Monday, July 3, 2000
A potentially frightening new
By Cal Thomas
Who does not rejoice at the prospect of
diseases cured and defective genes repaired now that the genetic
code has been cracked? Still as weve seen from the
beginning of time, when Cain killed Abel, to modern times, when
humans still murder other humans and wars rage objects,
science and technology can be used for good or evil purposes.
It depends on the intent of the user.
In an age when technology feels few restraints,
science has been given a new tool with which to perform miracles.
But science can debase human creatures when it treats us as evolutionary
accidents with no intrinsic moral significance and the state assigns
itself the role of God.
Before moving forward with no firm ethical
guidelines, we should revisit Aldous Huxleys classic 1932
novel Brave New World. In it Huxley visualizes a planet without
moral controls, presided over by a single world government. Designer
humans are created in laboratories to fit the needs of a society
whose highest goals are utilitarianism and happiness, which is
the ultimate objective of humanity. World Controllers,
as Huxley calls the authority, suppress individual initiative
in favor of uniformity.
Family is gone, and so is any sense of spirituality.
Only carnal pleasure is pursued, and any rituals must be orgiastic
in nature. The new trinity in Huxleys
mind would be Henry Ford (the idol), soma (a wonder drug) and
sex. Ford has been replaced by the Dow Jones Industrial Average
as our contemporary idol, but drugs and uncontrolled sex are still
In the book, students who tour the Central
London Hatchery and Conditioning Center observe various machines
and techniques that promote the production and conditioning of
embryos. Predestinators decide the future
function of each embryo within society, and each is assigned a
job. The society has a five-tiered caste system that ranks Alphas
and Betas on top (now we know where Al Gore advisor Naomi Wolf
got this idea).
In his follow-up work, Brave New World Revisited,
Huxley said the only way to create a permanently stable society
is for a totalitarian regime to exercise absolute power. The social
motto is Community, Identity, Stability.
Community is established by dividing the population into segments
in which the Alphas function as intellectual superiors, and another
caste, called Epsilons, performs menial
labor. Identity is established in the Conditioning Centre where
embryos are separated into five groups. Stability is maintained
through the limitation placed on the intelligence of each group.
The state chooses what each child shall
learn (which it largely does now, with the exception of private
and home schooling). The parental relationship with children is
dirty and improper. Feelings are obsolete. Children are conditioned
to think and act only as members of their class rather than as
This 68-year-old book is Huxleys warning
against the misuse of science. He sees science as a potentially
dehumanizing force, robbing the human race of that which makes
us distinctive our creativity, our ability to love, reason
and relate to God (though Huxley claimed not to believe in God,
its nice that he saw the need for someone to). All of these
human distinctions are replaced in Huxleys novel by science
with the help of an all-pervasive state.
Cant happen here? It did in Germany,
Russia, China and other places where science joined politicians
in a quest for the master race and the perfect state and got the
worst of all possible worlds. Aldous Huxley attempted to warn
his generation about the consequences of soul-less technology.
In our time, who in political and scientific circles is going
to sound the warning that we should know the rules of the road
and our destination before putting our trust in the human genome
map, the scientists who can read it and the politicians who seek
to manipulate it for their own purposes?
Los Angeles Times Syndicate
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