Tuesday, January 9, 2018
How to enslave a person.
“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe There isn’t any set guideline which proves a person is free, it is usually based off a person’s belief that they are free. This can allow for a higher power to manipulate the feeling so if asked would believe they are free there is no better example of this than Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, wherein the citizens of The World State have been manipulated to believe that they have freedom and are oblivious to the true tyrannical state that they are living in, this is achieved by first limiting the access of information to civilians, the out casting of social and physical norms and by removing the identity. Therefore, People can never truly know if they are free as any information given to us could be fake and forged, this is what Aldous Huxley was trying to demonstrate: Freedom is not real because we can never know if we are free.
Information is the most important thing in the world, because of it, we can learn from our mistakes and our success, or be able to spread key facts about something bringing attention to it. Yet there is no way for us to truly know that what we are learning is true, If the information we are learning has been changed or manipulated or only comes from one place and the source is credible it can change a person’s beliefs, thoughts and, ideals. This manipulation of the flow of information has been utilized to manipulate people in Brave New world mostly to brainwash the minds of the civilians, limiting of information from books is key for keeping the idea of freedom in the minds of the people. For example, Shakespearean novels are not allowed as the idea of a society that is based on love and tragedy would give the idea of a different society and way of life to live in this allows people to relate there life to the novels which can bring to attention the inhumanity the civilians of the World State have to live with, basically if a person is able to compare their life to another the person can see how their life is not free. Mustapha Mond states this best while reading a book and deciding whether or not to publish it “The author’s mathematical treatment of the conception of purpose is novel and highly ingenious, but heretical and, so far as the present social order is concerned, dangerous and potentially subversive. Not to be published.” (Huxley 154), Mustapha Mond rejects the book as its ideas on science and religion can awaken people to the oppressive nature of the World State, potentially causing a revolution. Moreover, Feelies allow for a backup layer of brainwashing to the people going around in life, for example the feelie lenina and John, the whole movie attempts to portray the idea of falling in love with a person to be a funny thing, furtherly removing the ability to have a two-sided look into life. “You all remember,” said the Controller, in his strong deep voice, “you all remember, I suppose, that beautiful and inspired saying of Our Ford’s: History is bunk. History,” he repeated slowly, “is bunk.” (40) Secondly, the only form of media in the World State are feelies compared to our world which has multiple different source with different opinions and bias, the manipulated World State form of Information is made to only allow for propaganda to enter the persons thought process removing their freedom to have a free mind about politics. The Feelies do this exactly
“the negro had a helicopter accident, fell on his head. Thump! whata twinge through the forehead! “A chorus of ow’s and aie’s went up from the audience. The concussion knocked all the negro’s conditioning into a cocked hat. He developed for the Beta blonde an exclusive and maniacal passion. She protested. He persisted. There were struggles, pursuits, an assault on a rival, finally a sensational kidnapping” (146).
During the feelie, the ideas of the World State are enforced, the idea of a relationship or falling in love with someone is seen as a joke. The morals of a person are changed and reinforced. This manipulation media changes how the people watching feel and strips them of any unnecessary thoughts as the feelies force you to think of the fundamentals like monogamy in a specific way and only in that way. Finally, Our history. It is very important it allow us to look back on the past and see our errors, or get a look to both sides of a battle and can identify our ancestors and the roots of us this in turn gives us individuality. Limiting the access to books and information to this or only allowing it to come from one source can allow for the one source to manipulate or remove information from the past to keep the ideas of the source in the light. The world State has done this perfectly, once the nine years’ war ended and the World State had formed the destruction of all novels, museums and monuments came this was so to remove any shroud of the real past and allow for the World State to change the flow of information going to the civilians. “You all remember,” said the Controller, in his strong deep voice, “you all remember, I suppose, that beautiful and inspired saying of Our Ford’s: History is bunk. History,” he repeated slowly, “is bunk.” The change of history to make Ford the god is a prime example of manipulation of history it is used to give the citizens a fake figure to love and adore so as to keep them under, when it’s taken away we have nothing to challenge others with so no one will notice a totalitarian society. Therefore, Information is so important to keeping freedom.
