Huxley’s 21st century utopia
by Emily Watson
“The greatest triumphs of propaganda have been accomplished, not by doing something, but by refraining from doing. Great is the truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth.”
It would be fascinating to have dinner with Aldous Huxley in 2015. To speak to him of life in the twenty-first century, what has become the norm and what has become unsayable, and generally bring him up to speed on how the world has changed since he died in 1963. The author of one of the twentieth century’s greatest books, the dystopian Brave New World, would bring a particularly insightful eye to the practices of modern Britain.
Perhaps he might feel a keen depression, together with a sense of vindication as to how humankind has “progressed” in the last half century. After all, he wrote in his 1946 foreword to the new edition of Brave New World, first published in 1931, “…it looks as though Utopia were far closer to us than anyone, only fifteen years ago, could have imagined…Today it seems quite possible that the horror may be upon us in a single century.”
Huxley came to mind in the wake of the videos released in the past few months, revealing how Planned Parenthood harvests the organs of aborted babies and sells them for profit, all in the name of medical research. The videos contain a number of extremely disturbing scenes, which would not look out of place in a dystopian horror movie. The reaction of any normal person (or “Savage” as the one properly human character in Brave New World is referred to) is revulsion and outrage. Yet the response, or more accurately the lack of response, from the worldwide media is chilling, as are the reactions of people on social media. Hashtags such as #IStandWithPlannedParenthood started trending on Facebook and Twitter, and President Obama, who is on record praising the abortion provider for their “reproductive health services” to women, refuses to strip the organisation of their federal funding, despite clear proof of the illegality of their actions. Articles written by pro-lifers met with the normal predictable spiel about a woman’s right to choose (even in these cases, where the woman was not actually consulted about the use to which her aborted baby’s organs would be put) or the sanctity of medical research which apparently justifies partial birth abortions where a child is killed during delivery.
Such moral blindness is reminiscent of the conditioning which takes place in Great Britain under the regime of the Huxleyan World State.