On Brave New World
by Adam Gunn
I'm taking a Science Fiction course at my local University, one of the texts I read again is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. It was written in 1931 (think Great Depression) and is a 'Dystopian' novel. Dystopian means 'the-world-is-changing-and-look-how-bad-things-are.' It's set in the far future, and features drugs, sex and what passed for rock 'n roll back then.
One of the features of this invented society is that no one is born - babies are hatched in test-tubes and raised in state facilities until they reach maturity. People never see children (unless they work in the child rearing sector.) A result, of course, is that women and men don't need to have sex to procreate and continue the species.
This has two consequences in Huxley's world:
NSA (No Strings Attached) sex is considered the norm.
People do not form close relationships with other people. i.e., 'Love' is not a desirable emotion and has been suppressed in that society.
Of course, this got me to thinking.
I'm a big fan of NSA sex. I've had my share of it over the years, and enjoyed it immensely. There has not been any woman I've had a serious relationship with who hasn't also enjoyed NSA sex. So that part of Huxley's society sounds fantastic to me.
But I'm also a big fan of Love, of deep relationships. Sex with someone you're in Love with is different from that of a hook-up. It's profound, and in it's own way more satisfying than NSA sex.
I believe Huxley's world in this regard is unrealistic, lacking. I believe that science & society in the future could eliminate want. I believe that we could condition our citizens to accept and celebrate NSA sex. (After all, didn't the Victorians condition their citizens to believe that sex outside of marriage is evil?) But I think 'Love' is a primal need for the most citizens, and I don't believe that any scientist could eliminate the Love gene.
What's more, I wouldn't want to live in that world, regardless of other benefits to me.
What's your opinion?
Image by Engin_Akyurt, CC0