Huxley Vs. Orwell: Infinite Distraction Or Government Oppression?

Huxley Versus Orwell Comic

The Huxley vs Orwell comic is originally from Recombinant Records: Amusing Ourselves to Death, adapted from Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman.

When I read this comic, I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Brave New World:

“It’s curious,” he went on after a little pause, “to read what people in the time of Our Ford used to write about scientific progress. They seemed to have imagined that it could be allowed to go on indefinitely, regardless of everything else. Knowledge was the highest good, truth the supreme value; all the rest was secondary and subordinate. True, ideas were beginning to change even then. Our Ford himself did a great deal to shift the emphasis from truth and beauty to comfort and happiness. Mass production demanded the shift. Universal happiness keeps the wheels steadily turning; truth and beauty can’t. And, of course, whenever the masses seized political power, then it was happiness rather than truth and beauty that mattered. Still, in spite of everything, unrestricted scientific research was still permitted. People still went on talking about truth and beauty as though they were the sovereign goods. Right up to the time of the Nine Years’ War. That made them change their tune all right. What’s the point of truth or beauty or knowledge when the anthrax bombs are popping all around you? That was when science first began to be controlled–after the Nine Years’ War. People were ready to have even their appetites controlled then. Anything for a quiet life. We’ve gone on controlling ever since. It hasn’t been very good for truth, of course. But it’s been very good for happiness. One can’t have something for nothing. Happiness has got to be paid for. You’re paying for it, Mr. Watson–paying because you happen to be too much interested in beauty. I was too much interested in truth; I paid too.”

And:

There was something called liberalism. Parliament, if you know what that was, passed a law against it. The records survive. Speeches about liberty of the subject. Liberty to be inefficient and miserable. Freedom to be a round peg in a square hole.

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  1. Rhys says:

    I remember that from Amusing Ourselves to Death. It’s true, Huxley made a better prediction. But Orwell wrote a better book.

    • alec says:

      You really think Orwell wrote a better book? Maybe more memorable, but his style and narrative leave something to be desired.

      • Odd Brian says:

        We’re experiencing elements from both works, politically (1984) and culturally (Brave New World), but I can see why Postman focuses on Huxley’s work. I’d toss in a bit of Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 just to complete the hat trick. Mildred Montag’s conversations with her “relatives” practically yodels Facebook.

        • readmuch says:

          how bout just add a plain old history book ( if you can find one that’s accurate )

        • Abdel Irada says:

          Yes. That’s exactly the parallel I noted, too. Bradbury predicted a world — not too far in the future, by his description — fundamentally very like Huxley’s. And there’s even a second Mustapha Mond (the character quoted above); his name is Chief Beatty, Montag’s boss at the fire station.

          Here’s the kicker: I’ve carried on countless conversations with an erudite chessplayer using the nickname Sqreater, who scares the daylights out of me by expressing ideas exactly like Mond’s and Beatty’s. Highly intelligent, but utterly corrupt. I like Sqreater, but I hope his ideas don’t catch on any more than they already have.

      • Vincent Napod says:

        You’re both wrong. It’s all about Jon Stone’s “The Monster At the End of This Book.”

      • This is late, but: Orwell wrote a better book

        • Ingenjören says:

          Orwell wrote a slightly updated version of Zamjatikins “We”. 1984 is a quite dull and unoriginal read in my opinion, Animal Farm, despite being a historic fable is a better book.

          • That Guy says:

            I agree, if you want to read a better book that says the same thing, read “We”. Between Brave New World and 1984, I prefer Brave New World, mostly because it was a lot more perceptive in what keeps people under control.

        • Abdel Irada says:

          I was never that impressed by the writing in 1984. Perhaps its best-remembered scene, in Room 101 where Winston learns that two plus two equals five, is easily surpassed by Armon Jarles’ session with Brother Dhomas in Gather, Darkness.

          “What is personality?…” This question leads us directly into a chillingly perceptive description of the way our self-definition consists of a system of beliefs, and how easily we may be corrupted by blandishments undermining that system. (I don’t want to spoil the story, if you haven’t read it yet, with too detailed a description, so will leave it at that.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Huxley and Orwell were writing to different political ideologies:;satirizing and confronting different philosophies. Huxley was writing to the west, and so from that perspective it’s more correct. However, think about North Korea. Or if you could, go live in North Korea for a year and see who you think hit the mark better. Orwell’s book is legendary in Cambodia. Read about what life was like under Sadam.

