Aldous Huxley and NSA Leaker Edward Snowden

By:  Ralph R. Reiland
Aldous Huxley and NSA Leaker Edward Snowden

Aldous Huxley's vision of a completely controlled and organized society where human individuality is subsumed by the state is becoming a reality.

“In 1931, when Brave New World was being written, I was convinced that there was still plenty of time,” wrote Aldous Huxley in 1958 in Brave New World Revisited. “The completely organized society, the scientific caste system, the abolition of free will by methodical conditioning, the servitude made acceptable by regular doses of chemically induced happiness, the orthodoxies drummed in by nightly courses of sleep-teaching — these things were coming all right, but not in my time, not even in the time of my grandchildren.”

Huxley saw the process of passing from “one extreme to the other,” from a basically uncontrolled society to ”the much too orderly Brave New World where perfect efficiency left no room for freedom or personal initiative,” coming faster than he had imagined in 1931.

Stating that technology had reduced the long interval he anticipated between an unregimented society and the crushing of individuality and personal uniqueness by an all-pervading state, Huxley warned that “modern technology has led to the concentration of economic and political power, and to the development of a society controlled (ruthlessly in the totalitarian states, politely and inconspicuously in the democracies) by Big Business and Big Government.”

On how individuals have been affected by technological advances and the expansion of state monitoring and control, Huxley quoted psychologist-philosopher Dr. Erich Fromm.

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