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Thread: huxley quote

  1. #1
    johncosta.angelfire.com libernaut's Avatar
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    huxley quote

    "religion is not the opium of the masses but rather opium is becoming the religion of the masses."

    so true, so many people put on prescription drugs these days and grow addicted to them.

    drugs do more to keep the masses docile than religion has.

    that is why he used "Soma" as the future of drugs in Brave New World, which really just representing this idea.

    Its hard to start a revolution when your all high.

  2. #2
    Registered User JacobF's Avatar
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    I have a suspicion that he is talking about opium in a figurative sense and not just a literal one. Huxley believed that there are many forces which threaten freedom -- consumerism, obsession with 'staying young' (in BNW they detest the idea of aging), genetic engineering and many more that are dealt with in BNW. He believed that we will soon a adapt a lifestyle of comfort and happiness rather than truth and beauty. So it is not entirely accurate to say that he believed drugs threaten our freedom -- he was an advocate of LSD, after all -- and it is more accurate to say that opium represents the "comfort and happiness," while religion represents the "truth and beauty" that is slowly being replaced.

    The reason he advocated LSD is revealed in his novel The Doors of Perception. He describes it as an agent of revealing different plateaus of consciousness. Soma did not do this; instead, it simply put the citizens of the World State to sleep. So you're right in saying that prescription drugs are part of what Huxley meant by "opium," but I doubt that's the only factor he was referring to.

    And the statement that "drugs do more to keep the masses docile than religion" is pretty inaccurate, too. I'm not going to argue about it, but compare the people who actually use drugs to the people who buy into religion. And compare the lasting effects of drugs to the lasting effects of religion. Religion stays with many people for life -- drugs ware off (unless you're an addict and you're smoking weed or shooting heroin every day). I know it's hypocritical to counter a generalization with another generalization, but I think you should reconsider the massive effect religion has on people compared to drugs. I recommend you read The Doors of Perception if you want to know more about Huxley's beliefs. As you probably have noticed, they're fascinating.
    Last edited by JacobF; 06-25-2009 at 04:59 AM.

  3. #3
    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by libernaut View Post
    "religion is not the opium of the masses but rather opium is becoming the religion of the masses."

    so true, so many people put on prescription drugs these days and grow addicted to them.
    How many?

    Given that the widest usage of any prescription drug is fluoxetine (Prozac), which isn't addictive, I think you'll have a hard time showing that any significant percentage of people anywhere is "becoming addicted to prespcription drugs".

    Quote Originally Posted by libernaut View Post
    drugs do more to keep the masses docile than religion has.
    Over 80% of people in USA believe in the christian god. How many take drugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by libernaut View Post
    "that is why he used "Soma" as the future of drugs in Brave New World, which really just representing this idea.

    Its hard to start a revolution when your all high.
    That much is true, which is why soma usage is universal in BNW, but I think you're mistakenly confusing two different subjects.
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

    Anon

  4. #4
    Huxley was an avid fan of psychedelics for spiritual growth, so I find it hard to believe that he was referring to drugs in general with soma. But I do agree that he presented a theme of institutionalized government numbing populations for the purpose of social obedience. And that would definitely refer more to prescription drugs than LSD, mushrooms, marijuana, etc.
    “the sense of being which in calm hours arises, we know not how, in the soul, is not diverse from things, from space, from light, from time, from man, but one with them and proceeds obviously from the same source.... Here is the fountain of action and of thought....

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