The contrast between the warnings of George
Orwell’s famous book, 1984
and Aldous Huxley’s equally well-known book, BRAVE NEW WORLD,
may be instructive for our troubled times.
Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an
externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley’s vision, no Big
Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and
history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to
adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.
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 wanted to read one. Orwell feared
those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who
would give us so much information that we would be reduced to
passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed
from us. Huxley feared that the truth would be drowned in a sea of
Orwell feared that we would become a captive
culture. Huxley feared that we would become a trivial culture,
preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies and warm fuzzies.
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 would suggest the possibility that, for the
United States, the liberals are proving Huxley correct, and are
imposing Orwells’s worst fears on us conservatives. Liberals
willingly relinquish their rights and freedoms, and now seek to remove
our rights and freedoms.
Our agricultural community, and other similar
communities throughout the west, are being overcome by an externally
imposed oppression by people who have come to adore their own
oppression and the technologies that have undone their capacities to
think. We are experiencing Orwell’s worst fears inflicted by people
who have become what Huxley feared the most. Rural America has become
a captive culture. A culture captured by a trivial liberal culture. A
culture preoccupied with their warm fuzzy feelings. God help us all.