Making the World Safe for Animals and Spirits (WPMY 123)

“If you want to make the world safe for animals and spirits, you must have a system that reduces the amount of fear and greed and hatred and domineering to their minimum, which means that you must have enough economic security to get rid at least of that source of worry. Enough personal responsibility to prevent people from wallowing in sloth. Enough property to protect them from being bullied by the rich, but not enough to permit them to bully. And the same thing with political rights and authority—enough of the first for the protection of the many, too little of the second for domination by the few.”

“Sounds like peasants to me,” said Pete dubiously.

“Peasants plus small machines and power. Which means that they’re no longer peasants, except insofar as they’re largely self-sufficient.”

“And who makes the machines? More peasants?”

“No; the same sort of people that make them now. What can’t be made satisfactorily except by mass production methods, obviously has to go on being made that way. About a third of all production—that’s what it seems to amount to. The other two-thirds are more economically produced at home or in a small workshop. The immediate, practical problem is to work out the technique of that small-scale production. At present, all the research is going to the discovery of new fields of mass production.”

After Many a Summer Dies the Swan

Aldous Huxley          1939

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