      I don’t know, I just think that the above comic shows how they were both right. There are a lot of political/social hierarchies to be wary of.

  2. ProfitMoney says:

    How bout you both shut the fuck up and post this to your Facebook’s… You know… The one that you can connect to Google with. And then Tweet it for your friends. Of course then you can send that right back to your Facebook, which connects to Google. And then you can blog this… Which gets automatically Tweeted which connects to your Facebook which connects to your Google accounts, which already have the post because you signed up for your blog with your Google account anyway.

    The point is you’re fucked. Because these things are so ingrained in our society you are now a nut case to try to dissuade us. You are an alarmist. You are a conspiracy theorist. You have your panties in a bunch. You are lame.

    Hello, lamers, look at your views, now back to me, now back at your views, now back to me. Sadly, they aren’t mine, but if you stopped being a cynic and switched to being happy, you could be like me. Look down, back up, where are you? You’re on a trip with the reality TV show that your life could be like. What’s in your hand, back at me. I have it, it’s TV remote clicking in that show you love. Look again, the remote is now a gavel. Cast your judgment on the guest of Jerry Springer. Anything is possible when you decide the smart guys run the country.

    • ProfitMoneyisRude says:

      You could contribute a lot more to the conversation if you weren’t so arrogant and rude.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m afraid I am neither deep enough, nor profound enough to contribute to this discussion… but that Old Spice spoof was priceless.

      Glad that we got Huxley,
      -Faithful slave of popular culture

    • One of the Smart Guys says:

      You forgot the “I’m on a horse” part at the end.

      In all seriousness, there is a lot that is wrong with your post, starting with the idea that anybody is trying to dissuade anybody else. This isn’t an attempt to get people to stop using social media devices, or to abandon social activities like watching TV. It is a warning, like most dystopian literature, about the human condition (the animal and nature side of humanity, and how it interacts with modern culture). Science and the pursuit of truth are the only ways to prove there is any value to anything in the universe, and consequently hold value as the path to that truth. Huxley and Orwell both held science and truth in high regard, and would applaud advances in technology and culture like Facebook and Google. They can be extremely useful for passing information, but provide the opportunity for one to spend three hours a day on Farmville, which will undoubtedly make one a less intelligent and useful human being. That’s the warning; be careful what you let yourself give up.

      Secondly, the “smart guys” don’t run the country. I’m assuming you’re a United States citizen, but my point will apply to all free countries, and with alteration, all countries. You live in a democratic republic. Hence, the people elect who runs the country, the people who have an average IQ of less than 100. The guys who run the country are elected by the majority, which is people like you. The majority usually votes from a egotistical hedonistic view, and thus elect the candidate they believe will bring the most immediate pleasure, not the smartest candidate. This is not in the best interest of science, culture, and the pursuit of good, and is the reason why so much of the world hates the United States.

      Thirdly, the idea that because something is ingrained in society means that it’s right, is ludicrous. Slavery was ingrained in many cultures for a long time. The US started as a colony. Change happens; revolution happens. It is not inherently good or bad. The idea that what the mass believes is right is ignorant, immature, and lazy.

      Way to make Huxley’s warning all the more relevant.

      • Sara says:

        Wise words sir.

      • Anonymous says:

        the right doesnt exist in any capacity. nothing is right or wrong . both depend entirely on perspective. i would murder your unborn child if it meant mine would live. thats humanity. thats the condition of life. nobody is right, nobody is wrong. when it comes to a group as large as a society, the will of the masses will always be “correct” the masses are the people; the people invented morality, slavery still exists in the wealthy homes of america and the poorest districts of “revolutionary” africa. lazy is pretending youre always right just for airing dissent for the common will. where did you come from? who are you to judge anyone? THE ONLY ABSOLUTE IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE IS DEATH, THE REST IS MERELY AN ILLUSION.

        • nemba says:

          “only” is an absolute too. And “illusion” as if there was really something there to be fooled. Think deeper. There are enough absolutes to go around for everyone, and life lasts forever. How many fps is real life?

          • Nemba says:

            If there really was “only one absolute”, it would be Here And Now. This is it, this is all. Death never really happens, things only change slowly from one into the other and back again.

