Huxley’s novel Brave New World describes a society with features that parallel the modern world and its totalitarian direction. Many of us are aware of this novel which has been promoted extensively. Other science fiction stories–utopian or dystopian–have repeated many of the same totalitarian themes in addition to other themes not in the novel. Not every issue that I feel we need to talk about is described in the novel, but it is close enough to use it as a metaphor.
Another fictional metaphor is 1984 based on the famous dystopian novel by George Orwell. Another of the non-fiction books of H. G. Wells was The New World Order, which is presented as an ideal. President George H. W. Bush repeatedly announced “The New World Order”, for example, on September 11, 1990 (9/11/1990), in the context of events in his time such as the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 (11/9/1989).
Here are some of the major features of Brave New World. Although a couple of the features are still very shocking, readers might recognize how most (if not all) of these apply to the real world.
1) The Brave New World scientific dictatorship is global, split into ten regions. War and terrorist events precede its foundation.
2) The novel’s system is a combination of capitalism and socialism, with consumerism and regional central banks. Note that UN documents such as Agenda 21 refer to public private partnership.
3) There is sexualization from birth as part of the process of childhood education and indoctrination.
4) Recreational sex replaces marriage and long-term bonding between men and women.
5) There is total control over population and reproduction. There is a combination of sterilization, chemical birth control and abortion. There is no natural birth.
6) The mass of society with very few exceptions is reproduced artificially. Cloning, genetic tampering and artificial wombs completely replace natural reproduction. There are no families, no fathers, no mothers and no parenting. The State raises the children. Plato’s Republic also has this particular feature in addition to other control policies (e.g. dietary restrictions).
7) Everybody uses drugs, specifically–“soma”–to sedate, to relieve anxiety, to create “happiness”, to provide escapism, to cause hallucinations, and to provide a feeling of “oneness”.
8) A form of religion attempts to unify everyone in rituals that use technologically-enhanced music, drugs (soma) and sex.
9) In addition to sex and drugs, there is totally immersive, multi-sensory, simplistic and pornographic entertainment. It is a world embedded in media technology of all kinds.
10) “Science” is a type of priesthood that makes declarations about reality. Competing ideas and theories that threaten establishment doctrines are censored.
11) In Brave New World, repetitive slogans, hypnosis and other forms of conditioning are used from conception. Propaganda is constant. Edward Bernays, a nephew of Freud and the father of modern public relations, wrote his non-fiction book Propaganda in 1928, in which he explicitly explains how “democracy” and the society of the mass man are guided and directed.
12) There is a caste system of multiple levels. The population are almost all damaged to some degree except the highest level. When babies are developing, they are damaged to differing degrees by poisoning them and depriving them of nutrients (such as oxygen) in order to create different classes of ability–different types of workers. Other non-fiction authors who have written about the alteration of human beings using chemicals or drugs include: Bertrand Russell (“diet, injunctions and injections”), Charles Galton Darwin, and John C. Lilly.
13) At age 60, people are warehoused for special care. Instead of allowing them to reach old age, there is drug-induced euthanasia instead. The bodies of the dead are recycled to create energy.
14) There is a “reality TV” and surveillance sequence at the end which drives people into crazed sado-masochism.
Speaking of Sade, this calls to mind the 1946 Foreword to the novel in which Huxley makes chilling statements about how the oligarchy seeks to achieve stability:
This really revolutionary revolution is to be achieved, not in the external world, but in the souls and flesh of human beings. . . . Sade regarded himself as the apostle of the truly revolutionary revolution, beyond mere politics and economics . . .
He makes a similar statement about the “ultimate revolution” in his letter to Orwell.
One of the implications is that societal “revolution” is guided from the “top” down.
To contend with a society that views human beings in this way, one that has legitimized doctor-assisted euthanasia en masse (Canada specifically), and one which treats human beings as if they are chemical computers to be programmed with drugs, each of us needs to rediscover and reaffirm human-sustaining values.
Whatever we find troubling in our society as individuals (with many shared values in common with others), I think we need to find ways to express our point of view–our values and our knowledge–to present the other side of the story obscured by propaganda–to communicate with government officials, corporations and others in general. Quite often, we can feel powerless, but I don’t believe we are. If we can find ways to speak up for what we believe, light has its inevitable effect on darkness–inside and outside. Our own minds can start to open to what we are. Truth cannot be so easily ignored IF it is expressed.
Website: Canadian Liberty