Many claim that of the two dystopic masterpieces of the 20th century, 1984 and Brave New World, the latter is by far the more prescient. Its author, Aldous Huxley, managed to fill the year 2540 with many details that correspond perfectly with the future toward which we seem to be heading—at least currently. With that in mind, here are five key features of Huxley’s fictional universe. So is this guy really a prophet or just as lost as the rest of us when it comes to predicting the fate of the world?
All of society is divided into five distinct strata according to genetic composition. Genetic engineering occurs through heredity and conditioning, and each caste has its own range of intelligence and physical ability.
True religion is phased out of existence due to its exclusionary and dogmatic nature. Taking its place is the empty ritual of the Community Sing, a parody of the Christian Mass led by the Arch Community Songster and designed to create solidarity among caste members.
Another ritual designed to strengthen community, the Orgy-Porgy is essentially a sex romp—intercourse having been entirely stripped of its reproductive function—in which participants engage in indiscriminate sexual relations en masse.
It is found that women are healthier if they have been pregnant. However, since all impregnations and births occur in the lab, females can only partake of pregnancy substitutes, in which all of the hormonal changes associated with being pregnant are artificially induced.
This is the perfect drug; it both tranquilizes and intoxicates without any sort of hangover or side effect. Caste members take Soma whenever stress, anxiety, or guilt—or any other unpleasant emotion—begins to overtake them.