The Island By Aldous Huxley

Posted by Dobrien 1 year, 1 month ago to Books
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From the author of __the Brave New World”
Excerpt from The Island

“What is it?" Will asked. "Some kind of electric oven?"
"No, the kilns are over on the other side of the village. This is the communal freezer."
"In the old days," Dr. Robert explained, "we used to lose about half of all the perishables we produced. Now we lose practically nothing. Whatever we grow is for us, not for the circumambient bacteria."
"So now you have enough to eat."
"More than enough. We eat better than any other country in Asia, and there's a surplus for export. Lenin used to say that electricity plus socialism equals communism. Our equations are rather different. Electricity minus heavy industry plus birth control equals democracy and plenty. Electricity plus heavy industry minus birth control equals misery, totalitarianism and war."
"Incidentally," Will asked, "who owns all this? Are you capitalists or state socialists?"
"Neither. Most of the time we're co-operators. Palanese agriculture has always been an affair of terracing and irrigation. But terracing and irrigation call for pooled efforts and friendly agreements. Cutthroat competition isn't compatible with rice-growing in a mountainous country. Our people found it quite easy to pass from mutual aid in a village community to streamlined cooperative techniques for buying and selling and profit sharing and financing."
"Even co-operative financing?"
Dr. Robert nodded. "None of those bloodsucking usurers that you find all over the Indian countryside. And no commercial banks in your Western style. Our borrowing and lending system was modeled on those credit unions that Wilhelm Raiffeisen set up more than a century ago in Germany. Dr. Andrew persuaded the Raja to invite one of Raiffeisen's young men to come here and organize a cooperative banking system. It's still going strong."
"And what do you use for money?" Will asked.
Dr. Robert dipped into his trouser pocket and pulled out a handful of silver, gold and copper.
"In a modest way," he explained, "Pala's a gold-producing country. We mine enough to give our paper a solid metallic backing. And the gold supplements our exports. We can pay spot cash for expensive equipment like those transmission lines and the generators at the other end."
"You seem to have solved your economic problems pretty successfully."
"Solving them wasn't difficult. To begin with, we never allowed ourselves to produce more children than we could feed, clothe, house, and educate into something like full humanity. Not being overpopulated, we have plenty. But, although we have plenty, we've managed to resist the temptation that the West has now succumbed to—the temptation to overconsume. We don't give ourselves coronaries by guzzling six times as much saturated fat as we need. We don't hypnotize ourselves into believing that two television sets will make us twice as happy as one television set. And finally we don't spend a quarter of the gross national product preparing for World War III or even World War's baby brother, Local War MMMCCCXXXIII. Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence—those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. If war, waste, and moneylenders were abolished, you'd collapse. And while you people are overconsuming the rest of the world sinks more and more deeply into chronic disaster. Ignorance, militarism and breeding, these three—and the greatest of these is breeding. No hope, not the slightest possibility, of solving the economic problem until that's under control. As population rushes up, prosperity goes down." He traced the descending curve with an outstretched finger. "And as prosperity goes down, discontent and rebellion" (the forefinger moved up again), "political ruthlessness and one-party rule, nationalism and bellicosity begin to rise. Another ten or fifteen years of uninhibited breeding, and the whole world, from China to Peru via Africa and the Middle East, will be fairly crawling with Great Leaders, all dedicated to the suppression of freedom, all armed to the teeth by Russia or America or, better still, by both at once, all waving flags, all screaming for Lebensraum."
"What about Pala?" Will asked. "Will you be blessed with a Great Leader ten years from now?"
"Not if we can help it," Dr. Robert answered. "We've always done everything possible to make it very difficult for a Great Leader to arise."

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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 1 year, 1 month ago
    Interestingly smart for an Island Country but what of Our portion of America?...Population not so much of an issue, some of the financing ideas...Ok and yes we over produce and over consume....but the over production part was shared with the rest of the world and gave us, (at one time) a healthy Economy.
    In collage, I posed a manufacturing system that would produce what was needed, when needed, shifting from one product to another once satiation is achieved and back again when needed, (voluntarily, not by gov. mandates)...don't know if it would have worked or not. I think it would have for the auto industry leaving new model production for improving looks, functionality and performance, for REALLY something new...I think they have produced more cars and trucks than we have drivers.
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  • Posted by $ 25n56il4 1 year, 1 month ago
    Marveous idea! Congrats. N
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    • Posted by 1 year, 1 month ago
      The Island of Pala is the authors idea of a Galts Gulch Nation. From the book…” We cannot reason ourselves out of our basic irrationality. All we can do is to learn the art of being irrational in a reasonable way.
      In Pala, after three generations of Reform, there are no sheeplike flocks and no ecclesiastical Good Shepherds to shear and castrate; there are no bovine or swinish herds and no licensed drovers, royal or military, capitalistic or revolutionary, to brand, confine and butcher. There are only voluntary associations of men and women on the road to full humanity.”
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      • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 1 year, 1 month ago
        ” We cannot reason ourselves out of our basic irrationality. All we can do is to learn the art of being irrational in a reasonable way."
        Now there is a turn of a phrase, Not sure "Irrational" describes my life style or desire but I could see trying to deal with irrationality in a reasonable way...but for me, laughing, that's just a pipe dream.
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