Lesson 121- Observations on Brave New World
As I ended my last program, I had just finished my description of the “soft slavery system of Brave New World’s welfare state and how it contrasted with the Gospel’s message of struggle and growth. The obvious question is whether Brave New World is just a science fiction fairly tale or is it a legitimate warning of things to come.
When Huxley wrote Brave New World in 1933, the technology to do the things he described was not available. However, today science and technology can either do, or are on the threshold of doing, nearly everything described in the book. For example, "in vitero" fertilization is commonplace. Human embryos have been grown in petri dishes for as much as 14 days; the development of an artificial womb increases as a possibility; scientists have cloned animals and are talking about the possibility of cloning human beings; genetic engineering is a growing industry and these businesses are already talking about creating babies to the parent's specifications; Pavlovian conditioning has been used in Russia in an attempt to create babies that don't cry and modern psychological knowledge has been used extensively in children TV to implant messages, both consciously and unconsciously, to encourage the children to buy certain products. In countries like Sweden, the government is assuming more and more responsibility for the care, training, and rearing of the children and many complain that it is undermining the family as the major social institution for paradigm formation.
However, the major barrier to the creation of Brave New World has been the attitude of our population against the use of technology in this manner. But, beginning in the 1960's, there has been a major assault on the traditional values of the society, especially as they relate to sex, sexual roles, marriage, and family. Some look upon these changes as corrections of past "socially patterned defects"; others see them as the eroding away of the very values that made our country so great.
The combatants can be generally divided between the conservative, "right wing", which is identified mainly with the Republican Party and the liberal, "left wing", which is identified mainly with the Democratic Party. Another general division could be made between the forces of Christianity and Secular Humanism. No matter which side of the argument you may support there is no doubt that attitudinal changes have been in the direction of Brave New World. For example,
Since the 1960's, which marks the beginning of the open warfare between the Secular Humanist and Judeo/Christian value system, the idea of recreational sex outside of the social institution of marriage has gain more and more popular acceptance. Before this, movies and TV programs reflected the ideas contained in one popular song that stated “love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage.” However, after 1960, the Secular Humanist, who had been chipping away at our values before then, took advantage of the revolutionary spirit of the times, and continuing with the anti-Christian themes that began with the French Revolution of 1789, they organized the youth of the country in open rebellion against the values of their parents with slogans like “Don’t trust anyone over thirty. Peter, Paul, and Mary had a song entitled “The Times They Are Changing” that warned the older generation that they better change or get out of the way. Nowhere was this assault more evident than in the area of sexuality where slogans like “Make Love, Not War” made it seem like fornication was the only alternative to war. Since then through the movies, TV, and the media in general we have been gradually desensitized so that programs today that treat sex as a casual and recreational part of life no longer attracts any attention or question. Sex has become a personal rather than a social act that is nobody’s business but the people involved. The premise that “sex is a reproductive act created by God as a means of replenishing the culture with new cells in the social body” was replaced with a new premise that “sex is a recreational activity whose sole purpose could be the pleasure it brings.”
The Church warned that separating sex from its primary purpose would open a Pandora’s Box because it knew from past experience that whenever you changed a premise, you changed the conclusions that can be drawn. But no one wanted to listen to the Wisdom of an institution that had survived 2000 years of history and even within its own ranks, some members of the laity and clergy undercut the Church’s position on artificial birth control that was based on the premise that “a secondary purpose, like pleasure in sex, was alright so long as it either helped or at least did not interfere with the primary purpose, like reproduction in sex.
Thus, from the new premise of “recreational sex” new slogans, like the sleep-teaching ones used in Brave New World, were created to be implanted into the unthinking minds of the masses. For, as Mustapha Mond, the World Controller, said, repetitive slogans were far more effective in creating moral premises than reason. ”“Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage” was replaced with “Whatever turns you on, baby!” and “different strokes for different folks!” The right side of the brain is greatly influenced by slogan especially when they have a rhythmic quality to them. In the popular mind “primary versus secondary purposes” is intellectually too demanding and “different strokes for different folks!” is too appealing because, anything that rhymes must be true.
