content.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
I'm starting to change my mind and see a bit more 1984 nowadays. I use to be about 90 percent behind Brave New World. Now, that may be sliding more into both. Though, I still think the majority of control is through Brave New World style.

You should reread them. I try to every couple years.

If you haven't checked out We yet, do so. Those darn Russians know how to write a Dystopian.
That one sounds worth a read. I did get some review of 1984 (and Animal Farm) when I homeschooled my daughter's just for her last two years of HS. I made her read 1984 because I thought it was important. I wish we had time for Brave New World but we didn't. I credit her with getting me interested in classics in general. I try to read two a year now.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
That one sounds worth a read. I did get some review of 1984 (and Animal Farm) when I homeschooled my daughter's just for her last two years of HS. I made her read 1984 because I thought it was important. I wish we had time for Brave New World but we didn't. I credit her with getting me interested in classics in general. I try to read two a year now.
See, you can have a good book discussion with a liberal English major.

Would you believe I got to read 1984 in a Catholic High School literature class?

I wish Brave New World got more traction. Everyone should read both, but every American should read Brave New World."I do love having new clothes. I do love having new clothes. I do love having new clothes."

What both books do beautifully is show how the manipulation of language is the support that holds the control in place. 1984 gives us a brutal look on how language can be manipulated, Brave New World shows how propaganda and repetition can create conformity of thoughts. Language controls how we think.

I can't discuss language of these books without also bring up Orwell's Politics and the English Language. http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/...glish/e_polit/

Amazing insight into the construction of political language. Since it starts out a little slow, Ill provide my favorite part to motivate reading it:

"In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them. Consider for instance some comfortable English professor defending Russian totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, ‘I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so’. Probably, therefore, he will say something like this:

‘While freely conceding that the Soviet regime exhibits certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigors which the Russian people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement.’"
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:44 PM   #9
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You should put WE on your list or maybe Erehwon. As far as dystopian novels go, they should go on the list.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:49 PM   #10
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You should put WE on your list or maybe Erehwon. As far as dystopian novels go, they should go on the list.
Heard and agreed.

Haven't read Erehwon. Going on the amazon wish list.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
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"I do love having new clothes. I do love having new clothes. I do love having new clothes."
That sounds exactly like my daughter!!!!

Quote:
What both books do beautifully is show how the manipulation of language is the support that holds the control in place. 1984 gives us a brutal look on how language can be manipulated, Brave New World shows how propaganda and repetition can create conformity of thoughts. Language controls how we think.


I can't discuss language of these books without also bring up Orwell's Politics and the English Language. http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/...glish/e_polit/
Do you know how many times I've posted about the abuse of language to change the masses here? Including using that essay by Orwell. The odd thing is that he was a democratic socialist himself and that's an ideology that has the gravest abuses. I'd get into them but this is not the kind of thread I'd dredge that up.
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
That sounds exactly like my daughter!!!!
I fight sometimes we my wife when I tell her that when we do have kids, I'd rather them not be able to watch T.V. because of commercials.

I'll eventually win because Netflix is awesome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Do you know how many times I've posted about the abuse of language to change the masses here? Including using that essay by Orwell. The odd thing is that he was a democratic socialist himself and that's an ideology that has the gravest abuses. I'd get into them but this is not the kind of thread I'd dredge that up.
I think I might have said this before, but I think we can agree on more than we disagree.

Because I do agree. But, everyone does it.

The best thing to do is understand the Rhetorical tactics and navigate through the B.S. of everyone and anyone who is attempting to sell you something.

My focus through my college career has been on studying language use in propaganda. (I got to reread Brave New World for Brit. Lit.) My major Nazi research paper was titled "Language as the Foundation for Fascism: How the Nazi's Manipulated Language for Propaganda". That is how I came into contact with Klemperer and The language of the Third Reich. I cannot recommend that book enough for anyone interested in political language.

Anyway, what major language abuses do you see nowadays? I'm just fishing for your opinion on this topic because of my own curiosity. Of course I've studied the right's propaganda use a bit more than the lefts. And that by now means excuses whats there, I anit naive.
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:20 PM   #13
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It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen. A simply great first sentence. After reading it you look forward to those that follow ~
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:26 PM   #14
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We'll probably just get into a big argument if I open that door.

So I'll just briefly state a few that come to mind quickly: democracy, free-markets, capitalism (coined by Marx but never defined but he was really observing British mercantilism), inflation, and terrorism.


There's a reason Latin was killed. The educational elites did that to keep it for themselves. Now we have propaganda by redefinition of words.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:39 PM   #15
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ropaganda by redefinition of words.
Look into how the Nazi's changed the connotation of Fanatical from negative word to positive word. It is one of the best examples. We basically copied it. It is positive to be a fan.

They took word which means blindly devoted and unquestioning and made it a good thing. It was great to be fanatical for the Party.
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