Aldous Huxley Foresaw Modern America in 1958 Interview
Brave New World is one of the most important novels of the 20th century. Aldous Huxley’s novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation, and social conditioning that combine to change society into a dystopian hell. More than just a novel, it is a social commentary that has withstood the test of time and is more relevant today than when it was published in 1931.
Huxley was interviewed about his novel by Mike Wallace for ABC television in 1958, and Huxley’s predictions are astonishing in that they accurately portray life in the world we have awakened to in 2016.
The full interview can be seen here, and some of the most important segments of the interview are analyzed below.
Not A Conspiracy Theory
Rather than being some “conspiracy theory” (which, incidentally is a CIA-created code word to discredit people), the ideas of Huxley instead appeal to man’s often sociopathic lust for power and control, which is the force driving today’s Anglo-American cultural Matrix. Huxley talks about this idea:
I don’t think there are any sinister persons deliberately trying to rob people of their freedom, but I do think, first of all, that there are a number of impersonal forces which are pushing in the direction of less and less freedom, and I also think that there are a number of technological devices which anybody who wishes to use can use to accelerate this process of going away from freedom, of imposing control.
Huxley foresaw the bureaucratic, authoritarian, micromanaging government the United States now lives under. He also foresaw media becoming propagandized and life becoming micromanaged by overregulation.
Another force which I think is very strongly operative in this country is the force of what may be called of over-organization. As technology becomes more and more complicated, it becomes necessary to have more and more elaborate organizations, more hierarchical organizations, and incidentally the advance of technology is being accompanied by an advance in the science of organization. It’s now possible to make organizations on a larger scale than it was ever possible before, and so that you have more and more people living their lives out as subordinates in these hierarchical systems controlled by bureaucracy, either the bureaucracies of big businesses or the bureaucracies of big government.
At The New Modern Man, we call this collusion of big business and bureaucratic interests the Corporate-Government Complex.
How The Corporate Government Complex Expands Its Power
Huxley knew that having an educated populace was not insurance against brainwashing by propaganda methods. In America, these methods were perfected by Edward Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud. Bernays invented the principle of using corporate and government propaganda to “engineer consent” by shaping the thoughts, values, and responses of the masses. Bernays proved those who create knowledge and propaganda rule over the rest of society. Huxley explains how Hitler was able to do this before the days of television, using the then newly created tool of radio:
Hitler used terror on the one kind, brute force on the one hand, but he also used a very efficient form of propaganda, which he was using every modern device at that time. He didn’t have TV, but he had the radio which he used to the fullest extent, and was able to impose his will on an immense mass of people. I mean, the Germans were a highly educated people.
Just as Huxley predicted, higher levels of state sponsored education have not prevented Americans from being duped by their leaders. Advancing technology has further imperiled the principles of freedom in the 21st century. It all started with television, but has advanced to smaller and smaller devices and progressed to the goal of microchipping the entire population with RFID chips, rendering them subservient to financial interests and the state. Huxley goes on, proving that not all progress is good progress when it is hijacked by an elite who want nothing but pure power.
What I feel very strongly is that we mustn’t be caught by surprise by our own advancing technology. This has happened again and again in history with technology’s advance and this changes social condition, and suddenly people have found themselves in a situation which they didn’t foresee and doing all sorts of things they really didn’t want to do. It’s not creating a wide front of distraction it’s creating a one-pointed, drumming in of a single idea, all the time. It’s obviously an immensely powerful instrument.
Indeed, the mainstream media dominated public opinion and the dissemination of information through the end of the 20th century.
Huxley foresaw today’s current medical-pharmaceutical complex, in which the media (the creators of knowledge and propaganda Bernays discussed) persuade the masses to believe the solution to every problem they have in life is a trip to the doctor and a pill. There are frightening similarities between Huxley’s soma and today’s SSRI antidepressants. Huxley talks about somas with Wallace:
This is a very interesting subject. I mean, in this book that you mentioned, this book of mine, Brave New World, I postulated it a substance called ‘soma,’ which was a very versatile drug. It would make people feel happy in small doses, it would make them see visions in medium doses, and it would send them to sleep in large doses. I think it’s quite on the cards that we may have drugs which will profoundly change our mental states. I mean, this is the… the pharmacological revolution which is taking place.
Indeed, SSRIs are dangerous drugs with change mental states and alter the brain in such a way it becomes dependent on the drugs. They’re also strongly correlated with mass shootings. Drugging the population is another aspect of his vision for our modern day dystopia which has come to pass. As his interview with Wallace continued, Huxley went into detail about how propaganda would be used.
Propaganda Techniques And Scientific Dictatorship
Huxley knew that a dictatorship of the future would rely on propaganda instead of only relying on force, as had always been the case in the past.
Well, to start with, I think this kind of dictatorship of the future, I think will be very unlike the dictatorships which we’ve been familiar with in the immediate past. I mean, take another book prophesying the future, which was a very remarkable book, George Orwell’s 1984. This book was written at the height of the Stalinist regime, and just after the Hitler regime, and there he foresaw a dictatorship using entirely the methods of terror, the methods of physical violence. Now, I think what is going to happen in the future is that dictators will find, as the old saying goes, that you can do everything with bayonets except sit on them!
Huxley knew the elite were working on a scientific dictatorship, a type of dictatorship which uses science in a perverse way. Instead of advancing the human species the elite subjugate the human species with its knowledge.
