Freedom Is The Cost Of Stability In Brave New World

2040 words - 8 pages

 
     David Grayson once said that "Commandment Number One of any truly civilized society is this: Let people be different". Difference, or individuality, however, may not be possible under a dictatorial government. Aldous Huxley's satirical novel Brave New World shows that a government-controlled society often places restraints upon its citizens, which results in a loss of social and mental freedom. These methods of limiting human behavior are carried out by the conditioning of the citizens, the categorical division of society, and the censorship of art and religion.

Conditioning the citizens to like what they have and reject what they do not have is an authoritative government's ideal way of maximizing efficiency. The citizens will consume what they are told to, there will be no brawls or disagreements and the state will retain high profits from the earnings. People can be conditioned chemically and physically prior to birth and psychologically afterwards.

The novel, Brave New World, takes place in the future, 632 A. F. (After Ford), where biological engineering reaches new heights. Babies are no longer born viviparously, they are now decanted in bottles passed through a 2136 metre assembly line. Pre-natal conditioning of embryos is an effective way of limiting human behaviour. Chemical additives can be used to control the population not only in Huxley's future society, but also in the real world today. This method of control can easily be exercised within a government-controlled society to limit population growth and to control the flaws in future citizens. In today's world, there are chemical drugs, which can help a pregnant mother conceive more easily or undergo an abortion. In the new world, since there is no need to make every female fertile, only "as many as thirty per cent of the female embryos ... develop normally. The others get a dose of male sex-hormone ... Result: they are decanted as freemartins..." (Huxley, 10). Freemartins are sterile females who sometimes grow beards. Physical conditioning can also be used to prepare the unborn embryo for its predestined future. The future rocket-plane engineers receive physical conditioning where a "special mechanism kept their containers in constant rotation ... To improve their sense of balance" (Huxley, 14). The conditioning is Huxley's message to the world "that you could dominate people by social, educational and pharmaceutical methods" (Bedford, 249). The babies can be preset on a course of life before they even take their first breaths, taking away their freedom to choose their future destinies.

 

Psychological conditioning of the citizens continues after birth. The mind is altered to accept the moral education of the government. Two processes the new world uses to control human judgement are the Neo-Pavlovian process and hypnopaedia. The Neo-Pavlovian process is named after Ivan Pavlov, a Twentieth Century Russian scientist who experimented with conditioned reflexes...

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