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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 06-11-2013, 03:54 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Oh yeah, another is keep telling the American people that they're "free."
"whoever told you that is your enemy."

/you set it up perfectly
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:33 PM   #32
Backwards Masking Backwards Masking is offline
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That is what I wish was the true part about Brave New World, the island where people who were not content were sent to live out their days in peace- supposedly.
in today's world "island" could be a metaphor for stocking up on favorite media, having a creative outlet for frustration and unplugging from society except where financial need is concerned.

anybody can create their own "island" and unplug from society. but the need to fit in, maintain past relationships and be part of something "bigger than themselves" is far too extreme for most to follow through, even the dissatisfied
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:50 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backwards Masking View Post
in today's world "island" could be a metaphor for stocking up on favorite media, having a creative outlet for frustration and unplugging from society except where financial need is concerned.

anybody can create their own "island" and unplug from society. but the need to fit in, maintain past relationships and be part of something "bigger than themselves" is far too extreme for most to follow through, even the dissatisfied
I want an island in my kitchen.
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:30 AM   #34
Loneiguana Loneiguana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backwards Masking View Post
in today's world "island" could be a metaphor for stocking up on favorite media, having a creative outlet for frustration and unplugging from society except where financial need is concerned.

anybody can create their own "island" and unplug from society. but the need to fit in, maintain past relationships and be part of something "bigger than themselves" is far too extreme for most to follow through, even the dissatisfied
I agree with this and I believe it is the message delivered by the quote of my signature.


However, Most people just want to go to work everyday and come home and enjoy themselves. It can go either way there. Either they find a way to be content and happy with what they have and not let society affect them too much or society takes advantage of that "want" to be content Brave New World style.

It is a question I ask myself often. Am I being conditioned to be passive when I come home and relax by losing my sense of reality in a video game and thus not out preventing abuse? Or am I keeping myself happy and sane in world that has gone insane by transporting myself to my own island?
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:38 AM   #35
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I don't think we can make the world a palace though. That sounds utopian. I do think we can prevent it being a prison—and should.
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:48 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
I don't think we can make the world a palace though. That sounds utopian. I do think we can prevent it being a prison—and should.
I think the quotes speaks more to a personal palace, not too much on the world at large.

More about attitude, not changing the whole world. Pessimistic versus optimistic.

Do you look around and see more things that make you happy or look around and see more things that make you angry.

And we should stop anyone from creating a prison of this world, personal or for the world as a whole.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:22 AM   #37
Backwards Masking Backwards Masking is offline
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I want an island in my kitchen.
you can make one....in your imagination
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:42 AM   #38
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you can make one....in your imagination
Oh, I do. It's easy since I have a peninsula instead.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:58 AM   #39
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in today's world "island" could be a metaphor for stocking up on favorite media, having a creative outlet for frustration and unplugging from society except where financial need is concerned.

anybody can create their own "island" and unplug from society. but the need to fit in, maintain past relationships and be part of something "bigger than themselves" is far too extreme for most to follow through, even the dissatisfied
Or today's island could be Guantanamo.
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:49 PM   #40
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Or today's island could be Guantanamo.
That is always my first thought as well.


(sad face)
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:11 PM   #41
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"As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth's final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master."
-Commissioner Pravin Lal, "U.N. Declaration of Rights"
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:44 PM   #42
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welp;

Sales of '1984' spike amid NSA spying scandal
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:09 AM   #43
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:21 AM   #44
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" prefer to make nonsense of democratic procedures by appealing almost exclusively to the ignorance and irrationality of the electors. “Both parties,” we were told in 1956 by the editor of a leading business journal, “will merchandize their candidates and issues by the same methods that business has developed to sell goods. These include scientific selection of appeals and planned repetition. . . . Radio spot announcements and ads will repeat phrases with a planned intensity. Billboards will push slogans of proven power. . . . Candidates need, in addition to rich voices and good diction, to be able to look ‘sincerely’ at the TV camera.”

The political merchandisers appeal only to the weaknesses of voters, never to their potential strength. They make no attempt to educate the masses into becoming fit for self-government; they are content merely to manipulate and exploit them. For this purpose all the resources of psychology and the social sciences are mobilized and set to work. Carefully selected samples of the electorate are given “interviews in depth.” These interviews in depth reveal the unconscious fears and wishes most prevalent in a given society at the time of an election. Phrases and images aimed at allaying or, if necessary, enhancing these fears, at satisfying these wishes, at least symbolically, are then chosen by the experts, tried out on readers and audiences, changed or improved in the light of the information thus obtained. After which the political campaign is ready for the mass communicators. All that is now needed is money and a candidate who can be coached to look “sincere.” Under the new dispensation, political principles and plans for specific action have come to lose most of their importance. The personality of the candidate and the way he is projected by the advertising experts are the things that really matter."
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:26 AM   #45
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"In regard to propaganda the early advocates of universal literacy and a free press envisaged only two possibilities: the propaganda might be true, or it might be false. They did not foresee what in fact has happened, above all in our Western capitalist democracies — the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant. In a word, they failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.

In the past most people never got a chance of fully satisfying this appetite. They might long for distractions, but the distractions were not provided. Christmas came but once a year, feasts were “solemn and rare,” there were few readers and very little to read, and the nearest approach to a neighborhood movie theater was the parish church, where the performances, though frequent, were somewhat monotonous. For conditions even remotely comparable to those now prevailing we must return to imperial Rome, where the populace was kept in good humor by frequent, gratuitous doses of many kinds of entertainment — from poetical dramas to gladiatorial fights, from recitations of Virgil to all-out boxing, from concerts to military reviews and public executions. But even in Rome there was nothing like the non-stop distraction now provided by newspapers and magazines, by radio, television and the cinema. In Brave New World non-stop distractions of the most fascinating nature (the feelies, orgy-porgy, centrifugal bumble-puppy) are deliberately used as instruments of policy, for the purpose of preventing people from paying too much attention to the realities of the social and political situation. The other world of religion is different from the other world of entertainment; but they resemble one another in being most decidedly “not of this world.” Both are distractions and, if lived in too continuously, both can become, in Marx’s phrase, “the opium of the people” and so a threat to freedom. Only the vigilant can maintain their liberties, and only those who are constantly and intelligently on the spot can hope to govern themselves effectively by democratic procedures. A society, most of whose members spend a great part of their time, not on the spot, not here and now and in the calculable future, but somewhere else, in the irrelevant other worlds of sport and soap opera, of mythology and metaphysical fantasy, will find it hard to resist the encroachments of those who would manipulate and control it.

In their propaganda today’s dictators rely for the most part on repetition, suppression and rationalization — the repetition of catchwords which they wish to be accepted as true, the suppression of facts which they wish to be ignored, the arousal and rationalization of passions which may be used in the interests of the Party or the State. As the art and science of manipulation come to be better understood, the dictators of the future will doubtless learn to combine these techniques with the non-stop distractions which, in the West, are now threatening to drown in a sea of irrelevance the rational propaganda essential to the maintenance of individual liberty and the survival of democratic institutions."

- Huxley Brave New World Revisited.
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