Aldous Huxley on Technodictators

Mike Wallace & Patrick Smith (1958)

“If you want to preserve your power indefinitely, you have to get the consent of the ruled”

– Aldous Huxley

This is an interview by Mike Wallace that took place on May 18, 1958, from the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin, in which Huxley foretells a future when telegenic presidential hopefuls use television to rise to power, technology takes over, drugs grab hold, and frightful dictatorships rule us all.

“This is Aldous Huxley, a man haunted by a vision of hell on earth. Mr. Huxley wrote a Brave New World, a novel that predicted that some day the entire world would live under a frightful dictatorship. Today Mr. Huxley says that his fictional world of horror is probably just around the corner for all of us.”

– MIke wallace

“I’d rather be myself,” he said. “Myself and nasty. Not somebody else, however jolly.”

– Bernard Marx

*From the Aldous Huxley novel Brave New World published in 1932.

Animated by Patrick Smith

4 Comments

  1. What an amazing mind. Huxley was prophetic, but even more so, he was perceptive. His grasp of society and human nature and the direction it’s always been headed makes it seem as though he’s foreseeing our future. Simply brilliant.

  2. Took a while for the technology to catch up to his vision but we might be getting close. We don’t have Soma yet but maybe the internet will do. His fear that we’ll vote on primal emotions rather than rational self interest and that candidates would be packaged and promoted like toothpaste has certainly come true. Because of improvements in food production, population growth hasn’t led to social collapse but I do think it is a primary driver of carbon emissions.

    I don’t see any global dictator in our foreseeable future but we certainly have some very powerful national dictators.

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