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demmiblue

(36,988 posts)
Wed Jun 29, 2022, 07:28 AM Jun 2022

Aldous Huxley's letter to George Orwell following the release of 1984:

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


https://lettersofnote.com/2012/03/06/1984-v-brave-new-world/
33 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Aldous Huxley's letter to George Orwell following the release of 1984: (Original Post) demmiblue Jun 2022 OP
Glad I read this... interesting..... secondwind Jun 2022 #1
+1000 Solomon Jun 2022 #2
A touch of ego in that compliment? BSdetect Jun 2022 #3
Yes indeed... jimlup Jun 2022 #6
The fascists are not handicapped by any lack of ego in their leadership. hunter Jun 2022 #18
Wow. Huxley was right. yardwork Jun 2022 #4
partially... jimlup Jun 2022 #7
Add in a little Postman lonely bird Jun 2022 #29
Opiods Plus Fox Brenda Jun 2022 #5
Pro hypnotist warned us about Dimento Trumpnosis in 2016... Kid Berwyn Jun 2022 #8
Seems like Hitler was very effective at using "Trumpnosis". keithbvadu2 Jun 2022 #19
So was Jim Jones, who convinced followers to give him all their possessions and join him. Lonestarblue Jun 2022 #26
I've often wondered if Putin used this method on Drumpf and other GOP stooges judesedit Jun 2022 #21
Huxley's exploration of hypnosis and mind control in politics appears prescient. sop Jun 2022 #9
Hmmm PTWB Jun 2022 #11
Trump was the hypnotic strongman who was able to harness their ignorance, racism and hatred. sop Jun 2022 #15
No, Huxley's discussion of hypnosis and mind control is not like Trump and his followers muriel_volestrangler Jun 2022 #13
I concur. Trump's appeal to the masses involves a vast harumph Jun 2022 #16
I attended a Trump rally in South Florida several years ago and saw the effect he had on the crowd. sop Jun 2022 #17
I think it has to do with his tv popularity as a figure who could make or break you judesedit Jun 2022 #23
No doubt Trump's years as a reality tv star, and his notoriety in general, had a lot to do with it. sop Jun 2022 #27
Appealing to what people hate and/or fear is very effective lonely bird Jun 2022 #30
Also, IME there's an element of self-selection not fooled Jun 2022 #32
I guess (some) people really do learn to love their chains.... FM123 Jun 2022 #10
This is a very interesting OP and peek into "Trumpnosis" as well. Pretty quick read if you are so dameatball Jun 2022 #12
Bookmarking for later Bayard Jun 2022 #14
Fascinating, thanks for posting PatSeg Jun 2022 #20
Love the post Joe Nation Jun 2022 #22
I have an ongoing internal debate: Are we now living in "1984" or "Brave New World" librechik Jun 2022 #24
This message was self-deleted by its author librechik Jun 2022 #25
Huxley was right Bok_Tukalo Jun 2022 #28
I would posit that they are both right lonely bird Jun 2022 #31
Weird, I said years ago that what was happening most resembled, gab13by13 Jul 2022 #33

hunter

(38,384 posts)
18. The fascists are not handicapped by any lack of ego in their leadership.
Wed Jun 29, 2022, 09:40 AM
Jun 2022

Sometimes good people have to embrace their pride and arrogance, leave their humble abodes, and kick some fascist ass.

jimlup

(7,968 posts)
7. partially...
Wed Jun 29, 2022, 08:03 AM
Jun 2022

I think the truth comes closer to that described by Chomsky and Herman in "Manufacturing Consent" which is a work of non-fiction.

Kid Berwyn

(15,302 posts)
8. Pro hypnotist warned us about Dimento Trumpnosis in 2016...
Wed Jun 29, 2022, 08:10 AM
Jun 2022
Hypnotist Richard Barker Shows How Trumpnosis, Donald Trump's Form of Covert Hypnosis, Affects Millions Around the World

NEWS PROVIDED BY
Richard Barker, Incredible Hypnotist
Mar 29, 2016, 08:35 ET

ORLANDO, Fla., March 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Hypnotist Richard Barker has just released research surrounding mass hypnosis and has coined the phrase "Trumpnosis".

Trumpnosis.com has been receiving lots of interest as of late. Covert hypnosis means having access to people's subconscious mind and altering the way they behave and think in a disguised or somewhat hidden way. Some popular covert hypnosis techniques used to align someone's behavior and thoughts to the desired outcome of the hypnotists are displayed during mass hypnosis.

Barker typically refers to mass hypnosis as "Trumpnosis", since he states, "Mr. Trump displays it so well". The media have also made comments regarding the Hypnotizing of a nation and questioned what is happening to America. Through the words and actions of an individual, can we influence and suggest a nation to think a certain way? Richard Barker who is known as the 'Incredible Hypnotist' thinks so. Barker said, "Everything we do and see must first start with a thought process. We don't see the world; we think it. If your thoughts are influenced by a master Hypnotist to think in a certain way on a mass level, this is 'Trumpnosis'".

