Already half way through this book, after starting it on Monday, I am completely enthralled with how well Aldous Huxley has either predicted or described the outcomes of the 20th century. He wrote the original novel, Brave New World, in 1931. Nearly 30 years later, post WWII, he felt compelled to reevaluate his time frame for Western Civilization approaching the BNW status.
The first chapter’s prediction is falling flat, that of rampant overpopulation. He thought humans (and the major world religions) could not be convinced to use birth control on a wide enough scale to slow growth. The religions nearly all officially caved (or practically, as in the case of the RCC, sorry to be so blunt) to contraceptive use. Huxley did not forsee the major motivator behind people wanting less children: more wealth. The traditionally industrialized countries are facing a chronic birth dearth and the industrializing nations are not far behind. Give it another 20 years. Our ancient friends of famine, pestilence and war shuffle behind the curtains….
The rest of the book (am half way through) is an incredible summation of propaganda, democracy, capitalism, and totalitarianism that will scare the living daylights out of you. He is full of one liners or ironic word pictures. Here are a couple:
The survival of democracy depends on the ability of large numbers of people to make realistic choices in the light of adequate information.
The advertiser of dairy products would dearly love to tell his readers and listeners that all their troubles are caused by the machinations of a gang of godless international margarine manufacturers, and that it is their patriotic duty to march out and burn the opressor’s factories.
[Had to throw in that last quote for my real food friends. Wink, wink.]
If you are quite blessed enough to find the book at your local library or used book shop….READ IT.