            • TheTruth says:

              ” Death never really happens, things only change slowly from one into the other and back again”
              Words spoken so true, words that have been passed down from generations of life times. Death is not the end of life but the continuation of it. A great philospher and poet by the name of Lucretius wrote “On the nature of things” which he wrote in order to free men’s minds from the fear of superstitous belief in religon and that of the fear of death. He writes ” Substance is eternal since nothing is produced from nothing and nothing is resolved into nothing.” I for one believe this to be true. But I feel that the way the world is going we will no longer have that previlge, this world is like a candle, then along came someone with the idea to light it. If we as a whole dont stop and realise that our candle is burning out and blow that flame off, and begin to rebuild our world, we will be doomed. We have to spark an idea, a well constructed idea of truth which will ignite the hearts and souls of man and make them want what is truly their birth given right which is: to take on the responsibility of caring for themselves, others, and the natural world. To have a self-suffiecient living and the true freedom from enslavement. Humanity, we not see ourselves as apart from creation but as part of creation and live in harmony with the land its animals and all of its people.

        • jim says:

          “The Only Universal Truth is Fire”………….according to Stretch

      • Mr Whipple says:

        You assume that elected politicians run the country. You might want to rethink that. And what exactly does “run the country” mean?

        Besides, the really “smart guys” don’t want to run for political office, in the first place. The “White Shoe Boys” are not necessarily “smart”.

      • Anonymous says:

        How can the population have an average IQ of less than 100? Aren’t IQs normalized? As in, the average IQ is 100. Are you specifically referring to a subset of the population that is known to have an IQ of less than 100?

      • Brian says:

        It’s sad to admit, but in the U.S. we ARE a lazy culture. Voters are too lazy and stupid to care about educating themselves so they vote for the best looking candidate.

        We accept whatever we’re spoonfed by the press, pundits, and talking heads and act like it was our idea in the first place. People are like sheep or worse yet, lemmings…one jumps off the cliff and the rest do “just because”.

        As far as the comparison of the two books, we have both going on currently. It’s 1984 for the victims of mandatory, minimum sentences for silly drug possession crimes and for those of us not behind bars, it’s a Brave New World full of distractions from what’s really important.

        As one of the earlier comments said, it’s no wonder most of the world hates us in the U.S., because we’re stupid, lazy, entitled, ego obsessed, zombie consumers, obnoxious and better than anyone else…truly legends in our own mind. We’re a nation with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, look it up, lazy fux.

  3. JD says:

    We got Huxley, China got Orwell.

    • WeGotHuxleyANDOrwell says:

      Because we got Huxley, we are indeed, also getting Orwell. (By “We” I mean US citizens).

  4. Smith says:

    Both are legitimate fears, especially when they occur simultaneously. Once the public discovers it is being effectively lied to by biased news sources, people will grow to distrust the world and instead seek instant, personalized gratification.

  5. I've read Postman says:

    “Amusing Ourselves to Death” was an awesome book. Almost as much of must read as 1984 and Brave New World. Seeing this makes me want to go re-read it.

    The only problem I have with this take on the comparison is that Orwell actually did fear the things he wrote about in “1984”.

    Huxley??? Huxley was a Globalist. He wasn’t warning anyone. He was taking delight in his future-cast. He thought the idea was just dandy.

    “that we are in the process of developing a whole series of techniques? to enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably always will exist to get people to actually love their servitude.”

    Aldous Huxley – The Ultimate Revolution
    UC Berkeley Language Center March 20 1962

    Just my $100, (that’s 2 cents adjusted for inflation). Ford be with you.

  6. Huxley Loved The Idea says:

    “that we are in the process of developing a whole series of techniques? to enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably always will exist to get people to actually love their servitude.”

    Aldous Huxley – The Ultimate Revolution
    UC Berkeley Language Center March 20 1962

  7. Soni says:

    Walk on left side of road, squished like grape.
    Walk on right side of road , squished like grape.
    Walk in middle of road get squished from both sides.

  8. Soul says:

    Having read both I would say there are subtle elements of both present in our society – we have a clear move towards more intrusive government surveillance and ‘doublespeak’ ala. 1984 combined with a superficial consumer culture of endless amusements designed to distract us from real issues of import, like BNW.

  9. Zeal says:

    They are not meant to serve as predictions. Dystopia novels are meant to serve as warnings.

