Orwell: No one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it
1984 describes the ultimate tyranny to come. Or the retro-nightmare future that might-have-been, had it not been outdone by reality. Aldous Huxley – famous author, heir to the intellectual threads of Eugenics, Darwinism, Fabian Socialism and Humanitarian Scientism as a world religion – made his disagreements with his former pupil George Orwell quite clear in a 1962 speech at Berkeley as well as in writings like Brave New World: Revisited.
Orwell’s stark and forceful police state manufactured and maintained order with the psychological dominance of the ever-watchful Big Brother, by utilizing high-tech surveillance, the editing of reality, the propagation of dizzying misinformation and rule by an iron fist.
For Aldous Huxley, however, Orwell had missed the point. The Nazis and Soviets were incomplete models for the emerging world order. The real tyranny was scientific in its approach, sophisticated and slight in its maneuvered hand. Mankind wouldn’t face naked oppression as much as he would be pacified by easily obtained goods, engineered societal rewards and the use of literal opiates – refined pharmaceutical drugs – to make the masses “learn to love their servitude.” This would constitute the ultimate revolution – oligarchical domination administered by a scientific and expert elite. What Orwell had described would be crude compared to the studied social programs of indoctrinated helplessness.
But Orwell had not missed the point at all (certainly not entirely) – he understood that this was domination nonetheless, no matter how concealed the bludgeoning arm was behind the velvet gloved-hand. The true purpose of socialism is not the “good of others” [i.e. the masses] but the control by the few – the elite or oligarchy – of the many by an overarching system that made them controllable.
That system is collectivism – everyone under one net. Oligarchical collectivism – government by, for and of the megacorporations, the elite, and their agents and elected.
Orwell wrote it in his book – buried in the plot as the manual for the Big Brother system, written by the exiled archenemy and original framer of their system Emanuel Goldstein. His book was titled: “The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism.”
What is the ultimate aim of this system, in its rawest form? It is later answered by O’Brien, as he tortures Winston:
“The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps even believed that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.”
Aldous Huxley – The Ultimate Revolution (Berkeley Speech 1962)