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Vote for Antony Antoniou

Antony Antoniou – Reform UK Northampton North
Prospective Parliamentary Candidate
(PPC) 2024 General Election

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An analysis of manipulation on a grand scale

A serialisation of my next book, which has involved a lot of research in to social structure and the evolution of ‘manipulating the masses’

Whilst any analysis of social engineering can be subjective, with the benefit of hindsight, we are able to establish, should we take the time to glance in the rear-view-mirror, that the masses have been manipulated by those in power, since ancient times, however the methodology of control on a national and international scale has evolved, advanced and is now moving to a much more sinister goal.

Introduction:

“Social Engineering: A Society by Design” explores the intricate and often hidden ways in which societies are shaped and controlled. This book delves into the various methods employed to manipulate and mould the thoughts, behaviours, and beliefs of individuals within a given society. It examines the historical context, psychological tactics, and technological advancements that have propelled social engineering to unprecedented levels.

Chapter by chapter, this book uncovers the origins and evolution of social engineering, shedding light on the ideological frameworks that influence societal development. It explores the power of propaganda, mass persuasion, and media manipulation, revealing how these tools are used to shape public opinion and control narratives.

Furthermore, “Social Engineering: A Society by Design” investigates the role of education and social conditioning in shaping individuals’ values and attitudes. It delves into the ways in which consumerism is engineered through advertising and marketing techniques, as well as the influence of political agendas on societal norms and behaviours.

The book also explores the impact of technology on social engineering, from the pervasive surveillance mechanisms to the algorithms that shape our online experiences. It examines the role of social media in amplifying social engineering tactics and analyses the ethical implications of these practices.

Drawing on historical case studies, this book examines real-world examples of social engineering, providing readers with a deeper understanding of its mechanisms and effects. It highlights moments in history when societies have been subjected to extensive social engineering, emphasizing the importance of critical thinking and resilience in the face of manipulation.

“Social Engineering: A Society by Design” also raises crucial questions about the ethical boundaries of social engineering. It prompts readers to consider the potential consequences and ethical implications of engineering societies to fit predetermined agendas.

Lastly, the book concludes by envisioning the future of social engineering, considering the impact of emerging technologies and the potential for positive social engineering initiatives. It emphasizes the importance of building a resilient society that is aware of and resistant to manipulation, fostering empowerment and collective well-being.

We have all heard about 1984 by George Orwell, which led to the term ‘Orewllian society’ but there are many facets to incremental decline in to dystopia, however there was a man who preceded George Orwell and was in fact one of his teachers, who had a different vision, one that would precede and actually lay the foundation for the social structure that will follow.

There are many different ways that society can be controlled, with different philosophers, sighting different opinions, definitions and predictions, however for the purposes of my research, I have selected a few definitions that relate to my personal thoughts.

When social structure is concerned, by far the most common visual conceptualisation tends to be linear, polarise, either one extreme or another:

Socialism < …………………………………> Capitalism

Utopia < …………………………………> Dystopia

Collectivism < …………………………………> Individualism

Conservatism < …………………………………> Hedonism

…………and so on.

It is my opinion, that the linear concept has been the norm as much by design, as it is by evolution, because the most important factor in any form of social engineering is ‘polarisation’

In ancient Rome & Greece, there were the Greeks and the Romans, but everyone else were ‘Barbarians’

During the Muslim wars, there were Muslims and ‘infidels’

During the Crusades, there were Christians and Saracens

And so it continues, because when the masses have the linear concept in their minds, they know that they are on one side or another.

However, I would argue, that in reality, all social structures are not linear, but circular, in fact any number of circles overlapping one another in the shape of a Venn diagram, with all the circles moving around like positively charged Ions, changing the dynamics of the society that they influence.

Why is this important?

I fervently believe that this is crucial if we are to understand how fragile our society really is, but more importantly, unlike the linear example, where society would in essence need to swing from one side to another, using the circular structure to define the different influences on society and decipher their impact upon us.

