Can George Orwell or Aldous Huxley Be the Fate of the World?

Aldous Huxley used the setting and characters in his science fiction novel to express widely felt anxieties, particularly the fear of losing individual identity in the fast-paced world of the future.

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Aldous Huxley’, author of the Brave New World

HOW “LIMITLESS” CAN THE SINO-RUSIAN ENTENTE BE?

Is the “limitless” friendship between Russia and China which has declared war on the superiority of the socialist system to reach the essentials to the needy much faster than those who sing the tune of democracy would bring about a war between the two camps? Can such a disparity in views lead to scenarios that the countries of the world would hate even to dream of? Would the Sino-Russian friendship usher in the spectacle of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four as both Vladimir Putin and Xi—Jinping has demonstrated scant regard for independent thinking which does not reflect the propaganda of the Chinese Communist Party or Vladimir Putin’s dictates? Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World while living in France, in 1931. The book which caught the attention of the readers also led Aldous Huxley to write Brave New World.

WHAT DROVE ALDOUS HUXLEY TO WRITE BRAVE NEW WORLD

Aldous Huxley used the setting and characters in his science fiction novel to express widely felt anxieties, particularly the fear of losing individual identity in the fast-paced world of the future. An early trip to the United States gave Brave New World much of its character. Huxley was outraged by the culture of youth, commercial cheeriness, sexual promiscuity, and the inward-looking nature of many Americans. In a letter to George Orwell about Nineteen Eighty-Four, Huxley wrote “Whether the policy of the boot-on-the-face can go on indefinitely seems doubtful. My own belief is that the ruling oligarchy will find less arduous and wasteful ways of governing and of satisfying its lust for power, and these ways will resemble those which I described in Brave New World.”   He went on to write “Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.” George Orwell’s was a house of horrors. He seemed to strain credulity because he posited a regime that would go to any lengths to own and possess history, to rewrite and construct it, and to inculcate it using coercion. Whereas Aldous Huxley  rightly foresaw that any such regime could break because it could not bend.

SOVIET UNION OPENS ITS FANGS

In 1988, four years after 1984, the Soviet Union scrapped its official history curriculum and announced that a newly authorized version was somewhere in the works. This was the precise moment when the regime conceded its extinction. For true blissed-out and vacant servitude, though, you need an otherwise sophisticated society where no serious history is taught. Even if the world today because of its complicated intra-tied economic and political relations among different countries, both the industrialized North, defined by Wikipedia, as flows:-

WIKIPEDIA DEFINES GLOBAL NORTH AND GLOBAL SOUTH

 Global North and Global South are terms used to describe a grouping of countries along the lines of socio-economic and political characteristics. The Global South broadly comprises the countries in the regions of Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, Asia (without Israel, Japan, and South Korea), and Oceania (without Australia and New Zealand), according to the  (UNCTAD). Most of the countries in the Global South are commonly identified as lacking in standard of living, which includes having: lower income, high poverty, dense population, limited educational opportunities, and deficient health system among others. 

Cities in the global South are characterized by their poor characteristics. The Global South forms one side of the divide and on the other is the Global North (broadly comprising Northern America and Europe, Israel, Japan and South Korea, as well as Australia and New Zealand, according to the UNCTAD). As such, the terms Global North and Global South do not refer to the cardinal directions of north and south as many of the Global South countries are geographically located in the Northern Hemisphere. Countries that are developed are considered as Global North countries, while those developing are considered as Global South countries. 

The term as used by governmental and developmental organizations was first introduced as a more open and value-free alternative to “Third World” and similarly potentially “valuing” terms like developing countries. Countries of the Global South have been described as newly industrialized or are in the process of industrializing, and are frequently current or former subjects of colonialism. The Global North generally correlates with the Western world while the South largely corresponds with the developing countries and the Eastern world. The two groups are often defined in terms of their differing levels of wealth, economic development, income inequality, democracy, and political and economic freedom, as defined by freedom indices. States that are generally seen as part of the Global North tend to be wealthier and less unequal.

