Orwell or Huxley?

Via, at The Liberty Papers, Michael O. Powell suggests Huxley’s Brave new world, not Orwell’s 1984 is the distopia towards which we are heading. He asks

“How does one become an activist in a society in which people freely subjugate, segregate and limit themselves?”

The answer, as any good libertarian knows, is to ignore what other people think. Say your thing, be good to your fellow man, and don’t expect him to agree. If you can’t persuade by force of argument, then that’s your problem, not his. A society high on Soma, if happy, isn’t a problem. If People subjugate themselves willingly, well, that’s their problem, not yours.

As Chris Dillow regularly points out, a lack of political engagement is rational. The anger you feel is out of all proportion to the effect you can have. Better to concentrate on getting a better job, hotter wife, faster car or whatever you think will make you happy.

So, the Girl didn’t want to read the proffered Huxley paperback as a reward for finding your phone?

That girl did go to extra trouble to give me my phone back, with no advantage to her… That means she had a decency and sense of altruism that her lack of reading hadn’t impeded… Perhaps then we really are on the road to progress.

Quite. What matters is whether they are decent, not whether they read.

1 reply
  1. Andrew Zalotocky
    Andrew Zalotocky says:

    Neither! The kind of society that Britain and America risk becoming is best described by Franz Kafka. He was a minor bureaucrat in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and his stories are fundamentally about what it is like to live under an all-powerful but utterly incompetent bureaucratic state. They are about the experience of living under arbitrary power wielded by total idiots. That's the warning we should be listening to.


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