When I attended school, in the days when classical works were still considered to be a vital part of good education, Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” was required reading, as was Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty Four“. Looking back, I’m not so sure now that the intention of everyone involved in writing the school syllabi was to warn us of the evils of totalitarianism, as we thought at the time…
Written in 1931, Brave New World is still remarkably relevant today, though not often read. It imagines a future in which a world state governs all the affairs of humanity, to the extent that it produces humans without any need for a womb or a family. From “conception” the state places people within prescribed and fixed classes, rather like castes, each with its own level of intelligence and ability. The state then conditions the minds of its offspring to accept their positions in life happily, and to conform without complaint to everything the world state has instituted.
The reason the book is still relevant in many ways is that it expresses some of the goals and dreams of many socialist-minded people over the last couple of centuries, up to the present time. In fact, you could probably find most of its suggestions within Marx’s “Manifesto”. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that all socialists want everyone to be equal and on the same level: those in the forefront of the movement want to be more equal than the rest of us.
Huxley, the brother of a famous evolutionist, was opposed to religion and the nuclear family (Marx’s Christian “bourgeoisie family”) and rather partial to the concept of eugenics. In Brave New World he was not warning us all of future evils, as most people, including myself, were led to believe. His imagined society was not intended to be dystopian: he was surreptitiously encouraging our consideration of its benefits. He was pushing it into our faces, much as Hollywood does today.
Growing numbers of people today, particularly in the feminist movement and among extremist liberals, have similar dreams and desires for the transformation of our world. Those desires include eugenics; total government power over a compliant and suitably re-educated populace; amorality; the end of the traditional family; the complete preoccupation with entertainment; a news media entirely in the pocket of the politically-correct establishment; totally revised or forgotten history; the end of the Church; radically controlled reproduction; the despising and vilification of anyone who does not comply; the homogenization and simplification of thought; the use of euphemisms and ambiguity for all institutions and agencies (like the current DOJ); total control over all education from birth; the moral corruption of children; a world government, and the loss of all national identity and culture.
Perhaps the only big difference between Huxley’s future utopian society and the real movement towards such a world today is that Huxley’s society worked.