What is further highlighted by the circular example, is that it demonstrates how different aspects of social structure can have a greater influence on society, incrementally and more importantly, by stealth.

We need only reflect on the changes to our society over the last two decades, to fully appreciate, just how much things have changed, but even for those who have lived through this period as mature adults, it is almost impossible to pinpoint what changed and when it changed, because this all crept up on us by stealth.

The truly astute social manipulators do not reveal their hand, they use the very same tactic that Houdini used, in his public feats of magic, which was in fact, little more than trickery, but the key, was misdirection.

I would firstly like to refer to a speech made by the very wise literary great, Aldus Huxley, which he made before an audience at the Berkeley language centre in 1962.

The Ultimate Revolution: Aldus Huxley

March 20, 1962 Berkeley Language Centre

First of all, I’d like to say that the conference at Santa Barbara was not directly concerned with the control of the mind. That was a conference—there have been two of them now, at the University of California Medical centre in San Francisco (one this year which I didn’t attend), and one two years ago where there was a considerable discussion on this subject—at Santa Barbara we were talking about technology in general and the effects it’s likely to have on society, and the problems related to the transplanting of technology into underdeveloped countries.

Well now, in regard to this problem of the ultimate revolution: this has been very well summed up by the moderator. In the past we can say that all revolutions have essentially aimed at changing the environment in order to change the individual. I mean, there’s been the political revolution, the economic revolution, in the time of the reformation, the religious revolution. All these aimed, as I say, not directly at the human being, but at his surroundings. So that by modifying the surroundings you did remove an effect upon the human being.

Today we are faced, I think, with the approach of what may be called the ultimate revolution, the final revolution, where man can act directly on the mind-body of his fellows. Well, needless to say, some kind of direct action on human mind-bodies has been going on since the beginning of time, but this has generally been of a violent nature. The Techniques of terrorism have been known from time immemorial, and people have employed them with more or less ingenuity, sometimes with the utmost cruelty, sometimes with a good deal of skill acquired by a process of trial and error, finding out the best ways of using torture, imprisonment, constraints of various kinds.

But as—I think it was Metternich—said many years ago: you can do everything with bayonets except sit on them. If you are going to control any population for any length of time, you must have some measure of consent. It’s exceedingly difficult to see how pure terrorism can function indefinitely. It can function for a fairly long time, but I think sooner or later you have to bring in an element of persuasion, an element of getting people to consent to what is happening to them.

Well, it seems to me that the nature of the ultimate revolution with which we are now faced is precisely this: that we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy—who have always existed and presumably will always exist—to get people actually to love their servitude. This is, it seems to me, the ultimate in malevolent revolutions, shall we say. And this is a problem which has interested me for many years and about which I wrote thirty years ago a fable, Brave New World, which is essentially the account of a society (making use of all the devices at that time available, and some of the devices which I imagined to be possible) making use of them in order to, first of all, to standardize the population, to iron out inconvenient human differences, to create, so to say, mass-produced models of human beings arranged in kind of a scientific caste system.

And since then, I have continued to be extremely interested in this problem, and I have noticed with increasing dismay that a number of the predictions which were purely fantastic when I made them thirty years ago have come true, or seem in process of coming true; that a number of techniques about which I talked seem to be here already. And there seems to be a general movement in the direction of this kind of ultimate revolution, this method of control, by which a people can be made to enjoy a state of affairs which (by any decent standard) they ought not to enjoy—the enjoyment of servitude. Well, this process, as I say, has gone on for over the years, and I have become more and more interested in what is happening.

And here I would like briefly to compare the parable of Brave New World with another parable which was put forth more recently in George Orwell’s book, Nineteen Eighty-Four. Orwell wrote his book, I think, between 45 and 48, at the time when the Stalinist terror regime was still in full swing, and just after the collapse of the Hitlerian terror regime. And his book—which I admire greatly, it’s a book of very great talent and extraordinary ingenuity—shows, so to say, a projection into the future of the immediate past (of what for him was the immediate past) and the immediate present. It was a projection into the future of a society where control was exercised wholly by terrorism and violent attacks upon the mind-body of individuals.

