The following is an excerpt from the book Amusing Ourselves To Death by Neil Postman, where the author compares and contrasts two famous books depicting a dystopian society: Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.
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 would want to read one.
Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information.
Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism
Orwell feared the truth would be concealed from us.
Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance.
Orwell feared we would become a captive culture.
Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the Feelies, the orgy porgy and the Centrifugal Bumble-puppy.
As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions”.
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, people are controlled by inflicting pain.
In Brave New World, people are controlled by inflicting pleasure.
In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us.
Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.