“As political and economic freedom diminishes, sexual freedom tends compensatingly to increase. And the dictator will do well to encourage that freedom. In conjunction with the freedom to daydream under the influence of dope, the movies and the radio, [sexual emancipation] will help to reconcile his subjects to the servitude which is their fate.” (Huxley as quoted by Grigg, 2003)
In the dark, dystopian world of Huxley’s there is no apparent conflict. People are let loose to indulge in their primal desires. They are offered hallucinogenic drugs to get high whenever they want. Where conflict lies is in the total lack of gravity and sobriety afforded to human existence. In other words, what is innate to humans – our nature – are buried deep under the debris of consumption culture. All values that are erstwhile considered noble or virtuous are made obsolete. As Mustapha Mond notes nonchalantly, “civilization has absolutely no need of nobility or heroism. These things are symptoms of political inefficiency. In a properly organized society like ours, nobody has any opportunities for being noble or heroic.” (Chapter 17, p.220)
Finally, in the phenomenological reality that we call nature, new conundrums are raised when mass entertainment and technology push individual experience into virtual worlds. Some of the allied concepts in this milieu are ‘atomization’ and ‘alienation’ of human beings. For example, in Brave New World, as is emerging in the real contemporary world, electronic and virtual technologies “provide the ability to alter our identity or to create multiple identities to satisfy our yearnings for connection and community without having to engage in the hard work of direct contact and confrontations with others.” (Haynes, 1997) These are distressing developments for those who care about the uniqueness and special capacities of our species.
- Congdon, Brad. “”Community, Identity, Stability”: The Scientific Society and the Future of Religion in Aldous Huxley’s: Brave New World.” English Studies in Canada3-4 (2011): 83+.
- Grigg, William Norman. “The Porn Revolution: America’s Thriving Pornography Industry Uses the Marketplace to Advance an Agenda of Subversion and Social Control. (Culture War).” The New American2 June 2003: 27+.
- Haynes, Deborah J. “The Techno-Seduction of the Artist.” Art Journal1 (1997): S10+.
- Huxley, Thomas. “Brave New World.” First Published by Chatto & Windus in 1932, pp.288.
- Kass, Leon R. “Preventing a Brave New World.” The Human Life ReviewSummer 2001: 14+.
- McQuillan, Gene. “The Politics of Allusion: Brave New World and the Debates about Biotechnologies.” Studies in the Humanities1 (2006): 79+.