“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism.
Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumble puppy.
As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists, who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny, “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.”
In 1984, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that our desire will ruin us.
This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right.” ― Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
It’s an issue of overt vs covert tyranny.
Essentially, the idea is there will be no revolution because the people will have been conditioned to actively Love their captivity, to the point where they no longer consider it captivity, but a blessing. It’s like a whole other level of Stockholm syndrome. We will happily enslave ourselves.
What is this madness…
This surge of furious and indignant investigation,
Why are so many increasingly daring to question that which is supposed to be unquestionable…
To challenge the core consensus of that which our modern, advanced society claims to know.
Are they simply going slowly insane?
Or maybe just fools?
Are they the tragic victims of a sadly innadequate education?
Or, is it maybe, something else…
Have they instead perhaps stumbled upon a most unexpected, yet liberating, realization, the realization that our most fundamental of human faculties, have in fact not been rendered obsolete, by this cumulation of so-called “higher knowledge”,
and the staggeringly simple conclusion, that our own senses and observations, can indeed be trusted.
For it is truly this question of trust itself which propels so much of this controversy, so much of this zetetic madness,
because we live in a day and age whereby we are taught from birth to put our blind faith in the sum total of humanity’s accomplishments, and to trust whole-heartedly in the assumption, that collectively mankind’s inevitable progression is always in the direction of truth and understanding…
Yet in this period of history, exists a growing minority of those of us who have been forced to concede that this is certainly not always the case,
to wake up and recognize that this idolatry of our own selves is in fact very fertile soil, for mixing science with fallacy, and confusing knowledge with presumption…
And so, this rediscovered Zetetic ethic, this ethos, is simply about refusing to live life whereby certain things are deemed exempt from continued examination, from questioning. It is the rejection of this unspoken cultural code which implies that the pursuits of scientific observation and experimentation are no longer the purview of the ordinary individual, and that all relevant scientific inquiry has now been relegated to the realms of government institutions , peer-reviewed academia and corporate interests.
We must insist on never overlooking the inherent danger of making the misguided assumption, that none of these public or private establishments could ever be abused, whether by simple error, or malicious intention, and so we seize back for ourselves, this simple right to question, to test, to inquire, to verify.
What’s more, we insist on never again surrendering the value and validity of our own personal obversations, direct experiences, and our inherent cognitive abilities, and degrading them once more to being sources of insight that are considered inferior to the theoretical speculations and mathematical abstractions being pushed from every angle by this monolithic system.
We believe that the simple freedom to question and test everything is the most effective antidote against the ceaseless agenda of indoctrination.
And this, I believe, is what lies at the heart of this Zetetic philosophy. It is something which touches so much more than just the matter of the shape of the Earth, the nature of the Cosmos, or all questions of a scientific nature. It encompasses, practically, everything, which holds meaning and importance in the course of human experience.
We are by nature, questioners. And when this freedom to question is removed, whether by overt action, or more often by sway of social conformity, this is what paves the way for true science to degrade into Scientism, for authentic democracy to erode into mob rule.
We question, because we recognize that at the end of the day, we really have nothing of consequence to lose by doing so, but on the other hand, we have potentially an unimaginable amount to lose, if we do not…