2014: A Brave New Dystopian "1984" World

While many have pointed out that the Middle-East/Far-East
are drifting to a more "Orwellian" world and the West is a more
"Huxleyan" environ, the merger of the two dystopias is seemingly growing
each dayhttp://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/22/aldous-huxley-prophet-dystopia-cs-lewis, www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-01-21/huxleys-brave-new-world-re,
ruled by a supposedly benevolent dictatorship whose subjects have been
programmed to enjoy their subjugation through conditioning and the use
of a narcotic drug - the rulers of Brave New World have solved the problem of making people love their servitude.
On the Orwellian front, we are doing rather well – as the revelations
of Edward Snowden have recently underlined. We have constructed an
architecture of state surveillance that would make Orwell gasp.
The most striking parallel of course is that both men foresaw the future as totalitarian rather than democratic and free.


Both Big Brother’s world and the Brave New World are ruled
by authoritarian elites of a basically socialist/communist nature,
whose only real purpose is the maintenance of their own power and
privileges.


We discussed this a year ago but it seems an opportune time - with the
world's brainwashing and control accelerating - to revisit the two



Decades ago they saw it all coming...


As www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/22/aldous-huxley-,


Huxley's dystopia is a totalitarian society, ruled by a supposedly benevolent
dictatorship whose subjects have been programmed to enjoy their
subjugation through conditioning and the use of a narcotic drug – soma –
that is less damaging and more pleasurable than any narcotic known to
us. The rulers of Brave New World have solved the problem of making people love their servitude.



Which brings us back to the two Etonian bookends of our future. On
the Orwellian front, we are doing rather well – as the revelations of
Edward Snowden have recently underlined. We have constructed an
architecture of state surveillance that would make Orwell gasp.
And indeed for a long time, for those of us who worry about such
things, it was the internet's capability to facilitate such
comprehensive surveillance that attracted most attention.



In the process, however, we forgot about Huxley's intuition. We
failed to notice that our runaway infatuation with the sleek toys
produced by the likes of Apple and Samsung – allied to our apparently
insatiable appetite for Facebook, Google and other companies that
provide us with "free" services in exchange for the intimate details of
our daily lives – might well turn out to be as powerful a narcotic as
soma was for the inhabitants of Brave New World. So even as we remember CS Lewis, let us spare a thought for the writer who perceived the future in which we would come to love our digital servitude.

Andhttp://www.truthdig.com/report/item/2011_a_brave_new_dystopia_20101227...
The two greatest visions of a future dystopia were George Orwell’s “1984”
and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.” The debate, between those who
watched our descent towards corporate totalitarianism, was who was
right. Would we be, as Orwell wrote, dominated by a repressive
surveillance and security state that used crude and violent forms of
control? Or would we be, as Huxley envisioned, entranced by
entertainment and spectacle, captivated by technology and seduced by
profligate consumption to embrace our own oppression? It turns out Orwell and Huxley were both right. Huxley saw the first stage of our enslavement. Orwell saw the second.



We have been gradually disempowered by a corporate state that, as Huxley
foresaw, seduced and manipulated us through sensual gratification, cheap
mass-produced goods, boundless credit, political theater and amusement.
While we were entertained, the regulations that once kept predatory
corporate power in check were dismantled, the laws that once protected
us were rewritten and we were impoverished. Now that credit is drying
up, good jobs for the working class are gone forever and mass-produced
goods are unaffordable, we find ourselves transported from “Brave New World” to “1984.”
The state, crippled by massive deficits, endless war and corporate
malfeasance, is sliding toward bankruptcy. It is time for Big Brother to
take over from Huxley’s feelies, the orgy-porgy and the centrifugal
bumble-puppy. We are moving from a society where we are skillfully manipulated by lies and illusions to one where we are overtly controlled.

...

The corporate state does not find its expression in a demagogue or charismatic leader.
It is defined by the anonymity and facelessness of the corporation.
Corporations, who hire attractive spokespeople like Barack Obama,
control the uses of science, technology, education and mass
communication. They control the messages in movies and television. And, as in “Brave New World,” they use these tools of communication to bolster tyranny.
Our systems of mass communication, as Wolin writes, “block out,
eliminate whatever might introduce qualification, ambiguity, or
dialogue, anything that might weaken or complicate the holistic force of their creation, to its total impression.”



