Dangers of a Totalitarian Society Exposed in Brave New World

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On a one-dimensional level, Brave New World is the portrait of a perfect society. The citizens of this Utopia live in a society that is free of depression and most of the social-economic problems that trouble the world today. All aspects of life are controlled for the people of this society; population numbers, social class and intellectual ability. History is controlled and rewritten to suit the needs of the state. All of this is done in the name of social stability. When one looks beneath the surface of this perfect society it becomes evident that it is nothing of the sort.

Eugenics, social conditioning, and anti-depressant drugs have solved many of the problems faced by many modern societies; poverty, class tension and overpopulation; but at the costs of individuality.

The citizens of Brave New World are engineered to suit the needs of the state. Individual expression is unattainable because everyone is conditioned to think alike. Brave New World is a book about a future that seems more viable and less brave with each passing day as our values become more materialistic and as our faith in God dwindles slowly to be replaced by technology.

In the futuristic society of the novel, God has been replaced by science and technology as a source substance and meaning in life. As a consequence the words “Christ” and “God” are replaced with “Ford”. This is done because Huxley believed that the shift in emphasis from God to technology occurred, to a large extent with Henry Ford’s introduction of the Model-T.

Instead of using the Christian calendar this date is used as the opening date of a new era; the date is After Ford (A.F.) 632. This shift in importance is symbolized by substituting the Christian Cross with the Ford T.

The motto of the New World State that now controls the world is; “Community, Stability, Identity.” This motto emphasizes the importance of the society over the individual. Community emphasizes the importance of the individual as a contributor to society. Identity is used to refer to the various castes, which divide the society, their various tasks and their class distinguishing uniforms, and stability is the main goal of the World State.

The World State was founded on principles of controlled eugenics and social conditioning, the elimination of the family, and the belief that homogeneity of thought and behavior all lead to a stable society.

The novel opens with a tour of the factory where unborn citizens of Brave New World are being created. They are not born viviparously but in an assembly line resembling the kind that Ford first invented to produce cars. A process called Bokanovsky “budding” is used to produce as many as ninety-six children from a single sperm and ovum.

The diversity of social functions within a society is dealt with by the creation of five different classes – Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Epsilon. There is no conflict between the classes however, like in modern society, because they are conditioned through hypnopaedia to grow up thinking that their genetic inheritance and social positions are idea. Those in the upper levels of the intellectual strata do not resent their inferiors who they give orders to and those who observe others in a superior position pity their superiors because they carry the encumbrance of responsibility that their position frees them from. The goal of all conditioning is, as the Director of Hatcheries puts in the first chapter is to make “people like their inescapable social destiny.” (16) In order to uphold a state of social stability various methods of social control are used.

After birth each person goes through a process of conditioning that makes them eagerly seek the pleasures of sex and sport, and fearfully avoid non-social activities that isolate people from each other. Tastes for beauty are conditioned out of existence. A taste for books is conditioned out of the lower castes because they don’t have any practical use in their lives....
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