While not directly influenced by Brave New World, I created this dystopian “surrogate robot” piece
I’m trying to better understand Huxley’s thinking behind Brave New World. A few clear signals:
The factory production line was seen as a de-humanizing job – humans that were “manufactured” and conditioned to not think for themselves were designed to work at factories without complaining. I had a class in college “History of the American Labor Union” – between the poor working conditions and low wages, and the fact that the bosses, politicians and owners (robber barons) reaped the rewards off the backs of the factory workers caused serious strife and tension – which led to strikes an violence. Calling the time period “AF” for after Ford is clear – what he thought of Ford – I read that some workers compared Ford to Hitler on their strike signs – way before Hitler became overused and a cliche, and before WWII.
Ford Motor Plant Strike and Violence
Humans were all invitro fertilized – no more family “births”. Family intimacy as far as bearing children being gross is a bit out there. This one has me perplexed a bit – but I couldn’t help but think about today’s world of online porn, meetups and promiscuous online web sites – which acts as a surrogate for human contact. I don’t get the 1930’s reference – but I’m guessing maybe there were new mores that seemed shocking at that time. Wikipedia says Huxley was repulsed by the new youthful promiscuity – but I am not believing this – unless he was being very facetious – he seemed to like to experiment with drugs and seemed quite liberal – there is no way he would have moved to the US and end up in LA if he were truly repulsed. I say he was curious and was in fact attracted to the lack of mores in the US as compared to the UK. There is a reference to Jazz – and maybe Jazz would have seemed “suggestive” to someone who was straight – laced. And drug use in Jazz circles was a thing. There is a connection there.
The New World Order – League of Nations (forerunner to the United Nations) does seem to tie all of this together. Here is what Wikipedia says:
“Its primary goals, as stated in its Covenant, included preventing wars through collective security and disarmament and settling international disputes through negotiation and arbitration. Other issues in this and related treaties included labour conditions, just treatment of native inhabitants, human and drug trafficking, the arms trade, global health, prisoners of war, and protection of minorities in Europe.“
NOW – that says it all – it seems like Huxley used the League of Nations “Covenant” as a jumping off point and even road map for everything else. I could see where there was overreach on part of the League of Nations that would have cut into national sovereignty, and that might be the crux – he probably thought – sure – lets work together toward peace – but adding the other stuff must have seemed absurd enough (and far too over reaching) which gave him the impetus to criticize it in satire.