And where have the new premises taken us? They have placed us on a “slippery slope” of moral relativism, in which the very concept of right and wrong have disappeared, and pragmatism, in which, to solve the problems created by the new premises, the “ends justify any means.” And the ultimate pragmatic solution to the problem of unrestrained sex is to remove the primary purpose of reproduction from the masses and give it to experts who understand genetics and child rearing. This would assume that the masses, who according to Plato “were asses”, would be happy with just the secondary purpose of pleasure.
Does this sound too far-fetched? Does this sound like it could never happen? I have already mentioned Hitler’s dream of a Master Race and how he implemented his plan through the elimination of the unfit and the propagation of Arian types through breeding programs. But of course, he taught us a lesson and we would never try anything like that? Think again. Let listen to some quotes from modern secular humanist thinkers.
Margaret Mead, a well-known anthropologist who became famous for her books “Growing Up in Samoa” and “Male and Female”, was once interviewed on public television. The interviewer was commenting on the primary role that her books played in the sexual revolution of the 1960’s. When asked whether she thought that birth control methods had eliminated the problem of unwanted pregnancies related to sexual freedom, she said “No!” because the number of children born out of wedlock had increased by 400%. What then, did she think was the solution? The ultimate pragmatists, she said that every child should be sterilized at birth and, only after they were done with recreational sex, should they be unsterilized so that they could reproduce. When I told my students about this, two boys gave each other a “high-five” indicating their approval of this solution and I almost killed them. “How,” I asked, “could you be willing to allow a state to sterilize every child just so that you can play sexual games? Once this became a norm, it would eventually lead to the state deciding who, if anybody, should be unsterilized.”
But, if you think that only the young would be so foolish consider the fact that self-sterilization is quickly becoming the favorite method of birth control among the Yuppie Generation and a new type of marriage, entitled DINK for “Double Income, No Kids, is also becoming popular. By the way, the marriage of any Catholic who enters such an arrangement is sacramentally invalid since part of the marriage vow is to accept any children that God sends them.
Meanwhile, as the professionally well-educated lean towards small families or no families at all, more and more children are being born to high school drop outs, addicted mothers and fathers, and the mentally and emotionally disturbed.
In a sense we are witnessing the possible growth of social cancer. Most biological bodies contain some form of cancer wherever irregular cells appear in the form of warts and other abnormal growths. However, they are no threat to the body so long as they don’t start to reproduce and grow. In other words, they are benign and, just as the Normal Curve indicates, all norms can survive minor deviations in large numbers and even extreme deviations in small numbers so long as they don’t begin to reproduce. However, once they start to grow, or become malignant, they threatened the existence of the norm.
Social bodies also can tolerate minor deviations, such as misdemeanors, in large numbers, and extreme deviations, such as felonies, in small numbers but they can’t tolerate deviations that threaten the norm when they begin to grow. Thus, all societies can survive a few alcoholics, a few drug addicts, a few criminals, a few gay people, and a few nuns and priests but no society can afford to let them become the norm. When that occurs, the society will either die or begin to consider more extreme remedies that would have been inconceivable before just as radical surgery is used when cancer has advanced too far.
For example, I once read and article written by a female journalist who was horrified in the 1960’s when it was suggested that the state should sterilize unfit parents. Now, after reporting on cases of child abuse, she became totally in favor of it.
China, the leading secular humanist county in the world, already has instituted a “one child policy” that has led to forced abortion and sterilization and it is not inconceivable that other nations faced with some population crisis in terms of number or quality might adopt the same policies. For China it was numbers; for the U.S. it might be quality.
Will Durant, the historian, has warned, “When freedom destroys order, the need for order will destroy freedom.” In other words, those who abuse freedom are more of a threat to it in the long term than those who want to restrict it. Brave New World, for example, came about due to the chaotic conditions that preceded it.
If Durant is correct then the ultimate path of irresponsible sexual freedom is a chaotic condition in which the right to reproduce might be curtailed first for those who prove their unfitness as parents, and possibly later for those who don’t meet the genetic standards of the social engineers.
If you think that this is an exaggeration then ponder the words of the poet Yeats on how evil grows: He wrote:
Vice (evil) is a monster of so frightful mein (appearance)
As to be hated, needs but to be seen.
But seen too often, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.
