Progress as defined by Aldus Huxley:

the theory that you can get something for nothing; the theory that you can gain in one field without paying for your gain in another; the theory that you alone understand the meaning of history; the theory that you know what’s going to happen fifty years from now; the theory that, in the teeth of all experience, you can foresee all the consequences of your present actions; the theory that Utopia lies just ahead and that, since ideal ends justify the most abominable means, it is your privilege and duty to rob, swindle, torture, enslave and murder all those who, in your opinion (which is, by definition, infallible), obstruct the onward march to the earthly paradise. Remember that phrase of Karl Marx’s: ‘Force is the midwife of Progress.’ He might have added — but of course Belial didn’t want to let the cat out of the bag at that early stage of the proceedings — that Progress is the midwife of Force. Doubly the midwife, for the fact of technological progress provides people with the instruments of ever more indiscriminate destruction, while the myth of political and moral progress serves as the excuse for using those means to the very limit. I tell you, my dear sir, an undevout historian is mad. The longer you study modern history, the more evidence you find of Belial’s Guiding Hand.”

From the 1948 novel Ape and Essence.

I would love to give credit for where I ran across this in the past couple of days, but I can’t remember and don’t have the time to go looking right now.

2 thoughts on “Progress

  1. Aldus Huxley is most famous for writing Brave New World. Everyone is excited about Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four (it was written out long like that in 1948, which is when he wrote it), but I prefer BNW and Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. There are days I feel like we are living in F-451. But no one’s read that either. They haven’t even seen the movie. Because anything that is 50 years old, and written by white men must be beside the point. Or something.


  2. Pingback: The Tyranny of Bureaucracy | 357 Magnum

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