Tag: brave new world

I Put A Spell On You

‘Brave New World’ the third most censored book in America, librarians say

Aldous Huxley’s dystopian novel Brave New World placed third in the American Library Association’s (ALA) Top Ten List of the Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2010.

The most common reason the futuristic novel, written by the British author in 1931 and published in 1932, was requested to be restricted or removed from libraries was because of its alleged insensitivity, offensive language, racism, and sexually explicit content.

Brave New World is set in the London of 2540 AD, where mass production has inundated nearly every aspect of society, free-love is mandatory and residents keep themselves in a happy stupor by self-medicating with an antidepressant-like drug called soma.

Unlike George Orwell’s famous dystopian novel 1984, Huxley’s novel envisioned a totalitarian government than used distractions and pleasures to suppress the population rather than brute force and propaganda.

The novel ranks fifth on a Modern Library list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.

From 1984 to Brave New World


From the ACLU:

Congress Drops the Ball on Upgrading Patriot Protections

We’re sorry to say, but is anyone surprised that Congress has capitulated to post-underpants bomber fear-mongering and passed the three expiring provisions of the Patriot Act without so much as a debate?

Oh, you didn’t hear about that?

Wednesday night, the Senate passed a straight one-year extension by voice vote, and last night, the House followed suit.

That’s right. No changes. Nothing. Nada. Zip, zilch, zero. (You get the picture.)

That leaves ordinary Americans like you and me without the civil liberties safeguards proposed by several bills last year. Both the House and Senate had bills that would have improved the Patriot Act…

And of course, President Obama signed the bill with nary a public statement, no muss, no fuss.

They knew exactly what they were doing

I like David Michael Green’s writing.  I’m not well acquainted with a wide range of his views, but typically when I read his work on Common Dreams, I enjoy it immensely.  His post this week is a post-mortem on the Bush years and it gets at an important point that we ignore at our peril.

Most people have completely failed to perceive the magnitude of the Bush crime, because they see it as limited to ‘merely’ dumb policies, poorly implemented, by incompetent stewards of government. Would that that were so. We’d be so much better off as a country and as a world had it been only that…

This president – and indeed the entire movement of regressive politics these last three decades (which I refer to as Reaganism-Bushism) – can only be properly understood as class warfare. Its purpose was never to make America a better place. Indeed, if we define America as a country belonging to its 300 million inhabitants, then the purpose was actually precisely the opposite. The mission of this ideology was in fact to diminish if not impoverish the vast bulk of these citizens, so that the already massively wealthy among them could instead become obscenely wealthy.

Where you or I might have looked at the middle of the twentieth century and seen the moment when America finally did justice to its national promise by introducing a measure of serious economic equality for the first time, and thus vastly expanding the middle class, the plutocrats behind Reaganism-Bushism saw a filthy aberration to the natural order of master and slave that had long existed in human history. They therefore set about to overturn that aberration and return to ‘better times’ through a process of class warfare. That meant that labor unions had to go, along with workplace protections, good wages, decent benefits, government protections, and a far-too-moderate average CEO to lowest-paid worker salary ratio on the order of fifty-to-one, replaced instead by something closer to five-hundred-to-one.

And, where Washington was concerned, that meant that government was to become a vehicle to serve not the 300 million, but rather the 300 families at the top, who already owned the most but craved ever, ever more…

It’s not that there weren’t unqualified, inept bureaucrats put into positions for which they were woefully unprepared, I’m sure that there were.  But, I would also bet when there was money to be made, when the important decisions came down, they were deftly handled by expert bagmen, who took their cut and siphoned the rest off to the designated cronies.