Friday, May 25, 2007

Huxley Predicts the Future

I don't often post on politics in this blog. There are plenty of other sources for that. But I'm reading a short little tome by Aldous Huxley called Science, Liberty and Peace, and though it was published in 1946 its major points have some frightening parallels to today.

Here's one long piece:

"There is also another way in which the preparation for war is useful to the holders of centralized political power. When things go badly at home, when popular discontent becomes inconveniently articulate, it is always possible, in a world where war making remains an almost sacred habit, to shift the people's attention away from domestic to foreign and military affairs. A flood of xenophobic or imperialistic propaganda is released by the government-controlled instruments of persuasion, a "strong policy" is adopted toward some foreign power, an appeal for "national unity" (in other words, unquestioning obedience to the ruling oligarchy) is launched, and at once it becomes unpatriotic for anybody to voice even the most justifiable complaints against mismanagement or oppression."

Here's the kicker:

"It is difficult to see how any highly centralized government could afford to dispense with militarism and the threat of foreign war"

This is only one of many points where Huxley hits home in this essay. This book might be very difficult to find. It was published by Harper & Brothers Publishers in New York and London. But if you can find it at a library or something it is well worth the reading. But be afraid, be very afraid.


cs harris said...

What I'll never get is why this "truth" is not understood by most people. The only people who seem to have grasped it are politicians.

RK Sterling said...

Interesting. And frightening.

the walking man said...

I understand your comment you left when you visited but I only have one thing to say...don't be afraid, be angry, be very angry.

I may not have been the best sailor the navy ever saw but 3,800 families with out a loved one and in some cases two loved ones to be with them this week end and 43,000 maimed military personnel for oil or money from oil or to establish a long term presence in a part of the world where we are not wanted...pisses me off.

general Clark sent a wespac e-mail out saying not to demonstrate this week end anti war sentiment but rather honor the war dead of all wars this nation has fought and I will not write of it again because of the generals request but come Tuesday back to the writing and updates on how many children have died.

peace always search for peace


the walking man said...

cs harris...this is a well crafted well executed plan by the reagan & bush administrations that was only put on hold while a liberal held the white house. This has been in the making since 1978, while ronald reagen began conducting his own private foreign policy negotiating with Iran before he became president...remember the embassy hostages were released at noon on the day he took the oath of office?

which also pisses me off that we would put his name on one of the mightiest ships in the American fleet when he did not even serve in the war of his generation!

Gabby said...

So this comment has absolutely, positively nothing to do with your post ... but I was looking for something, and came across your blog. Hey you actually still do exist in this little cyberworld. My, how it's grown, eh? ^_^ Anyway, I just wanted to say hello, good to see that you seem to be doing good, as well, and that you're still with Ravebaby. That makes me smile. ^_^ Tell her hello and give her a hug for me, will ya? And a small KOTC for you! *huggles*

-- The LovelyReeny

Sidney said...

What a brave new world.

Steve Malley said...

Ten years before he wrote that, Huxley and the rest of the world had watched in horror as just what he describes happened in Weimar Germany.

Charles Gramlich said...

Candice, it it weren't for that fact, Huxley's words would be just so much hot air.

Kate, yep.

Walking man, well noted.

gab, good to hear from you. I checked out your websites. Congrats to you and Brian.

Sidney, I think I'll "revisit" that comment.

Steve, yes, you can clearly see the influence of the war on Huxley, which makes it all the more amazing as to how close he got to what is happening today.

Stewart Sternberg (half of L.P. Styles) said...

Huxley knew whereof he spoke. You know who else knew whereof he spoke? Eisenhower. When he warned us of the rise of the militaryindustrial complex, he peered into the future and saw Iraq. He saw Haliburton.
He saw Lockheed Martin. He saw wars to further the multinationals who hold no allegiance to anything but their own profit margins.

Michelle's Spell said...

Huxley is brilliant and terrifying. Way too timely and scary!

Danny Tagalog said...

I think we should re-read his stuff. There's an interesting audio at:

The site may have some far-out material, but the Huxley audio is well worth listening to.

Erik Donald France said...

Right on, man. Huxley was sharp, eh?