"Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little to eat; the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may happen to-morrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind."
Our Own Dystopian World
There are many new developments that we had made that would simply horrify our ancestors so says Dvorsky in his article, Why modern society would appear completely dystopian to a visitor from the past. We have made improvements in the movements of liberty and equality which would send shock through our ancestors’ systems and make them keel over from the anxiety or even from laughter filled with disbelief. Firstly, people in the past feared many things that may inflict harm on their religious rights, or rights in general which we still go through today. Oddly enough, today, the belief system is beginning to dwindle, even with the Bible Belt(Dvorsky). Religion and religious institutions was considered the major backbone of past society, maybe due to the oh-so almighty presence of a god that watched our every doing and everything we were so clueless to we placed in the responsibility of other worldly hands. Back in 1961, President Eisenhower made his claim in his farewell address about “the potential for disastrous rise of misplaced power” (O’Hehir). The former president has a point. The people of the past would think our countries’ governments have tightly constricted our neck with a leash and pull us around everywhere with everything we do. Or maybe even farther back in time, way before the World Wars, how would civilizations react to the idea of autocratic communism? The first settlers may relate the chokehold of their monarch back in Europe to dictators. What about war? When we are close to declaring war or already having unnecessary war time, would the people of the past shake their heads out expecting that we already had learned our lessons? If we were to break the treaties and truces and World War 3 were to break out, I believe anyone surviving is at an all-time low. Then, we see in Brave New World that the people have become like robots. Don’t we have that today? Dvorsky claims that even an Industrial Revolution worker would see our factory lines as a nightmare. The assembly line has come a long way, and we humans work like machines in them. Packaging food, clothing, and technology, people—all in lines—wait for the previous person or machine to do one part of the assembly so he/she can automatically do the next part of the sequence. Sounds a bit robotic, don’t you think? Even furthering that, many of the super factories we have in our world are filled with workers who get so little pay compared to what they should really get—we can look at China here for example. Now we jump to, what, interracial marriage? OH, how obscene! The people from the day and age of slave and racial discrimination would panic seeing all the races becoming one. Better yet, the slave owner back in pre-Civil War America would be outraged to see President Barack Obama in office. And don’t get started on same-sex marriage, people used to believe that was a mental disorder that could be fixed with the tug and push of conditioning. Remember, religion played, or still plays, a big opponent against homosexuality, the players believing that it is a threat to society. Come on everyone, they are not going to burst into your home, and drive everyone you love and care about into homosexuality. Not to start a war, but, I’m pretty sure there are more people ringing my doorbell to get my family to convert into a certain religion. Besides, homosexuality was not and is not a choice. When did you choose to be a heterosexual, and was it hard to come out to your parents that you are straight? Drop a little bit of thought on that. Brave New World also looked down on obesity which is a growing problem in today’s world. Being inhumanly slim and skinny or fit and buff is on top of the pedestal with hundred, thousands, millions of people reaching out trying to achieve causing even more problems! We have people resulting to eating disorders that can kill a person just to obtain the impossible aesthetics of that obscenely photoshopped man/woman on the front cover of a magazine. World State is like Adolf Hitler trying to create the world of blue eyes and blond hair, the perfect human body. But who is to say what the perfect image is. Like I said, we look at the unrealistic, disgustingly modified that literally no one can achieve on a magazine cover, and say it is “perfect”… perfect and digitally enhance so much that that is not a real human being. We live in a dystopian world some way or another.
Sick, Sick, Sick by BaysideOfficial
Sounds of Dystopia
"Sick Sick Sick" performed by the band Bayside is a good a sample to represent a Dystopian society.
“I’m bound by law to hell…” All the citizens of World State, in Brave New World’s society, are subjected to the laws, or one can say all of the social conditionings are law; the people live and work by these rules endlessly without a question, and John would consider World State a place of hell. The people are consumers to a technologic and psychological dictator and have no idea of this, it just flies over their head.
“Humans have their needs, living in a fairytale, it’s tearing at the seams…” these people are supposedly living a dream, a world of utmost perfection. They are living a world of false happiness and lies, and the people do not suspect that. They are conditioned to be so clueless to satisfy World State’s motto, specifically, stability. Even before conditioning, the basic human needs can burst through the “seams” and make conditioning more difficult than what is intended to be necessary.
“Your sexcapades deliver checks…” the people participate in orgy-porgy and polygamy. But, what about other aspects of sex? Reproductive rights for both men and women have been taken away where traditional intercourse to produce offspring is highly looked down upon. However, by controlling sex, World State produces clones the Delta and the Epsilons doing the hard labor where so-say “checks” come from. “Sexcapades” with rewarded promiscuity and lack of commitment are how World State also sticks to their motto.
