2 books every Filipino should read at least twice...

...when young/idealistic and also when older/(wiser)

'1984' – george orwell – still an amazon bestseller ( sales up 7000% post edward snowden revelations). It was one of my course books at school and remains as relevant as ever.

'Brave New World' – aldous huxley – still challenging to read!

Orwell postulated – what you hate will ruin the country, ( dictatorship), whilst huxley had a different take – what you love will ruin the country. ( superficial pleasure/pursuits)

5 years before orwell wrote 1984 he wrote a letter in 1943 which outlined his thesis.
This is a short extract from the letter

"All the national movements everywhere, seem to take non-democratic forms, to group themselves round some
superhuman leader ( no wonder pnoy liked the 'man of steel' award) , and to adopt the theory that the end justifies the means. Everywhere the world such movements seems to be in the direction of centralised control which can be made to 'work' in an economic sense but which are not democratically organised and which tend to establish a caste system.( divisive with winners and losers, masters and 'slaves'). With this go the horrors of emotional nationalism and a tendency to disbelieve in the existence of objective truth because all the facts have to fit in with the words and prophecies of some 'infallible' leader'." - George orwell

Huxley developed his ' negative utopia' of brave new world after seeing the excesses, promiscuity, and superficiality of america ( and that was in the 1920′s – guess the kardashians et al proved him right). He considered that an 'overdose' of pleasure and entertainment made people soporific to the reality around them and selfish without a concern for the community as a whole.

From bread and circuses in roman times to 'Soma' (drug) induced haze in huxleys book, and now 'reality' tv and karaoke.

When politics becomes entertainment then the stage has been reached where the people are but a passive audience, subservient to the elite, and with no individual value. The truth is lost in a mixture of lies, and nobody cares as long as they can sedate their addled brain through escapism through whatever means available, and readily provided by either government controlled tv or elite/political friendly media.

The philippines seems to be in a 'double whammy' with both orwell's and huxley's visions co-existing. And it can't get any worse than that. Maybe some-one should write 2084 set in the philippines, with a bit of wizard of oz thrown in for light relief – and pnoy aquino as dorothy.



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