Do you agree or disagree with Huxley's warnings that these tendencies will ultimately lead to such a dystopia? why or why not?
these are some exaggerated future where:
babies are born by test tube, all people are conditioned to consume goods, shallow sound bytes are repeated back as profound wisdom, childern are enticed to be sexual at a yound age, families no longer exist, every desire is immedaitely gratified, and whenever you are unhappy or want to escape, there is always soma, the perfect drug.
use some 3-4 of the ideas in the paper.
Aldous Huxley was prophetic in Brave New World, even more so than George Orwell in 1984.
- We are a consumer culture. We buy bulk, spend more time waiting in lines on Black Friday than volunteering at the shelters and soup kitchens.
- It is a world state of sorts, a global media. We are not born in tubes, but we are connected by them (TV and internet).
- We are hooked on soma. There is no suffering any longer. Every pain is alleviated, whether it be spiritual, physical, or emotional. We are spoiled rotten.
- Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church, for example, has a 40,000 member congregation that contributes $1 million in weekly collections, and a television audience mails in another $20 million annually. His positive-minded sermons and self-help books (Your Best Life Now) offer mantras and not apologies for wealth: "I believe God wants us to prosper" and "God wants winners, not whiners." Dude is sipping and selling soma.
- We are obsessed with sports and soma. Soma can be anything that helps us escape our problems, but they've come to be the current pharmacology dependency that we've developed. People pop more pills than they read pages of the book on a daily basis.
- With the portable Nintendo DS and cell phone craze, our kids are more connected to loud noises and shocks than they are books and nature.
After all, Neil Postman says,
But in Huxley's vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.
What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared that truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy.
Huxley was arguing in this book that our materialistic and consumer culture (made possible by the assembly line that Ford pioneered) could turn our society into this dystopia. I do not agree with him at all.
While materialism certainly has problems that come with it, I do not see them ever getting to the point where we have a society that is anything like the dystopia in the book. I think that people have an instinct that makes them want to have love and families and real emotional attachements to other people.
Even in places where family ties are weakened, we still see that people want to have families and relationships. I think that this is too ingrained in us to be taken away.