Aldous Huxley, quoted by AZspot and cited by Daniel Holter (who are both great). I have never cared for this form of analysis, which establishes a perceiving elect -generally the very educated- as capable of distinguishing ‘authentic’ happiness from suggestible, hypnotized ersatz-happiness. Note the wording: the clever leaders can trick people into “loving” their servitude.
Excellent analysis. You’re quite justified in deriding Huxley on this point: his philosophy is born of a sort of hipster aristocracy: a devious claim on the stewardship of the people through an elegant and compelling indictment of those perceived to be the “ruling class”.
That said, however, I’m not with you on your vague endorsement of democracy and pop culture. It’s an easy turn to make: if everyone who rails against the current situation is a fascist, then the current situation must be justifiable, because I can think of nothing wrong with it that would not make me a fascist as well.
But this is simply to concede the game to the tyranny of multiculturalism. I have no problem with television, junk food, vacation packages, digital cameras, etc. as such. Yet in your “respect” for the individual’s right in a democracy to choose these things you are denying that any kind of truth or wisdom can be sought in our confusing world.
I don’t think that anything Huxley ever said justifies him in committing violence against his fellow-man in a democracy, no matter how abhorrent the political situation surrounding him was. But that’s just the thing: he didn’t start throwing (nor did he directly get others to start throwing) bombs. How many other philosophies can lay claim to this distinction?
In the end, we are better for Huxley’s writing if it makes us question our material-technological surroundings and the modes of control they create.