  10. […] A society controlled by pleasure or a society controlled by pain? Comparing the future predicted by Huxley and Orwell.Source:http://www.prosebeforehos.com/image-of-the-day/08/24/huxley-vs-orwell-infinite-distraction-or-govern… […]

  11. Vincent Canter says:

    Don’t forget Kurt Vonnegut’s _Harrison Bergeron_. That one seems more and more prophetic as time goes on.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah… it’s amazing how so many people these days are convinced they’re so beautiful and talented and believe they’re being held back by everyone and everything except their own warped inability to see the truth… you are not a unique and beautiful snowflake… you are the all-singing all-dancing crap of the world.

  12. Anonymus says:

    Saying Huxley was right and Orwell was wrong is false in my opinion.

    We live in a mixture of both, when you interfere too much you get the stick, if your presence is bareable you sink into the illusion of happines that is being fed to you via any tube possible.

    See: Radio(songs commercials E.t.c),Tv(shows, commercials E.t.c.),The News (in news papers radio and TV), Alcohol,Drugs (legal or not), The Computer (video games, certain things on the internet) And Films.

  13. Kurt Vonnegut says:

    Having read both, I wonder if the author of this comic actually read the books while not tripping on acid…..
    1984 + Brave New World are nothing like the world we live in today.
    Oh, overhyped dystopia novels; I thought we were done with Sophomore Year of High School.

    • JohnnySkidmarks says:

      “Kurt Vonnegut” would have thought you a small man with a sad self satisfied view of the world. I wonder what end you would meet if you were a character in one of his novels? That is worth thinking about.

  14. SlackerKeith says:

    I once wrote a paper comaparing/contrasting these two dystopian novels, and my instructor claimed I missed the entire point. She seemed to be of the opinion that the Huxley future would at least be comfortable, whereas the future in an Orwellian state would be “oppressive”. At the time, I thought she was an idiot. My opinion has only solidified since.

    • Sara says:

      At school or any other institution, they don’t teach you to think for yourself, that is why she was an idiot.

  15. […] huxley vs. orwell By johansigurdson Wow – this is seriously good. I found it – with help of my friend Tomas – right here. […]

  16. George says:

    tl;dr

  17. […] – Huxley Vs. Orwell: Infinite Distraction Or Government Oppression? […]

  18. george Milton says:

    Well it depends on who is in power.

    Democrats = Change and Hope. They tend to be the kill ourselves with love and hugs party. (Huxley) Nobody in the world should ever have to have public schools or hospitals in their home nation ever again because when you visit America its like a visit to Disneyland that lasts a lifetime. We got your back sit back and watch Jerry Springer and American idol while eating Food stamps and disregarding the bills from the hospital.

    Republicans = Fear, War, and Hate party. They tend to be the party of tough love. Not sure why they demand tax cuts because last time I lookde most of themselves paid themselves in stock and capital gains was at a record low 15% for those guys and they love a good war because it fills their pockets like a fire hose!

  19. Shadowlayer says:

    Theres a problem with Huxley’s view and thats that he supposed resources would be infinite.

    Right now we’re of the verge of the end of oil, theres no actual replacement, and with most of the food (let alone most of the energy) still coming from hydrocarbons, humanity might experience its first mass extintion event, since just because suddenly theres food for only 1/3 of the population doesn’t means the rest is just going to leave and die: they’re going to make as much damage as necessary to stay alive (who wouldn’t?) and thats going to take its toll on every plant and animal on earth.

    In such a situation the only type of government able to keep some level of civilization would be a totalitarian dictatorship, the likes of Orwell’s book, since they would be the only ones able to maintain order in a society where quality of life is so low that it will be almost unbereable for most.

  20. […] September 1, 2010 Filed under: Uncategorized — davidandpenni @ 11:20 am I thought this was an insightful commentary. I remember reading “Brave New World” in high school and […]

  21. JohnnySkidmarks says:

    The artist/Huxley would laugh…

    But there was an ad for the “Ab Rocket” machine at the bottom of the page.

  22. No Man's Snowman says:

    d00d I tryed 2 reed those bouks butt thay doant mayk NE since??????? Huxley says thaht we R goying 2 doom owrselves bye Facebook and teknology???? Butt the othur gy says we woant????? I dun getit

  23. GREEN KNIGHT says:

    i think this is BULLSHIT. You’ve obviously depicted brave new world as the better book while 1984 is shown as shitty. but there are no real facts here. Orwell wrote a better book at a different time. his book was written right after world war two and the world was filled with fear. He had seen tyrants and oppression in his war days. Orwell wrote the book on his deathbed and I’ve always believed it had something to do with what he thought would have happened if the Nazis won. but don’t misinterpret me i love both authors. I read animal farm in 5th grade and i still read it occasionally. Huxley’s Doors of Perception and Devils of Loundon are some of my favorite books. But in terms of what the world is like i think you’re exaggerating but I’ll admit Huxley got some things right. But come on who can tell me honestly they didn’t find this through stumbling.

