Lesson 84- Utopias Dictators and Brave New World
Well we’ve taken a look at Communism the theory and Communism the fact and have seen that some of its most fervent supporters, like George Orwell, became disenchanted when it moved from the “drawing board” to reality. However, that is the case with just about everything. Nothing ever seems to come up to its creator’s expectations, including our universe, because everything becomes a part of a complex system, called reality, in which multiple unseen variables rise up to challenge or distort the most perfect plan. And the most unpredictable, or maybe it’s the most predictable, variable is human nature that, because of its gift of free will, will invariably create “cogs in the wheel” of every utopian plan. And yet, God seems to have thought that freedom was so essential to His plan that He refused to exclude it even though it would block and delay its fulfillment. And that is why we live in a dialectical universe in which constant self-correction is taking place to bring it back into balance and to refocus it on its goal.
It’s easy to create a system that can be run by robots, at little bit harder to create one run by free-willed angels, as Lucifer and his angels demonstrated, and it’s a lot more difficult to create one that can be run by free, frail human beings. And that ultimately is the flaw in most utopian visions. The human heart gets in the way and is capable of turning heaven into hell. Perhaps that is why the Bible says that it is the “heart” that must change before anything else can.
Therefore, the greatest temptation in every utopian scheme is to remove the “fly in the ointment” known as free will. Where there is no free will there is no sin, and where there is no sin there is no disorder, and where there is no disorder, everything runs like “clockwork” through the circular repetition of a preordained order. The problem with this, of course, is that we have replaced the messy dynamic order of free beings with the rigid, mechanical, and inflexible order of a clock or a colony of ants. And, of course, the price we pay for this is the stifling of all creativity, change, and progress.
However, there are those who, with the best of intentions, would willingly trade this precious, but unpredictable, gift of freedom for a utopian world in which the right to be a “square peg in a round hole” would be eliminated. But you might ask, why should we tolerate those who don’t conform. Wouldn’t it be better if everybody were “round pegs who fitted into round holes?” To answer that, let me return to a previous talk.
You might recall my talk on the Normal Curve in which I demonstrated that all laws and norms, including those that regulate the natural world, are based on statistical probability and thus, it is only in large numbers that these laws prove their effectiveness. So long as the majority follows the laws or norms, whether they be negative or positive, the predicted results will occur and the fact that a large number of individuals deviate in a minor way or a small number deviate in a major way, will not significantly affect the outcome. In other words, exceptions to the rule don’t disprove it because the rule doesn’t depend on 100% compliance.
But “Why?” we might ask would God build a universe whose laws and norms are based on statistical probability instead of absolute compliance. Deviation, we must remember, is just another name for freedom and freedom is a necessary prerequisite for change and change is a necessary part of development and development is the basis for progress and progress is essential to the Judeo/Christian Linear Utopian Concept of History. In other words, we are involved of a “learning curve” in which a finite being, called Man, is in pursuit of an Infinite Being, called God, and in order to participate the finite being, and the substratum to which he belongs, must contain the principle of freedom, deviation or change. And since the finite will never catch the infinite, salvation involves a pursuit rather than an accomplishment. There will always be, as St. Thomas observed, “more Truth and more God than our feeble minds can contain.”
Of course, this principle of freedom, when taken to an extreme, runs the risk of creating chaos, because although freedom is necessary for development or progress, order is necessary for survival and that is why the historian Will Durant concluded after studying the human condition for most of his ninety-plus years, “When freedom destroys order the need for order will destroy freedom.” Thus, we might says, “freedom is the path but order is the destination” and the challenge that faces us is to demonstrate that we, as rational beings, are capable of being free. And to demonstrate this we have to show that we are capable of subjecting our personal micro interests to the greater macro interests of the universe.
Another way of putting this is that we have to learn to follow St. Thomas’ principle that “secondary purposes are alright so long as they either help or at least don’t interfere with primary purposes” and thus to be free and orderly we must learn by subjecting our secondary purposes to God’s primary purposes which is just another way of saying that we must bring our wills in line with the will of our Creator. And, since sin means to “miss the target”, to do this we would have to stop sinning.
To accomplish this, we would have to learn to substitute “other control”, which is just another name for “being under the law”, with “self control”, which is just another name for responsible freedom. In other words, the human race would have to “grow up” by replacing the destructive relationship of childhood with the productive relationship of adulthood.
