Sunday, July 26, 2009
Aldous Huxley: Britain's Neglected Genius
Writer, philosopher, social critic, and all round genius, Aldous Huxley was born 115 years ago today, on 26th July 1894.
Above you can see a wonderful interview with the great man on the Mike Wallace show in which he stresses his core belief that intelligence and kindness are inextricably linked. Huxley also believed that modern marketing techniques, advertising and other forms of brainwashing used by the ruling elite to maintain their control would pose a far greater threat to human freedom- and humanity in general than the ‘old-style’ dictatorships that relied on terror. His Brave New World was a far more accurate portrayal of the future than George Orwell’s 1984.
We haven’t produced too many world class intellectuals in Britain, but Huxley was undoubtedly one. And how do we commemorate him?
In 2002, a list of the '100 Greatest Britons' was compiled. While David Beckham got to number 33, Boy George got to number 46, Tony Blair to Number 67 and Richard Branson to 86, the author of Brave New World, Point Counterpoint, Eyeless in Gaza, Island and many other great works didn’t even make the top 100.
If he’d have been French, Huxley would have had an underground station named after him, and statues in various towns and cities.
In Britain he gets nothing.