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2.26.2020

Postman wrote: 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....

The danger we face is not an Orwellian 1984-style dictatorship, but Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, where we waste our lives in the vain and impossible pursuit of a self-centered, universal happiness. The Illusive Self 181 "What Orwell feared were those who would ban books," Postman wrote: 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 The tens of millions of impoverished Americans in the working class, whose lives and concerns rarely make it on television, have become largely invisible. Shows such as Cashmere Mafia, Big Shots or Cane openly celebrate excess 182 WHEN ATHEISM BECOMES RELIGION and wealth. Television tempts viewers with the opulent life enjoyed by the American oligarchy, one percent of whom control more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined. Characters on television live in sprawling and artfully decorated lofts.... 

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