Thus, when St. Paul says he is no longer “under the law” because he has been set free by Christ Jesus, he is saying that he is no longer a spiritual child who needs the promise of reward or the threat of punishment because “understanding” has replaced “compulsion” and he has put away the childish ways of his youth. He has been set free because “knowing the Truth”, he now loves it and wants to serve it. A “knowing heart” made of flesh has replaced his “ignorant heart” made of stone and now the conflict between his “heart” and mind has been resolved. By the way, isn’t this what happens to most of us when we move from childhood to adulthood and we suddenly find ourselves repeating and enforcing the same rules that we resisted so strongly when we were children ourselves. The only difference is that now we understand why they are necessary.
To give up freedom for security is to give up our linear progressive view of history and reality and to replace it with a circular, non-progressive view. Thus instead of having a social order based on the Normal or Bell Curve where minor deviations from the norm in larger numbers and major deviations in smaller numbers are tolerated, some utopian social engineers would eliminate all deviations.
The road to responsible freedom is hard and dangerous as the story of Moses and the Hebrews illustrated. They wandered for forty years in the Wilderness of Sin because at every obstacle in their journey to the Promise Land, a symbol for freedom , they began to complain and wanted to return to the “flesh pots” of Egypt, a symbol for slavery. And that is the crux of the problem facing Humankind. Will we like Esau sell our birthright for a bowl of soup? Will we like the Hebrews in the desert be willing to give up our efforts to reach the Promised Land, which is “flowing with milk and honey”, for the stale, crusty bread of Egyptian slavery? The answer for some secular humanist is “Yes!” because the road to “true freedom” is longer and harder than the “quick fix” of instant slavery. Freedom is too risky and slavery is more certain.
Let me quote a few of these secular humanistic thinkers who yearn to create such a world. These quotes are taken from a book entitled “The New World Order” by Ralph Epperson. Mr. Epperson writes:
...Manley P. Hall, perhaps the world's leading authority on esoteric words and language...wrote in his book entitled LECTURES ON ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY:
"The time has not yet arrived when the average man is strong enough or wise enough to rule himself...Never will peace reign upon the earth until we are ruled by the fit."
Mr. Epperson continues:
....Another New Ager spokesman, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the "guru" sought out by the rock 'n roll group known as the Beatles has been quoted as saying:
"There has not been and there will not be a place for the unfit. The fit will lead, and if the unfit are not coming along, there is no place for them. In the Age of Enlightenment there is no place for ignorant people. Nonexistence of the unfit has been the law of nature." p.12
And again, Epperson writes:
...Another of the leading spokesmen for the Socialist position was George Bernard Shaw...He wrote a book entitled THE INTELLIGENT WOMAN'S GUIDE TO SOCIALISM, in which he stated:
"I also made it quite clear that Socialism means equality of income or nothing, and under Socialism you would not be allowed to be poor.” You would be forcibly fed, clothed, lodged, taught and employed whether you liked it or not. If it were discovered that you had not the character and industry enough to be worth all this trouble, you might be executed in a kindly manner, but whilst you were permitted to live, you would have to live well." p.15
And a little closer to home, he writes:
B.F.Skinner, chairman of the Psychology Department at Harvard University, in his book entitled BEYOND FREEDOM AND DIGNITY....(wrote):
"We can no longer afford freedom, and so it must be replaced with control over man, his conduct and his culture."
These quotes might remind us of another utopian minded man, named Adolph Hitler, who set out to create a Third Reich that would last for 1000 years and would be people by a Master Race achieved through the elimination of the “unfit” and genetic engineering through selective breeding.”
It has always amazed me how some very liberal-minded intellectuals who are always reminding us of the horrors of the Holocaust fail to recognize its premises in some of the utopian schemes that they support. It reminds me of a statement that I once heard from a very wise woman. She said, “They problem with intellectuals is that they want everything to be perfect.”
In other words, they can’t stand problems, they can’t stand difficulties, they can’t stand “crosses.” In their eyes, the message of the Cross is absurd and so is Jesus’ admonition that “if you want life and you want it fully, pick up your cross and follow Me.” In their eyes perfection is the absence of struggle but in God’s eyes struggle that is the path to perfection. That is why God is the champion of freedom and why the utopians find it to be the greatest obstacle to the creation of their perfect world. Thus, the abolition of freedom is the first things on their agenda because it creates an uncontrollable variable in their plans. Therefore, finding the best way to eliminate or control it is their top priority. Force is a tried and true method but an even better method is to create a willing slave who is psychologically unable to resist. Thus, in Orwell’s book, “1984”, the state tried to get “under the skin” of its members through “mind control” techniques.