Thus, according to Yeats, we can be desensitized to anything if we are exposed to it often enough. It appears that Millet S. Everett, professor of philosophy at Oklahoma A & M agrees. In his book "Ideals of Life", he suggests that "when public opinion is ready for it no child should be allowed to live who be certain to suffer social handicap." Notice that he says “when public opinion is ready for it” thereby indicating that we are gradually being desensitized to the extreme methods that the social engineers of Secular Humanism have in mind. As I mentioned in my introduction, the technology for Brave New World is, for the most part, here. The major obstacle to its use is our attitudes towards applying it to human beings.:
Other secular humanists have similar goals and attitudes. Dr. Francis Crick, co-discover of the DNA molecule and Noble Laureate, was quoted in the Pacific New Service as saying: “No newborn infant should be declared human until it has passed certain tests regarding its genetic endowment and that if it fails these tests it forfeits the right to live." He also has proposed compulsory death for everyone over eighty.
His partner, Dr. James Watson, the other co-discover of the DNA molecule and Noble Laureate, was quoted as saying: "If a child were not declared alive until three days after birth, then all parents could be allowed the choice that only a few are given under the present system. The doctor could allow the child to die if the parents chose and save a lot of money and suffering."
These quotes reflect a basic difference between the attitude of the Church, that believes in the “sanctity of life”, and the secular humanist who talk about the “quality of life” by which they mean that we should apply the same standards of “quality control” to human life as industry applies to their products. Remember, Huxley wrote Brave New World, where each child was made to specifications, to warn us about this very danger.
But these are just wild speculations by a few intellectuals who could never get the rest of us to agree to such extreme and inhuman methods. Don’t kid yourself. This is exactly what the Cultural War, of which most people seem to be unaware, is about. It’s a war of attitudes between what the Church calls the “Culture of Life” and the “Culture of Death” and some of the major battle have already been fought and lost by those favoring the “Culture of Life.”
I have already indicated that the Secular Humanists of today are the intellectual descendents of the Secular Humanists of the French Revolution that set out to overthrow the Western Judeo/Christian culture and return to the pagan pre-Christian days of Greece and Rome. James Billington, an eminent historian and Chief Librarian at the Library of Congress, in his book “Fire in the Minds of Men” wrote:
“My general conclusions can be stated simply at the outset...The revolutionary faith (of the French Revolution) was shaped not so much by the critical rationalism of the French Enlightenment (as is generally believed) as by the occultisms and new romanticism of Germany. This faith was incubated in France during the revolutionary era within a small subculture of literary intellectuals who were immersed in journalism, fascinated by secret societies, and subsequently infatuated with "ideologies" as a secular substitute for religious belief. The flame of faith had begun its migrations a century earlier (in 1761), when some European aristocrats transferred their lighted candles from Christian altars to Masonic lodges.”
These intellectuals were drawn to the pagan philosophers of Greece, especially Plato who outlined his idea of the perfect society in his work The Republic. Thus, around the time of the American and French Revolutions, the preferred form of government was a republic. Our Founding Fathers instituted a republic, which only later became democratic. The French Revolution sought to create a republic and all of the Communist Revolutions that followed were republics. Plato’s republic, you might recall, was based on the idea that democracy was the worst form of government and that the masses were incapable of being free or of making decisions involving their own lives, and even less capable of making decisions involving the state. Therefore, for their own good, they had to be ruled by benevolent dictators known as philosopher kings who would eliminate the family, in order to eliminate the problem of nepotism, and have all children raised by the state. Communism and Socialism are examples of the implementation of this philosophy and Brave New World is a projection of its logical extreme. In order to understand Secular Humanism and the quotes that follow, one has to understand this.
One humanist identified their intellectual roots when he was quoted as saying:
"One hundred years ago, in 1884, it was predicted that within a few centuries men would revert to the gods of Plato and Aristotle...We may all look forward with eager anticipation to that nobler day when the gods of philosophy once more shall rule the world..."
As Christians we have no trouble with philosophers, per se. It all depends on where their philosophies lead. In fact, there is much about Aristotle and Plato that we can admire and accept but our ultimate guide is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that is the problem that we have with Secular Humanism. It is not so much their ends but their means to which we object. Consider the following quotes by leading secular humanists.