  24. Ann Onymous says:

    Two sides of the same CONTROLLERS…….. WAKE UP!

  25. herr_mann_87 says:

    sweet delicious irony that I idly Stumbled upon this page…

  26. Gabe says:

    People, please read EMPIRE OF ILLUSION: THE END OF LITERACY AND THE TRIUMPH OF SPECTACLE By Pulitzer prize winning Journalist Christopher Hedges

  27. […] Las imágenes de este artículo están extraídas de esta esclarecedora viñeta encontrada en Prosebeforehos. También recomiendo el podcast que La biblioteca de Trantor dedicó a las distopías y la ciencia […]

  28. Jordan says:

    I would say that both books have relavance today, and therefore both are right. Also regardless of which predication was right or wrong, both should be seen as a lesson to never let either situation arise.

  29. andrew says:

    what you fail to mention is that huxley and possibly orwell were elitists who were in favor of the dystopian societies they wrote of

    • Anonymous says:

      Good Comic,
      But one needs to add EM FORSTER and HG WELLS to the mix.

      The Machine Stops – EM Forster 1909 was written to shooot holes in Wells Ideas….

      and while it predates the “modern” times of orwell and Huxley by 50 years..it decribes the machine culture making us more machinelike everyday in ways that neither of them did. Orwell and Huxley were good, but couldnt see past human means of fear and pleasure…

      Forster saw the future were making even more accurately…

      MB – end of transmission

      http://www.mediabastard.wordpress.com

  30. Kyril says:

    When comparisons like this are made (and you hear them often), it seems like what is focused on the most are the details of each world and how they track against our own, rather than the ideology that supports the world described in each novel, and how much we accept or reject them. In some ways, I feel wallowing in those details often misses the larger point.

    I’ll only speak to 1984 here, b/c it’s been many years since I’ve last read BNR. I most certainly plan on reading it again soon, though.

    The details of how society lived in 1984, I believe was less Orwell’s own predictions for how people would come to live under future totalitarianism, but were mostly just future versions of the totalitarian governments of his day (quite similar to the allegory of Animal Farm), and what the world might look like if such governments where able to continue wielding power into the future. It’s worth remembering that the period which Orwell wrote this was still one fraught with fear of the world could tumble back into the rule of regimes like the one just defeated, and the other one which at that point was seemed stronger than ever. Orwell wondered openly about a politically unstable Britain’s capacity to going down those same roads….”1984″ being the result.

    Censorship, Newspeak, Two Minutes Hate….that was all just the framework. And though they evoked their own powerful images, it’s worth remembering that they were just the practical applications of Ingsoc within Oceania. Orwell dedicates the last third of the book to basically de-constructing Ingsoc and identifying the type of (double)thinking that informs such an ideology. In radically simple terms it is a examination of how you can create a stable institutions on a foundation of hatred, how the mind can be molded to accept two contradictory pieces of information and accept them both as true, and even how expressive language (and the lack therof), informs the type thoughts we are able to fomulate.

    Orwell’s novel is less a warning about the deterioration of our physical condition brought about by outside forces, but rather a warning about the mental deterioration necessary for such ideas to become acceptable.

  31. ak says:

    so what do we do? how do we act? how do we live?
    if the forces are so strong against us and so ingrained.
    how do we remain autonomous and authentic?
    is this a ride we can’t get off? surely simply being aware isn’t doing the trick.

  32. hexag1 says:

    It’s interesting to now that Huxley was Orwell’s high school French teacher.

