What neither Orwell nor Huxley foresaw

From Salvo:

If the state claims the authority to revise the meanings of words like marriage, male, and female, where will it stop? It will call “hatred” or “bigotry” a woman’s discomfort at having to share a bathroom or locker room with a male who says he is a female. It says that a man may make up his own definition of female and that you have to respect his definition and not impose your own. But it’s not your definition; it’s the common definition of generations.

Language predates state. But when the state insists it can overturn our common language and impose its own, that’s a power grab, a dangerous form of totalitarianism, is it not?More.

Reality check: For many years, people have argued whether Orwell’s 1984 or Huxley’s Brave New World would be our final dystopia. When I studied the matter, I found that the answer is, both.

The main reason is a change Orwell didn’t foresee plus one Huxley didn’t foresee.

Orwell did not foresee a future where government did not need proles (automation plus foreign labour greatly reduces the need for workers here). Huxley didn’t foresee the need for huge crackdowns on traditional rights and freedoms (because his population was genetically and environmentally programmed not to need that).

So we get Brave New World’s population ruled by 1984’s Big Government. Look around you.

See also: Bloomberg rips campus political correctness yet he himself sponsored the war on soda pop As long as someone is bossing you and me around on even the most minor decisions, it may as well be him, right?

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  • Government will always try to criminalize the population, all bureaucracy becomes corrupt and power hungry. I wonder how many family members work for our public service unions. The political class has the means and desire to make us all serfs.

    • Alain

      I agree that over time this is exactly what always happens, just as big government always results in pure totalitarianism.

    • WalterBannon

      LEFT WING Governments will always try to criminalize the population.

      Actual right wing governments, of which there are none, are only interested in staying out of their citizens business and collecting just enough taxes to build “roads, sewers, aqueducts”, and keep the army guarding the borders against the barbarians.

  • canminuteman

    I have read both these books. From a purely literary perspective I much prefer 1984. Where Huxley was right is where he figured most people would spend their time in a drugged up stupor pursuing mindless amusement. Where Orwell was right was in his concept of an all powerful, all seeing big brother state.

    Something I see in 1984 though, and it isn’t something that Orwell pursues enough is the concept of “the proles”. Winston Smith’s problem was that he was a party member. He was part of the establishment and because of that he was under the eye of big brother. It seams that big brother didn’t care too much about the proles and more or less let them be, although the book doesn’t explore that theme in enough detail. “The Proles” to me, where the people who had chosen to “go Galt” and as such were more or less free. Winston could have made that choice but he chose to be a party member.

  • Alain

    While Huxley’s population had been genetically and environmentally programmed, I suggest that the majority of Western population has also been purposely programmed through social engineering rather than genetically resulting in what many of us call a dumbed down population. This has been accomplished through the media, entertainment and school system. It did not happen overnight but has been taking place for a long time, starting around the end of WW I in my opinion. It appears that the objective has been reached with the majority in Western countries willingly giving up one freedom after another to those wanting to control our lives. Further proof is that people will elect the like of Trudeau, Obama, Wynne and continue to re-elect them in spite of all the evidence of corruption, lies and everything else. A thinking and freedom loving population would not do this, nor would it agree to accept the tyranny of minorities though affirmative action or any other state imposed policy.

    • Waffle

      For most, it’s easier to go along to get along — there are mouths to feed and mortgages to pay. It takes independent means to say FU (like Trump).

      • You think Trump can make $$ independently of the system?

        He can’t. That’s why he cozies up to big-name politicians like the Clintons and Mitch McConnell. He donates huge sums to them so they’ll do what he needs to have done in order to make more $$.

        And that’s why his FU to the system is a hoax…and they all know it.

        • El Martyachi

          I really hope you’re wrong.

  • El Martyachi

    Zamyatin’s “We” goes there.

  • bargogx1

    Let’s just call it what it is – mind control and brainwashing.

    • Justin St.Denis

      One sees it everywhere, at every level of society, and in every forum. Every bully has her/his fartcatchers. We can even watch that play out right here often enough if you distance yourself, watch things roll out, and don’t give a fuck. Humans are among the easiest, most docile mammals to manage. That is why Industrial Psychology has been growing exponentially for at least three decades now. Dealing with groups of people, getting groups of people to do what you want them to do, is in many ways no more complicated than managing a herd of – say – goats. Humans are remarkably easy to manipulate, and I fear it’s getting easier.

  • Jabberwokk

    I am a Huxley guy but I agree.