After I reviewed Animal Farm and 1984, a friend wrote to me telling me his opinion that Aldous Huxley‘s Brave New World was a better book than George Orwell’s 1984. I was surprised that I hadn’t read Brave New World. I got a copy of it along with Huxley’s Brave New World Revisited and found that I agreed with my friend. He had written:
“I really liked Animal Farm. 1984 was all about in the name of (personal) safety (society was) taking all our rights. But an even better book is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I think Brave new world is more true… People don’t really care about safety. If they did they wouldn’t fly right past you on the road. Even the speed limit would be too fast for them but this proves that people are not interested in safety but comfort. People will never give up comfort…. If you read the book (it’s not a long book; you could read it in one day) and it’s very, very interesting, you realize that we’re there already.”
I found that the leader of the brave new world explains his view why the totalitarian highly organized new world made sense. He said that under their system, there was social stability. People are conditioned, as if they are hypnotized with free will being abolished, so that they can’t help behaving as they ought to behave. This is done primarily by causing children to hear voices while they are sleeping, nightly courses of orthodoxies drumming into their minds telling them what their society considers to be true, what they want the child to believe when they mature. They hear the voices for many years repeating the “truths” over and over again. They are thereby engineered to believe what society wants them to believe, to be happy with life in the brave new world, to get what they learnt to want, and never want what they can’t get. They are well off, they’re safe, they are never ill, they’re made to not be afraid of death, suffer none of the disabilities of old age, have no passions that disturb other cultures, not plagued with relationships to mothers, fathers, wives, children, in fact these are dirty words that offend them. They are encouraged to have sex with people of the other sex frequently, even daily, changing from one partner to another with no binding between them, no marriage (another dirty word). God is non-existent, for there is no need for a deity. They ingest the drug soma which gives them a feeling of chemically induced well-being without any after-effects.
People in our culture, the leader explains, are conditioned according to the model of an iceberg, eight-ninths are below the water line, and only one-ninth is above. Those who are conditioned not to be alphas, not to have good intelligence, are engineered to do various low level jobs, servitudes, which would drive an alpha mad. Thus a scientific caste system was developed. All of the people in the different lower classes are cemented in their status, unable to rise to higher levels and are made by their conditioning to enjoy their work.
Unlike the world described in 1984 where people do what society wants them to do lest they suffer terrible punishment, in the Brave New World they do what is good for them because it gives them pleasure. They do not know that their society, their dystopia, has tyranny over their minds.
In his 1958 book Brave New World Revisited, Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) tells us that in his view the conditions described in his 1932 book Brave New World have begun in his lifetime. “The prophecies made in (my earlier book) are coming true much sooner than I thought they would.”
In the 1958 book, he discusses over-population, morality, over-organization, propaganda in a democratic society, propaganda under a dictatorship. The art of selling, brainwashing, chemical persuasion, ideas controlled in the 1932 book, subconscious persuasion, hypnopedia, education for freedom, ideas controlled in the 1932 book, and also what can be done. The book shows a keen understanding of psychology, history, and current life, and may prompt readers feeling that Huxley foresaw the society that the left wing of the Democratic Party is attempting to launch in the United States.