Huxley explains that the aim of the dictatorship’s methods in Brave New World (BNW) is to “keep their subjects from making trouble” (25).
Through “sexual freedom”, the citizens of BNW are prevented from having “any form of destructive (or creative) emotional tension” (26).
It’s also about not having any loyalties other than to the World State.
“Sexual freedom” is an odd term. Huxley uses this term to describe the totalitarian policies in BNW that prevented couples from bonding and having families. Citizens are not allowed to become attached, marry or have children. Promiscuity is the policy.
He seems to avoid the topic of children in Revisited, but in Huxley’s novel, children begin this kind of sexual training while very young. They are trained to not have sexual privacy.
The citizens in BNW had the “freedom” to live lives with no reproductive power and no families. They were “free” from nature completely. It’s just a “party” all the time–when not working–at least that’s the way it’s sold.
That’s not freedom. Nature lets you be alert to predators. BNW has you submit to them.
“Freedom” is simple. Freedom means not living under the thumb of people who drug us, mess with our minds or otherwise “interfere” with us. All of this is happening and it starts with the minds of children who are obviously, through entertainment, exposed to influences from an early age that go way beyond their families.
Freedom means not being pushed around, threatened and locked up for living your life and raising your own family properly. And it means being able to protect your family from predators regardless of their status.
Sometimes we are in denial about older institutions–like income tax and war and many other things–and we can’t see the problem with those because of brainwashing.
Sometimes it’s the “latest thing” that comes with brainwashing, the cool new message–the “new truth”–and we’re supposed to just accept it in silence even though it dramatically affects the world we have to live in.
Huxley discusses the use of drugs in BNW, and the use of his fictional version of the mythological “soma” drug.
“Soma” was an unlikely combination of tranquilizer, stimulant and hallucinogen. Huxley argues that a dictatorship would want a drug or combination of drugs with these effects.
Drug Dictatorship: Why and How
In BNW, soma is a “political institution” (70), and the policy of systematic drugging exists for the benefit of the World State.
The goal of the dictatorship is to change the brain chemistry of citizens so that they are content with their condition of servitude (75).
Drugs can be used to increase the effects of propaganda and to extract confessions. Huxley mentions that the Communists used drugs on prisoners appearing in court (78).
How could a potential dictatorship make all of this come about? Huxley writes that it’s
“enough merely to make the pills available” (75).
So if you were wondering where LSD came from . . .
He makes a point about the Cold War with the Soviet Union in the 1950s. Who would “come out on top” if Americans were “distracted by television and tranquilized by Miltown“?
Huxley writes about the creation of drugs which “reinforce or correct or interfere with” the actions of chemicals used by the central nervous system (71).
He mentions Dr. Irvine Page, an American who had researched brain chemistry at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute (71) and also co-discovered serotonin. By the 1950s there was a “tidal wave” of research in biochemistry and psycho-pharmacology.
Huxley says that the “ideal stimulant” still hadn’t been discovered. He mentions some drugs used in the 50s for patients with depression (74).
Huxley discusses certain tranquilizers that were publicized in the 1950s (73).
On top of the massive use of alcohol and tobacco, doctors were writing 48 million tranquilizer prescriptions per year for Americans (to make life “more tolerable”) (75).
Claims About Safety of New Drugs
Huxley is impressed that the mind can be changed so much (74). Huxley admits that “none of these drugs is perfectly harmless” (73), but he claims that they do not do any “permanent damage” to the “organism as a whole” (71). Now, however, we know–if we want to know–that the drugs used to treat schizophrenia, for example, are not harmless at all. And we can say the same about the drugs prescribed to treat depression. Please see the information collected by Dr. Peter Breggin, Robert Whitaker and others. For example, see Whitaker’s Anatomy of an Epidemic and Mad in America. Even in Huxley’s fictional novel, the abuse of the wonder drug soma led to an earlier death for John’s mother.
In Huxley’s view, the dictatorship would be looking for drugs which had less damaging health effects than alcohol and opium. It seems that the drugs just need to be good enough to allow workers/slaves to operate for 60 years without side-effects that interfered with their work. When they reach age 60, they are sent off to the special “home” for disposal as described in Huxley’s novel. People who love everything being so “modern” and “cool” and love “youth culture” so much should get a full dose of what “modern” and “youth culture” means as illustrated in BNW–in which 60-year-olds are sent away to die–and with no families. And then they should get the tape measure out and compare Huxley’s novel with real life as the gap closes year by year.
Huxley discusses hallucinogens or “vision-producers” such as peyote and cannabis.
He talks about LSD-25 (lysergic acid diethylamide) and points to it as hallucinogenic “aspect of soma”.
He criticizes “sensation-mongers” for demonizing cannabis (marijuana or “marihuana”), explaining how the “Medical Committee” was created in 1944 by the Mayor of New York, and it came to the conclusion that cannabis is “not a serious menace to society, or even to those who indulge in it. Is is merely a nuisance” (73).