The result is a monochromatic system of information. Celebrity
courtiers, masquerading as journalists, experts and specialists,
identify our problems and patiently explain the parameters. All those
who argue outside the imposed parameters are dismissed as irrelevant
cranks, extremists or members of a radical left. Prescient social
critics, from Ralph Nader to Noam Chomsky, are banished. Acceptable
opinions have a range of A to B. The culture, under the tutelage of
these corporate courtiers, becomes, as Huxley noted, a world of cheerful
conformity, as well as an endless and finally fatal optimism. We busy
ourselves buying products that promise to change our lives, make us more
beautiful, confident or successful as we are steadily stripped of
rights, money and influence. All messages we receive through
these systems of communication, whether on the nightly news or talk
shows like “Oprah,” promise a brighter, happier tomorrow. And this, as
Wolin points out, is “the same ideology that invites corporate
executives to exaggerate profits and conceal losses, but always with a
sunny face.” We have been entranced, as Wolin writes, by
“continuous technological advances” that “encourage elaborate fantasies
of individual prowess, eternal youthfulness, beauty through surgery,
actions measured in nanoseconds: a dream-laden culture of ever-expanding
control and possibility, whose denizens are prone to fantasies because
the vast majority have imagination but little scientific knowledge.”



Our manufacturing base has been dismantled. Speculators and swindlers have
looted the U.S. Treasury and stolen billions from small shareholders who
had set aside money for retirement or college. Civil liberties,
including habeas corpus and protection from warrantless wiretapping,
have been taken away. Basic services, including public education and
health care, have been handed over to the corporations to exploit for
profit. The few who raise voices of dissent, who refuse to engage in the
corporate happy talk, are derided by the corporate establishment as
freaks.

...

The façade is crumbling. And as more and more people realize that they have been used and robbed, we will move swiftly from Huxley’s “Brave New World” to Orwell’s “1984.”
The public, at some point, will have to face some very unpleasant
truths. The good-paying jobs are not coming back. The largest deficits
in human history mean that we are trapped in a debt peonage system that
will be used by the corporate state to eradicate the last vestiges of
social protection for citizens, including Social Security. The state has
devolved from a capitalist democracy to neo-feudalism. And when these
truths become apparent, anger will replace the corporate-imposed
cheerful conformity. The bleakness of our post-industrial pockets, where
some 40 million Americans live in a state of poverty and tens of
millions in a category called “near poverty,” coupled with the lack of
credit to save families from foreclosures, bank repossessions and
bankruptcy from medical bills, means that inverted totalitarianism will
no longer work.
...

The noose is tightening. The era of amusement is being replaced by the era of repression. Tens of millions of citizens have had their e-mails and phone records turned
over to the government. We are the most monitored and spied-on citizenry
in human history. Many of us have our daily routine caught on dozens of
security cameras. Our proclivities and habits are recorded on the
Internet. Our profiles are electronically generated. Our bodies are
patted down at airports and filmed by scanners. And public service
announcements, car inspection stickers, and public transportation
posters constantly urge us to report suspicious activity. The enemy is everywhere.

...



“Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating?” Orwell
wrote. “It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that
the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a
world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not
less but more merciless as it refines itself.”

Watching Aldous Huxley describe the world we have now a stunning 60 years ago is horrific...




Though, in our view,www.newenglishreview.org/custpage.cfm/frm/138161/sec_id/1381


The most striking parallel of course is that both men foresaw the future as totalitarian rather than democratic and free.
Neither presumably believed their vision of the future to be
inevitable, though it is equally clear that each saw aspects of
mid-twentieth century life which clearly pointed in the totalitarian
direction. Thus 1984 and Brave New World may be seen as warnings against
what might be if the trends identified by the two authors persisted.
What these trends were and why the authors saw them leading towards
totalitarianism is an important question and one that will be addressed
presently.

The totalitarian states described by Orwell and Huxley differed in most details, though there were also many correspondences. Both
Big Brother’s world and the Brave New World are ruled by authoritarian
elites of a basically socialist/communist nature, whose only real
purpose is the maintenance of their own power and privileges.

www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-30/2014-brave-new-dystopian-1