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"Everybody's happy nowadays," is one of the hypnopaedic suggestions, and Mustapha Mond himself asserts that happiness and stability are the hallmarks of his society, along with "community" and "identity."
In today's commercials, political/news publications and programs, there is clearly a slant that persuades the unthinking reader/viewer/listener. Regarding the political slant, for instance, Matt Lauer of "The Today Show" recently quoted "Time" magazine as admitting to its persuasion of the voters by its more than a dozen cover pictures and its many laudatory articles on a certain presidential candidate. Socially, there are a plethora of commercials discouraging anyone from not being happy as the anti-depressant drug business keeps America "happy." Concern about this induced contentment has seen a book published, "In Defense of Unhappiness." The book's author points out that no great change has ever been effected by "happy" people; it is discontent that leads people to reform, revolution, etc.
In order to maintain stability, schools and institutions have mandated programs in which they instruct people about "tolerance" and "acceptance" of everyone and all new ideas that are for "their good." Students are required to read books which have altered history in order that students can have a better "understanding" of conditions.
Indeed, Thomas Paine and his ilk would be disturbed by the "Brave New World" of twenty-first century America.
I would just echo something I've said before as a supplement to mwestwood's presentation. You should read Brave New World Revisted (part of some editions of BNW) and you will see how much Huxley was taken by what he saw as the Propaganda in both Democratic and Totalitarian societies. In some ways it's more dangerous in democracies because we're not on guard for it. I would also suggest that you visit youtube and search for the 1950's interview that Mike Wallace had with Huxley. It's available in a series of 3 half-our "videos" and is an interesting way to meet Huxley ... and will give you some insight into the propaganda issue.
If he only knew about the Internet ....
Another "interesting" (I didn't say "good" --- I'll leave that you) presentation on this topic is a video entitled "Brand New World." It is very interesting and presents some ideas that are great for discussion. The link is listed below.
There is one very big difference in propaganda and advertisement in Brave New World with that in our world today. In Brave New World all propaganda and advertisement is only from one central source promoting one common official view. In comparison the propaganda today is from different companies and organizations (like political parties) presenting many different views.
To some extent the commercial advertisement also has its negative sides. The main criticism faced by advertisement by commercial companies that they persuade people to buy things they don't really need. "Hidden Persuaders" a book written by Vance Packard discusses in detail how the advertisement may be harming the general interest of society.
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