Power is Self-Destruction
Power is Self-Destruction In a utopian future, all sense of individualism is transformed to ant colony-like thinking, and no one person truly expresses their feelings.
Individuality has no purpose, each person is created under the influence that everything they do is for the benefit of the community. The people follow their controller, who serves underhandedly as their government; who gives them what they need to constantly stay comfortable and feel nothing but happiness. As originally intended, the government’s role as a democracy was to serve and protect the people, while still encouraging individualism. Aldous Huxley, author of the non-fiction novel Brave New World, portrays that absolute power crushes individualism. When the power of leading a government is taken to the highest echelon; the framework of government control can result in the failure to achieve its true purpose.
Individualism – the word that least defines the citizens of Brave New World. It means each person can make decisions on his own and have say in what they think for themselves, but this is not the case. Citizens of Huxley’s utopian world have been conditioned to believe that their government and controllers provide everything they need to ensure their perpetual happiness. If anything is to go wrong there is soma – a drug created to block out any negative feelings that the citizens may have or to go on mental vacation whenever they want to. Happiness is truly the only feeling that these citizens ever encounter, set by the governing body to ensure that no individual acts differently than how they were conditioned to behave. There is no rebellious thinking and no need for condemnation, as discipline is enforced in creation.
Nothing but power is held by the ten world controllers. As stated by Huxley in his foreward, “… or else one supranatural totalitarian, called into existence by the social chaos resulting from rapid technological progress in general and the atomic revolution in particular, and developing, under the need for efficiency and stability, into the welfare-tyranny of Utopia” (Huxley xvii). The essential aspect of stability is the loss of individualism. The intended purpose of a government is to serve and protect its people. The government in Brave New World, however, lost sight of this as they were concerned with producing stability at the cost of individuality. When a position of power is established to meet the basic needs of people and that power is abused, it leads to a government that substitutes individualism for community stability.
Mustapha Mond, one of the world’s ten controllers who has absolute power and justification over all that happens, creates and enforces all of the rules in order to maintain a utopian society. With a myopic point of view, Mond ensures that people are the way they are because it helps society function. Terms like family, religion, and love are lost and decried in history. Everyone belongs to everyone else. No one truly thinks for himself. Everything is community oriented.
They are conditioned from birth to believe they are perfect. “That’s because we don’t allow them to be like that. We preserve them from diseases. We keep their internal secretions artificially balanced at a youthful equilibrium. We don’t permit their magnesium-calcium ratio to fall below what it was at thirty.
We give them transfusion of young blood. We keep their metabolism permanently stimulated. So, of course, they don’t look like that. Partly,’ he added, ‘because most of them die long before they reach this old creature’s age. Youth almost unimpaired till sixty, and then, crack! the end” (Huxley 111). Even age is set so individuals can not live past the age of sixty.
All throughout their entire lives, the people of Brave New World feel young and healthy. A government’s purpose of serving the people has been altered into classifying them into social classes and giving them pre-determined lives. A permanent sanctuary is set around these citizens; nothing can ever go wrong. Their bodies are conserved until that finite peak when they are destined to die. In the end, the community benefits because are then recycled at their end to milk out that final aspect of their existence.
The Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning is yet another man who is set on the idea of no individualism. His goal is to create more people from the same egg through the Bokanovsky process, shatteringindividuality. When one primordial egg is turned into many others, it depletes the entire idea of having people be themselves and leads to that ant colony-like mentality. They are all the same, with the only distinction being a pre-determined societal class, performing the same tasks day in and day out. There is no variation. One person creates many, there is no limit to the modifications these people make.
“One egg, one embryo, one adult-normality. But a bokanovskified egg will bud, will proliferate, will divide. From eight to ninety-six buds, and every bud will grow into a perfectly formed embryo, and every embryo into a full-sized adult. Making ninety-six human beings grow where only one grew before. Progress” (Huxley 6). They call a lack of self-identity progress, apparently.
When one person is made into up to ninety-six others, where does individuality and self-control play a role? Where and when do people get to choose their own path? The government produced stability and constant happiness over self interpretation. When people are given absolute power, they will sometimes deny when they lose sight of what really matters. Mustapha Mond in Brave New World thought it best to produce community products summarily rather than individuals, sacrificing self thought for constant happiness. When absolute power is established, the uniqueness of each individual dissolves as they are only considered a contribution to the whole of a utopian society; community is what keeps Brave New World operating. Power creates greed, power leads to irrational decisions, and power creates a totalitarian government where every one person is like that of another.
Works Cited Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: Perennial Library, 1989. Print.