Brave New World Revisited Quotes

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Brave New World Revisited Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley
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Brave New World Revisited Quotes (showing 1-30 of 89)
“The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. "Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does." They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“Ironically enough, the only people who can hold up indefinitely under the stress of modern war are psychotics. Individual insanity is immune to the consequences of collective insanity.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“Human beings act in a great variety of irrational ways, but all of them seem to be capable, if given a fair chance, of making a reasonable choice in the light of available evidence. Democratic institutions can be made to work only if all concerned do their best to impart knowledge and to encourage rationality. But today, in the world's most powerful democracy, the politicians and the propagandists prefer to make nonsense of democratic procedures by appealing almost exclusively to the ignorance and irrationality of the electors.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“In regard to propaganda the early advocates of universal literacy and a free press envisaged only two possibilities: the propaganda might be true, or the propaganda might be false. They did not foresee what in fact has happened, above all in our Western capitalist democracies - the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant. In a word, they failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions.
In the past most people never got a chance of fully satisfying this appetite. They might long for distractions, but the distractions were not provided. Christmas came but once a year, feasts were "solemn and rare," there were few readers and very little to read, and the nearest approach to a neighborhood movie theater was the parish church, where the performances though frequent, were somewhat monotonous. For conditions even remotely comparable to those now prevailing we must return to imperial Rome, where the populace was kept in good humor by frequent, gratuitous doses of many kinds of entertainment - from poetical dramas to gladiatorial fights, from recitations of Virgil to all-out boxing, from concerts to military reviews and public executions. But even in Rome there was nothing like the non-stop distractions now provided by newspapers and magazines, by radio, television and the cinema. In "Brave New World" non-stop distractions of the most fascinating nature are deliberately used as instruments of policy, for the purpose of preventing people from paying too much attention to the realities of the social and political situation. The other world of religion is different from the other world of entertainment; but they resemble one another in being most decidedly "not of this world." Both are distractions and, if lived in too continuously, both can become, in Marx's phrase "the opium of the people" and so a threat to freedom. Only the vigilant can maintain their liberties, and only those who are constantly and intelligently on the spot can hope to govern themselves effectively by democratic procedures. A society, most of whose members spend a great part of their time, not on the spot, not here and now and in their calculable future, but somewhere else, in the irrelevant other worlds of sport and soap opera, of mythology and metaphysical fantasy, will find it hard to resist the encroachments of those would manipulate and control it.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“An unexciting truth may be eclipsed by a thrilling falsehood.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
tags: lie, truth
“The soul of wit may become the very body of untruth. However elegant and memorable, brevity can never, in the nature of things, do justice to all the facts of a complex situation. On such a theme one can be brief only by omission and simplification. Omission and simplification help us to understand - but help us, in many cases, to understand the wrong thing; for our comprehension may be only of the abbreviator's neatly formulated notions, not of the vast, ramifying reality from which these notions have been so arbitrarily abstracted.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“The principles underlying propaganda are extremely simple. Find some common desire, some widespread unconscious fear or anxiety; think out some way to relate this wish or fear to the product you have to sell; then build a bridge of verbal or pictorial symbols over which your customer can pass from fact to compensatory dream, and from the dream to the illusion that your product, when purchased, will make the dream come true. They are selling hope.