Gloria Steinem, leading feminist and member of the National Organization of Women, quoted in the Saturday Review of Education in 1973 stated, “
“By the year 2000 we will, I hope, raise our children to believe in human potential, not God." She was merely echoing the sentiments expressed in the Humanist Manifesto II that stated:
"No deity will save us, we must save ourselves...promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are illusory and harmful." This document was signed by Betty Friedan, founder of the National Organization of Women; Eric Fromm, author of the Sane Society, whom I have often quoted; Francis Crick, co-discover of the DNA molecule, and others.
One thing you can say about them is that they make no attempt to hide their agenda or their socialist’s roots and open opposition to Christianity and Capitalism.
Betty Friedan, the inspiration behind the National Organization of Women said, "Feminism is an essential stage of humanism. We must keep evolving.” And Riana Eisler, another leading feminist said "It is absurd to say one is for women's rights but not for the Equal Rights Amendment as it is to say...one is a humanist but not a feminist...For feminism is the last evolutionary development of humanism. Feminism is humanism on its most advanced level."
Karen Clark, co-author and Minnesota State Representative , who is an avowed lesbian and a member of the Rules Committee of the 1984 Democratic Convention which adopted a gay rights platform, states:
"Feminism rests on the belief that it is up to women to rescue the planet from the deeds of patriarchy (rule of men) and that women will join hands to build a feminist/socialist revolution."
And, as socialists, what is their attitude towards capitalism and religion?
Once again, Gloria Steinem, leading feminist and Editor of Ms. Magazine, states:
"Overthrowing capitalism is too small for us. We must overthrow the whole
And in 1911, the Socialist Party of Great Britain published a pamphlet entitled SOCIALISM AND RELIGION, which stated:
"It is therefore a profound truth that Socialism is the natural enemy of religion. A Christian Socialist is in fact anti-Socialist. Christianity... is the antithesis of Socialism."
Why, you might ask, are socialists and communists so antagonistic towards capitalism and religion? I’ve already done an analysis of the Communist Manifesto and it’s enough to say that socialism and communism, which emphasize cooperation and the welfare state, see themselves as an antidote to the problem of Capitalism and Christianity, which emphasize competition and personal responsibility. It should be noted here that although Protestant leaders often speak as though there is an intimate connection between Capitalism and Christianity, the Catholic Church is more cautious. As I mentioned in previous programs, the Church sees itself outside of both Communism and Capitalism, accepting what is good in both and rejecting what is not.
And what are the objections of the Church to Socialism and Communism? Well, its first objection is that both tend to be indifferent or hostile to religion. Socialism because of its humanistic attitude towards morality and Communism because of it professed atheism. Secondly, both systems violate the Principle of Subsidiarity by creating super-welfare states that assume the responsibilities that rightfully belong to smaller units in society. I have already quoted two popes on this issue.
For example, the Church is a great defender of the family as the primary social unit that should have the major responsibility for the care, training, and rearing of children. Thus, it is a great defended of marriage and the family.
Contrast this with the following quotes by humanists. Dr. Chester M. Pierce of Harvard University, in his keynote address to the Association of Childhood Education International, in Denver, Colorado, April 1972, said,
““Every child in America entering school at the age of five is insane because he come to school with certain allegiances towards our Founding Fathers, toward his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural being, toward the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity. It’s up to you (psychologists and psychiatrists) to make all of these sick children well.”
Dr. Mary Jo Bane (assistant professor of education at Wellesley College and associate director of the school's Center for Research on Women stated:
"What happens to children depends not only on what happens in the homes, but what happens in the outside world. We really don't know how to raise children. If we want to talk about equality of opportunity for children, then the fact that children are raised in families means there's no equality. It's a dilemma. In order to raise children with equality, we must take them away from families and communally raise them."
You might remember that in both Plato’s Republic and Brave New World, the function of the family was taken over by the state. It appears that for some strange reason, marriage and the family are threats to the secular humanist’s vision for a New World Order and they seem determined to eliminate both.
The Document: Declaration of Feminism states:
"Marriage has existed for the benefit of men and has been a legally sanctioned method of control over women...we must work to destroy it. The end of the institution of marriage is a necessary condition for the liberation of women. Therefore, it is important for us to encourage women to leave their husbands and not to live individually with men.".