Whereas my own book—which was written in 1932, when there was only a mild dictatorship in the form of Mussolini in existence—was not overshadowed by the idea of terrorism, and I was therefore free in a way in which Orwell was not free, to think about these other methods of control, these non-violent methods. And I’m inclined to think that the scientific dictatorships of the future (and I think there are going to be scientific dictatorships in many parts of the world) will be probably a good deal nearer to the Brave New World pattern than to the Nineteen Eighty-Four pattern. They will a good deal nearer not because of any humanitarian qualms of the scientific dictators, but simply because the Brave New World pattern is probably a good deal more efficient than the other. That, if you can get people to consent to the state of affairs in which they are living—the state of servitude, the state of being, having their differences ironed out, and being made amenable to mass production methods on the social level—if you can do this, then you are likely to have a much more stable and much more lasting society, a much more easily controllable society, than you would if you were relying wholly on clubs and firing squads and concentration camps.

So that my own feeling is that the Nineteen Eighty-Four picture was tinged, of course, by the immediate past and present in which Orwell was living, but the past and present of those years does not represent, I feel, the likely trend of what is going to happen. Needless to say, we shall never get rid of terrorism. This will always find its way to the surface. But I think that insofar as dictators become more and more scientific, more and more concerned with the technically perfectly running society, they will be more and more interested in the kind of techniques which I imagined and described from existing realities in Brave New World. So that, it seems to me, then, that this ultimate revolution is not really very far away; that already, the number of techniques for bringing about this kind of control are here. And it remains to be seen when and where and by whom they will first be applied in any large scale.

And first, let me talk a little bit about the improvement, even, in the techniques of terrorism. I think there have been improvements. Pavlov, after all, made some extremely profound observations both on animals and on human beings. And he found, among other things, that conditioning techniques applied to animals or humans in a state either of psychological or physical stress sank in, so to say, very deeply into the mind-body of the creature, and were extremely difficult to get rid of; that they seemed to be embedded more deeply than other forms of conditioning. And this, of course, this fact, I think, was discovered empirically in the past. People did make use of many of these techniques. But the difference between the old empirical intuitive methods and our own methods is the difference between a, sort of, hit and miss craftsman’s point of view, and the genuinely scientific point of view. I mean, I think there is a real difference between ourselves and, say, the inquisitors of the sixteenth century. We know much more precisely what we are doing than they knew, and we can extend (because of our theoretical knowledge) what we are doing over a wider area with a greater assurance of producing something that really works.

In this context I would like to mention the extremely interesting chapters in Dr. William Sargant’s Battle for the Mind, where he points out how intuitively some of the great religious teachers, leaders, of the past hit on the Pavlovian method. He speaks specifically of Wesley’s method of producing conversions, which were essentially based upon a technique of heightening psychological stress to the limit by talking about hellfire, and so making people extremely vulnerable to suggestion, and then suddenly releasing this stress by offering hopes of heaven. And this is a very interesting chap—of showing how completely on purely intuitive and empirical grounds a skilled natural psychologist, as Wesley was, could discover these Pavlovian methods.

Well, as I say, we now know the reason why these techniques worked, and there’s no doubt at all that we can (if we want to) carry them much further than was possible in the past. And of course, in the recent history of brainwashing—both as applied to prisoners of war and to the lower personnel within the communist party in China—we see that the Pavlovian methods have been applied systematically and evidently with extraordinary efficacy. I mean, I think there can be no doubt that, by the application of these methods, a very large army of totally devoted people has been created. The conditioning has been driven in, so to say, by a kind of psychological iontophoresis into the very depths of the people’s being, and has got so deep that it’s very difficult for it to ever be rooted out. And these methods, I think, are a real refinement on the older methods of terror, because they combine methods of terror with methods of acceptance; that the person who is subjected to a form of terroristic stress, but for the purpose of inducing a kind of “voluntary” acceptance of the psychological state in which he has been driven and the state of affairs within which he finds himself. So there, as I say, has been a definite improvement, shall we say, even in the techniques of terrorism.

