Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Huxley tries to have his cake and eat it too

Two quotations from Aldous Huxley's ‘Spinoza’s Worm’ (1929):

'The means by which men try to turn themselves into supermen are murderous’

‘Simple lifers, like Tolstoy and Gandhi, ignore the most obvious facts. Chief amongst these is the fact that machinery, by increasing production, has permitted an increase in population. There are twice as many human beings today [Huxley is writing in the 1920s] as there were a hundred years ago. If we scrap the machinery, we kill at least half the population. When Gandhi advocates the return to handicrafts, he is advocating the condemnation to death of about nine hundred million human beings. Tamburlaine’s butcheries are insignificant compared to the cosmic massacre so earnestly advocated by our mild and graminivorous Mahatma.’

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