Huxley vs. Orwell: Whose Dystopia is Winning?


I posted here an absolutely brilliant and terrifying political cartoon. It’s about the way in which America (the West?) will fall.

Will it be due to direct government prohibition of everything we enjoy (Orwell), or will it be due to the population becoming so overwhelmingly stupid that they cease to even think about anything worthwhile, like history, literature, politics, humanism, etc.? That’s Huxley’s take.

Those are the two choices that the cartoon put forward, and I believe it to be a false dichotomy. I don’t think it’s one or the other, but rather both. One leads to the other; namely, Huxley’s world of idiots allows the government to become oppressive. I have examples.

If you’re stupid and watch Fox News (I repeat myself) you are probably not studying history or literature. If you haven’t read a book since high school, you’re probably deeply frightened by terrorism, which, internationally, kills about the same number of people as bee stings and bathtub drownings. 1

To sum, fools are easily frightened, and fear is the easiest and most efficient way to control people. In other news, a prominent Saudi billionaire owns part of Fox News’ parent company. Probably a coincidence.

We’re proper-fucked, and I don’t know how to make things right. Suggestions welcomed. These seem to be our choices:

  1. Get right with God.

  2. Nuke ourselves from orbit.

  3. Hope the young will fix it.

  4. Embrace technology, wait for the singularity, and welcome our robot overlords.

  5. Embrace sanity by ignoring history, literature, and news. Play video games and watch reality TV. Hope for the best.

Hmm, option 5 is looking better all the time. ::


1 According to John Mueller’s book.