This seems to be one of the most successful objectives of the secular humanists since the divorce rate in the U.S. is soaring. One out of every two marriages ends in divorce within the first four years. However, it is not so much wives abandoning their husbands as it is husbands abandoning their wives and children. Thus, what was proposed for the “liberation of women” has, ironically, turned out to be the “liberation of men” who walk off and leave their wives to handle all of the responsibility for preserving the home and rearing the children.
Yet the feminists continue to believe that marriage harms women and benefits men. Consider the following quote from Dr. Mary Jo Banes of Wellesley College, who sees divorce as a safety valve that makes for a better family life:
“There's no merit in holding families together” she said, “just for the sake of it. For this reason, divorce improves the quality of marriages."
No doubt there are some dysfunctional marriages where the situation might be improved by a divorce but I doubt that the millions of women who have been left with the responsibility of raising the children by themselves while their husbands resume the single life would agree that this has improved the quality of their lives.
Of course, the feminists are operating on an assumption that is completely the opposite of reality. Their idea is that women will reject marriage and the family and instead enter the corporate world. Thus, according to Vivian Gornick, a feminist author:
"Being a housewife is an illegitimate profession...the choice to serve and be protected and plan towards being a family maker is a choice that shouldn't be . The heart of RADICAL feminism is to change that."
It seems that underlying all these positions is the issue of equality that comes from the French Revolution who battle cry was “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.”
The word equality has become sacrosanct in today’s world so that any issue that can clothe itself with it automatically becomes unassailable. Thus, during the French Revolution all titles were eliminated for the sake of equality. When Communism assumed control of Russia in 1917, they tried to eliminate all ranks in the army and the institution of marriage on the grounds that both violated the concept of equality. In Communist China, they attempted to have everybody wear Mao jackets so that everyone would appear to be equal. And the Cultural Revolution under Mao Tse Tsung attempted to eliminate class distinction by switching the jobs of farmers and college professors. Obviously, all these artificial attempts to create equality failed because they violated common sense. It is as Hegel said, “Any good idea taken too far becomes a bad idea.” Yet, bad ideas linger on even after reality has demonstrated their foolishness. Gloria Steinam says:
"For the sake of those `who wish to live in equal partnership, we have to abolish and reform the institution of legal marriage."
But the issue goes even deeper than this. They want to restructure the entire culture. Betty Friedan, the patron saint of feminism wrote:
"The changes necessary to bring about the equality were, and still are, very revolutionary indeed. They involve a sex-role revolution for men and women which will restructure all our institutions: child rearing, education, marriage, the family, the architecture of the home."
However, this time Betty got more than she bargained for because she was thinking mainly of the relationship between men and women. However, since many gay women have infiltrated the National Organization of Women, they have shifted the focus from the male/female issue to the nature of sex itself. As a result, Betty herself, has complained that the “gay rights” issue is taking over the “women’s rights” issue in the very organization that she founded. Thus in the National Organization of Women’s Section on Human Sexuality and Lesbianism it states:
“ NOW (National Organization of Women) endorses the principle that it is a basic right of every woman to control her reproductive life, and therefore NOW supports the furthering of the sexual revolution of our century by repeal of all laws restricting abortion, contraception, and sexual activity between consenting adults in private. They further declare that " a woman's right to her own person includes the right to define and express her own sexuality and to chose her own lifestyle." .
In recent years, many of the leaders of the National Organization of Women have professed themselves to be involved in lesbian relationships. And if you think that their agenda stops with just transforming our cultures, think again because they and other humanistic forces are busily working on the international level to implant their values and attitudes in the new international order that is taking place.
They have already proposed that the new international order recognize five sexes instead of the traditional two. In addition, they are seeking to have “same sex” marriages recognized on the international level.
We are involved in a Cultural War in which one side, the Secular Humanist, have a clear agenda which they are busily working to implement while the other side, the Christian churches, are divided by arguments that are over 400 years old and therefore unable to create a common vision towards which they might work. To make things even worst, they are often infiltrated with members who are committed to the other side’s agenda. Obviously, they either don’t know or don’t understand what the ancient Romans meant by “divide and conquer.”
The first thing that they must do is to put aside their theological differences by focusing on what unites them rather than what divides them. Then, they must create a common vision to which they are willing to commit themselves. In future programs I will give some practical advice on what I think should be included in this vision. But for now, I see that my time is up. Here’s Dom!