Postman’s Assertion on Modern Society

As time passes, it is inevitable that all parts of the Earth and its beings: both living and nonliving, sentient and soulless, will change for either the better or the worst. According to Postman’s assertion, the correct perspective on the contemporary society as a whole is that of Huxley’s, from his Brave New World, in which he states in a general summary that whatever mankind loves and adores will ruin us as both a species and a civilization. In addition, Huxley’s perspective exists not only in the present but also in the past; and so compared to Orwell’s opinion on contemporary society, Huxley’s is more evident in historical and modern events, leading Postman’s assumption to also be correct.

This is palpable in past events, such as that of the United States of America. After the U.S.’s participation in World War I, the United States experienced a period of time in which the majority of the populace and the government strived to isolate the nation from the rest of the world: otherwise known as the time of Isolationism. During this era, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt strived to ameliorate the United States by connecting the country to the rest of the world through a variety of acts that affected trade, business, and other aspects; however due to the majority of society and Congress wanting to isolate themselves from the unnecessary problems of foreign countries, the U.S. experienced Isolationism. This isolationism was rooted from the aftereffects of World War I and the effects of the Great Depression in the United States,  and this was due to the advancement of humanity as a whole and its desire to remain isolated  from the rest of the world – an environment that mankind loves. And because of this desire to remain isolated, other foreign countries would continue to suffer. This colossal wave of selfishness is evident in not only the past but also the present with the actions of presidential candidate Donald Trump. Trump utilizes not only the fear of immigrants and foreigners and the xenophobia felt by numerous Americans, but also utilizes the love Americans have for the vast amount of opportunities only Americans experience and not having to share these luxuries with those who want to become part of America. And so, Huxley’s assertion on contemporary society is more tangible in the world with both its past and its present.

Furthermore, Huxley’s perspective on contemporary society is not only agreeable in historical and modern events, but also in various forms of arts like literature and films. Such forms of art include Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and Wall-E directed by Andrew Stanton, in which both have certain concepts that Huxley believes will ruin humanity as a species due to the cultures of contemporary society. In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury predicts with the development and progression of humanity along with the advancement of technology, this advancement of technology will lead mankind to strive to make their individual lives easier and lessen the burdens of daily activities such as washing the dishes and taking a shower. Bradbury expresses this concern through creating a world in which the world countries are at an international nuclear war, and the environment in which Bradbury’s characters are in, is a place of a false utopia where technological innovations such as the sea-shells, the parlor wall, and the train, symbolize modern-day creations that exist in modern day: earphones, televisions, and subways. This dependence on technology no longer correlates with the true purpose of these technological innovations in the first place: where we were supposed to utilize the technology so that we would be affected positively and not negatively, like how humanity is now. This is also evident in Stanton’s film Wall-E, in which the world has changed to one of an apocalyptic environment where the majority of society live their lives in a spaceship, dependent on robots to take care of their simple, daily needs such as showering, using the restroom, and so on so. This dependency on human-made innovations ruins the species as a whole and mankinds’ innate ability to do certain activities without the aid of man-made creations such as the dishwasher and artificial intelligence robots. And so, Huxley’s perspective on contemporary society is evident through not only actual events that have happened in the past and the present, but is also agreed by numerous literates, like artists, in literature and films such as Fahrenheit 451 and Wall-E.

However, some may believe that hatred drives human beings to the extremes, like in the World Wars and other arguments between individuals, ethnicities, and nations. Yet, hatred and love are similar in a numerous amount of ways, in which love is actually more effective in regressing humanity than hatred. According to psychology and past historical events, if humans tend to lean to certain activities or inanimate objects, then they are more likely to be addicting to it and thus become ruined when withdrawn from that specific aspect or tangible object. This is obvious in relationships, as stated in Vsauce’s video analysis on love, that when one ‘falls in’ love with another human being, the chemical dopamine is released, making humans not only mentally or emotionally dependent on the desired object but also chemically and physically dependent.

Therefore, Postman’s assertion that Huxley’s perspective is more reverent to contemporary society than that of Orwell due to the realities that it is more difficult to inhibit oneself from leaning to something they desire than something that they hate. In addition, this view is not only evident in well-developed, first-world countries such as the United States, but also in ‘uncivilized’, third-world countries such as Brazil and Indonesia. That is the reason for Postman’s assertion being correct with his agreement to Huxley’s vision rather than Orwell’s vision.

And finally we have come to an end. What parts of Postman’s perspective on mankind’s situation with contemporary society do you agree or disagree with? Or do you believe that Postman’s assertion on contemporary society is completely correct?

What do you think?


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