Well, then we come to the consideration of other techniques, of non-terroristic techniques, for inducing consent and for inducing people to love their servitude. Here—I don’t think I can possibly go into all of them, because I don’t know all of them, but, I mean, I can mention a few of the more obvious methods which can now be used, and which are based upon recent scientific findings.

First of all, there are the methods connected with straight suggestion and hypnosis. I think we know much more about this subject than was known in the past. People, of course, have always known about suggestion, and although they didn’t know the word “hypnosis,” they certainly practiced it in various ways. But we have, I think, a much greater knowledge of the subject than in the past, and we can make use of our knowledge in ways which I think the past was never able to make use of it. For example, one of the things we now know for certain is that there is, of course, an enormous—I mean, this has always been known—a very great difference between individuals in regard to their suggestibility. But we now, I think, know pretty clearly the sort of statistical structure of a population in regard to its suggestibility.

It’s very interesting when you look at the findings of different fields. I mean, in the field of hypnosis, in the field of administering placebos, for example, in the field of general suggestion, in states of drowsiness or of light sleep you will find the same sorts of orders of magnitude continually cropping up. You’ll find, for example, that the experienced hypnotist will tell one that the percentage of people who can be hypnotized with the utmost facility, just like that, is about twenty percent, and about a corresponding number at the other end of the scale are very, very difficult or almost impossible to hypnotize. But in between there lies a large mass of people who can, with more or less difficulty, be hypnotized; that they can gradually be (if you work hard enough at it) got into the hypnotic state.

And, in the same way, the same sort of figures crop up again, for example, in relation to the administration of placebos. A big experiment was carried out three, four years ago in the general hospital in Boston on post-operative cases, where several hundred men and women suffering comparable kinds of pain after serious operations were given injections whenever they asked for them, whenever the pain got bad. And the injections fifty percent of the time were of morphine, and fifty percent of the time of distilled water. And about twenty percent of those who went through the experiment, about twenty percent of them got just as much relief from the distilled water as from the morphine. About twenty percent got no relief from the distilled water. And in between were those who got some relief or got relief occasionally. So, yet again, we see the same sort of distribution.

And similarly, with regard to what in Brave New World I called hypnopedia, the sleep teaching, I was talking not long ago to a man who manufactures records which people can listen to during the light part of sleep. I mean, these are records for getting rich, for sexual satisfaction, for confidence in salesmanship, and so on. And he said it’s very interesting that these are records sold on a money-back basis, and he says there is regularly between fifteen and twenty percent of people who write indignantly saying the records don’t work at all, and he sends the money back at once. There are, on the other hand, over twenty percent who write enthusiastically, saying they are much richer, their sexual life is much better, et cetera, et cetera. And these, of course, are the dream clients, and they buy more of these records. And then, in between, are those who complain they’re not get much results, and they have to have letters written to them saying, “Go persist, my dear! Go on and you will get there,” and they generally do get results in the long run.

Well, as I say, on the basis of this, I think we see quite clearly that the human populations can be categorized according to their suggestibility fairly clearly. I suspect very strongly that this twenty percent is the same in all these cases, and I suspect also that it would not be at all difficult to recognize and very early childhood who are those who are extremely suggestible, and who are those extremely unsuggestible, and who are those who occupy the intermediate space. Quite clearly, if everybody were extremely unsuggestible, organized society would be quite impossible. And if everybody were extremely suggestible, then dictatorship would be absolutely inevitable. I mean, it’s very fortunate that we have people who are moderately suggestible in the majority, and who therefore preserve us from dictatorship, but do permit organized society to be formed. But once given the fact that there are these twenty percent of highly suggestible people, it becomes quite clear that this is a matter of enormous political importance. For example, any demagogue who is able to get hold of a large number of these twenty percent of suggestible people and to organize them is really in a position to overthrow any government in any country.