In our modern-day society, people fall in love, and couples have kids every day, this is normal in our society and having this freedom also allows for us to be humanized, for example soldiers fighting in a war that have a family to go back to will fight harder compared to one who doesn’t. This is not found in Brave New World as the world state tries to dehumanize people by taking away 3 major social norms. Firstly, the idea of monogamy or having relationships that last more than a week are quite normal in our society, relationships can lead to a family. This is of course not allowed in The World State as most relationships are for sex and things like love and jealousy are non-existent, this acts as a buffer to keep from a person rebelling as if a person has a significant other to look out for it will result in people wanting to be more proactive and attentive in society which can uncover the dystopia lurking underneath the fancy tech. The ingraining of this can be shown when John reads Romeo and Juliet to hemholzs, “”who’s going to get excited about a boy having a girl or not having her?” (162) Furthermore, an outcome of love is usually a child. The idea of a family compared to single life or just being in a relationship further enforces the humanization of people, a person with a family is less likely to murder a person because they can understand what would happen if you rob a family of their child, yet they are more likely to do rash things to save their family. This continuation of the already frowned upon monogamous relationship the act of giving birth is also removed from the World State and the children are now made genetically, “These,” he waved his hand, “are the incubators.” And opening an insulated door he showed them racks upon racks of numbered test-tubes. “The week’s supply of ova. Kept,” he explained, “at blood heat; whereas the male gametes,” This further removal of the freedoms for a person to choose to enter a relationship or have a child, ultimately further removing a persons will to rebel or notice anything wrong in The World State.
One of the most important things for a functioning society are the identities of the citizens, it is what allows specific people to stand up for what they believe it allows for specific people to be picked out of a crowd. A person’s Identity is the only thing that others can see, it is how we are recognized, loved and hated. Without identity, everyone is just another creature, there is no debate or thoughts and emotions, taking away the identity of citizens is the best way to oppress people without them knowing and the World State does this perfectly. Firstly, the idea of no individualism, like identity it is what allows you to differ yourself form others and for others to differ from you, but with the introduction of the bronakoski twins this is taken away.
“O brave new world.” In his mind the singing words seemed to change their tone. They had mocked him through his misery and remorse, mocked him with how hideous a note of cynical derision! Fiendishly laughing, they had insisted on the low squalor, the nauseous ugliness of the nightmare. Now, suddenly, they trumpeted a call to arms. “O brave new world.”.
Having 96 people of the same look colour ethnicity and DNA makes the thought and idea of you being individual and you having your own thoughts is almost non-existent. Furthering the idea of individualism and the lack thereof is the caste system! The best way to remove a person’s identity, simply put if an entire group of people are boiled down to just being one type of person capable of only doing one type of task can take away any sort of individualism the person may have as they are just a group not one person but one group that can only do 1 thing. Take for example the elevator controller he as an epsilon is one of the lowest tears in the caste system, and when he reaches the roof of the building he is working on he screams out in joy ” Oh, roof!’ he repeated in a voice of rapture. He was as though suddenly and joyfully awakened from a dark annihilating stupor. “Roof!” He smiled up with a kind of doggily expectant adoration into the faces of his passengers.” The man’s life has only been about the building he is working at, and reaching the roof is his freedom the man had his entire identity taken away and was just the elevator guy, the roof to him was what he considered to be free. Lastly, is the fact that everything is shared between everyone else “But everyone belongs to everyone else,” he concluded, citing the hypnopediac proverb.” This phrase is important to the World States efforts to remove individualism from the minds of people, this is because the idea that no one owns anything and everyone belongs to one another, this takes away a person’s felling of being themselves, having to live in a society where you have nothing to yourself that you can be proud of or care about this demoralize the citizens. Therefore, the idea of Identify is the most important thing that people will hold onto when their other freedoms are taken away but removing it will finally remove all aspects of a person’s freedom.
To conclude, the people in Brave New World are no freer than pigs in a pig pen. The World State has managed to completely take away the freedoms of every single citizen living there. The Idea of freedom has manipulated on the three major points, information, social norms and identity so much that, many citizens will not notice the totalitarian society they are living in only outsiders like John would notice the problems.
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2007. Print.