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Old 08-21-2010, 02:06 PM   #1
MartinParish
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What's wrong with Brave New World?

All right. I might as well say it. I'm tired of hearing Brave New World described as a dystopia when the scenario and the society in the book are absolutely ideal. It is a utopia, in fact it is the situation that we ought to work towards because it's the only kind of society on Earth that can possibly make everyone everywhere happy.

Why do I say that? Well, let's face it. If you give most people lots of drugs with no side effects, lots of sex, lots of mindless entertainment and a steady job, they'll be happy as clowns. That's what most people truly want. That's why when most people think of a party or a good time alcohol is involved. You or I might not find that fulfilling, but why should our wishes and desires be imposed on other people? Are you going to force them to choose your definition of happiness, whatever that may be? And for those of us bookworms like myself who find mind-altering drugs and endless online multiplayer games boring, if I recall correctly from the book we would be deported to Iceland instead, where we could indulge our passion for whatever pursuits best suit us. How could it get any better? We get what we want -- everybody else gets what they want -- this is a Socialist paradise, and as a Socialist I consider it a highly desirable state of affairs. There was only one real problem with the society in the book, namely the eugenics element with the betas and alphas and so forth, and I didn't care for that at all, of course, but I think that's an unnecessary element that could be omitted in practice.

Unfortunately, owing to the innate perversity of human nature, I think it's unlikely we'll ever see BNW translated into reality. I do not, however, consider it a dystopia, nor do I see how you can describe as a dystopia a society that has managed to make all its citizens happy
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:06 PM   #2
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Old 08-21-2010, 05:15 PM   #3
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Isn't that what Koestler proposed at the end of Ghost in The Machine (i.e. that humanity was screwed unless we fixed ourselves with drugs)?

The main problem that I see with this idea is your statement "That's what most people truly want". It's a well-known fact that everyone wants the same things, right? Also, it's a very tiered society, based on evaluations that are, presumably, infallible. That would work too, right?

Is this some kind of April 1st thing (is it all fool's day in SoCal?) - or what?
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:28 PM   #4
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I'm thinkin' this is a veiled plug for his book.
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:53 AM   #5
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The book wasn't really about 'most people', though, Martin. That was the backdrop. The story was about the singular 'others' who were still driven by special human qualities like the spirit of adventure and risk-taking and freedom of ideas and emotions. As in all good books, the hero represents our own, often unfulfilled, need for liberty and for happiness ... on our own terms. The automaton society was, to these 'others', a waking nightmare. Best wished. Neil
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:37 AM   #6
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:48 AM   #7
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:58 AM   #8
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I agree with Martin - no way can a society were everyone is happy be called a dystopia.

I thought the Betas and Alphas were an intrinsic part of the setup - they each thought they had the best deal, and were happy with their lot.

'Brave New World' is one of the few books that changed the way I view the world.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
I'm thinkin' this is a veiled plug for his book.
Can self-promotion go too far?
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