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|Review||Brave New World was a hard book to find here in high, wide, and windy Wyoming. Not only did our local Teton County Library not have a copy,no library in Covid besotted Wyoming had a copy to lend so I had to visit ABEbooks and buy my own. There were lots of copies of 1984, the flip side of BNW. So if you have read 1984, you need to read BNW to blend your yin with your yang, to complete your binary view of the world, to view two of the futures that our flesh might be heir to. There are certainly more however in my opinion.|
For those of you who have not read Brave New World, a brief summary is in order. Huxley wrote the book in 1931 which itself seems improbable and amazing given the technology displayed in the novel. I suppose it is a world some hundred(s) of years in the future after 1931. Dates are given not by AD or CE but AF, which stands for “After Ford”, which I assume is a satirical reference to the industrialist du Jour in 1931, Henry Ford. It is a Utopian world of eugenics with layers of castes with the brightest, the Alphas at the top and the moronic epsilons at the bottom with betas and deltas etc in between. The goal of the society is to match intelligence to tasks so the stupids do all the grunt work while the brains do jobs that need brains. This ensures social stability as all the classes embrace their eugenic servitude, happy in their work. Stability and community of unequals is the goal. Everyone belongs to everyone else and nobody belongs to anybody. That rules out mothers and fathers, husbands and wives and their assorted relatives like children which of course the state raises. The people are all clones of course which simplifies the social stratification. A variety of drugs and bottle baby manufacturing ensure no one visibly ages until their “sell by date.” Everyone is designed to be happy by repeated propaganda starting as children so everyone has the same opinions. In case something goes wrong with this happiness, everyone gets a dose regularly of the miracle drug SOMA which smooths out life’s ups and downs without nasty side effects like hangovers and liver disease. Promiscuity is the rule so “erotic play” is started early and everyone screws like rabbits without having to get involved in disrupting practices like love and marriage. Most of the women are freemasons who have all the equipment of a woman but who are conveniently sterile. A freemason has an XX/XY karyotype and if you are a dairy farmer like me, you are well familiar with freemasons as a heifer calf to avoid at all costs. You can’t milk a freemason………but I digress…… As you can imagine, some of these practices did not go over real big in 1931 and his book got some pretty bad reviews at the time. One character is introduced midway into the book, John, who goes by the name “the savage” is rescued from a Southwest Indian reservation where he had the misfortune of being born to Linda, a woman who got trapped accidentally behind the high voltage fences of the reservation. The natives were locked inside their reservation and allowed to maintain their lifestyle because the area had little in the way of resources to interest the Utopians who were living in far away England. The savage rails against the prevailing order and eventually goes into exile along with a few Alphas who started to get independent ideas of their own. If you are a fan of dystopian literature, this book is certainly one you need to read. There are certainly parallels with our current civilization replete with propaganda, conventional wisdom, mindless entertainment, and drug induced stupors and of course totalitarian mind control states. Go ahead and make your own parallels. Highly recommended.