Huxley vs. Orwell: The Webcomic

Books, Literature, Writers

Stuart McMillen’s webcomic does a marvelous job of adapting (and updating!) Neil Postman’s famous book-length essay, Amusing Ourselves to Death, which argues that Aldous Huxley’s vision of the future in Brave New World was ultimately more accurate than the one proposed by George Orwell in 1984. (Via).

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8 thoughts on “Huxley vs. Orwell: The Webcomic

  1. Both theories are right – Orwell is one of “Control comes from the barrel of a gun” and Huxley’s “Control comes from keeping the people dumb up
    and doped out”! Unfortunately, both factions are currently running our government!

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  2. This is really interesting. Obviously our society has not yet fallen (I think…?) so I’m not too frightened by either theory, but I do think a good society would sit somewhere between the two ideas. Or… something…

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  3. I’ve had a few afternoon/xmas beers and I’ll jump in—
    I’ve actually read some of Postman’s book, and I think he makes a pretty convincing argument that the predominant mechanism of control is Huxleyian. It’s not that Orwellian methods of control don’t exist (see also: gov’t response to WikiLeaks, extraordinary renditions, etc.), it’s that they are not that necessary. M. Zuckerberg recently said something like “people shouldn’t expect privacy,” and the Facebook generation has no problem with this. Orwell’s fear that we wouldn’t be able to read certain books is deeply undercut by the far-more real problem that nobody wants to fucking read, or that nobody wants to read deeply. I think that Postman’s claim that we are a trivial cultural is spot on.

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  4. The general public has access to lots of information, but they choose to ignore much of it. Big sensational stories dominate the news, and big irrelevant issues dominate the political arena. Ignorance is bliss, I guess. Even those who know what’s going on don’t do much more than slacktivism and soliciting “likes”.

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