And I mean, I think this—after all, we’ve had the most incredible example in recent years of what can be done by efficient methods of suggestion and persuasion in the form of Hitler. Anybody who’s read, for example, Bullock’s life of Hitler comes forth from with this horrified admiration for this infernal genius who really understood human weaknesses, I think, almost better than anybody, and who exploited them with all the resources then available. I mean, he knew everything. I mean, for example, he knew intuitively this Pavlovian truth that conditioning installed in a state of stress or fatigue goes much deeper than conditioning installed at other times. This was why all his big speeches were organized at night. He speaks of this quite frankly, of course, in Mein Kampf. He says this was done solely because people are tired at night and therefore much less capable of resisting persuasion than they would be during the day. And in all his techniques he was using he had discovered intuitively, and by trial and error, a great many of the weaknesses which we now know about on a sort of scientific way, I think, much more clearly than he did.

But the fact remains that this differential of suggestibility, this susceptibility to hypnosis, I do think is something which has to be considered very carefully in relation to any kind of thought about democratic government. If there are twenty percent of the people who really can be suggested into believing almost anything—as evidently they can be—then we have to take extremely careful steps to prevent the rise of demagogues who will drive them on into extreme positions, and then organize them into very, very dangerous private armies which may overthrow the government.

This, as I say, is in this field of pure persuasion. I think we do know much more than we did in the past, and obviously we now have mechanisms for multiplying the demagogue’s voice and image in a quite hallucinatory way. I mean, the television and the radio—Hitler was making enormous use of the radio, he could speak to millions of people simultaneously. This alone creates an enormous gulf between the modern and the ancient demagogue. The ancient demagogue could only appeal to as many people as his voice could reach by the yelling at his utmost. But the modern demagogue can touch literally millions at a time. And, of course, with this multiplication of his image he can produce this kind of hallucinatory effect which is of enormous hypnotic and suggestive importance.

But then there are the various other methods one can think of which have, thank heaven, as yet not been used, but which obviously could be used. There is, for example, the pharmacological method. This was one of the things I talked about in Brave New World. I invented a hypothetical drug called soma, which of course could not exist as it stood there, because it was simultaneously a stimulant, a narcotic, and a hallucinogen, which seems unlikely in one substance. But the point is that, if you applied several different substances, you could get almost all these results even now. And the really interesting thing about the new chemical substances, the new mind-changing drugs, is this: that whereas, if you look back into history, it’s clear that man has always had a hankering after mind-changing chemicals. He has always desired to take holidays from himself. But the—and this is the most extraordinary effect of all, is that every naturally occurring stimulant, narcotic, sedative, or hallucinogen was discovered before the dawn of history. I don’t think there is one single one of these naturally occurring ones which modern science has discovered. Modern science has, of course, better ways of extracting the active principles of these drugs, and of course has discovered numerous ways of synthesizing new substances of extreme power. But the actual discovery of these naturally occurring things was made by primitive man goodness knows how many centuries ago.

There is, for example, underneath the lake dwellings of the early Neolithic which have been dug up in Switzerland we find poppy-heads, which looks as though people were already using this most ancient and powerful and most dangerous of narcotics, even in the days of the rise of agriculture. So that man was apparently a dope addict before he was a farmer—which is a very, very curious comment on human nature!

But the difference, as I say, between the ancient mind-changers, the traditional mind- changers, and these new substances is that they were extremely harmful and the new ones are not. I mean, even the permissible mind-changer—alcohol—is not entirely harmless, as people may have noticed. And the other ones, the non-permissible ones, such as opium and cocaine (opium and all its derivatives), are very harmful indeed. They rapidly produce addiction, and in some cases lead at an extraordinary rate to physical degeneration and death. Whereas these new substances—this is really very extraordinary—that a number of these new mind-changing substances can produce enormous revolutions within the mental side of our being, and yet do almost nothing to the physiological side. I mean, you can have an enormous revolution—for example, with LSD-25, or with the newly synthesized drug psilocybin, which is the active principle of the Mexican sacred mushroom—you can have this enormous mental revolution with no more physiological revolution than you would get from drinking two cocktails. And this is a really most extraordinary effect.

