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How Art Has Changed In The 21st Century

835 words - 3 pages

"I am writing a novel about the future - on the horror of the Wellsian Utopia and a revolt against it. Very difficult. I have hardly enough imagination to deal with such a subject. But it is none the less interesting work" (Aldous Huxley, letter to Mrs. Kethevan Roberts, 18 May 1931).
Aldous Huxley, Letters of Aldous Huxley, ed. by Grover Smith (New York and Evanston: Harper & Row, 1969), 348.
In Aldous Huxley's Crome Yellow (1921), Scogan, a character strongly influenced by Bertrand Russell, envisages a future where
an impersonal generation will take the place of Nature's hideous system. In vast state incubators, rows upon rows of gravid bottles will supply the world with the population it requires. The family system will disappear; society, sapped at its very base, will have to find new foundations; and Eros, beautifully and irresponsibly free, will flit like a gay butterfly from flower to flower through a sunlit world (22; emphasis mine)
According to J. B. S. Haldane in Daedalus, or Science and the Future (1923) France was the "first country to adopt ectogenesis officially, and by 1968 was producing 60,000 children annually by this method" (64-65). Haldane's prognostications include the vision that in 2073 ectogenesis is "now universal, and in this country less than 30 per cent of children are now born of woman" (65)
J. B. S. Haldane's Daedalus, or Science and the Future (London: Kegan Paul, 1923)
Mr. Haldane's Daedalus has set forth an attractive picture of the future as it may become through the use of scientific discoveries to promote human happiness. Much as I should like to agree with his forecast, a long experience of statesmen and government has made me somewhat sceptical. I am compelled to fear that science will be used to promote the power of dominant groups, rather than to make men happy. Icarus, having been taught to fly by his father Daedalus, was destroyed by his rashness. I fear that the same fate may overtake the populations whom modern men of science have taught to fly. Some of the dangers inherent in the progress of science while we retain our present political and economic institutions are set forth in the following pages.
Bertrand Russell, Icarus: or The Future of Science (1924)
In his 1959 Rede lecture entitled "The Two Cultures" C. P. Snow famously asserted: "I believe the intellectual life of the whole of western society is increasingly being split into two polar groups . . . at one pole we have the literary intellectuals, . . . at the other...

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