  33. […] there has been a spate of concern about the future of education in America, and especially about the attention span of its younger […]

  34. […] This discussion reminded of this cartoon, which is here. […]

  35. […] http://www.prosebeforehos.com/image-of-the-day/08/24/huxley-vs-orwell-infinite-distraction-or-govern… This entry was posted in The American Experience. Bookmark the permalink. ← George Packer (The New Yorker), on “Decision Points” LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  36. […] something interesting:  An illustrated comparison of the overarching themes of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World vs. […]

  37. […] aqui a tirinha completa e o post Submarino.com.br Submarino.com.br Esta entrada foi publicada em Livros e marcada com a tag […]

  38. Ilona says:

    Both are right. “The Shock Doctrine” fears of Orwell is the outward US policy, hidden in the sea of information and the Aldous Huxley scenario is what has become of the land of the free and the brave. Land of nearly 25% of the world’s prison population 1 would be a more accurate assessment, that is truth. 1NY Times April 23, 2008

    Here’s beauty. “O SON OF MAN! Many a day hath passed over thee whilst thou hast busied thyself with thy fancies and idle imaginings. How long art thou to slumber on thy bed? Lift up thy head from slumber, for the Sun hath risen to the zenith, haply it may shine upon thee with the light of beauty.” [Bahá’u’lláh, The Hidden Words, No. A62.]

  39. That’s what she said.

  40. jason says:

    The idea of happiness being important is what matters in the U.S.A. As long as people have cars and a roof over their heads they will put up with whatever the corperations dish out.

  41. golflouis says:

    It seems that from generation to generation the same paradigm repeats itself, this fascination to read and be amazed by the latest sophism generating what people should think of rather that how exactly each one is forming his own ideas; following and understanding the steps of forming individual ideas could be more liberating than merely walking in the steps of others.

  42. trivial says:

    wonderful, regards from spain

  43. […] Huxley vs. Orwell: Who got it right? […]

  44. […] http://www.prosebeforehos.com/image-of-the-day/08/24/huxley-vs-orwell-infinite-distraction-or-govern… from → Uncategorized ← Hanging Balls LikeBe the first to like this post. No comments yet […]

  45. Nona says:

    The book this person has written is amazing. But I would love something more revolutionary.

  46. Robyn Ryan says:

    “Amusing Ourselves to Death” is the title of a book by the late Neil Postman, describing the effect of media on politics and religion, amongst other things.
    Written in late 1960s, it is prophetic with backup citations and peer reviewed writing.

  47. Keeks says:

    I prefer Brave New World to 1984. Huxley’s writing style is more interesting and engaging.

    But I wish he used the word ‘pneumatic’ a few more times. 😉

  48. Eric C says:

    Thank you for reminding me of what is truly important.

  49. […] sea of irrelevance and reduced us to passivity and egotism. I think you may like this graphic: Huxley Vs. Orwell: Infinite Distraction Or Government Oppression? | Prose Before Hos People are controlled by inflicting pleasure, not pain. Reply With Quote […]

  50. I think both predictions are correct, the difference is what kind of person are you and where do you live.

  51. Molly says:

    These are good points, but that doesn’t make Brave New World the better book. From a literary perspective, I still think that 1984 is superior. I couldn’t have given two craps about what would happen to the protagonist in BNW, but Winston’s struggles still haunt my dreams.

    • La says:

      Sorry, I am going to have to defend Brave New World. As much as I enjoyed 1984, I thought Brave New World was a much better book. Looking past the themes that make the book so compelling, the world and the characters are quite well crafted and the writing itself is incredible. For me, the fate of John tore me apart. I am also a sucker for Shakespeare, so I appreciate anything that is able to use his work well. But then again, different strokes.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Maybe Huxley’s future will lead to Orwell’s future. Make us complacent, then make us scared. We won’t fight against force if we’re too happy and distracted to understand how to appropriately respond.

  53. […] before you rape George Orwell’s profound work for the umpteenth time and mindlessly scream 1984 (we really live in a Brave New World instead, in case you didn’t know), we want to be clear that we are not advocating brainwashing yourself to accept your cubical […]

  54. rob says:

    for myself i have found three stages: altruism, egotism, and lastly, egoism.

    +

  55. Everett says:

    Some say the world will end in Fire, some say in Ice…

  56. Ultima says:

    Both were right ! People depriving us from information and drowning the truth into a sea of irrelevance by giving us so much “futile” information.
    This is most likely the case right now …

  57. […] “Huxley Vs. Orwell: Infinite Distraction Or Government Oppression?” 24 August 2010. The PBH Network. 10 Oct. 2011.http://www.prosebeforehos.com/image-of-the-day/08/24/huxley-vs-orwell-infinite-distraction-or-govern… […]

  58. Mr. M says:

    Rather, what’s more interesting is the fact that while culturally we tend towards Huxley, politically we tend towards Orwell- for it is not one or the other that is being suffered, but a combination of both by which the greater control is found.

