Welcome to the second session of the “Reach to the Future” trainee preservation conference. The ethical problems reflected in this graphic are representations of humankind’s interaction with nature in 2 futuristic literary developments; unique “Brave New World,” by Aldous Huxley, 1932, and movie “Bladerunner: The Director’s Cut” directed by Ridley Scott and launched in 1992, a decade after its original. It has actually remained in my experience in my post-graduate study of ethics and nature in futuristic texts, that many composers expose technological advancement and financial pressure as origins of ecological destruction.
Nevertheless, Huxley and Scott broaden this idea, producing imaginary worlds where innovation has actually also caused a loss of humanity and change in ethical requirements. But are the issues of these worlds simply creative? Or have Huxley and Scott just analysed the development of innovation and consumerism in their own contexts, in order to create a future world that is dehumanised and unnatural? Consider our context Year 12, and welcome to the future. By deliberately contrasting the setting of the ‘standard’ world state, to the ‘wild’ Malpais, Huxley challenges the humankind’s worth in a genetically crafted world.
In Chapter One, we are oriented to the technically ‘best’ world state of “Community. Identity. Stability (BNW, pg. 1),” 632 A. F. Images like “Cold for all the summer beyond the panes (BNW, pg. 1),” helps to explain a world that is natural to its inhabitants, however morally disfigured for readers. Nevertheless when Bernard and Lenina get in the Malpais in Chapter Seven, we get used to a world that is similar to ours, yet is deemed “Queer (BNW, pg. 96)” by Lenina, a product of the genetically crafted World State.
A birds eye view, accompanied with sensory imagery of noise, “rhythm of … heart, (BNW, Pg. 96)” and touch, “eagle flew … blew chill on their faces, (BNW, Pg. 96)” produces the contrast that enables Huxley to reveal that science and stability happen at the expense of mankind. This issue was evoked by his father’s work in science, and also the 1930’s Victorian view that science was establishing at the same rate as mankind, later encapsulated in Orwell’s unique “1984.
To illustrate the erroneous nature of the contextual view, Huxley provided principles and a connection with nature in a human, however unhealthy land that has actually been marginalised due to international advancement. In our context, clinical improvement at the expense of mankind is questioned in creating ‘designer babies’ through IVF. Our principles, and connection with natural practises are queried when numerous embryos are dealt with in the process of producing one ‘best’ human. It seems much too like the marginalisation of the Malpais and nature to create a ‘ideal’ society worldwide State of BNW.
Likewise, a contrast of scenes is used in Bladerunner to show Scott’s issue that consumerism is a main cause of inequality in humanity and nature. The atmospheric setting in the opening montage illustrates a pervading darkness, with fearful artificial noises and a high video camera angle zooming down onto the streets of intense urban decay entitled “Hades, Los Angeles, 2019.” The bird’s eye view, like in BNW provides a dystopic vision, quickly contrasted when Deckard gos to Rachael at the Tyrell Corporation building. As Deckard’s lift ascends, the video camera scales the building from a slight angle of depression.
The rain and absence of natural light is changed with a golden glow, and once within, musical director Vangelis guarantees a soundtrack shift to peaceful wind chimes which effectively juxtapose the serenity of the corporate elite to the dystopic variety of the cityscape. Globalisation, a 1980’s contextual worry is expressed through setting as the essence of the damage of humankind and nature in BR. The ‘little individuals’ in Bladerunner, live with the contamination and unequal spread of resources that globalisation has triggered.
Similar is our own context, as due to economic globalisation more than half of the female population in Latin America live listed below the hardship line1. Advanced behavioural conditioning for financial capability takes place in the World State of BNW, regardless of its effects on nature and humanity, which is another of Huxley’s contextual issues. After discovering of ‘hypnopaedia’ and the ‘neo-Pavlovian’ conditioning of children to make sure an association of pain with nature, the structured juxtaposition of two conversations in Chapter 3 additional discusses Huxley’s concern.