And it is, of course, true that pharmacologists are producing a great many wonder drugs where the cure is almost worse than the disease. Every year, a new edition of medical textbooks contains a longer and longer chapter on what are called iatrogenic diseases—that is to say, diseases caused by doctors. And this is quite true. That many of the wonder drugs are extremely dangerous. I mean, they can produce extraordinary effects, and in critical conditions they should certainly be used. But they should be used with the utmost caution. But there is evidently a whole class of drugs effecting the central nervous system which can produce enormous changes in sedation, in euphoria, in energizing the whole mental process, without doing any perceptible harm to the body. And in this sense this represents, it seems to me, the most extraordinary revolution. In the hands of a dictator, these substances of one kind or the other could be used with, first of all, complete harmlessness, and the result would be that you can imagine a euphoric which would make people thoroughly happy even in the most abominable circumstances. I mean, these things are possible. This is the extraordinary thing. I mean, after all, this has even been true with the crude old drugs.

I mean, a houseman years ago remarked—a propos of Milton’s Paradise Lost—he says, “And beer does more than Milton can to justify God’s ways to man.” And beer is, of course, an extremely crude drug compared with these ones. And you can certainly say that some of the psychic energizers and the new hallucinants can do incomparably more than Milton and all the Theologians combined could possibly do to make the terrifying mystery of our existence seem more tolerable than it does.

So that here, I think, one has an enormous area in which the ultimate revolution could function very well indeed. An area in which a great deal of control could be used not through terror, but through making life seem much more enjoyable than it normally does—enjoyable to the point, whereas I have said before, human beings come to love a state of things by which any reasonable and decent human standard they ought not to love. And this, I think, is perfectly possible.

Well then, very briefly, let me speak about one of the more recent developments in the sphere of neurology: the implantation of electrodes in the brain. This of course has been done on the large scale in animals, and in a few cases, it’s been done in the cases of the hopelessly insane. And anybody who has watched the behaviour of rats with electrodes planted in different centres must come away from this experience with the most extraordinary doubts about what on Earth is in store for us if ever this is got a hold of by a dictator.

I saw not long ago some rats in the Magoun’s laboratory at UCLA. There were two sets of them: one with electrodes planted in a pleasure center. And the technique was that they had a bar which they pressed, which turned on a very small current for a short space of time, which had a wire connected with that electrode, and which stimulated this pleasure centre—which was evidently absolutely ecstatic. These rats were pressing the bar 18,000 times a day! Apparently, if you kept them from pressing the bar for a day, they would press the bar 36,000 times on the following day until they fell down in complete exhaustion! And they would neither eat, nor be interested in the opposite sex, and would just go on pressing this bar. Then, the most extraordinary rats were those where the electrode was planted halfway between the pleasure and the pain center, and where evidently the result was a kind of mixture of the most wonderful ecstasy and being on the rack at the same time. And you would see the rat sort of looking at its bar and sort of saying, “To be or not to be, that is the question.” Finally it would approach, and do it, and then go back with this awful—I mean, if I can humanize and anthropomorphize—I mean, he was feeling something terribly mixed. And he would wait for quite a long time before pressing the bar again. But he would always press it again! I mean, this was the extraordinary thing.

I noticed in the most recent issue of Scientific American there’s a very interesting article on electrodes in the brains of chickens, where the technique is very ingenious: you sink into their brains a little socket with a screw on it, and the electrode then can be screwed deeper and deeper into the brain stem, and you can test at any moment according to the depth (which goes in fractions of a millimetre) of what you’re stimulating. And these creatures are not merely stimulated by wire, they’re fitted with a miniaturized radio receiver weighing less than an ounce, which is attached to them, so that they can be communicated with at a distance. I mean, they can run about in the barnyard, and you can press the button, and this particular area of the brain to which the electrode has been screwed down to will be stimulated. And you will get these fantastic phenomena that a sleepy chicken will suddenly get up and rush about, or an active chicken will suddenly sit down and go to sleep, or a hen will suddenly start sitting as though it were hatching out an egg, or a rooster will start fighting or will suddenly go into a state of extreme depression.

