chapter  5
24 Pages

Brave New World? Faith, Hope and the Political Imagination

Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World invites the reader into the political, social, economic and reproductive realities of the World State in ‘the year of stability, A.F. 632’.1 According to Huxley’s calculations, 632 years After Ford would be about 600 years from the time he wrote the novel in 1931.2 While Huxley had a number of reasons for writing this imaginative exploration of the future, it was certainly at least in part because he thought that it might alert readers to some of the dangers and directions of the present. If readers did not like what they saw in the fictional future of Brave New World, perhaps they would be led in turn to question and challenge some of the realities of the present day. While this novel is most obviously a commentary on scientific advancement and the vision of economic production provided by Henry Ford, it also has a deeply political nature. Huxley believed that rapid technological advancement leads to economic and social confusion, which in turn leads to an increase in governmental control and the centralization of power for the sake of stability.3 As he writes of those who govern the Brave New World, ‘their aim is not anarchy but social stability. It is in order to achieve stability that they carry out, by scientific means, the ultimate, personal, really revolutionary revolution’.4