Aldous Huxley on Technodictators


– It’s a question of education, to teach people to be on their guard against the sort of verbal booby traps into which they’re always being led, to analyze the kind of
things that are said to them. I think it’s terribly important to insist on individual values, that every human being is unique. And it is of course on
this genetical basis that the whole idea of the
value of freedom is based. – [Mike Wallace] This is Aldous Huxley. A man haunted by a
vision of hell on Earth. Mr. Huxley wrote Brave New World. A novel that predicted that
someday the entire world would live under a frightful dictatorship. Today Mr. Huxley says that
his fictional world of horror is probably just around
the corner for all of us. – There are a number of impersonal forces which are pushing in the direction
of less and less freedom. The first of them can be
called overpopulation. The whole essence of
biological life on Earth is a question of balance, and what we have done is
to practice death control in a most intensive manner, without balancing this with
birth control at the other end. In the underdeveloped countries, people have less to eat and less goods, and the central government
has to take over more and more responsibility for keeping the ship of state on an even keel. And then of course you’re
likely to get social unrest under such conditions, with again an intervention
of the central government. One sees here a pattern which seems to be pushing very strongly towards
a totalitarian regime. – Are there specific devices, or methods of communication
which diminish our freedoms? – Well there are certainly devices which can be used in this way. Hitler used terror on the one kind, brute force on one hand. But he also used a very
efficient form of propaganda. 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
highly educated people. We mustn’t be caught by surprise by our own advancing technology. This has happened again
and again in history, and suddenly people have found themselves in a situation which they didn’t foresee, and doing all sorts of things
they didn’t really want to do. The presence of television I think is being used quite harmlessly, but I mean imagine, which must be the situation
in all communist countries, where the television where it exists, is always saying the same
thing the whole time. It’s always driving along. It’s drumming in the
single idea all the time. It’s obviously an immensely
powerful instrument. All technology is in itself
morally neutral. These are just powers which
can either be used well or ill. It’s the same thing with atomic energy. We can either use it to blow ourselves up, or we can use it as a substitute
for the coal and the oil, which are running out. In this book of mine, Brave New World, I postulated a substance called soma, which was a very versatile drug. It would make people feel
happy in small doses, 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 state, without doing us any harm. Well, what is going to
happen in the future, is the dictators will find,
as the old saying goes, that you can do everything with bayonets except sit on them. 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, 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, 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 they will be happy in situations where they oughtn’t to be happy. – [Mike] Writing about
American political campaigns, you say all that is needed is money, and a candidate who can be
coached to look sincere. – [Aldous] This is perhaps
this idea that the candidates had to be merchandised, as though they were soap or toothpaste. And that you had to depend
entirely on the personality, I mean personality is important, but there are certainly people with an extremely amiable personality, particularly on TV, who might not naturally be very good in positions of political trust. 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, is try to bypass the rational side of man, and to appeal directly to these unconscious forces below the surface, so that you are in a way making nonsense of the
whole democratic procedure, which is based on conscious choice, on rational grounds. I must say I still believe in democracy, if we can make the best
of the creative activities of the people on top, plus those of the people on the bottom, so much the better. – [Mike] Mr. Huxley, I surely thank you for spending this half hour with us. And I wish you Godspeed, sir. – [Aldous] Thank you.




Comments
  1. I love Orwell and Huxley but orwell was wrong

    Orwell believed that capitalism would fail and be replaced with some form of collectivism, however communism fell and the capitalist world wine out

    Huxley saw a world where the elite would use people’s human nature against them control through pleasure

  2. Huxley's only failing was that he didn't foresee the totalitarian rule being enforced via capitalism. His predictions would have been much more accurate.

  3. The internet and corporate capture of the political and media establishments leads into self-reinforcing inverted totalitarianism. So the surprise is not that force isn't necessary, but that millions would willingly submit to being exploited, manipulated and deceived: manufactured consent.

  4. Aldous hit the nail on the head. Overpopulation and the media are our slave masters.

    What a brilliant mind, back in the day of television, radio and newspapers

  5. God, especially the bits about how govts and interest groups will play with your deeper emotions to ply you of rational and your individuality. That's happening right now, media blacklisting, tribal mentalities of the far right and far left, making people fear and grow suspicious of people with different ideas, corporations fully controlling the medium and what you can and cannot say, appeal to emotions rather than merit or rational. Making people focus on fabricated or one sided stories to gain support through the.news, companies taking advantage of the culture war (like the Gillette commercial) and being heralded as moral heroes for "standing against -ism here-' even though they just want your buck.

    I really am scared for our world we're on the brink of total technocrat control or some kind of authoritarian state.

  6. I think the end of the video unbeknownst to him of course, was about the computer getting so involved in our lives that we and the computer/games world are almost one. So we live in this "game," but everything around us sucks, so we spend more and more time in this "game." When one doesn't care anymore, you can control the sh*t out of them.

