I first tried to read Brave New World when I was very young, perhaps too young to comprehend the deepest meaning of the Aldous Huxley famous book. A few years later, I read it again, and I then I was able to appreciate Huxley’s dystopian analysis in a world in which a totalitarian government controlled society by the use of science and technology. There were no families, religions, or ideas. There was no individuality, everyone belonged to everybody else and everyone, thanks to soma, was happy. It is something like the Borg in Star Trek TNG, the cyborgs whose mission was to assimilate humanity.
Women, in Huxley’s world were weaker and perfectly passive, reflecting, perhaps, Huxley’s misogyny and the social status of women of his own time. Reading becomes an act of rebellion and if you don’t fit in, you are exiled in a far off island.
Twenty-seven years after the publication of the Brave New World, in 1958, Aldous Huxley published the Brave New World Revisited (originally written under the title Enemies of Freedom), a non-fiction philosophical and scientific exploration of the themes he discussed in his dystopian novel, such as overpopulation, over-organisation, morality, freedom, propaganda, brainwashing, etc, as well as a closely observed appraisal of the trends during the time of the writing.
Huxley observes that there are impersonal forces, such as overpopulation and accelerated over- organisation (bureaucracy) that push in the direction of less and less freedom while technological progress drives the world to the concentration of economic and political power and the development of a society controlled (ruthlessly in the totalitarian states) by Big Business and Big Government.
Huxley goes through the various predictions he has made in the Brave New World and he is discouraged to see things are moving faster towards a real Brave New World. He insists that it is essential to be educated for freedom and do whatever we can to preserve the value of human individual, while resisting the forces that try to limit individual freedom.
Huxley’s pessimistic predictions haven’t turned out true, yet, but this is a thought-provoking analysis.
Below a rare 1958 Mike Wallace interview with Aldous Huxley