Pushing Cultural Marxism and taking a Long March approach, tearing down traditional Western institutions one by one starting in the 1960s, progressing to a “limited learning for lifelong labor” education system as exposed by whistleblower Charlotte Thomson-Iserbyt in the 1980s, and ending with the use of the media as a mass brainwashing tool as exposed by the arrival of the Internet, is how the following predictions of Huxley have played out in the real world:
But, if you want to preserve your power indefinitely, you have to get the consent of the ruled, and this they will do partly by drugs as I foresaw in “Brave New World,” partly by these new techniques of propaganda. They will do it by bypassing the sort of rational side of man and appealing to his subconscious and his deeper emotions, and his physiology even, and so, making him actually love his slavery. I mean, I think, this is the danger that actually people may be, in some ways, happy under the new regime, but that they will be happy in situations where they oughtn’t to be happy.
Having spent a decade in the media, I know full well how advertising and persuasion work. As Huxley knew, and Bernays proved, effective propaganda and advertising bypasses rational thought aims directly at the subconscious desires we all have.
[The candidates in the 1956 election] were being advised by powerful advertising agencies who were making campaigns of a quite different kind from what had been made before. And I think we shall see probably, all kinds of new devices coming into the picture. I mean, for example, this thing which got a good deal of publicity last autumn, subliminal projection. I mean, as it stands, this thing, I think is of no menace to us at the moment…but once you’ve established the principle that something works, you can be absolutely sure that the technology of it is going to improve steadily.
As time passes, technologies which initially seem to benefit man end up being used for ulterior motives by those in power.
Socially Accepted Authoritarianism
Huxley warned of a coming system of Managed Democracy and Inverted Totalitarianism we now live under in America. In effect, people still get to participate in free and fair elections but the choices they get to make do not change the overall system at all. This is the “Demican” and “Republicrat” phenomenon of today, with parties representing two heads of the same hydra. The illusion of choice is given to the masses by the media and advertising. And importantly, rational decision making is bypassed by constant appeals to emotion.
Advertisement plays a very necessary role, but the danger it seems to me in a democracy is this…I mean what does a democracy depend on? A democracy depends on the individual voter making an intelligent and rational choice for what he regards as his enlightened self-interest, in any given circumstance. But what these people are doing, I mean what both, for their particular purposes, for selling goods and the dictatorial propagandists are for doing, is to try to bypass the rational side of man and to appeal directly to these unconscious forces below the surfaces so that you are, in a way, making nonsense of the whole democratic procedure, which is based on conscious choice on rational ground.
The following passage from Huxley’s prophetic interview touches on how feminism has taken women out of the home, and how today the state indoctrinates children with propaganda (careerism, the government is a god of sorts in the absence of religion, etc.) from a very young age. As Fabian Socialist Bertrand Russell put it, influences of the home with a mother and father in it are counterproductive to what the social engineers want to accomplish. Huxley continues:
This whole question of children, I think, is a terribly important one because children are quite clearly much more suggestible than the average grownup; and again, suppose that, that for one reason or another all the propaganda was in the hands of one or very few agencies, you would have an extraordinarily powerful force playing on these children, who after all are going to grow up and be adults quite soon. I do think that this is not an immediate threat, but it remains a possible threat.
As Huxley warned, propaganda is powerful tool. With it, the spinmeisters have been able to turn environmentalism and global warming into a religion, as best-selling author Michael Crichton knew. As historian and politician Lord Acton famous stated, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. What we see today is not a conspiracy as much as it is misplaced power, in the hands of the wrong people. We have witnessed the rise of lifetime, career politicians and political families which dominate Washington generation after generation, which is dangerous to the well being of the people. Huxley said this to Wallace:
I think one of the reasons is that these are all instruments for obtaining power, and obviously the passion for power is one of the most moving passions that exists in man; and after all, all democracies are based on the proposition that power is very dangerous and that it is extremely important not to let any one man or any one small group have too much power for too long a time. After all what are the British and American Constitution except devices for limiting power, and all these new devices are extremely efficient instruments for the imposition of power by small groups over larger masses.
The entire idea behind a republic (like the United States is supposed to be, not a democracy) is that misplaced power has led to disasters in human history, and that no person or group should have much control over people. But, as freedom becomes nothing more than sloganeering in America, Huxley knew losing it would ultimately lead to our enslavement and the death of creativity.
WALLACE: Mr. Huxley, let me ask you this, quite seriously, is freedom necessary?
HUXLEY: Yes, I should say it is. I mean, a genuinely productive society. I mean you could produce plenty of goods without much freedom, but I think the whole sort of creative life of man is ultimately impossible without a considerable measure of individual freedom, of initiative, creation, all these things which we value, and I think value properly, are impossible without a large measure of freedom.
Without freedom, man becomes the metaphorical battery presented in The Matrix.
What Can Be Done
What makes this interview all the more remarkable is it was filmed in 1958, but it sounds as though it could have been filmed yesterday. There have been 60 years of warnings about the world we are now in, but the masses have not listened. The cancer of the march of socialism through the institutions of the West is already at an advanced stage, as is the consolidation of financial power into the hands of 10 corporations that control nearly everything we buy and 6 media corporations that control nearly everything we get to see, read, and hear.
This may leave one with a sense of despair. However, in the past the world seemingly marched steadily towards one ideal before revolution tore down the old ideas and made way for new ones. Will we escape? Or will we fall continue to fall prey to devious masterpieces of social engineering and social control devised by a sociopathic corporate and government elite who are interested in maintaining their superiority?
At the very least, to push back we can assume a posture of civil disobedience, as journalist John Stossel has suggested. The truth is out there, thanks to the Internet and free speech, while we have mostly uncontrolled use of them. What remains to be seen is how people will respond now that they are able to see through the illusions the puppet masters are spinning.
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