Stumbling as I did over Julian Huxley in the previous post and then realizing he was Aldous Huxley’s father, I went to YouTube to see if anything was on record from Aldous. There is this, a 1958 interview by Mike Wallace. It is about 30 minutes.
I know how people are with videos because I am the same way. I am not about to drop everything just because someone thinks I should watch something. So I took notes as I watched. If any of this is of interest to you, the time in the video is noted.
2:10: Overpopulation. Huxley sees it as a problem in 1958, not in the US, but in the poorer nations. Prescient, as this is the driving force now behind so-called Climate Change. A problem in 1958, a problem now.
5:10: Over-organization, large bureaucracies, people reduced to lowly servant status.
6:20: Propaganda. He sees its use in Germany and the USSR, though he claims it has not yet arrived in the US. [Wink wink.]
7:50: The power of TV.
8:50: Drugs, and not street drugs, but rather things like soma from Brave New World, drugs that elevate us without debilitating us, foreshadowing the era of antidepressants.
10:45: Rule by propaganda, love of slavery.
13:00: Politics. “All that is needed is money and a candidate that can be coaxed to look sincere.”
13:50: Reagan. (Not really.) He talks about the possibility of an amiable dunce becoming president because of the power of advertising.
14:35: Subliminal persuasion.
17:00: Advertising and children.
19:40: The will to power.
21:00: Integrity, values, education.
23:25 and 25:10: The Evil Empire (words not used), the USSR.
24:00: Is freedom necessary?
By the way, I should add, I don’t think Aldous Huxley was an evil man, though he certainly qualifies as an insider. I do not impugn evil motives on him, though he does not say all that he knows. I came away from this interview with the impression that I had just visited a different era, when perhaps the ruling class held out hope for an informed citizenry.
I am going to sort of quote Martin Luther King, or his writers (who obviously knew he was to “die” the following day), since it is obvious to me that Huxley in 1958 had never been to WalMart:
“Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to Walmart. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to have a lot of stuff. Stuff has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to Walmart. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the thundering herd. I may not go there with you ever again. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to to have lots of stuff, and that is all that will matter. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen Walmart, and I know what must be done. And man, I am outta here!”