Living as a Christian in Our Brave New World
Aldous Huxley published his dystopian novel Brave New World in 1932, at the height of the Great Depression and just before Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany. As Neal Postman pointed out in Amusing Ourselves Ourselves to Death (1985), Huxley’s novel differs significantly from another famous dystopian novel, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eight-Four, published in 1949.
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, the state dominates through the threat of pain. In Brave New World, the state dominates through the infliction of pleasure. Postman suggests that in Eastern nations, the state has used the pain strategy. In Western nations, however, the state has used the pleasure strategy. This is for the most part true. Pain in the East. Pleasure in the West. Similar outcome—the domination of whole nations by a small group of powerful societal elites.
Interestingly, Huxley considered significant edits to Brave New World prior to its 1946 edition, just after World War II. But he refrained. He did, however, provide an interesting discussion on the trajectory of the West in his foreward to that edition. He called for a “love of servitude” to be developed among the general populace through a “deep, personal revolution in human minds and bodies.” To bring about this revolution, four discoveries were needed:
- A greatly improved technique of suggestion through infant conditioning and drugs;
- A science enabling government managers to assign individuals to their proper place in the social and economic hierarchy;
- A pleasure-giving substitute for alcohol, narcotics, or heroine; and
- A “foolproof system of eugenics, designed to standardize the human product and so to facilitate the task of the managers.”
Today, all four of Huxley’s recommendations are increasing in the West.
HUXLEY’S PLEASURE-BASED ENSLAVEMENT PLAN
First, the hearts and minds of very young children are molded through the propaganda continually spewed out from mass media, big tech, and public education. Many parents gift their young children smartphones or tablets, seemingly unaware they have just handed them them the elites’ best tool for controlling their children’s minds. The worldview of the next generation is being shaped less and less by parents, the church, and the local community, and more and more by powerful centralised forces. Faceless, unaccountable teams of managers condition the minds of our children for servitude. This is strategy one in Huxley’s playbook.
Huxley’s second strategy is for government managers to assign each person his or her proper place in the social and economic hierarchy. This strategy is executed today not by actively placing people in certain places but by cancelling or eliminating dissenters from positions of influence. For example, it is very difficult for a conservative to work or advance in big tech, government, academia, public education, or mass media. In effect this creates a social and economic hierarchy where only those who subscribe to Secular humanism, Postmodernism, and Cultural marxism are welcomed into the cadre of elite managers and decision-makers. Observe how quickly big tech silenced conservative voices in January 2021 as soon as it was clear Democrats would control the U.S. Congress.
Third, Huxley recommends a pleasure-giving substance to give people frequent holidays from reality. This is where the legalisation of marijuana and other mind-altering substances enters. Youth given to frequent dope use are easily manipulated and controlled, as they escape into the world of irrationality and lose the capacity or drive to think critically about reality. Dope users are okay with servitude as long as they get to smoke more dope. Pornography and video games also offer a pleasurable escape into the irrational. In this way elite managers develop masses of pleasure-addicted slaves for their humanist utopia.
Fourth, Huxley proposes a system of eugenics by which the human “product” may be standardised. Enter the legalisation of abortion, euthanasia, and cloning. Through these means the human population is cleansed of undesirables—the physically or mentally weak, the elderly who cost too much, the poor, and any other class unwanted by the managers.
Huxley was bold and prophetic. He unabashedly stated in 1946 what many in positions of power wanted and still want today. His roadmap is being followed.
HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?
How should we then live as Christians?
First, we must remind ourselves that God is the sovereign king to whom elite managers must ultimately give an account.
“Why does the wicked renounce God and say in his heart, You will not call to account?” (Psalm 10:13, ESV).
In Huxley’s world, there is no God to hold the elite managers accountable. But in the real world, there is a God who holds all unaccountable, rich and poor alike. Every faceless manager will give an account to the Creator. It may seem our big tech, government, academia, public education, and mass media controllers enjoy free rein to shut down dissent and propagandise billions with little or no consequence. But their day won’t last. We can trust God to deal with the elite class at the right time and place.
“For Yahweh of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up—and it shall be brought low…” (Isaiah 2:12, ESV).
Second, we must guard the hearts and minds of our children against the world’s seductive propaganda of pleasure. Trash the iPhone. Get rid of the Xbox. Filter the internet. Read books. Study Scripture. We must train our children to discern. They need to understand that the world’s pleasures lead to death, but the way of Jesus leads to life.
“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet. Then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil” (Proverbs 4:25-27, ESV).
Our children need to be proactive in determining what God would have them do with their lives. They need to be leaders, not followers. They need to be trained to think critically about all the information coming their way. They need the courage to question the majority viewpoint and resist peer pressure. Standing on the firm foundation of Scripture, Christians old and young have a place to stand. We are able to judge the world (and ourselves) because we have an absolute reference point that Atheism and Secular humanism cannot provide.
Third, we must keep our children off drugs. This includes the drugs of video games and pornography. In my own experience, the party, drug, pornography, and gaming scenes went along with the Postmodern education I received in the English department at the University of Kansas. It was two sides of the same coin. No ultimate reference point in the liberal arts by day. No ultimate reference point in ethics or morality by night. Dope destroys determination. It promises freedom but results in slavery. Christian youth need to stay sober and sane. Their minds need to be sharp. That is the only way they will be able to spot and avoid the traps set by the elites.
Fourth, we must guard ourselves and our children in the area of marriage and sex. It is through pornography and the sexual freedom associated with it that the dictatorial elite most easily control the hearts and minds of the next generation. As Huxley recognised, give people sexual freedom and they won’t particularly care when their political and economic freedom is lost.
As political and economic freedom diminishes, sexual freedom tends compensatingly to increase. And the dictator (unless he needs cannon fodder and families with which to colonise empty or conquered territories) will do well to encourage that freedom. In conjunction with the freedom to daydream under the influence of dope and movies and the radio, it [sexual freedom] will help to reconcile his subjects to the servitude which is their fate.
Finally, we must defend at all costs the sanctity of human life. In Scripture, a single human being is worth more than the entire inanimate universe. This is because every human being is created in the image and likeness of God.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27, ESV).
As Huxley foresaw, adherence to Atheism and Secular humanism inevitably leads to the rule of an elite class of dictators who control the rest of humanity in pursuit of the dictators’ own vision of the future. Let’s point this out as Christians. Let’s predict where things are headed, using Huxley’s own words. It may turn a few hearts and minds back to the Judaeo-Christian worldview, and, more importantly, to Jesus himself. It may also keep a few of our youth from turning to the dark side.