Huxley: Brave New World, chapters I-V
Gottlieb: “Dystopia East, Dystopia West,” pp. 17-22
notes & response:
-“For particulars, as everyone knows, make for virtue and happiness; generalities are intellectually necessary evils.”
-“Bokanovsky’s Process is one of the major instruments of social stability!”
-How do you get an outside observer into the text?…”Sometimes the mechanism is rather, well, crude.”
-“Standard men and women; in uniform batches. The whole of a small factory staffed with the products of a single bokanovskified egg.”
-Can you think without knowledge of the past; without being historical beings?
-“You really know where you are. For the first time in history.”
-The planetary motto—“Community, Identity, Stability.”
-Simply a machine engineered to do a certain task and know its place.
-Ignorance is bliss, otherwise, how would one function?
-In a way, repression is a very merciful thing. The ability to be neurotic and oppressed allows us to keep living.
-If you stay busy and don’t notice what’s happening around you, you’re able to be oppressed and keep moving (busyness is a drug→regimented busyness)
-Take the burden of ambiguity and choice off my shoulders despite my lack of freedom and choice.
-But we can educate people to choose freely, understand freedom, and approach it maturely.
-An institute to help people see through Propaganda.
-Stuart Ewen—“Spin”; “Captains of Consciousness”
-“No longer anonymous, but named, identified, the procession marched slowly on; on through an opening in the wall, slowly on into the Social Predestination Room.”
-Consciousness had to be reordered in order to fit the machine. “That sounds a lot like 2012 to me.”
-Ford, a systematic assembly line, and the production of consumerism—there’s a myth that Ford got the idea from a meat factory and watching cows being slaughtered/butchered and thinking that this idea of disassembling the cows could be repeated in reverse order.
-“And in effect the sultry darkness into which the students now followed him was visible and crimson, like the darkness of closed eyes on a summer’s afternoon.”
-Nostalgia is sold to you in all sorts of ways, even some things that you don’t know why you’re nostalgic for it.
-People are paid to create false, idealistic realities in order to encourage consumerism and convince the population that it’s justified.
-“The hum and rattle of machinery faintly stirred the air.”
-“Hence, of course, that fruit of delayed development, the human intelligence.”
-History as a question of actuality—“We condition the masses to hate the country.”
The question of what’s more favorable—to think for yourself with free choice or to have your decisions made for you—seems somewhat irrelevant to me. We are not machine men with machine minds and machine hearts. It’s our ability to think freely, outside of what the minds of societal and cultural ruling deem necessary, that allows us to create our own language [You mean “within” the actual language?] that speaks to our being (metaphorically speaking). It shouldn’t be ignorance that determines the fate of human beings merely because it’s easier to accept. What if your busyness consists of contemplation for the ignorance in the world? I’d argue that though it may be more difficult to function, it’s more meaningful in an understanding of the universe. Perhaps the reason why even the thought of a utopia is in itself dystopic is because utopia can often lead to oppression [Entropy appears to always be entropy—regardless of what you call it]. Isn’t that why Communism could never truly work? The subjective nature of these decisions doesn’t lend itself to objectivism simply because it’s accepted by the masses. We save mathematics, proportion, and other proven/accepted truths for the objective hopefuls.