Socialism: Can we learn from Orwell and Huxley?
A recent Harris Poll finds that Millennials and Generation Z, which together comprise 37-percent of the electorate, think that Socialism is a better political-economic system than Capitalism. Surprised? Don’t be.
One suspects the under-30 crowd is under-whelmed with the way their seniors, of both major political parties, have steered the American Ship-of-State. Combine that with the fact that our public education system has spent the last four decades extolling the virtues of a brand of Socialism that exists only in theory. Little attention has been given to the fact that Socialism, in actual practice, often ends up as brutal, fascist dictatorships under the likes of Hitler in Germany, Stalin in Russia, Mao in China, and Maduro in Venezuela.
Less dramatic, but equally instructive, are the dozens of post-colonial countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia that voted for Socialism and now live in third-world poverty. Also, often under the thumbs of high-living dictators.
In the faint hope some under-30s might happen upon this newspaper column, here are some out-takes from Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932), and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eight-Four. (1949)
Huxley imagined a Socialist world in which human fetuses in-the-womb were given different amounts of oxygen and other chemicals in order to produce babies with differing mental abilities. The Alphas were the intellectual caste. They set the in-the-womb chemical levels for the lower castes such as the Betas who were skilled workers, smart enough to be of help to the Alphas; however, not capable of critical thinking. Gammas were semi-skilled workers who could operate factory machinery. Deltas were low-skilled and only able to perform menial tasks such as opening and closing doors for the upper castes. Epsilons could sweep floors and do grimy sewage work much like the "Untouchables" of East India.
Anyone who felt any unhappiness with this arrangement was given unlimited amounts of a drug called: Soma. The effects of Soma were very much like marijuana, producing a society with a Worry- and Trauma-Free (WTF) attitude.
In his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death, social critic, Neil Postman, wrote, "What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one."
In Nineteen-Eight-Four Orwell maintained that people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, Huxley said that people are controlled by inflicting pleasure.
In 2020 and beyond, a Socialist United States might fall victim to the worst of Nineteen-Eighty-Four and Brave New World, i.e., an American society too zonked out on marijuana and other drugs to care that it is being brutalized by the police state that Socialism’s Alpha elites --the Nomenklatura -- always impose (history is our witness) on the Proletarian Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons.
We can only hope that the under-30 crowd’s much-vaunted desire for Social Justice would cause them to look at the plight of the world’s Betas, Gammas, and especially, the Deltas, and Epsilons, and realize that Socialist governments are the reason why those unfortunate people are hopelessly and forever down at the bottom of the world’s economic, political, and cultural food chain.
©2019. William Hamilton.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame. Dr. Hamilton is the author of The Wit and Wisdom of William Hamilton: the Sage of Sheepdog Hill, Pegasus Imprimis Press (2017). "Central View," can also be seen at: www.central-view.com.