Do you ever contemplate how much our moods and perspectives are shaped by our exterior world? I feel as if I have fallen asleep and woke up to A Brave New World. (Aldus Huxley, 1932) Once people gathered together and communed as one sharing ideas, collaborating. In the Huxley version those people were replaced by environmentally engineered persons. The hierarchy of society was based upon ones intelligence and caste. Society was entirely dystopian.
Huxley’s characters hailed from an totally “impersonal generation”. The fabric that once interacted as families disappeared. Wombs were artificial, babies born in hatcheries, and caste lines strictly adhered to. People sleep-learned which provided them with a basis for understanding why society needed to be kept peaceful and soothed through the use of soma, a euphoric inducing drug.
Huxley’s was a depression era work of satire. The world was facing doom and gloom. I am sure the people could have used some humor. However, some of the things touched upon in this book are not unlike today. The only difference is that today is not a satire, it is reality.
Not unlike today, Huxley’s characters found themselves rapidly swept away by a technologically changing world that fostered their loss of identity and self. It was what Huxley referred to as a “negative utopia”. When Bernard and Helmholtz tried to free the people a riot ensued and was quelled by the spraying of soma on the entire crowd.
Flash forward to 2020. We have the technology they warn us about. We can actually create a society from an artificial womb. We can sleep-learn. We are in the midst of the pandemic. Our society is in turmoil. We are mirror images of those characters Huxley wrote about. Currently we are experiencing rampant unemployment; our monetary and stock markets is in shambles; our people must find a means to survive, but how? Are we one step away from that riot?
Not only do we have those above described economical disasters at play, but in this new world order we are subjected to social distancing and wearing masks and no longer are able to interact as a community. It is devoid of physicality and social nuances we once took for granted exactly as they were in A Brave New World.
The media depicts incongruent information at regular and irregular intervals that creates more commotion, more disharmony, more dissatisfaction. We are relegated to interact via teleconference in our work environment instead of in person if we are lucky enough to have a job. Businesses are re-engineering how they work and how few personnel they can get by with to do their jobs or provide their goods and services. School systems are rethinking the brick and mortar environment, but can all children learn in a home schooled landscape? Can part-time or absent parents and those without an education stand in or be an able advocate for the teacher in the brick and mortar school?
Unemployment offices across the nation are drawing criticism because they are not funding those in need in a timely fashion and, in some instances, not funding them at all. Lines at the foodbanks are larger and longer than ever seen in the history of our country. Airlines and car manufacturers are floundering. Foreclosures and evictions are next as people will no longer be able to pay their loans and rents. People are hurting! What can be done to remedy this dire situation?
People and our society require a foundation on which to build. There is no scaffolding or infrastructure upon which we can move forward and regain our footing. Leaders have no plans and those that propose some plans often find they require multiple revisions. It’s all about the tests and the deaths. The Covid-19 pandemic has unleashed her horror upon not just the USA, but the world.
We are spinning further and further out of control. Can society regain her homeostasis? Or are we doomed?
Leaders must come together and not think about party or where to place blame. They must think about the people and how we can get the people back to work and onto safe footing. Media must concentrate on bringing good news into the limelight to show the people there is a way forward, there is hope, and the USA can once again shine.
These proposed measures must be immediate and meaningful. They must be broad enough to re-stimulate and restart the flagging economy. They must not be like the boondoggle of 2008-1010. We cannot bail out business and leave our people in peril! Both go hand in hand if we want a highly productive society where all can do more than simply survive.