Monday, November 17, 2008

Oh Brave New World With So Many Neo-Alphas In It!

I belong to a reading group that will soon be (re)reading Huxley's Brave New World, one of my favorite books. It makes me wonder if he would think the dystopia he imagined in his book has come to pass. I believe he forecast that his Brave New World would come sooner than later.

What I see is a world of people who want desperately to be Alphas. Who wouldn't? In Huxley's universe, the Alphas are at the top of a caste system, but in that universe, everyone is brainwashed (for lack of a better word) to be happy with his or her given caste, so those at the bottom rung don't care that they work in sewers, or aren't as smart.

In the real world, everyone can't be Alphas, and everyone isn't happy with his or her "caste". I would submit, however that it is arguably easier for an "Alpha" to maintain his or her status than it is for an "Epsilon"--the lowest caste in Huxley's universe-- to scratch or claw to the top, and I think, as a result, the "Epsilons" in today's world reach a certain acceptance of their lot. And today's "Alphas" have NO interest in giving up theirs.

Meanwhile, ours is definitely a use-and-throw away society, like that in Brave New World, whether it's our relationships, or consumer goods.  We all love that Next Big Thing, or we think we may love our boyfriend/girlfriend, until we get bored. And we get bored VERY quickly.

My "Brave New World" would try to strike a balance  between the needs of the "Alphas," to stay on top, and the needs of the "Epsilons", who rightly want to improve their conditions.
Also in my "Brave New World" we would value our relationships  as much or more than we value trying to get "power", whatever that is.

So I think Huxley would be appalled by today's society, even though the world he envisioned in Brave New World is much worse.

You should go read it and make your own assessment.

1 comment:

Yukon said...

Ede's, just want to say I love this post!