We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I have to admit first that I have read neither 1984 nor Brave New World (but they are on my reading list). The mere fact that we are discussing these books that are going on one hundred years old is a testament to their importance and value.
To get some perspective, I consulted the font of all knowledge in the font of all knowledge - Wikipedia - and found this interesting comparison:
Social critic Neil Postman contrasted the worlds of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World in the foreword of his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death. He writes:
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 egotism. 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, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that our fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that our desire will ruin us.
As a society, we owe a lot to both Huxley and Orwell. There are areas where both are prescient but from that comparison, it appears that Huxley may be closer to describing a very possible future for us.
Should I hope to read them before I experience either of them?
Both Orwell and Huxley are coming true at an alarming rate.
The left and the media (but I repeat myself) are flooding us with lies and trivialities, hiding the truth, and making it impossible to even utter the truth at the same time through "hate speech" laws and regulations, "cultural appropriation" screaming, etc. etc.
In 1999, 1984 and CS Lewis's The Abolition of Man (same decade) were named the most prophetic books of the 20th Century. Lewis, BTW, thought Orwell's Animal Farm captured the same lesson more clearly and briefly, so you could read that instead if you wanted to, mudbug.
Assistant Village Idiot
Huxley was mostly right...we'll give away our freedom for trinkets...they won't have to take away much...and we probably won't miss that.
I don't know about the current crop, but back in the 60s-80s leftists believed that it was a dystopia, but it was conservatives that were the threat to bring it to pass. They found it very significant that Reagan was president that year. They nodded seriously and knowingly. They believed it was coming, but had a near-complete opacity to any suggestion they might be contributing to it.
I admit it may be different now.
Assistant Village Idiot