Huxley, author of A Brave New World, to Orwell, author of 1984. The twin totalitarian fictions of the last century. Which is being realized?
Well, my take: We have been living in Huxley’s world since at least the Creel Commission flooded academia with propaganda education and released psy-ops soldiers onto Madison Avenue; but we are entering the Orwellian state complete with drone surveillance.
The first hints of a philosophy of the ultimate revolution — the revolution which lies beyond politics and economics, and which aims at total subversion of the individual’s psychology and physiology — are to be found in the Marquis de Sade, who regarded himself as the continuator, the consummator, of Robespierre and Babeuf. The philosophy of the ruling minority in Nineteen Eighty-Four is a sadism which has been carried to its logical conclusion by going beyond sex and denying it. Whether in actual fact the policy of the boot-on-the-face can go on indefinitely seems doubtful. My own belief is that the ruling oligarchy will find less arduous and wasteful ways of governing and of satisfying its lust for power, and these ways will resemble those which I described in Brave New World. I have had occasion recently to look into the history of animal magnetism and hypnotism, and have been greatly struck by the way in which, for a hundred and fifty years, the world has refused to take serious cognizance of the discoveries of Mesmer, Braid, Esdaile, and the rest.
Partly because of the prevailing materialism and partly because of prevailing respectability, nineteenth-century philosophers and men of science were not willing to investigate the odder facts of psychology for practical men, such as politicians, soldiers and policemen, to apply in the field of government. Thanks to the voluntary ignorance of our fathers, the advent of the ultimate revolution was delayed for five or six generations. Another lucky accident was Freud’s inability to hypnotize successfully and his consequent disparagement of hypnotism. This delayed the general application of hypnotism to psychiatry for at least forty years. But now psycho-analysis is being combined with hypnosis; and hypnosis has been made easy and indefinitely extensible through the use of barbiturates, which induce a hypnoid and suggestible state in even the most recalcitrant subjects.
Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.*
De Sade is our progenitor to be sure and this is evident at the individual level by the massive amount of circus sword-swallowing porn that’s available in amateur productions out there. This goes hand in hand with our propensity for loving movie violence and offering it MPAA ratings to ensure our pre-teens can watch blood spurt. And the corollary to this is our video piloted drone murders in the Middle East (and coming soon to your major metropolitan area).
Huxley’s assessment that it was only a kind of accident that we had not already been in this state 150 years earlier is fascinating.
Further, one can now go full-throttle with conspiracy theories and simply claim that corn syrup induces our modern hypnoid/suggestible states and that has been the goal of those “planners” in the food industrial complex from day one.
photo credit: Jack Zalium