However, when it comes to the manipulation of human nature nothing is more chilling than Aldous Huxley’s book, “Brave New World.”
If the goal of the Church is to synthesize what is best in Communism and Capitalism, then the goal of its enemies is to synthesize what is worst in both of them. And, that is exactly what Aldous Huxley did in his book “Brave New World.”
Huxley comes from a famous secular humanist family and it is surprising that, considering his background, he would write a book that is almost an expose’ of what the worst case scenario might be if secular humanist forces were able to create their version of the New World Order. In fact, the plot and symbolism seems to be based on the prophecies in the Book of Revelation and thus it is also a vivid description of the Kingdom of the Antichrist.
Huxley wrote the book during the Great Depression in 1932 as a prediction of the effect of technology or machinery) on our society if we did not take care about their influence on our mind and values. All cultures have major themes that influence all the other social institutions in the society. Thus, for example, among hunting societies, the training of the children, the religious beliefs, social status, marriage and other social customs are closely connected to hunting. In Huxley's view, the "mass production" techniques developed by Henry T. Ford in his assembly lines would become the social theme in a technological society. Thus, birth, sex, marriage, child rearing, and human development and relationships would all be affected by the “mass production” and “quality control” techniques of technology.
In Brave New World, God or the Lord would be replaced by Our Ford (or in psychological matters by Our Freud - a reference to the impact of Sigmund Freud's theories on the mind of twentieth century man). Children would be produced on assembly lines and trained by Pavlovian conditioning to serve as cogs in the social machinery. Sex would become a recreational activity that would be separated from any feeling or commitment to the sex partner and would be totally separated from reproduction. Emotions, because they are free and spontaneous, would be outlawed and controlled by chemical "soma pills" (happiness pills) a legalized drug that children would be taught to take whenever life presented any difficulty. Anxiety, pain, and individuality would be outlawed in Brave New World. Children would be raised by the state to think and feel in the ways necessary to keep society operating. The leaders of Brave New World had discovered the technique of "soft slavery" which keeps the population under control by eroding away their sense of personal identity and responsibility.
Although much of the technology to bring about such a world was absent in 1932, recent discoveries in the field of genetics and chemical mood changers have created a condition in which such a world might be possible. Even more frightening, are the changes in our attitudes since 1932 that correspond to those found in Brave New World. Such a world would emphasize "order" at the expense of "freedom"; "other control" in place of "self control".
As I already mentioned, much of Huxley's book seems to be related to the prophecies contained in the Book of Revelations in the New Testament of the Bible. In this book, it tells of the end of the world, when, following a great economic collapse, war, disease, and plagues, Humankind turns over their freedom to an Antichrist system ruled by a beast with ten heads (there are ten World Controllers in Brave New World). One of the World Controllers name is Mustapha Mond. In the play Faust, the devil's name is Mesistopholes. Christianity has been outlawed, church has been replaced by community sings, and all the crosses have been turned into “T’s”, honoring Henry T. Ford, by having their tops cut-off.
The book opened with a tour of a "baby factory" where babies were being developed in bottles on an assembly line.
The Director was telling the students how babies are created. He showed them a conveyor belt in a sub-basement that was three stories high. On the belt were large bottles containing human babies at various stages of development. He explained that these babies were conceived through “in vitro” fertilization through sperm provided by the males and eggs provided by females who were encourages to volunteered them with the promise of a six-month bonus. The eggs and sperm were placed in a warm soup like liquid where fertilization took place. Each egg was examined for defects and those that passed inspection were placed in a large bottle lined with a uterus taken from a pig. A blood solution was introduced for nutrition and the bottle was placed on the conveyor belt where it would travel from the sub-basement to the top in nine months. At that point, they would be taken from the bottle or decanted.
