Wednesday, June 2, 2021

"Aldous Huxley on Technodictators"

Blank on Blank

Review in your mind the events of the past year or so, and ask yourself, is Aldous Huxley not among the prophets?

"We musn't be caught by surprise by our own advancing technology. This has happened again and again in history. And suddenly people have found themselves in a situation which they didn't foresee, and doing all sorts of things they didn't really want to do. At present the television is being used, I think, quite harmlessly, but I mean imagine, which must be the situation in all communist countries for the television where it exists, is always saying the same thing the whole time. It's always driving along. It's drumming in a single idea all the time. It's obviously an immensely powerful instrument...

If you want to preserve your power indefinitely, you have to get the consent of the ruled. And this they will do, partly by drugs, partly by these new techniques of propaganda. They will do it by bypassing the rational side of man, and appealing to his subconscious and his deeper emotion, making him actually love his slavery. I mean think this is the danger, that actually people will be in some ways happy under the new regime. But they will be happy in ways they oughtn't to be happy."

-Alduous Huxley, Interview by Mike Wallace (May 18, 1958)

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