Brave New World Story
Brave New World Story

Brave New World Story

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  • Pages: 4 (1772 words)
  • Published: October 7, 2017
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In the context of its time, Brave New World can be seen as an expression of the beliefs and concerns shared by the people of the 1930’s.

The decades of the twenties and the thirties were ones of crisis and disillusionment unravelling in the political crisis that unfolded in the wake of the New York crash of ’29.The socio-economic problems of the late 1920’s and early 30’s drove Huxley to reflect deeply upon the particularly negative and destructive elements of the times. Brave New World would appear to be a diffusion of new ideas and attitudes of the time whilst reflecting Huxley’s scepticism regarding history, progress and human rationality, (Encyclopaedia Britannica Millennium Edition PC Rom).Huxley focused on the growth of modern technology and totalitarian ideology emerging at the time. This unrest and bewilderment speak avidly in Brave New World as Huxley exploits the anxiety of his bourgeois audience of Soviet communism and ‘Fordist’ American capitalism.

Huxley himself noted; “under Hitler/Stalin rule, personal ends were subordinated to organisational means by a mixture of violence, propaganda and systematic manipulation of minds”, (Aldous Huxley 1994 ‘Brave New World Revisited’ Flamingo Press, pgs 37-8).The emergence of fascism demonstrated how political liberalism was in full retreat in the latter part of the 1920’s. In Spain, many attempts at fascism were made while Benito Mussolini ensured a totalitarian regime in Italy. In early 1930-1 Japan’s liberal regime gave way to a nationalist one while in the Soviet Union, Stalin and later Lenin supported a fascist regime with use of force and coercion to the populace.In Germany, the Nazi’s were working towards a single, undivided people’

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s community (Volksgeminschage) with a firm belief in solidarity, conformity and uniformity.

The nazi’s were obedient to their order-giving elite paralleling immensely the brave new worlder’s, “Sane men, obedient men, stable in contentment” (Aldous Huxley 1994 ‘Brave New World’ Flamingo press, pg 37).Under Hitler/Stalin’s rule as under the rule of the controller in Brave New World, the belief that people need controlling in order to avoid civil unrest, conflict and revolution is all too apparent; “Stability…no civilisation without social stability, no social stability without individual stability, (Aldous Huxley 1994 ‘Brave New World’ Flamingo Press, pg 37).However, as fascism is based on the idea that a nation would only succeed through discipline and ruthless conformity this would appear more akin to George Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ than the benevolent power structure in Brave New World; “The world’s stable now.

People are happy; they get what they want…they’re safe; they’re never ill”, (Aldous Huxley 1994 ‘Brave New World’ Flamingo Press, pg 200).Huxley though, had an immense fear and distrust of large scale democracy and threats of revolution, thus there is dictatorship in Brave New World and no civil unrest leading to a more organised and structured society than that of the time.

Yet, it was while visiting America in 1926 and with the resulting pessimism he felt that Huxley conceived the idea of writing a satire on what he had observed. Brave New World thus reads as Huxley’s contribution to the widespread fear of Americanisation, (David Bradshaw 1993 introduction in ‘Brave New World Revisited’ 1994, Flamingo Press).I

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particular, the Ford production lines and the ‘illusion of individuality’ in which to a greater extent man is dehumanised affected Huxley. The ‘Fordist’ America of the twenties in which the individual’s life form ‘conception to conveyor belt reproduction’ (Aldous Huxley 1994 ‘Brave New World Revisited’, Flamingo Press, pg 80), was determined by Big Business was a concept that disturbed Huxley. Advances in organisation accompanied the successive advances in technology, yet too much organisation transformed men and women into automata thus exemplifying “the dehumanising effects of over-organisation.

..people are embodiments of economic functions”, (Aldous Huxley 1994 ‘Brave New World Revisited’ Flamingo Press, pg 32), “everyone works for everyone else”, (Aldous Huxley 1994 ‘Brave New World’ Flamingo Press, pg66).The emerging ‘Social Ethic’ of work does indeed encompass the basic assumptions of Brave New World that the social whole has greater worth and significance than it’s individual parts.

The key words of the social ethic; ‘adjustment, adaptability, group loyalty/thinking/creativity would indeed relate well to production values within Brave New World.At the time, America had major growths in many new industries; gas, chemical, plastics and factory automation. All these consumer durables prospered after 1931, yet these growths produced ‘technological unemployment’ with as many as two hundred thousand workers a year replaced by automatic machinery. This would be viewed badly within the Brave New World, as it would eliminate the manual/repetitive tasks leaving lower castes dissatisfied/without a role (allegedly a good reason for freezing scientific progress), “it would be sheer cruelty to afflict them with excessive leisure” (Aldous Huxley 1994 ‘Brave New World’ Flamingo Press, pg 205). Unemployment also reduces purchasing power therefore the new worlder’s are given differing levels of intellect in order for all jobs to be catered for, maintaining full employment and full purchasing power.The two extremes of governments of the time; the dictatorship of Lenin/Hitler and the laissez-faire attitudes of America were problematic to Huxley.

A medium was required without the harsh realities of totalitarian regimes. The presidents of the time in America; Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge “The business of America is Business” and Herbert Hoover all believed in non-intervenist government in which markets were allowed to operate without government interference. Huxley would have noted however that monopolies were allowed to form and inequalities of wealth and income reached record levels, hence the intervenist nature of the controllers in Brave New World in which production and consumption are controlled and ordered.Indeed, Huxley could therefore have foreseen ways of avoiding the great depression of October ’29. “After World War I, the economy of the US saw rapid growth but the Wall Street crash brought an abrupt end to this and resulted in worldwide depression”, (Anthony Wood 1964 ‘Europe 1815-1945’ Longman, pg 411).

A fundamental cause of the great depression has been cited as lying in the overproduction and under-consumption of commodities. Thus, it is unsurprising that Huxley demands consumption by this new worlder’s; “Ending is better than mending”, (Aldous Huxley 1994 ‘Brave New World’ Flamingo Press, pg 43).It is also worth noting that Europe was growing increasingly sensitive to any changes in the American economy in the 1920’s. It would appear that Europe’s fate

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