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Aldous Huxley
1894 - 1963

Essayist and novelist, author of Brave New World (1931) and 47 other books


A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors, and school teachers. ....[such propagandists] accomplish their greatest triumphs, not by doing something, but by refraining from doing. Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects... totalitarian propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have done by the most eloquent denunciations, the most compelling of logical rebuttals.

1946 - from the preface to Brave New World
The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different.

1952 - from The Devils of Loudun
That all men are equal is a proposition to which, at ordinary times, no sane individual has ever given his assent.

from Proper Studies
The thin and precarious crust of decency is all that separates any civilization, however impressive, from the hell of anarchy or systematic tyranny which lie in wait beneath the surface.

Defined in psychological terms, a fanatic is a man who consciously over-compensates a secret doubt.

from Vulgarity in Literature
That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.

Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.

An unexciting truth may be eclipsed by a thrilling lie.

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

from Proper Studies