Aldous Huxley’s dystopian novel Brave New World arises many fears of today’s societal advances. Set in the future of 2495, this novel’s totalitarian society eliminates individuality in order to gain complete control over citizens, creating social stability. In this superficial happy world, humans are scientifically produced, conditioned, and drugged into the government’s idea of everlasting stability. At a total loss of humanity, Huxley’s themes connect to general themes in our society, specific foundation theories of political philosophy, and specific people and events in our current government.
The World State lives by the moto ‘Community, Identity, Stability’ in order to prevent corruption, because “instability means the end of civilization.” (Huxley 237) This novel’s fear parallels our society’s fear of losing individuality. Huxley’s society of technological advances, consumption, mass production, obsession with drugs, and extensive conditioning leaves readers afraid of losing not only their individuality, but their loss of dignity, morals, values, and emotions; like the characters did. “Every man, woman and child compelled to consume so much a year.” (Huxley 49) Wrote in 1984, these fears are still valid today. The World State’s government completely eliminates the truth behind science, but forces children to learn the Bokanovsky process; in turn leaving them naively praising their God Ford. In order to prevent spiritual contemplation, solitude is discouraged, which makes individual freedom unknown of. To prevent this horrific totalitarian government, our government needs to inform its citizens of the complete truth so that we can face the reality which will promote individual freedom. Today’s technology is reducing personal connections, which in time will eliminate love, truth, and friendship; like the World State did.
Huxley characterizes the relationship between humanity and the natural world. Scientifically, humans primary goal is to live for reproduction, food, and happiness. The World State argues that happiness is a citizen’s desire for food, sex, drugs, nice clothes, etc. – all consumer items. By being consumed by these items, citizens are conditioned to lose their natural instincts, such as love, health, and any type of emotion. The Bokanovsky process leaves citizens no need to reproduce, which makes humanity loose its attachment to the natural world. In the first chapter, instead of learning math, children “grow up with what the psychologists used to call an ‘instinctive’ hatred of books and flowers. Reflexes unalterably conditioned. They’ll be safe from books and botany all their lives.” (Huxley 22) This conditioning leaves children oblivious to the natural world and praising their superficial world. To top it off, citizens lose their humanity by the addicting drug soma the World State feeds through them. "And do remember that a gramme is better than a damn." (Huxley 55) Although extremely rare, outsiders who decide not to take soma, like Bernard Marx, feel human drives. “But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.” (Huxley 240). What Bernard wants is natural human desires, which Thomas Hobbes also agrees with. “Whatsoever is the object of any man's Appetite or Desire; that is it which he for his part calleth Good: and the object of his Hate and Aversion, evil.” (Hobbes). Huxley suggests that government hinders individuals from learning the truth, and by preventing them from learning the truth behind nature, they make them feel like outsiders.
The premise of fear in this dystopian novel is also a fear in today’s society. Our society’s consumption leads citizens to lose their sense of individuality, hence supports Huxley’s version of our current society’s economic values. Current events associated with Brave New World’s themes include technological…