Mass Hypnotism can apply to everything and be everywhere – in families, in schools and in politics. The influence and use of repetition on crowds is identified through Mr. Trump's speeches and is seen to influence even the most enlightened minds. The power is due to the fact that the repeated statements are embedded in those profound regions of our subconscious mind.

Donald Trump successfully uses techniques such as pacing and leading, anchoring, verbal confusion, repetition and so on. He successfully bypasses the critical factor in minds of some people and has the ability to turn off the rational thinking. By using certain words and behavior, a speaker can very quickly establish a rapport with an audience. Repeated exposure to the same speaker can result in them being viewed with admiration, bordering on worship. Every word uttered is accepted as the complete truth.

“ Through the words he has used, both now and in the past, he has placed others into a hypnotic state without them knowing," says Barker. "Trump's speeches contains hypnosis techniques of hypnotic anchoring, pacing and leading, critical factor bypass and so on."

Hypnotist Richard Barker insists, "All you need to remember is that most people's needs are based on their instincts. Understanding people's instincts, especially in a mass gathering, is one of the key goals of mass hypnosis. Trumpnosis is a vehicle for enabling large groups of people to have an altered belief system."

Richard Barker is a World Renowned Professional Hypnotist. He has spent the last 20 years working with thousands of clients across the world. Richard Barker has recently appeared on NBC's The Today Show, CBS' The Late Late Show with James Corden, FOX's Good Day LA and News channels for FOX and ABC http://incrediblehypnotist.com

He has written a new book focusing on Persuasion and Suggestion titled, "Selling Hypnotically. The Art Of Suggestion" http://sellinghypnotically.com

Source (press release for news, public use distribution and publication): https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/hypnotist-richard-barker-shows-how-trumpnosis-donald-trumps-form-of-covert-hypnosis-affects-millions-around-the-world-300242345.html

keithbvadu2

(37,217 posts)
19. Seems like Hitler was very effective at using "Trumpnosis".
Wed Jun 29, 2022, 09:41 AM
Jun 2022

Seems like Hitler was very effective at using "Trumpnosis".

Lonestarblue

(10,295 posts)
26. So was Jim Jones, who convinced followers to give him all their possessions and join him.
Wed Jun 29, 2022, 10:31 AM
Jun 2022

Another that comes to mind is Rev. Sun Myung Moon. There were quite a few Moonies decades ago.

judesedit

(4,454 posts)
21. I've often wondered if Putin used this method on Drumpf and other GOP stooges
Wed Jun 29, 2022, 09:54 AM
Jun 2022

Would explain Dumpy's undying loyalty to Pooty. The KGB used mind control as a weapon to attain and keep power. And Pooty belonged.

Subliminal messaging, also, is used all of the time in advertising, etc. Maybe it's time dems learned a thing or two about it.

I'm just saying, could be.

sop

(10,404 posts)
9. Huxley's exploration of hypnosis and mind control in politics appears prescient.
Wed Jun 29, 2022, 08:18 AM
Jun 2022

It's the only thing that explains Trump's Svengali-like hold on his followers, a demented demagogue who, with evil intent, has dominated, manipulated and controlled millions of Americans. Students of hypnosis will be analyzing Trump's innate ability to hoodwink and bamboozle his followers for years to come.

And this passage is striking: "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." The narcotizing and dysfunctional effects of social media cannot be ignored.

 

PTWB

(4,131 posts)
11. Hmmm
Wed Jun 29, 2022, 08:39 AM
Jun 2022
Huxley's exploration of hypnosis and mind control in politics appears prescient. It's the only thing that explains Trump's Svengali-like hold on his followers…


It seems to me that hold can be explained by the ignorance, racism, and hate in the hearts and minds of the MAGAs. They were just waiting on some strongman blow hard to stoke the flames that were smoldering inside them all along.

We should never let the MAGAs escape responsibility for what they’ve done by suggesting they were somehow hypnotized by Trump. That lets them off the hook.

sop

(10,404 posts)
15. Trump was the hypnotic strongman who was able to harness their ignorance, racism and hatred.
Wed Jun 29, 2022, 09:04 AM
Jun 2022

Say what you will about Trump and his scummy MAGA hordes (I won't disagree with any of it), but it's obvious the man possesses an inexplicable ability to make his followers believe absurdities. Others tried, but Trump succeeded.

muriel_volestrangler

(101,481 posts)
13. No, Huxley's discussion of hypnosis and mind control is not like Trump and his followers
Wed Jun 29, 2022, 08:51 AM
Jun 2022

"Narco-hypnosis" - trying to insert ideas, facts or feelings while the subject is asleep - is not used at all. It isn't even part of brainwashing during torture. "Infant conditioning" in Brave New World is associating good or bad feelings (using things that give pleasure, or things that cause pain or nausea) with whatever you want to them to like or dislike.