I think people should be very careful, but I don’t disagree with Huxley’s point. We should ask questions about the “war on drugs”. What are the real reasons for it? Who is making the profits?
Drugs are used against the people in order to justify the build-up of a police state.
Alcohol was used as an excuse to start pulling us over on the road to interrogate us without a legal justification.
As far as “fighting” marijuana, we come back to government building its police and surveillance powers over decades (checking electricity use, flying over with infra-red cameras), and militarizing police forces also. And the result is loss of privacy, abuse of non-violent citizens and cheap prison labor.
By the time marijuana is legalized–still one of the symbolic games that politicians play after decades of talking about it–what genetic modifications will have been made to it?
When something like drugs is politicized, it’s a power grab. Drugs should just be a matter of knowledge, not “public policy”, social engineering and propaganda.
Same with “sex education”. Are we in charge of the curriculum? No. It’s a power grab over minds and bodies. Read Huxley’s novel. Read the sex education policies of his brother Julian’s UNESCO organization. Do you really think a local vote by the people decides those policies?
Is Huxley Marketing Psychoactive Drugs?
You can clearly see Huxley’s ambivalence (at least) on the topic of drugs:
“they will both enslave and make free, heal and at the same time destroy.” (78)
As far as healing, I don’t doubt that there are legitimate uses for many drugs. I’ve read that some hallucinogens might help to heal people from addictions for example. This is worth investigating further.
But the blatant contradiction in Huxley’s sentence is clear when he combines the words “enslave” and “free”.
Is Huxley really warning readers or is he promoting drugs?
And this is very strange considering that Huxley is supposed to be warning us about drugs that could be used as the basis for a scientific dictatorship. That doesn’t sound like a reason to be enthusiastic about using any kind of drugs, especially anything that is promoted widely, even drugs that are manufactured and prescribed legally, and especially the ones that are pushed on people with media propaganda and slogans.
When they tell you to obey the government, or the United Nations, and take the latest vaccine despite the listed side-effects (transferring billions of dollars to corporations–check federal budgets for example), that’s the best they can do when it comes to “science”. Their “science” is their slogans, which create automatic responses in people through repetition and association with positive and negative emotions and stereotypes. That’s their idea of “thought”. Their idea of “science” is to OBEY and do what you are told, or else one of their drones is going to scold you as “anti-science”.
Just as with sex, Huxley associates the idea that drugs and chemicals have something to do with “freedom”. “Coincidentally”, George W. Bush, president of the land of the “free” called the psychiatric testing of all children–and therefore the potential drugging of all children–the “New Freedom Initiative”. This corresponds with the supposed science fiction novel Huxley is revisiting in a non-fiction format.
Huxley also glamorized hallucinogenic drugs in The Doors of Perception.
However, BNW is about the use of drugs for tyranny. Huxley frets in the novel’s Foreword about the “ultimate revolution” that will completely overturn the individual’s will. How could the “ultimate revolution” happen without the use of drugs and other technologies?
This was before LSD became illegal. Huxley hypes LSD and claims that for the “majority”, LSD transports them to a “heavenly” world even while warning that others have an “infernal” (hellish) experience (74).
Huxley mentions that he was a “participant” at a symposium on meprobamate (76), so we have an example of how we can easily find evidence in Huxley’s writings that he was heavily involved in the subject he was studying. He doesn’t sound like opposition.
Hypnosis and Suggestibility
Huxley quotes Freud, who referred to the research of Dr. Poetzl, an Austrian neurologist (79). His experiments made use of the tachistoscope (79) which flashed images rapidly to the test subject. The conclusion was that their dreams showed images that they did not notice consciously. His experiments have been repeated by others like Dr. Charles Fisher who wrote papers on dreams and “preconscious perception”. This means that we see and hear more than we are consciously aware of (80).
He mentions an experiment with “subliminal projection”–called “strobonic injection” in Britain (82)–in the context of mass entertainment (80). He predicted, despite inconclusive results, that it could become a powerful tool for manipulating minds (82).
Influence is more likely if the subject is in a trance, under the influence of drugs, or is sick or under other stress.
Speaking of stress, it’s not only about how prisoners are treated (at Communist prisons in the 50s or at New World Order Guantanamo-style prisons today).
Huxley earlier admits that war and other crises are used to justify control over “everybody and everything” by government agencies (12).
Crises such as 9/11 and the resulting long-term wars create tress that affects our minds and make us more suggestible and open to influence. Via propaganda, the crisis (real or perceived) is interpreted for us, and it is used to justify greater government controls and planned societal changes.
In addition to surveillance cameras, another example of this is the invasion of our bodies by body scanners and pat-downs during airport searches.This is the abandonment of respect for our own privacy and the privacy of others–as we have been instructed and prepped through “sexual freedom” propaganda and pornography. We have been trained to abandon self-respect because of our desire to believe that things are just fine and we can continue as normal.
The use of war is key for introducing changes to suggestible minds. There is a passage in BNW that mentions how war and violence preceded the scientific dictatorship.
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