In 1949, sometime after the publication of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Aldous Huxley, the author of Brave New World (1931), who was then living in California, wrote to Orwell. Huxley had briefly taught French to Orwell as a student in high school at Eton.
Huxley generally praises Orwell’s novel, which to many seemed very similar to Brave New World in its dystopian view of a possible future. Huxley politely voices his opinion that his own version of what might come to pass would be truer than Orwell’s. Huxley observed that the philosophy of the ruling minority in Nineteen Eighty-Four is sadism, whereas his own version is more likely, that controlling an ignorant and unsuspecting public would be less arduous, less wasteful by other means. Huxley’s masses are seduced by a mind-numbing drug, Orwell’s with sadism and fear.
The most powerful quote In Huxley’s letter to Orwell is this:
Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.