I had to wait a long time before being able to embark on 1984. Agreeing with all that the critics have written of it, I need not tell you, yet once more, how fine and how profoundly important the book is.Aldous Huxley, in a letter to George Orwell. It might be that while Orwell observed brilliantly a form of tyranny that appeared in the twentieth century, Huxley was closer to the mark in the longer term. His worry about nuclear war was very much a concern of the time he was writing in, and he was not immune to the hyperbole of ideas like "narco-hypnosis". But "infant conditioning" and "suggesting people into loving their servitude"? Absolutely.
The philosophy of the ruling minority in 1984 is a sadism that has been carried to its logical conclusion by going beyond sex and denying it. Whether in actual fact the policy of the boot-on-the-face can go on indefinitely seems doubtful. My own belief is that the ruling oligarchy will find less arduous and wasteful ways of governing and of satisfying its lust for power, and that these ways will resemble those which I described in Brave New World... Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience... The change will be brought about as a result of a felt need for increased efficiency. Meanwhile, of course, there may be a large scale biological and atomic war—in which case we shall have nightmares of other and scarcely imaginable kinds.
Huxley was also correct, I think, in associating licentiousness with practical tyranny. I have no idea why this is - sexual liberty is a form of liberty, of course. Perhaps licentiousness is not. Or might it be that prescribed, approved forms of licentiousness are not?
UPDATE: And when it comes to "[tyrannical] change will be brought about as a result of a felt need for increased efficiency", that really has proved to be true. It has been very effective in Britain over the past ten years to combine the putting in place of very inefficient systems with a perpetual drive for efficiency that mandates the perpetual augmentation of those inefficient systems.