he FutureBrave New World: Huxley Predicted Many Events of the FutureAldous Huxley wrote Brave New World out of fear of society’s apparent lackof morals and corrupt behaviour during the roaring twenties.
Huxley believedthat the future was doomed to a non-individualistic, conformist society, asociety void of the family unit, religion and human emotions. Throughout thenovel, Huxley predicts many events for the future, most of which concentrate ona morally corrupt society. The most important of these predictions include:greater sexual freedom, over-population, brain-washing/sleep-teaching, and theuse of mind altering drugs. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World warns of apossible future dystopia, based on social attitudes and medical advancements ofhis time.Huxley’s future dystopia is created largely by perverted sexualfreedoms, which in turn cause corrupt individuals, entirely lacking ethics andmorals. Sexual promiscuity appears to be a much more frequent activity nowthen it was in the Thirties. Critics blame “..
.the advent of the pill fordeclining morality and indiscriminate sexual activity.” Many believe that eachtime medicine reduces the risk of unwanted diseases and pregnancies, society,on the whole, will increase its sexual activity.
Huxley’s prediction ofpromiscuity is based on his iron law of sexuality:”As political and economic freedom diminishes, sexual freedom tendscompensatingly to increase.” A current example of Huxley’s belief is China.China is the last remaining communist regime, it also suffers from having onefifth of the world’s population within its borders. Needless to say, China’slarge population is a direct result of a very sexually active society.
AldousHuxley’s fears of the future caused him to write about sexual freedom and theresulting over-population in Brave New World. Over-population is another problem which is addressed by Huxley, andis the direct result of sexual freedom. The fear which Huxley addressesconcerning population control is: “Food supplies cannot grow as fast as peoplecan, and population growth in underdeveloped countries will jeopardize theworld order.” Simply stated the growing population of earth will consume morethan it will be able to produce, unless some form of regulating births can becreated.
This is an obvious truth today, as millions of people are starvingeach day. The brave new world that Huxley speaks of, is a warning to mankindconcerning its destruction of the laws of nature. For example, marriage isforbidden, as well as, pregnancies, and mothers are non-existent becausepossible children result in abortion.In Brave New World over-population is solved by society’s ability toproduce as many or as few humans as are necessary to keep the population atequilibrium. The solution is test-tube babies or “bottled babies” as they arereferred to in the book. Effective birth control of such a large population isdifficult to achieve, especially in a society where people are encouraged to besexually active with numerous partners. Today, the world is facing over-population head on, with mixed results. Abortions are not readily accepted bymost, and birth control in third world countries is virtually impossible.
Huxley realizes the problem with mass birth control, and solves it by makingseventy percent of the female population sterile, while only thirty percent ofthe women remain fertile. By leaving thirty percent of the women fertile,Huxley is able to show that even though birth control on a large scale isdifficult, it is possible to achieve. Through the religious use ofcontraceptives, pregnancies rarely occur, however, when a pregnancy does occurit results in an immediate abortion. Huxley’s fear of over-population and thecontrol of so many people is an obvious concern which comes to light in BraveNew World.Brain-washing is suggested by Aldous Huxley in the form of manipulatingindividuals, rather than the masses. While brain-washing and sleep-teaching aredifferent (the former being done while the subject is awake, and the latterbeing done while the subject is asleep), both methods employed by Huxley, actupon the subconscious to obtain the same final results. Prior to Brave NewWorld, Huxley researched the Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov and hisexperiments on dogs. The Pavlovian dog was subjected to highly stressfulconditions, this was done to teach the dog how to react to certain stimuli.
The end results of these tests were dogs who had been broken, became mentallyinsane. Prime human examples are the veterans of the world wars, where victimsbecame incapacitated from intense stress and fear (known as “shell shock”).Huxley suggests that teaching under such stressful conditions can also beconsidered torture (in its most refined state). Huxley once wrote, “Theeffectiveness of political and religious propaganda depends upon the methodsemployed, not upon the doctrines taught.” Huxley believed that when mentallyprogramming a subject, it is not the principles that matter, but the techniquesused to instil these principles.
Our modern society has come realisticallyclose to Huxley’s predictions. After all, for many years already, communistshave been renowned as being experts on brain-washing (in the form of masspropaganda). This type of distortion of the human psyche lends itselfperfectly to the corruption and backward morals of Aldous Huxley’s Brave NewWorld.Aldous Huxley’s dystopia is structured around the use of a pleasureinducing drug called “soma”. Soma is a means of drowning one’s sorrows to makethem feel better and to create a positive feeling towards those who supply suchhappiness (i.e. the ruling power).
Such a drug, therefore, becomes the perfecttool of the dictator, as it creates a more submissive and conformist society, asociety that is easier to control. Soma becomes the perfect escape fromreality, because its use is public, not private, thus, allowing for thehappiness to be shared among friends for an all around greater high. Soma canbe considered a wonder drug, a wonder drug that has always been searched for bymedicine. After all, soma has only positive effects (i.e. no side effects),and can be used whenever necessary. Positive effects that may just reach beyondthe person’s body and onto their productivity at work.
A current example isJapan’s car industry, they believe that the dose of ginseng that each workerreceives daily, accounts for their output being so much higher then theirAmerican counterparts. “…a little white tablet that keeps production workershappy. The Japanese motor industry believes it is an important aid to itsproductivity.” With all the different types of drugs now available the wonderdrug-soma, will most certainly soon arrive.
Soma is used in Brave New Worldthe way alcohol, smoking and drugs are used in today’s society.In conclusion, the future events of which Aldous Huxley predicted, arequickly becoming a reality in today’s society. It cannot be denied that eventssuch as greater sexual freedom and over-population have already occurred andare becoming even worse. As well, the use of sleep-teaching/ brain-washing andmind altering drugs continue to be experimented with on a regular basis.
Allof these factors combined make for a backward, morally corrupt and ethicallydepraved modern society. It is this modern society which Aldous Huxley warnsagainst in Brave New World.