Brave New World

Wednesday, 10 July 2002

It was sim­ply and well writ­ten and I was im­pressed with Huxley’s knowl­edge and in­sights in­to so­cial con­di­tion­ing, yet as the au­thor him­self said in his fore­ward, it has many flaws. I am now con­vinced that every utopia is at the same time an an­tiu­topia. Granted, Huxley presents a world free of virtue or vice, that cre­ates an Eden for the clones: but all this is at the price of their hu­man­i­ty. For all in­tents and pur­pos­es the ma­jor­i­ty is a rigid­ly cas­ti­gat­ed hive mind whose abil­i­ties and dis­abilites have been for­feit­ed by the hatch­ery. Predestination blows. It is a world with­out moral­i­ty, with­out choice and with­out free­dom. Like The Savage, I choose mis­ery and free­dom when the oth­er op­tion is on­ly the lit­er­al life of an ant or work­er bee.

A world is too stag­nant, too sta­ble, if there is no black or white but on­ly grey. Everything be­comes vanil­la fla­vored. No vice means no virtue, no ug­li­ness means no beau­ty. These con­cepts on­ly ex­ist in di­choto­my. A hu­man cre­at­ed world that re­moves the pas­sion and leaves on­ly hypnopaedic bi­o­log­i­cal ex­is­tence is not for me.

Huxley ac­knowl­edged this lim­i­ta­tion and said if he had to write Brave New World again The Savage would be giv­en a third choice: life in ex­ile among the few sane per­sons on the Reservation.

Now I am start­ing in on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. I hope she isn’t too heavy hand­ed. I have met one of her ad­vo­cates and he was a lit­tle on the abra­sive side. but maybe that is just him.