  7. Mr. Huxley referenced Hitler as an example of a Technodictator who used not only brute force in order to maintain control and power, but also a highly effective and sophisticated system of propaganda whereupon the people accept their slavery willingly. I read a book in the early 90's titled " Friendly Fascism" and the author's premise was that democracy in America ( and this book was written some 25-28 years ago ) was just a " friendlier " form of fascism than Hitler's National Socialist Germany.
    Now, fast forward to 2019, and consider all the countries that say they are Democracies: USA, UK, France, Germany, and many more. I am just suggesting that people draw their own conclusions based on what Aldous Huxley was saying in 1950 about " Technodictators"
    and Technodictatorships. I can't recall the name of the author who wrote " Friendly Fascism" in 1992/1993. You might be able to find a copy( Google the title ) from Amazon, or possibly a used book store. Food for thought, folks.

  8. WHO LOVES THEIR CELLPHONES!!!??? slaves…. idiots… WHO BUYS CRAZY EXPENSIVE BADLY MADE CLOTHING THAT WAS MADE BY SLAVE LABOR?? assholes…. WHO IS GOING TO BUY SHITTY CHOCOLATES THAT WAS HARVESTED BY CHILD LABOR, MORE SLAVES? Dimwits… Stop being a part of the fucking problem.

  9. mmh. Quite observant he is.

    Keep in mind of course, that pretty much everything is propaganda of some form, whether intentional or not (you reflect your own cultural values when you create anything, which in itself creates a form of propaganda.)

    Be mindful of this.
    Be especially wary of things that don't seem like propaganda to you.
    Because they don't look like propaganda not because they aren't, but because you yourself are already so heavily indoctrinated into the mindset this propaganda is promoting, that it no longer registers and just seems 'normal'.
    The most dangerous propaganda is that which you are oblivious to.
    If you recognise it AS propaganda, it likely won't have the same impact as the things which pass you by,

  10. We rely on the internet, but we have a handful of companies running most outlets on the internet that permit a very one sided view on things…

  11. It's too late to do anything, no one can stop what's happening, it's too big, the only good thing that can happen is if 90% of the population just perished, and still we'd find a way to repeating it all again.

  12. Something about this video smacks of the logic that lead to the potato famine. It always gets to me when people talk about overpopulation in 3rd world countries because it often goes hand-in-hand with specious reasoning and calls for birth control when the real issue is poverty.

  13. "They will come to love their new regime – they will be happy in situations where they oughtn't be happy."

    I think that describes pretty much every Right Wing American.

  14. Seems the difference between corporate government and State government is that of Orwell and Huxley. Orwellian ideas focused on pain as a way of manipulation and coercion. Huxley focused on pleasure as a form of manipulative coercion or peer pressure. Both were about successful domination of the human psyche.

    "What Orwell feared was those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one… Orwell feared the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture… In 1984 people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us." – Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)

  15. The Bible says that as long as Man is in charge of our governments, they will end in ruin! That was Israel’s downfall! Only God can lead because the power can’t corrupt Him! He already is all powerful! 🤔

  16. Let's become as we used to be once upon a time "nomads of life", rather than owners of property which binds us to the taxes of the SYSTEM, which controls our life through it's UN-NATURAL LAWS it has invented.

  17. Huxley, H G Wells and Orwell all members of "the Fabian Society", a group who had seen the plan and presented it to the general populus as fiction.

  18. Everything is about unique, individual narratives. We all tell our own story of the world. The inescapable integrity of the individual experience is freedom. However, the idea that a majority pushes for a set of ideas that shall rule seems natural, although maybe not universally beneficial; a bloated welfare state is not necessarily the kind of dictator ship Aldous suggests. The contrarian who focuses too much about the ”elite”, I think underestimates the complexity of life and the unpredictability that follows.

    With that said, mesmerising and fascinating work intellectually, hats off.

  19. 1:00 overpopulation has no bearing on reality all the stats show that human population growth is plateauing FOR ALL NATIONS not just western ones, this is a result of improving conditions. The origins of overpopulation started as proto-facist drivel, meant to encourage hatred of the poor, and those living in third world nations.

    1:28 it is clear what this about, NPC voice COMMUNISM BAD! it makes sense now why this asshole does not care about spreading the lie of over population, and why he hates central government (the only way to support the poor who need help, charity does jack shit), its because hes a fascist-adjacent shithead AKA a lolbertarian.

    this is trash

  20. Huxley/Orwell/etc didn't account for the advent of social media, which allows the free exchange of ideas on previously unavailable scales. I believe that social media may yet prove to be the savior of mankind's liberty.

