Speaking to Mike Wallace in 1958, Aldous Huxley made the observation, "All technology is in itself moral and neutral. These are just powers which can either be used well or ill; it the same thing with atomic energy, we can either use it to blow ourselves up or we can use it as a substitute for the coal and the oil which are running out."
"I think it's quite on the cards," he added, "that we may have drugs which will profoundly change our mental states without doing us any harm. I mean, this is the pharmacological revolution which is taking place that we have now powerful mind-changing drugs which, physiologically speaking, are almost costless. I mean they are not like opium or like cocaine, which do change the state of mind but leave terrible results physiologically and morally."
He believed, "I think what is going to happen in the future is that dictators will find, as the old saying goes, that you can do everything with bayonets except sit on them. But, if you want to preserve your power indefinitely, you have to get the consent of the ruled, and this they will do partly by drugs as I foresaw in 'Brave New World', partly by these new techniques of propaganda. They will do it by bypassing the sort of rational side of man and appealing to his subconscious and his deeper emotions, and his physiology even, and so, making him love his slavery. I mean, I think, this is the danger that actually people may be, in some ways, happy under the new regime, but that they will be happy in situations where they oughtn’t to be happy."
Of the American political campaigns, Aldous Huxley noted at the time, "All that is needed is money and a candidate who can be coached to look sincere; political principles and plans for specific action have come to lose most of their importance. The personality of the candidate, the way he is projected by the advertising experts, are the things that really matter." Talking to Mike Wallace, he elaborated, "This idea that the candidates had to be merchandised as though they were soap and toothpaste and that you had to depend entirely on the personality. I mean, personality is important, but there are certainly people with an extremely amiable personality, particularly on TV, who might not necessarily be very good in positions of political trust. But they were being advised by powerful advertising agencies who were making campaigns of a quite different kind from what had been made before, and I think we shall see probably all kinds of new devices coming into the picture. I mean, for example, this thing which got a good deal of publicity...subliminal projection." Subliminal projection, Mike explained to viewers, "We will be persuaded to vote for a candidate that we do not know that we are being persuaded to vote for."
Aldous Huxley argued, "Advertisement plays a very necessary role, but the danger it seems to me in a democracy is this, I mean what does a democracy depend on? A democracy depends on the individual voter making an intelligent and rational choice for what he regards as his enlightened self-interest, in any given circumstance. But what these people are doing, I mean what both, for their particular purposes, for selling goods and the dictatorial propagandists, is to try to bypass the rational side of man and to appeal directly to these unconscious forces below the surfaces so that you are, in a way, making nonsense of the whole democratic procedure, which is based on conscious choice on rational ground."
In conclusion, Aldous expressed, "...These are all instruments for obtaining power, and obviously the passion for power is one of the most moving passions that exists in man; and after all, all democracies are based on the proposition that power is very dangerous and that it is extremely important not to let any one man or any one small group have too much power for too long a time. After all what are the British and American Constitution except devices for limiting power, and all these new devices are extremely efficient instruments for the imposition of power by small groups over larger masses."