Essay on Fulfilling the Prophecy of Brave New World

Essay on Fulfilling the Prophecy of Brave New World

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Fulfilling the Prophecy of Brave New World  

"Community, Identity, Stability" is the motto of the World State in the Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, a state intent on keeping itself intact. In the stable state, the people must be happy with the status quo; they must not be able to imagine a better world, and must not think of a worse one. In the stable state, a few people must be able to cope with unexpected change, but they should be unable to initiate it. In the stable state, the population must have certain proportions of satisfied citizens and innovators that can coexist.

The United States has already succeeded in creating the ideal population distribution - that of an iceberg, keeping nine tenths of the population below the waterline of the ocean of consumer culture, and barely one tenth above. In this field, this nation surpasses the World State: the American status quo appears to be maintained by perfectly natural forces. The US does not use the fetal alcohol syndrome, bokanovskification, or hypnopedia to manipulate its population. Instead, it utilizes the human tendency to absorb and accept the traditions of the society for conditioning, allows fluid social mobility to distribute people to their proper places in society, and gives a wide choice of amusements to occupy the time and spare the people unnecessary and painful thought on their condition.

The American waterline is defined by the culture of the country; the American waterline defines the necessities for happiness and the necessity of happiness. Some of the essentials of happiness today include a car, a TV set, a stereo, and mass media access twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Another integral part of happiness is the freedom to improv...


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...eting to make the lightest tennis racket, the best golf club, or the fastest flying golf ball. The mass media provide an endless source of relatively cheap entertainment to families, and additionally reinforce the American ideal of happiness - gratuitous consumption for the sake of consumption.

Aldous Huxley predicted too elaborate a method for achieving stability. A more natural course to the same objective allows people to believe that they are in command of their fortunes, for then they are docile without conditioning and happy without soma. The illusion of power is in itself happiness, and the most powerful tool of social control. A state well governed with such a tool indeed cannot escape stability. A few more decades will pass, the United States will resolve the problem of poverty, and Huxley's prediction will have been fulfilled five centuries early.

 

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