We no longer buy oranges, we buy vitality. We do not just buy an auto, we buy prestige. And so with all the rest. In toothpaste, for example, we buy not a mere cleanser and antiseptic, but release from the fear of being sexually repulsive. In vodka and whisky we are not buying a protoplasmic poison which in small doses, may depress the nervous system in a psychologically valuable way; we are buying friendliness and good fellowship, the warmth of Dingley Dell and the brilliance of the Mermaid Tavern. With our laxatives we buy the health of a Greek god. With the monthly best seller we acquire culture, the envy of our less literate neighbors and the respect of the sophisticated. In every case the motivation analyst has found some deep-seated wish or fear, whose energy can be used to move the customer to part with cash and so, indirectly, to turn the wheels of industry.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“That so many of the well fed young television-watchers in the world's most powerful democracy should be so completely indifferent to the idea of self-government, so blankly uninterested in freedom of thought and the right to dissent, is distressing, but not too surprising. "Free as a bird", we say, and envy the winged creatures for their power of unrestricted movement in all the three dimensions. But alas, we forget the dodo. Any bird that has learned how to grub up a good living without being compelled to use its wings will soon renounce the privilege of flight and remain forever grounded.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“The really hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. “Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does.” They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted, still cherish “the illusion of individuality,” but in fact they have been to a great extent deindividualized. Their conformity is developing into something like uniformity. But “uniformity and freedom are incompatible. Uniformity and mental health are incompatible too. . . . Man is not made to be an automaton, and if he becomes one, the basis for mental health is destroyed.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“This Power Elite directly employs several millions of the country´s working force in its factories, offices and stores, controls many millions more by lending them the money to buy its products, and, through its ownership of the media of mass communication, influences the thoughts, the feelings and the actions of virtually everybody. To parody the words of W. Churchill, never have so many been manipulated so much by few.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“Groups are capable of being as moral and inteligent as the individuals who form them; a crowd is chaotic, has no purpose of its own, and is capable of anything except inteligent action and realistic thinking. Assembled in a crowd, people lose their powers of reasoning and their capacity for moral choice.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“The values, first of all, of individual freedom, based upon the facts of human diversity and genetic uniqueness; the values of charity and compassion, based upon the old familiar fact, lately rediscovered by modern psychiatry - the fact that, whatever their mental and physical diversity, love is as necessary to human beings as food and shelter; and finally the values of intelligence, without which love is impotent and freedom unattainable.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“Intellectuals are the kind of people who demand evidence and are shocked by logical inconsistencies and fallacies. They regard oversimplification as the original sin of the mind and have not use for the slogans, the unqualified assertion and sweeping generalization which are the propagandist´s stock in the trade.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“Thus, it is a political axiom that power follows property. But it is now a historical fact that the means of production are fast becoming the monopolistic property of Big Business and Big Government. Therefore, if you believe in democracy, make arrangements to distribute property as widely as possible. Or take the right to vote. In principle, it is a great privilege. In practice, as recent history has repeatedly shown, the right to vote, by itself, is no guarantee of liberty. Therefore, if you want to avoid dictatorship by referendum, break up modern society's merely functional collectives into self-governing, voluntarily co-operating groups, capable of functioning outside the bureaucratic systems of Big Business and Big Government.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“Any culture which, in the interests of efficiency or in the name of some political or religious dogma, seeks to standardize the human individual, commits an outrage against man’s biological nature.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“Our epoch has been give many nicknames--the Age of Anxiety, the Atomic Age, the Space Age. It might, with equally good reason, be called the Age of Television Addiction, the Age of Soap Opera, the Age of the Disk Jockey.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“During his long career as an agitator, Hitler had studied the effects of herd-poison and had learned how to exploit them for his own purposes. He had discovered that the orator can appeal to those "hidden forces" which motivate men's actions, much more effec­tively than can the writer. Reading is a private, not a collective activity. The writer speaks only to indi­viduals, sitting by themselves in a state of normal sobriety. The orator speaks to masses of individuals, already well primed with herd-poison. They are at his mercy and, if he knows his business, he can do what he likes with them. ”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“Unlike the masses, intellectuals have a taste for rationality and interest in facts. Their critical habit of mind makes them resistant to the kind of propaganda that works so well on the majority. Among the masses „instinct is supreme, and from instinct comes faith...”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“Meanwhile there is still some freedom left in the world. Many young people, it is true, do not seem to value freedom. But some of us still believe that, without freedom, human beings cannot become fully human and that freedom is therefore supremely valuable. Perhaps the forces that now menace freedom are too strong to be resisted for very long. It is still our duty to do whatever we can to resist them.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“„Hitler“, wrote Herman Rauschning in 1939, „ has a deep respect for the Catholic church and the Jesuit order, not because of their Christian doctrine, but because of the ´machinery they have elaborated and controlled, their hierarchical system, their extremely clever tactics, their knowledge of human nature and their wise use of human weaknesses in ruling over believers.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“„All effective propaganda“, Hitler wrote, „must be expressed in a few stereotyped formulas.“ The stereotyped formulas must be constantly repeated for „only constant repetition will finally succeed in im printing an idea upon the memory of a crowd.“ Philosophy teaches us to feel uncertain about the things that seems to us self-evident. Propaganda, on the other hand, teaches us to accept as self-evident matters about which it would be reasonable to suspend our judgement or to feel doubt.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“Many historians, many sociologists and psychologists have written at lenght, and with deep concern, about the price that Western man has had to pay and will go on paying for technological progress. They point out, for example, that democracy can be hardly expected to flourish in societies where political and economic power is being progressively concentrated and centralized.But the progress of technology has led and is still leading to just such a concentration and centralisation of power.
