Huxley, not Orwell, was right

From: Ken (SHIELDSIT) 5 Aug 2013 13:54
To: ALL1 of 13
I don't want to turn into katsung, trust me I don't!  

Drew and I had a hangout over the weekend, which had some great conversation and I mentioned that I couldn't figure out what was keeping us (Americans) for flooding the streets in outrage over what our government is doing to us.  My guess was that we are so distracted and busy to care much.  We are kept just happy enough I guess.  I asked my uncle the same thing and he sent me this quote which sent chills up my spine.  So the question is, what do we do about it?

“We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn't, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares.

But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell's dark vision, there was another - slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. 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 that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. 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 we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, 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, Huxley added, 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.

Quote borrowed from here.

EDITED: 5 Aug 2013 13:55 by SHIELDSIT
From: Peter (BOUGHTONP) 5 Aug 2013 19:16
To: Ken (SHIELDSIT) 2 of 13
Don't worry, Katsung isn't really a conspiracy nut so you're in perfectly safe territory. :)

The question is, what do you want to do about it?

From: Ken (SHIELDSIT) 5 Aug 2013 19:24
To: Peter (BOUGHTONP) 3 of 13
That's a good question.  The end goal should be for it to be stopped, but how could we be sure that it was even if they said it was?  The complete disregard for the constitution is the most frightening thing to me. That document, and the vow to follow it is the only thing we have!  If they decided to ignore the 1st and 4th Amendments already what keeps them from ignoring the whole thing?  Pretty soon they will ignore the 2nd and gather up all of our guns.  Once that's done we have no chance, not that we do anyway, but at least if we are armed we could inflict a little pain before we're destroyed!
From: Peter (BOUGHTONP) 5 Aug 2013 19:27
To: Ken (SHIELDSIT) 4 of 13
You're misunderstanding what it is.
From: Oscarvarium (OZGUR) 5 Aug 2013 19:28
To: Ken (SHIELDSIT) 5 of 13
Not trying to be too antagonistic, but society was around and working fine (as much as it ever does) for thousands and thousands of years before the US Constitution existed. I don't really get the near-religous blind faith in that single document, as if following it to the letter would make everything work fine without fail.
From: Ken (SHIELDSIT) 5 Aug 2013 19:31
To: Peter (BOUGHTONP) 6 of 13
I am? What is it then?
From: Ken (SHIELDSIT) 5 Aug 2013 19:38
To: Oscarvarium (OZGUR) 7 of 13
It's what this country was founded on. The foresight that the people who crafted that document is amazing!

I agree that it's silly to think a piece of paper is the answer to all the problems, but this entire country and all of it's laws are based on the words from that document.  The words on that document determine guilt or innocence, and imprisonment or freedom.  So it's not something that you can just pick and choose to follow and that's what we have going on here.  I'm not really a "America is the best place on earth" type of person. I was born here and didn't have a say in that, but I'm here and I don't mind it usually.  Most places seem pretty much the same to me anyway. But the thing that really pisses me off, which is a little different from where you guys are from is these fuckers work for US!  We pay them, we elect them on the hopes that they have our best interests in mind and will do their best to uphold the oath they've taken.  It's to the point now though that they all come from the same mold (at least at the national level, local government isn't totally corrupt yet) so we are stuck picking the least worse which shouldn't happen.

Anyway, I hope that makes a little sense, the women in the office are fucking blabbing today and I can't concentrate. 
From: william (WILLIAMA) 5 Aug 2013 20:44
To: Ken (SHIELDSIT) 8 of 13
Unfortunate that Neil Postman appears to set up a very crude reading of Orwell in order to stage this supposed win for Huxley. Of course, there's an even older story from 1921 which is probably a more satisfactory piece of writing than either. 'We' by Yevgeny Zamyatin has elements of both 1984 and Brave New World which isn't really surprising because it's very likely certain that both Orwell and Huxley read it before writing their books.
From: Peter (BOUGHTONP) 5 Aug 2013 23:10
To: Ken (SHIELDSIT) 9 of 13
It isn't something where guns can help with, except perhaps by shooting people who aren't your enemy, but that's generally regarded as not the wisest of approaches.

I'm not going to try and describe 'it' because (1) I don't know the right words; (b) I don't know that I'm right; (iii) You probably have to experience it for yourself, Kneo.

From: Ken (SHIELDSIT) 6 Aug 2013 13:05
To: Peter (BOUGHTONP) 10 of 13
Great, so I have to keep my eye open for it but don't even know what it is!
From: Kenny J (WINGNUTKJ) 6 Aug 2013 13:18
To: Ken (SHIELDSIT) 11 of 13
EDITED: 6 Aug 2013 13:20 by WINGNUTKJ
From: Ken (SHIELDSIT) 6 Aug 2013 13:19
To: Kenny J (WINGNUTKJ) 12 of 13
Maybe when we do the teh podcast PB can find the words to tell me what it is!
From: Peter (BOUGHTONP) 6 Aug 2013 23:23
To: Ken (SHIELDSIT) 13 of 13
Maybe reading the book that old Willie mentioned will help?