Under the Iron Curtain

Under the Iron Curtain Imagine what the world would be
like if we were all "under the iron curtain." In his foreword to
the novel Brave New World, Aldous Huxley envisioned this
statement when he wrote: "To make them love it is the task
assigned, in present- day totalitarian states, to ministries of
propaganda…." Thus, through hypnopaedic teaching
(brainwashing), mandatory attendance to community
gatherings, and allusions to prominent political dictators,
Huxley bitterly satirized totalitarian propaganda and political
technique to point out the problems of a dystopian society.
The way the fascist and totalitarian regimes used mass
propaganda techniques to brainwash their people was nearly
identical to the way Huxley described the hypnopaedic
teachings in his novel. He also thought, however, that the
present-day totalitarian states\' methods were still "crude and
unscientific." For example, in the novel the different classes
had been brainwashed since birth to believe that they all
contributed equally to society. Therefore, the people
wouldn\'t go against the World Controllers because they had
never been trained to think anything differently. In addition,
they didn\'t have any knowledge of a society which they
could compare themselves. This was evident in the saying
"History is bunk." Similarly, the totalitarian dictators
attempted to control but failed because they weren\'t able to
persuade the entire world to think like them. In addition,
Communism attempted to rewrite history, but the society in
Brave New World took the next step and forgot abou! t
history altogether. The only people who had access to any
knowledge of the past were the ones who had the power:
the World Controllers. Thus, they were able to create a
stable society. Since the hypnopaedic ideas in the society
were continuously repeated throughout one\'s lifetime,
mandatory attendance to community gatherings, such as the
Solidarity Service, were strictly enforced. The main purpose
of the Solidarity Service was to promote social stability. The
people were driven to this idea by singing songs like the First
Solidarity Hymn, which began, "Ford, we are twelve oh,
make us one." During this time, people were also consuming
soma rations, which drugged them and caused them to get
swept up in the service. Consequently, at the end an orgy
took place, which brought them together as one being. In
comparison, the political rallies Hitler and other fascists held
served a similar purpose. Just as people would chant "Hail
Hitler" at these mass rallies, people in the novel would also
chant their idol\'s name, Ford, during the Solidarity Services.
Although these uses of political satire are evident, the most
obvious are Huxley\'s allusions to the prominent totalitarian
dictators. Bernard Marx, for example, was used as an
allusion to Karl Marx, the founder of socialism. Socialism\'s
main idea was that no one had individual property. Likewise,
the hypnopaedic proverb "Everyone belongs to everyone
else" kept the society from becoming attached to one
particular individual. Huxley also included allusions to other
totalitarian dictators to show how the society in the novel
was closer to a fascist dystopian society instead of the
perfect world they perceived. For example, Lenina, who
briefly dated Bernard, was an allusion to Lenin, the founder
of the Communist Party. Contrary to socialism, communism
is a society controlled by a few elite. Likewise, the Ten
World Controllers controlled the society in Brave New
World. Finally, Benito Hoover alluded to Benito Mussolini,
a dictator of Italy, in the novel. Mussolini\'s name ! was
included to reinforce the ideas of socialism that were brought
out in the novel. In conclusion, Huxley satirized political
tactics and leaders in his discussion of hypnopaedic
teachings, community gatherings, and allusions to certain
political figures. It is nearly impossible to imagine our world
"under the iron curtain." Huxley, however, was able to shape
a realistic society through his broad knowledge of fascist
ideas. Thus, the reader was able to point out the problems
associated with a dystopian society.

Category: Book Reports