Huxley makes mentions of how he omitted any references to nuclear fission in Brave New World and he even mentions that it was a “popular topic of conversation for years before the book was written (Huxley, 1946, x). Eighty years later, the topic of nuclear energy is still…
Huxley is correct though when he comments that “the release of atomic energy marks a great revolution in human history” (Huxley, 1946, xi). When Huxley wrote Brave New World, nuclear energy had yet to be used in warfare. However, later in his foreword Huxley does mention of America’s use of nuclear bombs the year before in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Huxley was at least correct in saying that nuclear fission would change the way that wars are fought in the future, and this has proved to be the case.
Huxley also predicted that the “politicians and generals of Europe consciously resisted the temptation to use their military resources to the limits of destructiveness or to go on fighting until the enemy was totally annihilated” (Huxley, 1946, xii). As World War II had just ended when Huxley was writing his foreword, he could not have predicted that the European Union would be formed. What Huxley did get right was that the horrors of the two world wars taught leaders and politicians to not get involved militarily. Since the end of World War II, many European nations have attempted to diffuse conflicts through negotiation and as such there have not been any major wars in Western Europe.
Huxley also talked about the shifts in political and economic power that would occur in the future. “To deal with confusion, power has been centralized and government control increased” (Huxley, 1946, xiv). Over the last eighty years there has been increased centralization in the major economies of the world, and this has been facilitated through international trade. Trade unions have made the world smaller and also kept political and economic power in the hands of the few. To combat this, Huxley correctly surmises that “only a large-scale popular movement toward decentralization and self-help can arrest the present tendency toward statism” (Huxley, 1946, xiv). Perhaps Huxley underestimated the control that governments and ...
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