Tuesday, November 9, 2010

backwards and downwards

Inevitable progress! Only one more indispensable massacre of Capitalists or Communists or Fascists or Christians or Heretics, and there we are—there we are in the Golden Future. But needless to say, in the very nature of things, the future can't be golden. For the simple reason that nobody ever gets anything for nothing. Massacre always has to be paid for, and its price is a state of things that absolutely guarantees you against achieving the good which the massacre was intended to achieve. And the same is true even of bloodless revolutions. Every notable advance in technique or organization has to be paid for, and in most cases the debit is more or less equivalent to the credit. Except of course when it's more than equivalent, as it has been with universal education, for example, or wireless, or these damned aeroplanes. In which case, of course, your progress is a step backwards and downwards. Backwards and downwards.
~ Uncle Eustace in Aldous Huxley's Time Must Have a Stop, 1944

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