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Battling dystopias

March 5, 2012

Battling dystopias. Which brave new world will be experienced in 2084?

“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 that these ways will resemble those which I described in Brave New World … . 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 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.”

But here’s the kicker, tacked on as an afterthought, Huxley added: “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.”

Huxley was more accurate in his letter’s despairing postscript than he could have “scarcely imagined.” His Brave New World, 71 years old this year, is nonetheless still startling in its presentiment of our present age, in fact, much more accurate than Orwell’s book in describing the world we live in now.

Best, perhaps, to rely on earlier wisdom:

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,And He shall direct your paths.

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