They are developed countries, which export technologically advanced manufactured products. Southern states are generally poorer developing countries with younger, more fragile democracies that are heavily dependent on primary sector exports and are largely agrarian-based.  Some scholars have suggested that the gap of inequality between the North and the South is narrowing due to globalization. Other scholars have disputed this position, suggesting that the Global South has gotten poorer, relative to the North, since globalization unquote.

AMERICAN PEOPLE’S ATTITUDE TOWARDS CHINA AND RUSSIA.

Three-quarters of Americans now view China as an enemy amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which nearly the same number fear could expand to involve the United States, a recent survey has found. This time last year, 65 percent of Americans considered China an enemy. That number has risen to 75 percent, according to the Regan National Defense Survey published on December 1, a poll of 2,538 U.S. adults conducted between November 9 and 17, and commissioned by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute (Newsweek December 05-2022). A majority, 54 percent, supported a reduction in U.S.-China trade.  U.S. views on China have implications for Taiwan.  Officials in Washington and lawmakers on Capitol Hill have discussed several timelines for a potential Chinese invasion of the democratically governed island claimed by Beijing. Analysts have proposed D-Days in 2024, 2027, 2035, and 2049, while many subject-matter experts say China’s long-ruling Communist Party itself likely doesn’t know when it would make a move. Seven in 10 respondents told the Reagan Institute survey that Russia’s actions this year would inspire “other authoritarian countries to invade their democratic neighbors,” with the same number concerned about a Chinese attack on Taiwan years.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN XI-JINPING AND MAO’S SUCCESSORS

State control over the expression of independent opinion was not on the card. Xi-Jinping differed from the way Mao-Tse-Tung’s successors behaved.  Ian Johnson in his article ( Xi’s Age of Stagnation. The Great Walling-Off of China.  September/October 2023. Published on August 22, 2023) wrote that Chinese leaders have always viewed universities somewhat suspiciously, installing party secretaries to oversee them and surrounding them with walls. Still, for decades, universities were also home to freethinking academics, and their gates were rarely shut to visitors. Since Xi came to power, however, these freedoms have gradually been eliminated. In 2012, the government began to impose bans on teaching subjects such as media freedom, judicial independence, promoting civil society, and independent historical inquiry. Then, with the onset of the pandemic, the government expanded surveillance and added new security measures that have since become permanent, transforming universities into fortresses. He added that after Mao died, party elders around Deng Xiaoping realized that the party confronted a crisis of legitimacy. They introduced market reforms and relaxed the party’s grip on society. Likewise, after the 1989 Tiananmen massacre and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Deng and his immediate successors came to believe that a lack of economic progress underpinned both events and pushed through wide-ranging reforms that transformed China into an emerging economic superpower. This adaptive authoritarianism can be attributed in part to a generation of leaders who saw the People’s Republic as a work in progress that could be continually improved rather than as a fixed political system that had to be preserved at all costs. Leaders such as Deng had helped found the new country in 1949, but they knew that it was prone to large-scale crises that needed correction. In the aftermath of the Mao years, they also realized that their rule was precarious.

CONCLUSION

Relinquishing political control was off the table, but most other things were open for discussion. Today it’s almost shocking to read government policy documents from the Deng era. In decades past, if accidents or disasters occurred that reflected poorly on the party, leaders such as former president Hu Jintao and former Prime Minister Wen Jiabao visited the locales in question to show they cared, drawing on much the same playbook as their Western counterparts in such situations. Xi-Jinping also travels often around China, but rarely to express condolences, let alone to take implicit government responsibility for failures. Instead, he mostly visits local communities to exhort them to comply with party doctrine and government policy. This feeds into the impression among many Chinese people of an increasingly remote leadership that allows few dissenting viewpoints, shuns internal debate, and feels no compulsion to explain itself to the public. This difference between Deng Xiaoping and Xi Jinping’s attitudes towards the Chinese people- one of imperial outlook and the other of being together with distressed people has made a difference, in particular with the independent-minded scholars who are hopeful that the new generation would be able to see a China free of George Orwell or Aldous Huxley’s fate of the world.

Kazi Anwarul Masud

Kazi Anwarul Masud is a retired Bangladeshi diplomat. During his tenure, he worked in several countries as the ambassador of Bangladesh including Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea and Germany

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