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A Dystopian Future In Brave New World

4122 words - 16 pages

Brave New World is a remarkable journey into the future wherein mankind is dehumanized by the progress and misuse of technology to the point where society is a laboratory produced race of beings who are clones devoid of identity only able to worship the three things they have been preconditioned to love:  "Henry Ford, their idol; Soma, a wonder drug; and sex" (Dusterhoof, Guynn, Patterson, Shaw, Wroten and Yuhasz  1).  The misuse of perfected technologies, especially those allowing the manipulation of the human brain and genes, have created a pleasure-seeking world where there is no such thing as spiritual experience, just pleasures of the flesh.  In the face of a transcendent religion, the inhabitants (genetically engineered to exist in one of five classes and condition to believe that the class within which they fall is the best one for them) lose their will to rebel against the capitalistic class-divisions of their society.  Psychological mottoes and rigid class divisions have replaced traditional societal values such as family, religion and freedom.  A wonder drug that removes all psychological pain, the pursuit of carnal pleasures, and the replacement of identity and soul with idol worship of a Henry Ford type savior serve to create a dystopia that is frightening as well as the path already being forged in society when he wrote the work in the early 1930s.

Yet when Huxley published the book in 1932, the concepts most frightening in the novel (babies conceived in the laboratory, gene splicing and reproduction, and pharmaceutical wonder drugs to relieve psychic pain) were not realities.  With the successful cloning of farm animals, the development of invitro fertilization, and the rampant prescribing of countless wonder drugs, today these once only imagined scientific developments and capabilities are real.  The problem is that so are the dangers warned of throughout Brave New World.   Regardless of the progress of technology, the real issue is not the capabilities and potential uses of new sciences.  The real issue, as it is in Brave New World, is that there will always exist those who use new technologies for personal gain, evil pursuits and as an attempt to maintain power and control (like the State does in Brave New World).  The ideal concept may be a state of stability that it unchanging, but this comes from our own internal dichotomy between a need for stability and the conflict with the instability of being real.  No state has ever achieved such a stable condition in the history of mankind anyway, "Historically, no actual political state has ever achieved stability and only a very few have approximated it...Even so this is the aim for which all politicians and political states plan"  (Firchow  85).  Therefore, even though we have the power to splice and locate genes that will modify human characteristics and behavior (like manipulating a baby's sex or sexuality), who would choose to allow this power in only the hands of a few,...

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