by Chris Hedges
December 27, 2010
The two greatest visions of a future dystopia were George Orwell’s “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.” The debate, between those who watched our descent towards corporate totalitarianism, was who was right. Would we be, as Orwell wrote, dominated by a repressive surveillance and security state that used crude and violent forms of control? Or would we be, as Huxley envisioned, entranced by entertainment and spectacle, captivated by technology and seduced by profligate consumption to embrace our own oppression? It turns out Orwell and Huxley were both right. Huxley saw the first stage of our enslavement. Orwell saw the second.
We have been gradually disempowered by a corporate state that, as Huxley foresaw, seduced and manipulated us through sensual gratification, cheap mass-produced goods, boundless credit, political theater and amusement. While we were entertained, the regulations that once kept predatory corporate power in check were dismantled, the laws that once protected us were rewritten and we were impoverished.
Copyright © 2010 Truthdig
Chris Hedges spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He has written nine books, including Death of the Liberal Class, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009) and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2003).
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As always, thank you for your website and for posting Mr. Hedges’ insightful article. I’ve been saying virtually the same thing regarding 1984 and A Brave New World for some time now and this is the first piece I’ve seen that ties them together in context.
So what do we do now? I feel like we’re out of options and opportunities to prevent an inevitable slide into naked totalitarianism. Coupled with a total lack of concern for climate change or the environment, it may spell the eventual end of everything.
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Good description of what is happening, but nothing offered as how to combat it.
Hedges has offered solutions in other articles/interviews.
And what are your solutions?
“Well”, to quote RayGun, it sure wasn’t the Huxley world of equable distribution of anesthetic drugs to ease the caste sufferings of our Idle CLASS’ dystopia! My vote, retrieved from the memory hole: 1984!! Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow, PERPETUALLY 1984!!! – OR WELL.
Chris, I haven’t been so very much pissed off and sad after reading something for a while. Thank you very much for achieving that.
WAKE UP everyone. Waking up won’t make everything alright again. Waking up will mean you finally see the horrors all around you. Your options then?
Resist, or die.
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