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Huxley vs. Orwell: The Webcomic

Stuart McMillen’s webcomic adapts (and updates) 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).

86 Comments

  1. Very insightful.
    I think both have elements of truth to them without a doubt.

    Huxley may have been more on the head in terms of todays culture. But culture doesn’t pervade for long before something new comes along.

    We are definitely a world of dsitractees – but then, people don’t want to read about why the government wants to spy on our internet activity. They want safe and soft, win tickets to the big weekend, Footballer’s wife loses 1lb – from here nose!

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. If I remember correctly, Orwell sent 1984 to Huxley, who replied politely that while it was an interesting book, BNW would be our real future

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    • I would like to add Fahrenheit 451 to the conversation about which work US is becoming most like. An amalgam, with the observation by Stalin that a capitalist will sell you his grandmother for a buck and will commit suicide for two $.

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  4. Sabia

    I’d say both were right

    We are addicted ad what we love kind of ruin us in a way?

    We see censorship increasing. Look going to a library to read books kind of have a limited range, while with internet the range is bigger, so why access to book online have been getting harder since internet could be the biggest library of actuality? What about mass media and govern censorship of information?

    What about the war of information and misinformation?

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  5. Tim

    Thought-provoking.

    In the western world, Huxley’s view has held up (e.g. the US). In dictatorial/autocratic societies, Orwell’s (e.g. North Korea). In religiously-dominated societies a separate vision is appropriate. Has anyone written a Brave New World/1984 dystopian view of a world dominated by religion?

    I guess there’s always 2012, the classic album by Rush – where art and culture and has been banned by a monastic government until a young man or boy with a ludicrously high-pitched voice (Geddy Lee) finds a guitar which miraculously he tunes and works out how to play…

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    • Kino Buster

      Completely agree with your first two propositions. Reading Postman in the East Bloc in the ’90s, that became abundantly clear.

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    • “Has anyone written a Brave New World/1984 dystopian view of a world dominated by religion?”

      —Maybe Atwood’s THE HANDMAIDEN’S TALE?

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  13. NMguiniling

    Reblogged on Ad Astra Comix.com – website devoted to promoting political comics!

    Like

  14. Engelbert Humperdink

    Bit of a misrepresentation. The aim of 1984 was the depiction of and a study into a perfect totalitarian regime, not necessarily the depiction of the legitimate future of world politics, and least of all, the lifestyles of people in a capitalist society. The very order of the names in the title should speak of a hefty authorial bias toward one man.

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  18. Evelyn WIppich

    As a future high school English teacher, I’m very interested in incorporating this webcomic into a lesson plan. Opening the debate to my students would be an excellent opportunity for them. I would love to have this as a poster to hang in my classroom. Do you have such a product available anywhere or are you interested in making such a product available?

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  31. tonny

    All is true in every aspect as they both connot the current situation and our society that we live in its just realisation with a bit more “intellectual depiction on modern society both where right on every aspwct ” we are all slaves to our own desires we all want to fit in…

    Like

  32. gregfreed

    Deserves a “why not both?” meme. As the great divide between my mother and father and their reasons for switching off shows (never mind my own reasons for doing so), the world is too complicated for one or the other to be wholly correct.

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  34. Dave Smith

    What makes your stuff on the Internet any more relevant than some other stuff on the internet?

    Like

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  36. Sedate Me

    Both Orwell and Huxley are completely accurate in their predictions of the future. We live in a world full of drones, cameras, screens that provide endless monitoring of us, secret prisons and Big Brother “keeping us safe” from folks who may not even exist. We also live in a world awash in powerful mood altering drugs that are handed out like candy, a world full of mind numbing distractions and a world where people only care about fulfilling their base urges.

    One thing about 1984 most people forget is that it wasn’t ALL boot-on-the-face. While still under the boot, the Proles were largely ignored because they were too distracted with their pitiful lives and were kept too stupid to pose a threat even if they wanted to. Party Members (Inner & Outer) like Winston Smith were the most watched & most severely punished because they were smart enough to ask questions, seek the truth, or pose a threat. Fear also worked better on them because they were capable of understanding the risks involved with having “bad” thoughts. This is mirrored in life today. Ask too many questions, expose the truth, pose a threat to the established order, and you’ll be targeted for a trip to Room 101. (Just ask Winston SmithBradley Manning or Emmanuel Goldstein Edward Snowden)

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  37. alexcanby

    Both wrote books warning us about possible dystopian futures, but only one impacted us enough to help us avoid that future. Orwell accomplished his end.

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  41. Reblogged this on WHAT THE HELL and commented:
    I was just passing a little time before resuming the chaos when I discovered this terrific comparison of the culture-fears of Orwell vs Huxley. As much as we love to hate Big Brother, it looks like Huxley was more prescient, and it was “Big Brother” the TV show that won…

    Like

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  44. Truelitistnot

    The truth is a combination of both. Censorship (of the wholesome) while pushing everything not conducive to a civil society. The ruination of a nation by pain and pleasure. Brave new 1984.

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