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Huxley and mass media

A journey through Brave New World


Communication: a science

Publié par Aldous Huxley sur 10 Décembre 2012, 16:00pm

Television, newspapers, radio, songs, internet: all of these are mass media present in today’s society. Everybody has access to them and is inevitably confronted to them in everyday life. As a consequence, everyone is influenced. Their effects on the people are undeniable.

The development of such media has led to the development of new sciences such as “communication science”. This kind of science, used in politics and marketing for example, aims to find the best ways to influence people.  But, all this power and weight that mass media have on us can be frightening because, although those media are essential for the well-being and functionality of our society, they can also lead to dictatorship.

Aldous Huxley, agreeing on that point, states in his preface for Brave New World,: “Impersonal forces over which we have almost no control seem to be pushing us all in the direction of the Brave New Worldian nightmare; and this impersonal pushing is being consciously accelerated by representatives of commercial and political organizations who have developed a number of new techniques for manipulating, in the interest of some minority, the thoughts and feelings of the masses” (cf. also his interview under this article).

Because he was very much aware of what was happening in the world he was living in and how things worked, Huxley deliberately insisted on the part that “emotion engineers” play. Those engineers can be compared to today’s advertisers and politicians for instance.

 

Impersonal forces over which we have almost no control seem to be pushing us all in the direction of the Brave New Worldian nightmare; and this impersonal pushing is being consciously accelerated by representatives of commercial and political organizations who have developed a number of new techniques for manipulating, in the interest of some minority, the thoughts and feelings of the masses.

Brave New World's preface

An interview of Aldous Huxley

Communication: a science
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