Brave New World

Brave New World

Science and Scientism Science: empirical, quantitative, mechanical, self-correcting, falsifiable. Scientism (or scientolatry) Science alone gives truth and this truth is absolute Matter is the primary reality (materialism) Behavior is determined by impersonal forces All values are merely social conventions The coming ideal society is guaranteed Brave New World

Aldous Huxley, 1932 Revisited, 1958 Our visit, 2010 Brave New World (1932) Aldous Huxley A satirical piece of fiction, not scientific prophecy. Serves as a symbol for the false promise of universal happiness. How can a future where everyone is happy become a dystopia?

Huxley exploits the anxieties about both Communism and Fordism. Insipid happiness from Pavlovian-style conditioning and eugenics. Happiness from mass-produced goods, "the feelies", and soma? Soma: an opiate for the masses? Prozac-like psychic tranquillizer? BNW is a benevolent dictatorship: a totalitarian welfare-state. Is a version of BNW in our future through improved pharmacotherapy and genetic engineering? By abolishing pain and suffering, does BNW also eliminate the emotional peaks and valleys of life? In 1931, when Brave New World was being written, I was

convinced that there was still plenty of time. The completely organized society, the scientific caste system, the abolition of free will by methodical conditioning, the servitude made acceptable by regular doses of chemically induced happiness, the orthodoxies drummed in by nightly courses of sleep-teaching -- these things were coming all right, but not in my time, not even in the time of my grandchildren [perhaps] in the sixth or seventh century A.F. (After Ford). Twenty-seven years later [1958] I feel a good deal less optimistic than I did when I was writing Brave New World. The prophecies made in 1931 are coming true much sooner than I

thought they would. The nightmare of total organization has emerged from the safe, remote future and is now awaiting us, just around the next corner. In the Brave New World of my fantasy eugenics and dysgenics were practiced systematically Eugenics: Betas, Alphas and Alpha Pluses. Dysgenics: almost subhuman Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons

Indoctrination, drugs (soma), and recreational sex John the Savage (the Noble Savage) Henry Ford (Our Ford) Sigmund Freud H.G. Wells Ivan Pavlov Shakespeare Thomas Malthus George Bernard Shaw

Demography and Environmental Degradation Propaganda, Mass Marketing, Brainwashing Ideology, Demonization Chemical Persuasion, soma, not whisky, tobacco, heroin, cocaine, pot, LSD Subliminal Persuasion Sexual revolution and the post-nuclear family Education of facts and values promoting freedom. 1984

by George Orwell (1949) A dystopian novel setting forth Orwells fears of an intrusively bureaucratized state of the future. On each landing, opposite the lift shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran. "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face--for ever.

Oceania: Inner Party (1%), Outer Party (18%), The Proles Winston Smith works in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth rewriting and altering records, including newspaper stories. Keeps an illegal diary and opposes the Party, but pointless to resist. "War is Peace", "Ignorance is Strength, "Freedom is Slavery." Animal Farm (1945), a modern beast-fable attacking Stalinism. George Orwell's 1984 (published in 1949) was a magnified projection into the future of a present that contained Stalinism and an immediate past that had witnessed the flowering of Nazism. The brutal future dictatorship of 1984 depicts a society

controlled almost exclusively by punishment and the fear of punishment. In the imaginary world [of Huxleys] fable, punishment is infrequent and generally mild. The nearly perfect control exercised by the government is achieved by systematic reinforcement of desirable behavior, by many kinds of nearly non-violent manipulation, both physical and psychological, and by genetic standardization. In the Brave New World of my fable, the problem of human numbers in their relation to natural resources had

been effectively solved. In the real contemporary world, the population problem has not been solved. On the contrary it is becoming graver and more formidable with every passing year. It is against this grim biological background that all the political, economic, cultural and psychological dramas of our time are being played outThe problem of rapidly increasing numbers in relation to natural resources, to social stability and to the well-being of individuals -- this is now the central problem of [hu]mankind.

World Population 250 million 1 CE 500 million 1600 CE 2 billion 1931 2.8 billion 1958 6.6 billion 2010 death control is achieved very easily [by medical care and sanitation], birth control is achieved with great difficulty [because of fecundity and religious sentiments].

Harrison Brown, The Next Hundred Years (1957): How is [hu]mankind coping with the problem of rapidly increasing numbers? Not very successfully. Huxleys 1958 prediction: It is a pretty safe bet that, twenty years from now [1978], all the world's over-populated and underdeveloped countries will be under some form of totalitarian rule probably by the Communist party NOT

Huxley again It is in social science, in the realm of politics and economics, that the Will to Order becomes really dangerous when poorly conceived social theories are implemented by the state. Brave New World presents a fanciful and somewhat ribald picture of a society, in which the attempt to recreate human beings in the likeness of termites has been pushed almost to the limits of the possible. Relates to actual (scientistic) practices of

Eugenics, Social Engineering, and Sociobiology Eugenics o Film, literature, and the new world order s

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