Humanities 104-501 July 23, 2013 Aldous Huxley view on technology On this essay we’ll discuss the views of Aldous Huxley towards technology, and society in whole. The impact he had on the people that read his books and our commentary based on his observations for the future. Huxley was a British writer best known for his novel Brave New World, written in 1931 and published in 1932. He was concerned of the changes of western civilization at that time, which would prompt him to write great novels about the serious threats posed by the combination of power and technical progress.
He was also very interested in parapsychology in addition, he would write against war and nationalism. In his book Brave New World he would write about the perfect dictatorship would look like. It would have the appearance of a democracy. He imagined a society so close of what we have today that in order to have the foresight to write about before it happened made him a perfect candidate of those hermetic societies. This imagined society would used genetics and cloning in order to condition and control individuals.
In this future society all children are conceived in test tubes. They are genetically conditioned to belong to one of the five categories of populations, from the most intelligent to the dumbest. The individuals living in this society are slaves without knowing it and would never dream of escaping. This system of slavery would feed the individuals through entertainment and consumption the slaves would love their servitude; giving them no reason or even suspect of being captive. Many feel that it resembles exactly the type of society that we have today.
His opinion that a democracy which makes or even effectively prepares for modern, scientific war must ecessarily cease to be democratic. No country can be really well prepared for modern war unless it is governed by a tyrant, at the head of a highly trained and perfectly obedient bureaucracy. In his novel he observes many threats of overpopulation, excessive bureaucracy, as well as hypnosis techniques for personal freedom. He later inclined to mysticism and be involve with likeminded individuals.
He was considered by many as a visionary thinker. His writings are still being used today by new agers for his mystical writings. Now we’ll explore his ideas with my personal opinion of his views. What kind of threats was Aldous Huxley referring to? There were many aspects on his novels and writings that correspond typically with the type of thinker he was. Many writers today classified themselves as science fiction , but in reality resemble the type of visionary Individuals as Huxley were. For example, Arthur C.
Clark, was consider a science fiction writer, but was very much a true visionary. He contributed to an Oscar winner film Space Odyssey 2001. But many considered him a realist of the modern era. The style of writing Huxley did was in many ways his personal opinion of what this society s and was heading towards, a society which would disintegrate with the technological advance based on comfort and consumption. In 2008 the world changed in many ways, we were faced with a financial crisis that impacted countries as far as Bangladesh.
The chairman of the Federal Reserve said that in order to rid ourselves of a recession is to continue spending as if nothing happened, in other words making us a society based on “consumption”. United States is a consumer based economy, no longer do we create much of anything, all production of anything in consumer value is done in third world countries or poor Asian countries mainly China where labor is almost free. Mr. Huxley was not far off. How about the other trait from his novel: “entertainment”.
It seems that conversations around barbecues or dinner parties are often about celebrities or major league teams. The biggest technical ticket in electronics is: “flat screen TVs”. It seems that entertainment is a major driving force in this country; many hobbies are triggered around some kind of activity involving music, ‘pods, ‘pads, tablets, smartphones, Wii games, X boxes, movies, and ball games. Mr. Huxley predicted exactly what we have become. Are we better off? I guess what Mr.
Huxley was referring is; the morality of society is literally non-existent. We changed everything to be more politically correct, we have become a society of non-judgmental individuals for example the people pushing carts in Home Depot used to be called lot attendants, now they are: “lot engineers”. I remember being in a lawsuit as a witness for somebody robing a store. When I accused the robber his lawyer told me not to call him a thief since the case was not over and was not accuse of any crime yet. He said to call him “a non-traditional shopper”.
I said give me a break!!! The next paragraph will deal with other dangers that threaten society as a whole: Technology. Mr. Huxley referred the danger of technology as a dependency of the individual from totalitarian forces. Would he mean that we can one day blow ourselves up? No not at all. What he was referring to was the use of technology to spy on citizens for no other reason than to keep track of everybody on this planet. This incredible author had the audacity to predict exactly what we are facing right now.
Let’s go back to one of the greatest tragedy ever perpetuated in this wonderful country of ours. September 1 1, 2001, otherwise known as 9/1 1 . Did something change since that time? You bet, we have exchanged privacy over the so-called threat of terrorism. For some it might not be as tragic as it sounds, but in my opinion we lost a lot of freedom. One aspect that is not clear to me is the many pages enacted right after 9/1 1, it was passed without being read, and I bet anything you didn’t even knew about this bill until years later.
This is basically what the acts refer to us as citizens: As presently defined the Act: ??? Permits clandestine searches of the homes of American citizens suspected of no rimes; ??? Authorizes searches of the private records of libraries, businesses, physicians, hospitals, banks, schools and other organizations without probable cause; ??? Creates a vague new crime known as “domestic terrorism,” applicable even to lawful protests; ??? Authorizes arbitrary surveillance of religious services and political forums; ??? Permits detention of American citizens without benefit of due process or counsel; These activities are conducted in secret with little oversight or public accountability.
Many members of Congress who initially favored the measure are now inclined to eject some of its more problematic provisions, but are encountering stiff pressure from the White House and its legislative allies. In response many grass-roots efforts have sprung up across the nation to encourage Congress to take action to protect our freedoms. To me this fundamental assumption: that all of us are enemies of the state. And I agree hardily with Mr. Huxley that technology is definitely is being used to spy and put everyone at risk. Thomas Jefferson once said: “citizens who trade comfort for freedom deserve neither”. Need I say anymore? Occupy Wall Street, and later the Oval Office!!!