Brave New World & 1984
After reading a novel by authors George Orwell and Aldous Huxley, I have come to the conclusion that Huxley made the most realistic prediction for the future, in his book entitled Brave New World. He predicted a futuristic society in which people have their individuality stripped and their sexuality mandated by the government. In addition, they live in a conformist society that is based on consumerism. The biggest thing that Huxley focused on however, was a corrupt society. He predicted sexual freedom, brainwashing, the over-use of harmful drugs, and a population too large to equally accommodate all inhabitants. It is to be thought of as the most perfect society, yet the harsh reality reveals that it is the perfect example of a dystopia. Huxley wrote this book as a way to warn us of the future to come, and although we do not live in a futuristic society like the people of London in his book, in 2018 we still hold all of the components of his fictional dystopia.
“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it”. This statement made by Huxley in his work can be applied to the society and government that is currently in place in North Korea. The regime has been able to turn corruption into strength and stability, under the dictatorship of Kim Jong Un. The country has a million-man army defending them and their strong and seemingly nationalistic citizens. The people of the country have to show nothing but the highest respect and admiration for their leader, or else they will be forced into political prison or concentration camps. North Korea is a society that is enslaved, and far from open. If a member of King Jong Un’s regime finds a citizen to be speaking badly of or showing disrespect, they will enact punishments onto them. Even executions can be ordered. This is to make it seem as if the nation is not under criticism.
Relating back to Huxley’s quote, although Un hasn’t used a pharmacological method to control his people, he has used something debatably more powerful; fear. The people of North Korea have had their liberties taken from them, but they do not speak of it because they afraid of the punishment that would follow. Under the rule of this dictator, humans have given up their freedom in order to remain “on the good side” of their leader so to speak. In addition, children in North Korea are taught at an early age to look at their leader with great respect and affection. He should hold the power equal to God in their minds. He is brainwashing the children, so that when they grow up they are easier to control. The real feelings of the people are oppressed, as they do not matter in their dictators eyes. He is power hungry, and has created a society in which people submitted themselves to his servitude. In Huxley’s book, Brave New World, scientific and technological advances have created a society in which everybody subjects themselves to following each rule and regulation. A hypothetical drug called SOMA is used frequently, in order for people to enter a holiday in which they are unconscious yet conscious in a paradise, at the same time. By taking this, they are in fact stripping themselves of their liberties, and enjoying it.
“People will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think” (Aldous Huxley). In Brave New World, the government provides the people with a drug called SOMA, which allows them to completely escape the realities of their pain, distress, and anger and turn it into emotions and feelings of happiness and pleasure. They are “adoring the technologies that undo their capacities to think” through this drug. They inflict pleasure onto themselves, and by doing so, are subjecting themselves to being completely controlled by their government. The members of this futuristic society have found a way to embrace their oppression, as it is who they are. Since they were created scientifically, in a lab, they have never had a real sense of who they are. People’s futures and careers are predetermined by scientists in a lab. They go through their whole lives without complaining, as they believe that this is their destiny. They are completely oppressed and silenced, yet obey their government and still continue to be joyous and prosper in their consumer-based society.
This idea can be connected to today, in America. Citizens are blindly subjecting themselves to horrendous oppression, yet they adore it. These people have given power to a man who doesn’t have nearly the qualifications to be president, and although he is seen as charismatic, it is in more of a class-clown type of way. So, then why do the American people subject themselves to be ruled under this man, in complete oppression? The answer could be many things but one possibility is that they are hoping for change. They hope that Trump can do all these amazing things in the future, like he said he was going to. So, the people suffer through the questionable comments and decisions he has made in his term, because they believe it is going to be alright in the end,. However, bny doing so, they have unknowingly oppressed themselves to him. Just like the people in Brave New World submit themselves to pleasure, the American people submit themselves to pain, in order to be controlled.
“There is no swifter route to the corruption of thought than through the corruption of language” (George Orwell). In 1984, George Orwell states that “there is no swifter route to the corruption of thought than through the corruption of language.” In this book, a main focus is on a newly formed language entitled “Newspeak.” It was formulated by the totalitarian overlords of Oceania, as well as overseer Big Brother. The main purpose of creating this new language was to eliminate free speech as well as free thought for all citizens. The people of Oceania are so controlled to the point where they are constantly watched through telescreens, on edge because of the thought police, and can’t even express themselves as a new language strips them of their freedom of speech. They have been absolutely corrupted through language. As Orwell stated, through this corruption of language, the government is able to actually corrupt their thought, resulting in complete domination of the people. Every aspect of their lives are watched and controlled by the government, and fictional guardian known as Big Brother.
In American society today, free speech can be seen as one of the most valuable laws that we have in place. Americans are allowed to voice their opinions, petition the government, and practice their own religions without oppression. The quote given by George Orwell shows just how fast our society would deteriorate, if free speech and thought weren’t so highly valued. We can see, in 1984 just how corrupt a society is where the people can not think or say what they want to, because it goes in contrast with the government. Nowadays, America would crumble to pieces if people couldn’t fight for what they wanted, and share their opinions. Of course, there are other countries around the world that do not have this right, such as Libya, Eritrea, and Uzbekistan. However, there are many, many more. Arguably, a country can not properly function if the people can not stick up for what they believe in. 1984 shows us that, and so does this quote. If we were to have our language taken away, we would soon after have our thoughts stripped from us as well.
“Whoever controls the image and information of the past determines what and how future generations will think; whoever controls the information and images of the present determines how those same people will view the past.” “He who controls the past commands the future. He who commands the future conquers the past” (George Orwell). In this quote by George Orwell, he is explaining how the ways that the government controls the past determines what the future generations to come will be taught and believe. The government has full control over all history. They rewrite history very frequently, in order to preserve the nation as a great and prosperous one.
Eventually, it will be impossible to know which events in history actually happened, and which ones were fabricated by the government. In addition, the Party members who are doing such things also have control over the future of events. They can predict events, and if the rulings don’t align with their predictions, they can simply rewrite it and alter history. This same idea can unfortunately be connected to the way that China twists their own history, to this very day. The majority of Chinese high school students are taught that the only wars their country ever fought were in self-defense. This is not true of course, because of the invasion of Tibet in 1950 as well as the Vietnamese war in 1979.They’re idea of teaching is simply “facts”, and not explaining why. They want their students to see China as the perfect country, by omitting the terrible historical events.
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