John Montague and Lenina Capulet
John uses Romeo and Juliet in context to his relationship with Lenina—a forbidden love. They are from two totally different worlds, World State and the Reservations, both of which look down on the other. Their worlds kept them apart from each other, much like the Montague and Capulet house. John desires love, to have Lenina, and claim her as his beloved, but he knows he cannot. He respects her everything and does not want to defile her which is shown in chapter nine. Oddly enough however, Lenina is far from being miss perfection, aside from her bodacious and vivacious beauty. She subjects herself to the world of promiscuity, and is more lust-seeking. She may have admitted to wanting to be fully committed to John, but her behavior to take him as hers scares him off. In chapter thirteen, under soma, she throws herself upon John in her [near-] naked glory as her way to tell him that he can have her. The action drives John into a state of rage. He put Lenina on a high pedestal, like a goddess of virtue, but she clearly showed she was not what he expected her to be. This can contrast to Romeo not knowing of Juliet’s true background, and when he did, following events started to lose control. They were two forces that clashed and proceeded to spiral into obscene wreckage.
Modifying Genetics: Yes or No?
ONLY to an extent should genetics be modified. I personally believe that as long as we have firm control over any technological advances that prove to not be dangerous in any form, genetic modifications should be promoted. Today, scientific research for animals has proved increasingly useful. Genetically modified animals have been used for endless uses such as use in pharmaceuticals, harvest organs, tissues, and cells for transplant, production of materials, and so much more (FDA). Animals are also engineered to find developments that will help us become disease resistant (FDA). As you can see, this development would drastically help us in the health industry. To this day, we are already using modifications for agriculture as well. Research for plants are being used to get rid of wild plants on the farm (GMO compass) We are trying to find ways to reduce pests and weeds from destroying our crops that are becoming less and less plentiful for us available to eat. With more destruction to any agriculture could cause too much harm. We are already putting steroids into our plants and animals to make them bigger, produce more products, and increase economy as well. However, these GMs are dangerous and can affect our health. The steroids are second-handedly going into our own systems and contaminating us even further than necessary. What we need is to figure out a safer method to modify and engineer genetics. Though, even the human genome is infinite along with so many other organisms it would be hard to pinpoint little bits and pieces of genetics. Could we make a super human, or mega animals, or the ultimate crop? Maybe in millennia or so, the future is the unknown and we do not know what can happen in sciences that would help our society. Cloning is indeed possible, we have performed it on dolly the sheep, but also, it was deemed unethical. Morals and ethics are also some obstacles for the human society. Brave New World displayed cloning to be normal; the Deltas and the Epsilons. They were used for what we would consider low-class jobs, but are treated no more than puppets compared to the higher castes. Should we treat other humans like disposables and recyclables? If we were to clone and restart one’s own life again, aren’t we fighting death? Just imagine, your grandma is cloned but again, you have to witness her die again. Is it really worth the pain and agony to put someone you love and care about in agony again. Or reversal of age, we have botox and plastic surgery, but adding on extra years to the fullest extent rather than just physically? That’s a stretch. Over population would become an issue as well. Even if we did find a way to perfectly modify our crops so we can solve world hunger, our own world as a whole, how would the Earth sustain every single human being eating up the non-reusable resources? We would then have to stretch our resources and researches to find other ways to keep our atmosphere intact and not have The Day After Tomorrow become a reality.
The Modern Savage
True Liberty and Equality for All
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Dvorsky, George. "Why modern society would appear completely dystopian to a visitor from the past." Io9. 26 Oct. 2012. 06 Mar. 2014 <http://io9.com/5955264/why-modern-society-would-appear-completely-dystopian-to-a-visitor-from-the-past>.
FDA. "Animal & Veterinary." Fact Sheet. 16 Jan. 2009. U S Food and Drug Administration. 06 Mar. 2014 <http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/DevelopmentApprovalProcess/GeneticEngineering/GeneticallyEngineeredAnimals/ucm113597.htm>.
GMO Compass. "Biodiversity." : Threatened By Genetically Modified Plants? 06 Mar. 2014 <http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/safety/environmental_safety/166.biodiversity_threatened_genetically_modified_plants.html>.
Huxley, Aldous. "Brave New World by Aldous Huxley." Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. 06 Mar. 2014 <http://huxley.net/bnw/>.
O'Hehir, Andrew. "America the Brave New World: The United States Is Realizing the Dystopian Nightmares of Our Best Science Fiction." Alternet. 6 June 2013. 07 Mar. 2014 <http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/america-brave-new-world-united-states-realizing-dystopian-nightmares-our-best>.