BRAVE NEW WORLD?
A Defence Of Paradise-Engineering
Daring New World (1932) is one of the the majority of bewitching and insidious performs of books ever written. An hyperbole?
Tragically, no . Brave New World has come to act as the phony symbol for any regime of universal happiness. For sure, Huxley was composing a satirical piece of fictional, not clinical prophecy. Hence to treat his masterpiece while ill-conceived futurology rather than a function of great books might seem to miss the actual. Yet the knee-jerk response of " It's Brave New World! " to any blueprint intended for chemically-driven happiness has late research into paradise-engineering for any sentient lifestyle. So how really does Huxley turn a future in which we're all notionally happy in to the archetypal dystopia? If it's formally feasible, exactly what is wrong with using biotechnology to get rid of mental pain totally? Brave " new world " is a great unsettling, loveless and even scary place. It is because Huxley endows his " ideal" culture with features calculated to alienate his audience. Commonly, reading BNW elicits the very same disturbing thoughts in the audience which the society it describes has notionally vanquished - not a sense of delighted anticipation. Therefore BNW does not, and isn't very intended by simply its creator to, evoke just how great our lives could be if the human being genome had been intelligently rewritten. In the time of post-genomic medicine, our DNA may very well be spliced and edited thus we can all get pleasure from life-long bliss, awesome top experiences, and a range of outrageously good designer-drugs. Nor will Huxley's fairly sympathetic accounts of the life of the Fierce, ferocious on the Reservation convey just how nasty the old regime of pain, disease and unhappiness can be. If you think maybe it does, then you enjoy a great enviably sheltered life and an enviably cosy imagination. For it can all sugar-coated pseudo-realism. In Brave New World, Huxley contrives to exploit the anxieties of his lout audience about both Soviet Communism and Fordist American capitalism. This individual taps in to, and then passes, our revulsion at Pavlovian-style behavioural fitness and eugenics. Worse, it is strongly recommended that the price of general happiness could be the sacrifice of the very most hallowed shibboleths of our tradition: " motherhood", " home", " family", " freedom", even " love". The exchange produces an insipid happiness which unworthy with the name. Their evocation arouses our unrelaxed and distaste. In BNW, happiness derives from consuming mass-produced items, sports including Obstacle Golfing and Centrifugal Bumble-puppy, promiscuous sex, " the feelies", and most famously of all, a supposedly ideal pleasure-drug, soma. As ideal pleasure-drugs move, soma underwhelms. It's not really a utopian wonderdrug at all. It does make you substantial. Yet it's more akin to a hangoverless tranquilliser or an opiate - or possibly a psychic anaesthetising SSRI like Prozac -- than a genuinely life-transforming pocima. Third-millennium neuropharmacology, by contrast, can deliver a greatly richer product-range of designer-drugs to purchase. For a start, soma is a very one-dimensional euphoriant. It offers rise to only a short, unempathetic and intellectually boring well-being. Evidently, taking soma doesn't give Bernard Marx, the disaffected sleep-learning expert, more than a affordable thrill. Neither does it produce him pleased with his train station in life. Ruben the Savage commits suicide soon after taking soma [guilt and despair delivered of serotonin exhaustion!? ]. The drug has to be better than (promiscuous) sex -- the only sexual brave fresh worlders try out. But a regimen of soma will not deliver nearly anything sublime or life-enriching. It doesn't catalyse any kind of mystical epiphanies, intellectual discoveries or life-defining insights. It will not in any way showcase personal development. Instead, it provides mindless, inauthentic " imbecile happiness" - a vacuous escapism which makes people at ease with...