Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Brave New World, a novel by Aldous Huxley was written at a tine in history when war had ravaged much of the nation, Depression was blanketing society, and people’s wills were being put to the test. Science had become an overwhelming force for better or for worse. People had witnessed science saving and preventing millions of lives with vaccinations and such, but on the contrary, had also witnessed it kill with horrifying “factory-like” efficiency in WW I (the age of machine guns and chemical warfare). Brave New World is not intended to be a happy book, it is more Huxley’s way of describing what he believes is coming to us. He is basically saying, “This is our future”. Huxley’s writings are known for dealing with conflicts between the interest of the individual and the interests of society. Brave New World addresses this conflict in a fictional future (approximately 500 years into the future) in which free will and individuality have been sacrificed to achieve complete social stability.
Throughout the book, many difficult questions about the nature of moral choices are raised. The plot is concentrated on the various abuses of power made possible by science. I believe that Huxley was not lashing out against science, but more offering a warning, the new world is not evil because of science, but because power hungry individuals have misused it maliciously. The theme of Brave New World is “not the advancement of science as such; it is the advancement of science as it affects human individuals” (Brave New World, page XI). The devastating affects through the misuse of science, philosophy and control are portrayed through this book.
Criticizing the way in which scientific discoveries can be used to justify pre-existing prejudices and other social evils is what Huxley focused on by revealing the horrors of “Utopian” ideals. Often, abuses of science involve justification through so-called rational philosophy. The philosophy of the World State in a Brave New World mixes Communism, Capitalism, and Social Darwinism, in other words, a severe state of totalitarian rule.
The World State uses science to justify and establish a eugenically designed structured society. The population was mass produced (hence the worship of Henry Ford) and manipulated at the will of whomever in control. The structured Caste system assures that all produced will be predestined for their social status. Children are taught “Class Conscienounes” through sleep teaching (hypnopaedia), reflecting a certain, but perverted, characteristic of Marxist tradition. Moral training through hyponpadia is considered by the World State to be a highly effective means of moral training since moral education is not rational. The associating of intelligence and positions of power are reflective of the Social Darwinist belief of those who occupy positions of power are naturally more superior, intellectually and genetically.
Brave New World...