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Brave New World or 1984, Or?

Brave New World or 1984, Or?

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Published by Paul Richardson
Thoughts on our society and the steady drift toward nanny statism.
Thoughts on our society and the steady drift toward nanny statism.

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Published by: Paul Richardson on Jun 15, 2011
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Brave New World or 1984? Or?

George Orwell (1984) and Aldous Huxley (Brave New World) both tried to describe their visions of a totalitarian future. In both the elite few control the masses. 1984 Orwell envisioned a sort of ³perfected´ Soviet system where with the added tools of two way televisions to observe the people in their homes, public mind control, torturous ³re-education´ for those who commit ³thought crimes,´ propaganda that rigorously ³corrects´ history to fit the party line. Big Brother is always watching. Brave New World Huxley¶s view is similar but different. Huxley wrote Brave New World to scare people and attack H.G. Wells¶ Men Like Gods. He predicts advances in ³sleep learning´ and reproductive technology. The society he writes about is one where reproduction is a state function with the children cared for and indoctrinated from birth (a fruition of Rousseau¶s vision). The population is limited to 2 billion worldwide; everyone lives a healthy life until age 60 and then they ³die.´ The state¶s reproductive operation produces enough babies to maintain the population at the desired level. The ³children´ are produced in 5 castes; from Alpha through Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon. Each caste has + and ± members. While Alpha and Beta children are the result of a single fertilized egg, the lower three castes use techniques allowing thousands of children per ovary and since each egg is split into a hundred or more fetuses the results are rather like a production run of Chevys, Fords, etc. Intervention is applied to limit their cognitive and physical abilities. They are educated with a hypnopaedic process to implant the desired attitudes. Soma, a hallucinogenic drug is part of the culture to keep people happy. Recreational sex is pushed but marriage is not practiced at all. Individualism is just not done and considered a waste of time. So What? It seems that both visions are similar in the attempt to gain complete control of peoples¶ lives. Both limit their individual growth and freedom greatly. Both

provide little room for individual freedom or responsibility. The masses are basically converted to animals in a sociological zoo with the elite as the zookeepers. What if anything does this mean for us? I posit that it means a lot when you look at the trends currently in place in Western civilization at this time. I think quotes from Plato relating a couple of Socrates thoughts are a good place to start. Those who are already wise no longer love wisdom²whether they are gods or men. Similarly, those whose own ignorance has made them bad, rotten, evil, do not strive for wisdom either. For no evil or ignorant person ever strives for wisdom. What remains are those who suffer from ignorance, but still retain some sense and understanding. They are conscious of knowing what they don¶t know. Socrates, in Plato¶s Lysis, 218b, fourth century BC

[Socrates comment on the right way to live]²I am a stinging fly, sent to goad the city (Athens) as though it were a huge, thoroughbred horse, which because of its size is rather sluggish and needs to be stirred. Plato¶s Apology, 30e Socrates whose insight and impact on democracy and the very foundation of western civilization knew that ideologues, the lazy, the bad, rotten, and evil do not contribute positively to society because they have forsaken the constant practice of facing reality and learning from it. They work hard to create false constructs to attempt to make society conform to their wishes and desires for power and wealth. Only those who realize what they don¶t know and act to learn what they can to offset that deficit can make positive contributions to society. In addition to the foundation laid by Socrates we have those who fostered the Enlightenment principles so prominent in our founding documents. Wikipedia describes the Enlightenment . . .

The Age of Enlightenment (or simply the Enlightenment or Age of Reason) was a cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe to mobilize the power of reason to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in Church and state. It originated about 1650-1700, sparked by philosophers Baruch Spinoza (1632±1677), John Locke (1632±1704), Pierre Bayle (1647±1706) and scientist Isaac Newton (1643±1727). Ruling princes often endorsed and fostered Enlightenment figures and even attempted to apply their ideas of government. The Enlightenment was an elite movement of intellectuals that flourished until about 1790-1800, after which the emphasis on reason gave way to Romanticism's emphasis on emotion, and a Counter-Enlightenment gained force. The center of the Enlightenment was France, where it was based in the salons and culminated in the great Encyclopédie (1751±72) edited by Denis Diderot (1713±1784) with contributions by hundreds of leading philosophes (intellectuals) such as Voltaire (1694±1778) and Montesquieu (1689±1755). Some 25,000 copies of the 35 volume set were sold, half of them outside France. The new intellectual forces spread to urban centers across Europe, notably England, Scotland, the German states, the Netherlands, Russia, Italy, Austria, and Spain, then jumped the Atlantic into the European colonies, where it influenced Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, among many others, and played a major role in the American Revolution. The political ideals influenced the American Declaration of Independence, the United States Bill of Rights, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, and the Polish± Lithuanian Constitution of May 3, 1791.[1] The romantic [emotional] approach has had greater and greater effect on our society starting especially in the early twentieth century. This approach has allowed the elites to gain more and more power over peoples¶ lives through more and more entitlement programs designed to weaken self-reliance, individual freedom and self-responsibility for our lives while increasing our dependence on them. This coupled with a dumbed down ³progressive´ education system has made it easier for the ³elites´ to sway public opinion. This has greatly increased their power. Thus, the ³we must help out everyone in need´ mentality has pushed us closer and closer to socialism. Historically, socialism has never worked long

term. Creating a society of more and more ³dependent´ citizens does not foster the economic growth to keep pace with the costs of ever expanding entitlements and government programs. As Margaret Thatcher observed, ³Socialism always fails because ultimately they run out of money.´ Yes, you can borrow ever increasing amounts as we have but eventually the bill comes due as is currently the case in Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Portugal, Spain and soon many others.

Taking away the incentive to work, learn, be productive and responsible has had a very negative effect on our society. The trend is now in place toward a 1984 or Brave New World scenario which could reasonably occur after a collapse due to an economic crisis. Even if the money could be found would creating a large underclass, dependent on the whims of the powerful elites, the sort of society we wish to be part of or wish to see our progeny experience?

I know where I stand and that is to advocate a return to our founding principles with individual freedom, self-reliance and self-responsibility, much smaller government and a much better future for our children and grandchildren.

Paul Richardson June 2011

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