Skip to comments.Brave New World (is Here!)
Posted on 04/29/2012 9:16:09 AM PDT by DogByte6RER
Brave New World (is Here!)
If Orwells 1984 is a cautionary tale about what we in the capitalist West largely avoided, Aldous Huxleys Brave New World is largely about what we got a consumerist, post-God happyland in which people readily stave off aging, jet away on exotic vacations and procreate via test tubes. They have access to Feelies similar to IMAX 3-D movies, no-strings-attached sex, anti-anxiety pills and abortion on demand. They also venerate a dead high-tech genius, saying Ford help him in honor of Henry Ford just as today we practically murmur In Jobs We Trust.
In many ways the book, which was published 80 years ago this winter, has become sci-non-fi. It is still developing, taking on additional richness according to the times in which we read it.
Brave New World is a satire set in a unified and peaceful 26th-century World State in which a frustrated London loner named Bernard Marx feels unease with the serene functionality of the ingeniously well-ordered society around him. After a chance encounter on vacation, he brings to London a Shakespeare-loving savage named John from outside the tech bubble (he grew up untouched by modernity on an Indian reservation in New Mexico) who becomes even more distraught by what has happened to mankind.
The book isnt nearly as political or as outspokenly dire as 1984, so much so that its easy to picture a young reader saying, What is supposed to be so bad about all this? Unlike in the book by Orwell (Huxleys pupil at Eton), in which independence of mind earns you torture and brainwashing, Huxleys freethinkers are threatened with expulsion to a small island (Iceland)
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
I think, DJ, that your original logo is the single best use of Obama’s I have yet seen. Excellent work!
Thanks for your comment. Sadly, ‘soma’ has taken on so many different meanings in recent years that the original use of the term in Brave New World is lost on a lot of people.
omg what are you kyle's mom pretending not to be?
It was readable, but "splendid?" Chesterton was "splendid." This is 8th grade essay stuff.
When it comes to Soma, I’ll take the bra ad. That gal is so Catherine Zeta-Jones.
By the way, does CZ-J know that she is the pinup girl for FReepers?
Yep. I think there’s either a band or a song called ‘Soma’, too. As I said to another poster, it’s kind of lost its meaning because of all the new, different references.
The Invisible Hand? Bueller? Bueller? Invisible Hand? Anybody? Anybody?
meditate on that.
I pity your wretched state of mind, and will gladly end this fruitless dialogue.
“Community, Identity, Stability”...
In 1931, as Huxley was composing Brave New World, he wrote newspaper articles arguing that we must abandon democracy and allow ourselves to be ruled dictatorially by men who will compel us to do and suffer what a rational foresight demands. It was Huxleys view that dictatorship and scientific propaganda may provide the only means of saving humanity from the misery of anarchy. Many of the elements in the brave new world that contemporary readers find jarring actually appealed to Huxley. The sorting of individuals by type, eugenic breeding, and hierarchic leadership were policies for which he had proselytized. The problem with the world he created is the lack of spiritual insight, spiritual greatness, on the part of its leader.
Most of our teachers probably took Huxley as a good democrat concerned about elitism and the evil effects of technology, but according to this, Huxley was an elitist and an enthusiast for reproductive technology who only wanted the guardians and new technologies to reflect older spiritual values.
I guess you could find a similar ambivalence in Orwell, who was enthusiastic for the "classless society" he saw in wartime Barcelona but repelled by Stalinist dictatorship. Huxley, though, was apparently a far more conflicted character than Orwell. Maybe his book was a success and has lasted because it wasn't simply a tract attacking modernity, but reflected a deep ambivalence about what was going on and what he expected from the future.