    It is easier to condition an animal to seek pleasure when the alternative is pain.

  59. They were both visionaries. The comics are hilarious, and accurate, 🙂

  60. Pain inflicting has the same results as pleasure inflicting. Both methods can be used to control. It seems that now they’re alternating them, so average people can’t discern. Society today is a mix of both visions.

  61. […] Amusing Ourselves to Death by Stuart McMillen – Comparative comic between Brave New World and 1984 (2007) http://www.prosebeforehos.com/image-of-the-day/08/24/huxley-vs-orwell-infinite-distraction-or-govern… […]

  62. Steve says:

    In Brave New World, fetuses and infants are conditioned to be less intelligent and to not like books or Nature. This comic strip, although it makes a fine point, ignores that aspect of the novel.

    • two sides, same coin says:

      so this all looking pretty relevant in the wake of the National Defense Authorization Act isnt it? America is now an official police state, four legs good two legs bad. Amused to death indeed.

  63. […] on a daily basis causing us to slide farther towards Aldus Huxley’s prediction that we would amuse our selves to death, along comes the Lifelens Project. Lifelens has created innovative point-of-care smartphone […]

  64. […] Aldus Huxley’s prediction that we would amuse our selves to death, along comes the Lifelens Project. Lifelens […]

  65. […] on a daily basis causing us to slide farther towards Aldus Huxley’s prediction that we would amuse our selves to death, along comes the Lifelens Project. Lifelens has created innovative point-of-care smartphone […]

  66. […] on a daily basis causing us to slide farther towards Aldous Huxley’s prediction that we would amuse our selves to death, along comes the Lifelens Project. Lifelens has created innovative point-of-care smartphone […]

  67. […] I found a comic that made a brilliant comparison between Brave New World and Orwell’s 1984. George Orwell’s work emphasized repression at the facile level—censorship, disppearances, etc— reminiscent of the Stalinist USSR and maybe even our own Marcos-era martial law. But Huxley went a step further. He recognized the fact that repression is indeed a recognition of the existence of a ‘subaltern consciousness’, a potential to revolt, and thus the need to repress. Just look at what happened in the People Power of 1986 when the people spontaneously organized to oust the dictator. Certainly, repression is the least powerful and sustainable of all acts of social manipulation as it brews dissent under its nose.  Huxley eliminated coercive repression and imagined a society wherein everyone is doped with transient pleasures and illusions of happiness, leaving the people’s capacity (and consciousness) to revolt in the dustbin of history. […]

  68. two sides, same coin says:

    so this all looking pretty relevant in the wake of the National Defense Authorization Act isnt it? America is now an official police state, four legs good two legs bad. Amused to death indeed.

    exscuse the double post

  69. Joey Jonutz says:

    Great artistic representation. The debate can rage on until one learns that Huxley and Orwell promote the same progressive-leftist predictions and aspirations. Both methods of control share the same end and can be described as a sheep in wolf’s clothing. See; Fabian Society. They both had access to the same insider information.

  70. […] Nineteen Eighty-Four vs. Brave New World […]

  71. […] Take a look at it and let me know your thoughts on the illustrator’s point of view. Share this:TwitterFacebookStumbleUponTumblrLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  72. I am not the first to post this view: Both are right, we are being enslaved by both of their methods at the same time and we are being crushed in the middle with no ware to go! God I wish there was intelligent life elsewhere, there is a glaring lack of it here. Perhaps that episode of “South Park” was right and earth is nothing more than a giant “Truman Show”.

  73. Claudio Maia says:

    Simply amazing!
    Just for funny sense, I recall my grandmother saying “we reach an apse every seventy years, and it oscillates up and down. All the way down to depravation pleasure and then starts coming back all the way up for extreme shame prejudice”.

  74. Vincent says:

    1984 was about communism. Brave New World was about mindless consumerism. 1984 was depicting a state under Stalinism. Brave New World was about a country where consumerism became the new law.

  75. […] webcomic (http://www.prosebeforehos.com/image-of-the-day/08/24/huxley-vs-orwell-infinite-distraction-or-govern…) came to mind when I read the Andrejevic article, in the sense that, as stated, many political […]

  76. […] This all reminds me of an interesting ‘comic’ I read a while ago entitled “Huxley vs. Orwell” and I think that it’s very much true. Then again hasn’t humanity always been […]

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