Aldous Huxley and Brave New World: The Dark Side of Pleasure

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” (Goethe)

These words were written by Goethe nearly 200 years ago, but are perhaps more relevant in our time than they were in his.  For many people assume we live in a free society simply because the West has not morphed into a dystopian hell like the one depicted in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Tyranny, most people believe, would be overt in nature, it would be obvious, and all would recognize it. But is this really the case? Or could we be living in a society analogous to the one depicted by Aldous Huxley in his dystopian novel Brave New World. Could it be that technology, drugs, pornography, and other pleasurable diversions have created a citizenry too distracted to notice the chains which bind them? ~Academy of Ideas

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