  21. A letter from Aldous Huxley to George Orwell contrasting dystopian views.
    Wrightwood. Cal.
    21 October, 1949
    Dear Mr. Orwell,
    It was very kind of you to tell your publishers to send me a copy of your book. It arrived as I was in the midst of a piece of work that required much reading and consulting of references; and since poor sight makes it necessary for me to ration my reading, I had to wait a long time before being able to embark on Nineteen Eighty-Four.
    Agreeing with all that the critics have written of it, I need not tell you, yet once more, how fine and how profoundly important the book is. May I speak instead of the thing with which the book deals — the ultimate revolution? 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. In other words, I feel that the nightmare of Nineteen Eighty-Four is destined to modulate into the nightmare of a world having more resemblance to that which I imagined in Brave New World. The change will be brought about as a result of a felt need for increased efficiency. Meanwhile, of course, there may be a large scale biological and atomic war — in which case we shall have nightmares of other and scarcely imaginable kinds.
    Thank you once again for the book.
    Yours sincerely,
    Aldous Huxley

  22. My man Aldous Huxley, always thinking forward in a time that most of the people do everything but think. His essay 'Doors of perception' changed the way I think, the way I perceive. He made me think.

  23. I think it's interesting, soma seems to correspond with psychiatric medications, I think he got it right when he said technology was morally neutral, mobile phones and YouTube don't militate, there's cctv here in Ireland but no erased citizens thank God, social media takes the place of social consciousness I think?

  24. Huxley and C.S. Lewis both died on November 22, 1963. The day President Kennedy was Assassinated. Talk about bad timing.

  25. We are to some extent living in this world. From the moment we are born and up until our death attention-seeking and other egoistic thoughts are shoved in our faces through all the different forms of media from music to movies to Instagram that we're holding in our hands all the time. This has lead us into becoming a brainwashed, superficial society seeking only attention, fame, and temporary happiness. The key point here is temporary happiness. Why? Because it sells. Movies (well the ones concerned with superficial and materialistic matters at least), all the mumble rap, shows, social media etc.. they all push us towards buying things, or wanting a life where we have more. We're living in a world where we don't seek improving life for all humans or any other profound causes but instead seek short-lived highs at cost of our individuality, our honor, our potentially truly happy lives. That is why depression rates are at their highest now, because instead of actually being humans with a full range of emotions, we've been dumbed down and distilled into the sea of boobs, blondes, booze and deep down we know we're living a lie but it's so damn hard to let it go cuz it feels amazing…. for a while… until you take your next dose of soma (alcohol, weed, porn, you name it) and then it's all sooo fine.

  26. so basically he is saying " a person who understands human behavior and psychology " will control them, thats what is happening today world social media hacked our psychology polticians manipulates people through media

  27. Aldus time has come and we are living it at this moment in time ,wake up look around and take command of your life its not to late for humanity

  28. 💤💤💤💤💤💤💤💤💤💤💤💤💤💤 Jim Morrison talking about being fat was more interesting than this.

  29. Mr MK-ULTRA Himself. Aldous, Julian Huxley & R.Gordon Wason were big into Eugenics & pushing the counter culture via the CIA & LSD

    SOMA = LSD.

    Propaganda = Facebook, Twitter etc.

  30. People are often afraid 1984 around the corner, but we're already living in Brave New World.

  31. The sad thing is that ideologues read brave new world and interpret it still as sufficient basis for justifying some sort of revolution or upheaval, which can only lead towards Orwell's nightmare instead.

  32. Brave New World was not hell on earth at all. That world sounds a lot better than ours. Give me an endless supply of soma and a decent, stable job and I'll be happy as a pig in shit.

  33. Every tragedy that has happens because we didnt listen to those who warned us. The warning horn has sounded more and more since huxley warned us in this interview, not avoiding such a overwhelmingly likely scenario is only our own fault. Tvs in every home is the dream tool for propagandizing governments, and like a vampire we have let them in our homes. The smart phone will soon pass that now and they are logging every aspect of our life, taking the very essence of a free self and storing it for profit and to best manipulate what internet we are presented with. Thank God our decency and empathy are something they cant take from us. Our values are the one thing we have and we cant let them be corrupted or intimidated. Everyone knows this is very very wrong. Every natural resource and living being is commodified and exploited by large corporations to the point of collapse as excess consumerism and sensationalism lull and manipulate the citizenry into surrendering their liberties and their participation in government. This is inverted totalitarianism

  34. The dictatorship in BNW wasn't scary at all to me. Maybe that's because I read it shortly after 1984, so BNW's regime seemed nice by comparison.

  35. Many people in the comments are trying to avoid the fact that in this dystopian “brave be world” religion is banned along with the idea of God and it has caused a immoral revolution where progress and technology and human creators are now the new God. This where the western world is headed regardless. It will all be done in the name of progress

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