Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 15, No 1 (2019)

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Aldous Huxley and George Orwell: On the Political Use of Technoscience

Michel Weber


The main bone of contention between A. Huxley and G. Orwell is easy to identify : could or should political power be benevolent. In order to provide a sound answer, three steps are expedient. First, the political contrast drawing a sharp line between Huxley and Orwell is specified. Second, this contrast is shown to be correlated with Huxley's technophilia, as it is the heir of La Boétie and Tocqueville, and with Orwell's technophobia, mainly summoned by the harsh reality of fascist totalitarianism. Third, we evoke the limited way in which Huxley can be said to have changed, in the sixties, his understanding of the relevance of his own dystopia.

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