Pleasure vs. pain in the programmed society

programcity

Aldous Huxley once wrote to George Orwell:

The world’s rulers’ lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience. In other words, I feel that the nightmare of Nineteen Eighty-Four is destined to modulate into the nightmare of a world having more resemblance to that which I imagined in Brave New World.

Brain researchers believe they have the future of the world in their hands. For example, they assume that one day, they will be able to turn on or turn off circuits that induce pleasure and pain in humans. Easily, reliably, precisely.
If humans seek to find pleasure and avoid pain, or if they pursue goals that deliver pleasure as a side effect…why wait? Why go through the process of striving at all? Why not cut to the bottom line immediately and experience pleasure?

In an age where instant reward, entitlement, flickering attention, and entertainment are paramount, why not stimulate the brain and give people what they want?Work is the middle-man. Eliminate it. The interval between desire and fulfillment is long. Erase it.

In the process, simplify human aspirations. Reduce them to a lowest common denominator. Assume that what a Tesla, a Rembrandt, a Beethoven achieved was unnecessarily complicated—the “same result” could have been handed to them on a silver platter.

Individual triumph? An outmoded concept. And why should one person accomplish more than another? It’s victimization. A cardinal sin.If a thousand robots working in a factory can turn out more cars per day than their human counterparts, thus alleviating the stress of labor, then by analogy, delivering pleasure to a population through drugs or electromagnetic stimulation, bypassing the need for work, is a worthy objective.

These are the arguments, and a significant and growing percentage of the human race would find them persuasive and attractive.“I’m bored (tired, frustrated, unhappy, confused, etc,etc). Give me pleasure. Now.”

The individual, stripped of goals, vision, imagination, and creative force drops into a slow-motion vortex of despair; and painting a pleasure-gloss on his interior sensations is no cure.Brain research has come a long way since Pavlov, but the basic formula is still the same: stimulate a reaction.

Up the road toward the Brave New World, pleasure will be counted as a fundamental sacrament underlying the Bill of Rights. “Everyone deserves it.” And So it rests with the individual to become free, powerful, and creative. No one else is going to deliver that gift.

Via Activist Post

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