Aldous Huxley Quote

“Only a large-scale popular movement toward decentralization and self-help can arrest the present tendency toward statism... A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors and schoolteachers.”

~ Aldous Huxley

Forward to 'Brave New World', 1932

Ratings and Comments


Joe, Rochester, MI

75 years old. Wow, how true today.

Mike, Norwalk

WOW, said very well

E Archer, NYC

Great book, too!

Jack, Green, OH

What "large-scale popular movement toward decentralization" could possibly overcome the natural tendency for societies, from chickens to chimpanzees, to have their pecking orders, or hierarchies of dominant leaders, which all members must adhere to? Like it or not, it has always been that way and not a new phenomenon, or "present tendency toward statism" as Huxley calls it. There are leaders and there are followers in all societies. The lot of the followers depends on the benevolence of the leaders. As soon as an egalitarian system is established a new dominant class develops. All that separates humans from chickens and chimps is the complexity of the classes. Huxley is 100% correct, except for calling it only a present day condition.

Ken, Allyn, WA

The nation-state as it exists today came into being in 1638 with the treaty of Westphalia that ended the 30 years war. Nation-states have not always existed, and someday they will come to an end. It will probably take some cataclysmic event or a long period of warfare that the nation-state cannot cope with (terrorism for instance). People will only give their loyalty, or at least consent to be governed, when order and public safety is maintained. When that can no longer be done by the ruling elite, smaller groups will band together in some sort of tribalism to defend themselves. Decentralization and a new dark age is very possible.

Jack, Green, OH

That’s very interesting, Ken, but a nation-state is generally defined as a group of a relatively homogeneous people who live as a sovereign state. That has little to do with Huxley’s statism, which is a fairly high degree of centralized control of all economic activity

Ken, Allyn, WA

Nation-states are often made of homogeneous people, but it is certainly not necessary that it be so. For instance, the Soviet Union was very diverse ethnically. Yugoslavia came apart at the seems because of their diversity, and nations such as Sudan, Nigeria, and any number of African nations have ongoing conflict because of their non-homogeneity. A nation-state is a social construct which concentrates power in the hands of the few in return for protection. The more "protection" you want from the government, the more invasive the state has to become, to the point they become totalitarian; but at least they can make the trains run on time.

Stanley, kinyuy

The Nation-State thing, it is true, "at least they make the train run on time". A totalitarian State like Sweden is a very good example.

R. Lee, Michigan

Jack, Green, OH Comments: "There are leaders and there are followers in all societies. The lot of the followers depends on the benevolence of the leaders." ~~ Ahh, but that's not necessarily true... The "benevolence" of the leaders is always extracted from society's achievers, and redistributed to the followers. Does this not truly define the "leaders" as legislative extortionists, therefore not leaders at all?

empty pockets

He clearly saw our future...and using only common sense (the REAL common sense)...without even a working crystal ball.

luis perez, panama

Very appropriate thought for a day like today !
U.K. decision !

Robert, Somewhere in the USA

I'm busy moving but I just had to give one of my literary heroes five stars... How prescient this is in today's madness. The most important thing we can do today is to support the decentralization of banking and governments. Britain and France should exit the EU and America should withdraw its political and military incursions around the the globe... OK! that's wishful thinking, but if we don't you may wish you were never born....

Terence Marion, Wyoming Michigan

We are talking about the "BIG LIE "

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