However, the Director explained, they were not satisfied with just creating babies. They had a process called Bokanification through which a single fertilized egg could be cloned into 96 identical twins. When one of the students asked why the leaders would want to do this, the Director said, "My good boy! Can't you see? Bokanovsky's Process is one of the major instruments of social stability! Standard men and women in uniform batches. The whole of a small factory staffed with a single bokanoskified egg. Ninety six identical twins working ninety-six identical machines." He quoted the planet motto."Community, Identity, Stability." Grand words. If we could bokanify indefinitely the whole problem would be solved. Solved by standard Gammas, unvarying Deltas, uniform Epsilons. Millions of identical twins. The principle of mass production at last applied to biology."
But even this was not enough. They manipulated and predestined every developing child for some specific function that would serve the state. There was a class structure consisting of Alpha, Betas, Delta, Epsilons, and Gammas. The Alpha and Betas were predestined to be leaders while the others, in descending order, were destined to do the more menial jobs. To make sure that they were suited for the task that the state had assigned them, each, during their embryonic development on the conveyor belt, was subjected to genetic and behavior modification designed to shaped them to fit into the part of the social machinery for which they were predestined. The Director explained how the oxygen supply to each child was adjusted to decrease their development to the level necessary for their role. When one of the students was foolish enough to ask, "But why do you want to keep the embryo from developing?" The Director said, "Ass!" Hasn't it occurred to you that an Epsilon embryo must have an Epsilon environment as well as an Epsilon heredity?" "The first organ affected was the brain. After that, the skeleton. At seventy percent of normal oxygen, you get dwarfs. At less than seventy: eyeless monsters."
Then he went on to explain how they used heat conditioning to predispose the developing child to like the climate for which he was predestined.
The Director explained, "Heat-conditioning. Hot tunnels alternated with cool
tunnels. Coolness was connected to pain in the form of hard X-rays. By the time they were taken from the bottle, the embryo had a horror of the cold. They were predestined to emigrate to the tropics, to be miners and acetate silk spinners and steelworkers. Later on their minds would be trained to match the feelings of their bodies.We condition them to thrive in the heat", he said. "Our nurseries upstairs will teach them to love it. And that," said the Director, "is the secret of happiness and virtue: liking what you've got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable destiny or fate.”
Their next stop was the Neo-Pavlovian Nurseries where the Pavlovian conditioning methods were continued after birth. Before describing this, let me digress a bit to explain who Pavlov was and what he did.
Ivan Pavlov was a Russian biologist who was born in 1849 and died in 1936. He became the darling of the Soviet Union under Communism and his theories on behavior modification were used to shape Soviet children. His greatest discovery involved “conditioned reflexes.”
As a biologist he was interested in measuring and quantifying biological phenomena among which are responses known as “natural reflexes.” A reflex is something that occurs in response to something else. For example, when we enter a dark room, the iris in our eyes responds by opening up to allow more light in and when we enter a bright room, the iris responds by closing down. In like manner, when we are hungry and we smell food, our salivary glands begin to produce saliva in preparation for the digestion of the food we hope to eat. In other words, our mouths begin to “water.”
Pavlov was interested in measuring the amount of saliva that a hungry dog would produce when presented with food. Therefore, he cut two holes in the jowls of a dog and attached hoses leading to tests tubes which would collect the saliva. As expected, when food was brought into the room, the smell of it caused the dog to salivate and the tubes began to fill. Then something unexpected happened. As the days passed, the dog began to salivate whenever the door opened.
Whereas it was a “natural reflex” for a dog to salivate at the smell of food, it was not natural for him to salivate at the sound of a door opening. Obviously, the dog had learned the connection between the opening of the door and the arrival of the food. Pavlov called this a “conditioned reflex” because it had been learned through the repetitive association of two things: the door opening and the arrival of food. Later, if I remember I will tell you of a lesser known but more interesting experiment conducted by Pavlov. But for now, let me continue my description of Brave New World.
The students were led by the Director to the Neo-Pavlovian Nurseries to observe how children were further shaped by the state to serve its interests. As they entered the nursery, he said to the nurses:
"Set out the books and flowers". In silence the nurses obeyed his command. "Now bring out the children." They hurried out of the room and returned in a minute each pushing a cart with eight-month-old babies, all exactly alike (a Bokanovsky Group, it was evident) and all (since their caste was Delta) dressed in khaki.
"Put them on the floor." The infants were unloaded. "Now turn them so that they can see the flowers and books." The babies, attracted by the bright colored books and flowers, began to crawl towards them. The swiftest crawlers were already at their goal. Small hands reached out uncertainly, touched, grasped, embraced the flowers and books. The Director waited until all were happily busy. Then, "Watch carefully," he said.”
