There are two ways in which the spirit of a culture becomes a prison. This was the way of Nazis, and it appears to be the way of the Russians. In the second - the Huxleyan - culture becomes a burlesque. This appears to be the way of the Americans. What Huxley teaches is that in the Age of Advanced Technology, spiritual devastation is more likely to come from an enemy with a smiling countenance than from one whose face exudes suspicion and fate. In the Huxleyan prophecy, Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice; we watch him, by ours. When a culture becomes distracted by trivia; when political and social life are redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments; when public conversation becomes a form of baby talk; when a people become, in short, an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then - Huxley argued - a nation finds itself at risk and culture-death is a clear possibility.


  1. Conscientious Objections