Coined a ‘negative utopia’ by Huxley, Brave New World explores existentialism and authenticity in a novel scathing of chemical and material ‘progress’, the social class system, authority and new attitudes toward individual thinking. Although named a dystopia with such authority it’s as ironic as its title, one could argue its innocence – the endless question ‘Is the pen mightier than the sword?’ can be answered in three words – Yes We Can – to acquit Brave New World – through clever use of embryo manipulation, brainwashing (or eloquence, whatever), prejudices, white supremacy, globalisation, recreational sex without need for procreation (these blind sheep have made Freud messianic), and the mysterious drug-anti-depressant soma to keep a comfortable level of blissful ignorance, all citizens are content with the society (with no hypothetical questions, and therefore dystopia or utopia) they live in.
This explores an increasingly relevant topic in our society. The paradox of truth in impersonality is as brightly portrayed in our political mirrors and outlets as ever, our self-centered social outlook isn’t even vilified, our ignorance is portrayed as freedom in compliance of a greater being likened to the mediaeval church. In this sense, 1984 and Brave New World pertain to the same social issue: communal truth.
1984 doesn’t belong to the elusive group of social exhibition like Brave New World, the essays hidden amongst a well-woven story provide the greatest politically philosophical texts in the first half of the twentieth century. Truth reimagined holds its authority in a fist with which to change itself.
And in a world of advertisement and propaganda this utopia mirrors ours – if we were living in Soviet Russia, our views would perhaps be more in tune towards 1984, although censored -, our world in which shopping centres line the streets, our world of contraception, our world of state-provided television, and our world of so-called free speech.
Will 1984, with its harsh regime of terror likened to Stalin’s Soviet Russia, overtake Brave New World once more? Post-truth is raging established all thought. The gullible self-consuming ‘Tumblr generation’ is a living travesty of the ‘self’. The question is as useless as a utopia.