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A brave new world?

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Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel, Brave New World, discusses the futuristic World State. The citizens of this unified government are environmentally engineered humans. Huxley was indeed a futurist. He had shared in his novel the concepts of psychological manipulation, classical conditioning, sleeping-learning, and reproductive technology. In fact, the World State is a dystopian society. The unified government of the World State governs the entire planet. There are World Controllers, headquartered in various parts of the world, who oversee the planet’s operations and the activities of the humans.
A novel that was published in 1932 has elements that connect readers with what is happening in 2020. Even 88-years after its release, Brave New World compels us to ask questions and inquire about our present state.
In fact, Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World soon after the end of the First World War. The Wall Street Crash also affected him. Then there was the flu virus that had devastated millions. The Treaty of Versailles had given Europe a new identity. The world was going through a change because of automobile production and the production of airplanes. The mass media of radio and print was also flourishing.
For Huxley and those living in 1932, the world was changing and it was a new world for them. Even then, science and technology were seen as the savior for the humans. Huxley challenged the outlook that the rulers of his era had been promoting. They were talking about peace and the end of wars. They were discussing ending all diseases and curing the ill. Huxley negated their narratives. He was of the view that humans are being controlled by the wealthy and the influential.
What Huxley presented in Brave New World is still a reality in our world today. Huxley discussed genetically engineered test-tube babies. He predicted how the elite would use technology and the media to control humans’ ability to perceive reality and make decisions.
His story is set is a totalitarian era where humans are no more than lab rats. His World State is a place where artifice is the call of the day. Children are conditioned to prioritize consumerism as so are the adults. If we make parallels of the Brave New World with our present state, we will witness shocking comparisons.
For many years, we have been living in a consumerist society. Corporations and brands have been compelling us to purchase goods and services that we may not want. However, the advertisements compel us to make the purchase. Furthermore, mass media, in the form of print, electronic, and digital, has been changing our perceptions about life.
Hollywood has been known for using drama and adventure to seed the elements of fear in our minds. It is also known for diverting our attention from our present state into a dream-like state of fiction. The concept of a totalitarian government as presented in the book may not have transpired in reality. However, governments today are being under the influence of the corporations and the elites. Brave New World could be used as a case study by research students to understand how elites govern our lives. They have been changing our perceptions through mass media. Take the US invasion of Iraq for instance.
The US electronic media kept talking about how Iraq is going to use its stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction on the world. Soon after the US invasion of Iraq, the Iraqi government collapsed and the WMDs were not discovered. Similar was the case of the 9/11 attacks. Multiple stories have been circulating that discuss how 9/11 was used as a reason by the US to send its troops into Afghanistan.
If we look at the present situation, in the year 2020, we will find striking similarities that match with the dystopian world of the World State. Our lives have been governed by technology of late. However, we are now almost dependent on technology during the Covid-19 era. Because of social distancing and with the purpose of staying at home, we complete our work online.
These tasks include but are not limited to taking classes, completing official work, buying goods, and services. We are indeed living in a new world. Whether it is brave or not, this we cannot comprehend. However, our world has changed and it is edging towards becoming a dystopia.