Trump and his base are far closer to Orwell's vision. Trump is in no way a "hypnotic" speaker - he rambles. But what he does do is stir up hatred of targets, like 1984's Three Minute Hate. He cooperates with media to lie about what has happened. And he encourages the use of clubs and prisons.

Trump is explained by his fairly old-fashioned appeal to bigotry and scapegoating.

harumph

(1,941 posts)
16. I concur. Trump's appeal to the masses involves a vast
Wed Jun 29, 2022, 09:06 AM
Jun 2022

overt self reinforcing propaganda scheme (Fox, right wing internet and radio), and covert conditioning
where reported facts are editorialized to conform to a both-sides-do-it format by the MSM, and
really unpleasant facts are simply played down (page 14 NYTimes) or ignored completely. For example,
there seems to be a rule that when news outlets discuss taxes, they mostly talk about 'income tax'
and not capital gains. So Americans are exposed to both soft and hard propaganda - the aim of both
is to normalize the deficit of social services and benefits available to the poor and middle class and
to insulate the wealthy from obligations.

sop

(10,404 posts)
17. I attended a Trump rally in South Florida several years ago and saw the effect he had on the crowd.
Wed Jun 29, 2022, 09:34 AM
Jun 2022

I've watched other politicians address crowds (Bush II, the Clintons, Gore, Obama, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez and others), but the way Trump affected the crowd that day shocked me. Granted, it was mostly incoherent, rambling nonsense, but he had the crowd eating out of his hand, responding to his every cue like a pack of hungry animals, yelling, screaming and hurling insults and threats at the assembled media. It was frightening. I'm not a psychologist and I can't explain how he did it, but he did.

judesedit

(4,454 posts)
23. I think it has to do with his tv popularity as a figure who could make or break you
Wed Jun 29, 2022, 10:05 AM
Jun 2022

Americans are addicted to "reality" tv, which we all know isn't real. Just goes back to the manipulation of, and lack of critical thinking in, education. Teach to the test and no more Civics classes have hurt us as a country. imho

sop

(10,404 posts)
27. No doubt Trump's years as a reality tv star, and his notoriety in general, had a lot to do with it.
Wed Jun 29, 2022, 10:33 AM
Jun 2022

Lack of education, rightwing media propaganda, latent racism and a variety of other conditions also contributed to his ability to control his MAGA followers. It was a confluence of many factors.

What I find perplexing is Trump's ability to cast a spell over well-educated, experienced and intelligent men and women, convincing them to go along with his crackpot schemes, commit serious crimes and risk lengthy prison sentences, often with little to gain themselves.

lonely bird

(1,712 posts)
30. Appealing to what people hate and/or fear is very effective
Wed Jun 29, 2022, 10:40 AM
Jun 2022

Appealing to common good is much harder. Add in 40+ years of Reaganomics and efforts to destroy the concept of “society” and you get extreme tribalism.

not fooled

(5,816 posts)
32. Also, IME there's an element of self-selection
Wed Jun 29, 2022, 11:00 AM
Jun 2022

the people susceptible to red don's idiocy are deficient in critical thinking skills and have some sort of predisposition to being conned and deceived.

FM123

(10,054 posts)
10. I guess (some) people really do learn to love their chains....
Wed Jun 29, 2022, 08:35 AM
Jun 2022

"lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude "

dameatball

(7,412 posts)
12. This is a very interesting OP and peek into "Trumpnosis" as well. Pretty quick read if you are so
Wed Jun 29, 2022, 08:44 AM
Jun 2022

inclined. Thanks for posting.

librechik

(30,681 posts)
24. I have an ongoing internal debate: Are we now living in "1984" or "Brave New World"
Wed Jun 29, 2022, 10:19 AM
Jun 2022

So far, Brave is winning. But after the last few months, I'm afraid we are headed for both with a lot of lying about how wonderful conditions are now that Big Brother took back the presidency from those demonic democracies.

But that is "1984" territory.

Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Bok_Tukalo

(4,333 posts)
28. Huxley was right
Wed Jun 29, 2022, 10:34 AM
Jun 2022

"We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn’t, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares.

But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell’s dark vision, there was another—slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

What Orwell feared were 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 those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that 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, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.

This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right."

Foreword to "Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business" by Neil Postman

lonely bird

(1,712 posts)
31. I would posit that they are both right
Wed Jun 29, 2022, 10:43 AM
Jun 2022

Conditioning leads to the goals of power seekers. Conditioning produces malleability. I would also say that a very large percentage of humans want authoritarianism. They just want it aimed at their enemies.

gab13by13

(21,648 posts)
33. Weird, I said years ago that what was happening most resembled,
Sat Jul 2, 2022, 07:32 AM
Jul 2022

A Brave New World. People accept their servitude not just because of soma, but because of a lot of other diversions, sports, religion, etc.

Magats most certainly are gladly voting against their own best interests.

People who refuse to conform are not only ostracized, but are removed, one way or another, from society.

Replace, My Ford with My Trump.

Here's one to think about as far as religion's role in this. I hate to recommend it, it's not for everyone, but read Stranger in a Strange Land.

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