The whole picture of the absolute control of the drives is terrifying. And in the few cases in which this has been done with very sick human beings, the effects are evidently very remarkable too. I was talking last summer in England to Grey Walter—who is the most eminent exponent of the electroencephalogram technique in England—and he was telling me that he’s seen hopeless inmates at asylums with these things in their heads, and these people were suffering from uncontrollable depression. And they had these electrodes inserted into something resembling, evidently, the pleasure centre of the rat. Anyhow, when they felt too bad, they just pressed a button on the battery in their pocket, and he said the result was fantastic. The mouth was pointing down, would suddenly turn up, and they would evidently feel—I don’t know for how long at a time—very cheerful and happy. So here, again, one sees the most extraordinary revolutionary techniques which are now available to us.

Now, I think what is obviously perfectly clear is that, for the present, these techniques are not being much used except in a purely experimental way. But I think it is extraordinarily important for us to realize what is happening, to make ourselves acquainted with what has already happened, and then to use a certain amount of imagination to extrapolate into the future the sort of things that might happen. I mean, what might happen if these fantastically powerful techniques were used by unscrupulous people in authority? What on Earth would happen? What sort of society would we get?

And I think this is peculiarly important, because as one sees when looking back over history, we have allowed in the past all those advances in technology—which have profoundly changed our social and individual life—we have allowed them to take us by surprise. I mean, it seems to me that, during the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century, when the new machines were making possible the factory system, it was not beyond the wit of man to look at what was happening, and to project into the future, and maybe to forestall the really dreadful consequences which plagued England and most of western Europe and most of this country for about sixty or seventy years.

The horrible abuses of the factory system. And if a certain amount of forethought had been devoted to the problem at that time, if people had first of all found out what was happening, and then used their imagination to see what might happen, and then had gone on to work out means by which the worst applications of the new techniques would not take place, then I think western humanity might have been spared about three generations of utter misery which was imposed on the poor at that time.

And similarly with various technological advances now. I mean, it’s quite clear we have to start thinking very, very hard about the problems of automation. And again, I think we have to think still more profoundly about the problems which may arise in relation to these new techniques which may contribute to this ultimate revolution. Our business is to, first of all, as I say, to be aware of what is happening, then to use our imaginations to see what might happen, how this might be abused, and then if possible, to see that the enormous powers which we now possess thanks to these scientific and technological advances shall be used for the benefit of human beings and not for their ultimate degradation.

Thank you.

During his speech, Aldus Huxley refers to the ‘Pavlovian conditioning’ which is to some degree, a form of manipulative control that we are all subjected to in the modern day, in one form or another.

The term “Pavlovian” refers to something related to or reminiscent of the experiments and theories associated with Ivan Pavlov, a Russian physiologist and psychologist. Ivan Pavlov conducted influential research on classical conditioning, which involves associating a neutral stimulus with a reflexive response.

In Pavlov’s experiments, he conditioned dogs to associate the sound of a bell with the presentation of food. Initially, the bell (neutral stimulus) did not elicit any response from the dogs. However, by repeatedly pairing the bell with the food, Pavlov observed that the dogs began to salivate (reflexive response) in anticipation of the food whenever they heard the bell. This demonstrated the process of classical conditioning, where a previously neutral stimulus gains the ability to elicit a response through association.

When something is described as “Pavlovian,” it typically means it relates to this classical conditioning process. It suggests that a certain stimulus or situation triggers an automatic, reflexive response or behaviour due to conditioning or learned associations. This term is often used to describe behaviours or reactions that are automatic, involuntary, and driven by previous experiences or associations.

I would rather lie face down on the ground and use my body as a bridge, than stand proud and tall and use my body as a wall.

― Kamand Kojouri

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