The Director raised his hand and as he dropped it, the nurse on the other end of the nursery pulled a switch and an ear-blasting siren and crashing bells began to sound. The children were terrified and screaming. Then, at a second signal, the nurse pulled a second switch and an electric current through the floor begins to shock the infants. Huxley writes:
“the screaming of the babies suddenly changed its tone. There was suddenly an insane wailing quality in the shrieking of the children. The Director nodded approvingly and, after a minute, when he was sure that the lesson had been made on the children, returned the levers to the "off" position. The explosions ceased, the bells stopped ringing, the shriek of the siren died down from tone to tone into silence. The stiffly twitching bodies of the babies relaxed, and what` had been the sobs and yelps of infant maniacs broadened out once more into a normal howl of ordinary terror.
"Offer them the flowers and books again." The nurse obeyed; but at the approach of the roses, at the mere sight of the books, the infants shrank away in horror.
"Observe," said the Director triumphantly, "Observe; books and loud noises, flowers and electric shocks- already in the infant's mind they are connected; and after two hundred repetitions of the same or similar lessons they'll be inseparable.”
One of the students said that he understood why they didn’t want Delta children liking books but what about the flowers. The Director explains that at one time Delta children were conditioned to love flowers so that they would use public transportation to go to the country. However, the leaders soon realized that this was wasteful because, although their trips kept transportation drivers working, the flowers were free and kept nobody working. Therefore, it was decided to continue to condition them to love the country but to hate flowers. Instead they were conditioned to love country sports that required a lot of expensive equipment thereby providing jobs for those who made them.
Remember, I said that Brave New World combined what was worst in both Communism and Capitalism. We have already seen how its radical emphasis on the state’s control over the individual reflects Communism and here we see how its economic policies reflects the problems of Capitalism.
You might remember from a previous program how Marx in the Communist Manifesto said that Capitalism would destroy itself through reoccurring depressions because it had tied the production of good and the distribution of goods to each other. As a result, it could not stop production without also stopping distribution. Thus it was caught in a dilemma. It had to find ways to keep people working, whether what they produced was needed or not, so that they could earn the money to buy the things that the economy produced. Otherwise, it ended up with the insane problem of overproduction in which the warehouse were overflowing with the goods that people wanted but, because the factories had shut down and the workers were laid off, there was no way for them to earn to money to buy the surplus. To solve the problem of surplus, says Marx, Capitalism either had to find new markets or destroy what it had made so that workers could be paid to make it again. In other words, we didn’t need the products but we did need the jobs and so some way had to be devised to keep people working otherwise the economy would slip into a recession or, even worse, a depression. We should note that Huxley wrote Brave New World in 1932 during the greatest depression to hit the Western World.
If you think that this is too far-fetched consider the fact that when Chrysler went bankrupt, our government lent them over a billion dollars to keep them afloat. Not because there wasn’t enough cars to meet consumer demand but, rather, because we needed the jobs.
The worst thing that could happen to a Capitalistic economy is that the consumer should suddenly “have enough” and that is why hundreds of billions of dollars are spent each year in advertising to stimulate desires that the consumer never knew he had. We have a consumer-driven economy which rises or falls with consumer spending and that is why the banks and credit card companies are so anxious to lend money to people who, in the past, would never have gotten past the front door of a bank due to their insufficient income or bad credit.
In a sense, we have a hype-active economy that is on an amphetamine high that, if it ever comes down, will collapse like a “house of cards.” It is being driven by increasing debt as people are maxing-out numerous credit cards, using one to pay the other. Logic says that it’s a game that has to come to an end as people are spending money that they have not yet earned or may never earn. Thus, our motto might be, “Buy or die!”
Brave New World just carried this strategy one step further by taking the decision away from the conscious mind by implanting the desires deep into the persons mind through Pavlovian conditioning. As we shall see in the next program, they didn’t stop there.
As I continue to describe Huxley’s Brave New World, I want you to consider how many of its features that seem to be science-fiction in 1932 are now possible or will soon be possible. For many years this book was used by high school and college teachers alike as the horror story that Huxley meant it to be. However, as we look at the trend in modern culture, more and more it looks like a blueprint that ought to be followed.
Well, I see that my time is up! Here’s Dom!