After the election of President Trump, sales for George Orwell’s dystopian classic “1984” jumped to the #1 spot on Amazon. Other sales of dystopian novels have also gone up since the inauguration.
Aldous Huxley’s “A Brave New World,” only reached the number six spot on Amazon; this happened despite “A Brave New World” being a better predictor of current trends. Orwell feared those who would ban books; Huxley feared that there would be no reason to; no one would want to read one.
We haven’t gotten to the point of a voluntarily illiterate society, but we already have one where people are content with boxed thinking. In a way, this has always been true with the main difference now being how it is produced.
In today’s world, we have mass media, news and opinions disseminated to an audience of millions, 24/7. It is simplified, caricatured and sensationalized to be broadly appealing. Providing details, different points of view and reasoned explanations are now exchanged for broad generalizations polarization, and sensationalized conflict.
President Trump represents the zenith of this culture, one in which the concept of “alternative facts,” has become a reality due to the rampant conspiratorial paranoia and hostile tribalism.
This has now become acceptable in mainstream thought and is displayed by both sides of the aisle. Because of this we have a society that refuses to compromise. In the words of Abraham Lincoln: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”