As the machinery of mass production is made more efficient it tends to become more complex and more expensive - and so less available to the eterpriser of limited means. Moreover, mass production cannot work without mass distribution; but mass distribution raises problems which only the largest producers can satisfactorily solve. In a world of mass production and mass distribution the Little Man, with his inadequate stock of working capital, is at a grave disadvantage. In competition with Big Man, he loses his money and finally his very existence as an independent producer; the Big Man has grobbled him up. As the Little Men disappear, more and more economic power comes to be wielded by fewer and fewer people. Under a dictatorship the Big Business, made possible by advancing technology and the consequent ruin of Little Business, is controlled by the State - that is to say, by small group of party leaders and soldiers, policemen and civil servants who carry out their orders.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“Nonsense which it would be shameful for a reasonable being to write, speak or hear spoken can be sung or listened to by that same rational being with pleasure and even with a kind of intellectual conviction.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“Where the republican or limited monarchial tradition is weak, the best of constitutions will not prevent ambitious politicians from succumbing with glee and gusto to the temptations cannot fail to arise. Overpopulation leads to economic insecurity and social unrest. Unrest and insecurity lead to more control by central governments and an increase of their power, In the absence of a constitutional tradition, the increased power will probably be exercised in a dictatorial fashion. Even if Communism had never been invented, this would be likely to happen.. But communism has been invented. Given this fact, the probability of overpopulation leading through unrest to dictatorship becomes a virtual certainity. It is a pretty safe bet that, twenty years from now, all the world´s overpopulated and underdeveloped countries will be under some form of totalitarian rule – probably by the Communist Party.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“Education for freedom must begin by stating facts and enunciating values, and must go on to develop appropriate techniques for realizing the values and for combating those who, for whatever reason, choose to ignore the facts or deny the values.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“In the light of what we have recently learned about animal behavior in general, and human behavior in particular, it has become clear that control through the punishment of undesirable behavior is less effective, in the long run, than control through the reinforcement of desirable behavior by rewards, and that government through terror works on the whole less well than government through the non-violent manipulation of the environment and of the thoughts and feelings of individual men, women and children.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“A society, most of whose members spend a great part of their time, not on the spot, not here and now and in the calculable future, but somewhere else, in the irrelevant other worlds of sport and soap opera, of mythology and metaphysical fantasy, will find it hard to resist the encroachments of those who would manipulate and control it.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“Mass communication, in a word, is neither good nor bad; it is simply a force and, like any other force, it can be used either well or ill. Used in one way, the press, the radio and the cinema are indispensable to the survival of democracy. Used in another way, they are among the most powerful weapons in the dictator’s armory.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“La filosofía nos enseña a sentir incertidumbre ante las cosas que nos parecen evidentes. La propaganda, en cambio, nos enseña a aceptar como evidentes cosas sobre las que sería razonable suspender nuestro juicio o sentir dudas.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“In 1984 the lust for power is satisfied by inflicting pain; in Brave New World, by inflicting a hardly less humiliating pleasure.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited

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