The March 20 New York Times bore bad news for the future of Christian civilization. Brave New World’s cornerstone has arrived.
Brave New World is the title of a short novel by Aldous Huxley, published in the 1930s. It lays out a future in which a soft totalitarianism blankets the globe. Brave New World’s first rule is, “You must be happy.” Happiness, for all but a tiny elite that run the place, is created by materialism, consumerism, sensual pleasure (all sex is permissible except traditional marriage), psychological conditioning, and–the one ring to rule them all and in the darkness bind them–genetic conditioning. That keystone alone has been missing. It is missing no longer.
The March 20 New York Times reports that
A group of leading biologists on Thursday called for a worldwide moratorium on use of a new genome-editing technique that would alter human DNA in a way that babies could inherit.
…the new technique is so effective and easy to use…
“You could exert control over human heredity with this technique”… said David Baltimore, a former President of the California Institute of Technology…
…”people are gearing up to do this”…
If that prospect does not terrify us, then we have lost our moorings. In Brave New World, the one-world government uses exactly this kind of genetic engineering to make it impossible for the vast majority of people to rebel, or even to refuse to conform. They have been genetically engineered so they do not have those traits. They must conform the way a bird must fly or a dog bust way its tail. They cannot do otherwise.
Brave New World now goes mostly under the names of Globalism or “democratic capitalism”. It is the ideology of the elite in almost every country, except Russia. Ironically, while America was the defender of liberty in the face of an earlier type of totalitarianism, best represented by Stalin’s Soviet Union, America under its current elite is trying to force Brave New World down the throat of every people on Earth. George W. Bush’s puppeteers, the neo-cons, who see themselves as the vanguard of “democratic capitalism”, thought they could do so by having America invade and occupy any countries that resisted. That did not work out too well. But the Globalist elite’s objective has not changed: one world run by them just the way Huxley described.
Naively, most of the Times story is devoted to warnings from scientists against using this “effective and easy” genetic engineering technology. Brave New World will laugh at such quibbles. Sauron will have no reluctance to wear the ring.
Is there any way to stop this, to halt and reverse the growth of Brave New World before it consumes everyone? There is one, I think, and only one. As a culture, we must decide that the fact we can do something does not mean we must do it. We have to kill Faust.
The notion that we must do whatever we are able to do, which may be the ultimate expression of the sin of pride, defines the Modern Age. Its symbol is Faust. Faust made a bargain that he could do or have anything and everything, with one exception. He could not say, “Verweile doch, du bist so schon” — “Stay, you are so beautiful.” He could not get something right and then keep it that way. Faust was required always to grasp for novelty, regardless of the consequences novelty might bring. His bargain was with the Devil.
We can halt and reverse the spreading stain of Brave New World if we break the Modern Age’s bargain with Hell. We must say “no” to genetic engineering and a growing host of other novelties, some scientific, some, like gay “marriage”, cultural. The old ways, on the whole, worked pretty well. The new ways lead where you would expect a bargain with the Devil to lead.
Thomas Hobbes’ novel Victoria portrays a world where this happens through the Retroculture movement. A nation comes to realize that we peaked in the Victorian era, so its people return to living as people did then.
Could this occur in real life? It has, at least once, exactly where you would not expect it, in war. War is by its nature dialectical. But a highly warlike people, the Japanese, reversed the dialectic under the Tokugawa Shogunate. In the 17th century, firearms became common in Japanese warfare. They may have been decisive at the battle of Sekigahara which put the Tokugawa in power. But the new Shogun then banned them, and made the ban effective. Japan returned to the sword.
Under the bakufu, the Japanese were dealing with a government arguably less totalitarian than Brave New World. Does resistance have any hope in our time? It does–if we can kill Faust. Perhaps that is the task of the next generation.