In Chapter 3, the hypnopaedia of the conditioning centre “I do like flying … new clothes,(BNW, pg. 43)” is repeated in Huxley’s narration, “The voices were adjusting … future industrial supply (BNW, pg. 43).” This is even more expressed in Mond’s teachings in the garden as he states “under production … a criminal offense versus society. (BNW, pg. 46)” Through structure, Huxley’s concern that produced products are discouraging mankind’s interaction with nature is unequivocal. Contextually, Huxley is criticizing the period of Fordism and the loss of values experienced in post WW1.
Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motors, started an era of mass production of products in the 1920s, advancing society’s consumerism. Ford and financial experts comprehended the level of spiritual emptiness apparent after WW1 and suggested purchase as an approach of relief. Huxley saw human behaviour modification as the gratitude of nature was kept in mind as unfavorable for market. Huxley’s issue advanced to Scott’s period along with our own where globalisation and mass production are the basis of our economy.
Moreover, our present level of innovation enables numerous to live without human interaction, and much human behaviour involves expenditure, not the preservation of nature. Like structure in BNW, Importance operates in Bladerunner in highlighting behavioural conditioning as damaging to human behaviour, an issue that continued from Huxley’s age to the 1980’s. In the opening sequence, a long video camera shot places our concentrate on a sign of consumerism, epitomised by the ‘geisha’ Asian lady ‘tablet popping’ on an animated signboard.
When thinking about BR’s setting, the continuous reappearance and placement of the signboard on a skyscraper, Scott epitomizes consumerism as holding precedence over nature and humankind in Los Angeles, 2019. This consumerism symbolises the rise of the Asian trans-national corporations of the 1980s which was feared as an economic type of communism. The world was constantly advised of the advantages of purchasing yet was hardly ever informed about the state of the environment which caused the considerable level of environmental degradation, including acid rain.
Today, most developed countries have actually signed treaties regarding the environment. For instance, the ‘UN Kyoto Procedure’ urges all developed countries to decrease their Greenhouse Emissions by 5% every five years beginning with the year 2008. However, the lack of ratification of this treaty, our material world, and the inevitable nature of marketing are still dangers to our environment and also to the natural behaviour of humans in the year 2004. Each character in BNW has a guaranteed function in checking out Huxley’s caution about humanity’s detachment from the natural world.
However, Mustapha Mond further checks out Huxley’s notion by also articulating the loss of humanity’s values in a clinically sophisticated setting. Mond is the mouth piece of the World State, devoid of human values and hence his expressive dialogue and quirks clinically justify a society where everything can be standardised, mass produced and for that reason stabilised. In Chapter 3, Mond talks with the trainees about families and the predicament that emotional freedom triggered in times before ‘Our Ford.
Mond devalues emotion as “reeking (BNW, pg. 35),”and explains natural recreation, households and monogamy in language “so vibrant … one young boy … at the point of being ill. (BNW, pg 32)” Dismissive nonetheless, Mond is merely encapsulating the change in human behaviour that scientific advancement has actually caused, and therefore communicating Huxley’s issue. As Huxley visited Europe prior to finishing BNW, Mond is modelled on post WW1 totalitarians such as Hitler and Mussolini.
His personality also portrays the loss of values and spiritual emptiness experienced by many individuals in post WW1. In BR, Deckard is devoid of human worths like Mond however unlike ‘John the Savage’ from BNW, it is a replicant with no connection with nature, who puts in human worths in Bladerunner. The rise of robotics in the 1980’s affected the character of Batty, and also Deckard. Batty exemplifies the ‘human robot’ that science imagined in the 1980’s, whereas, Deckard symbolises the loss of mankind that ethicists feared since of robotics.
Roy Batty’s “more human than human” hereditary disposition allows him to put in intelligence, obvious in his quotes of Blake “fiery the angels fell … their shoulders roared,” and to apply physical pressure, however just in the course of his four year life span. In the last scenes of the film, Batty’s heightened self awareness and desire for emotion and life surpass his hereditary limitations casting him as a Christ figure and likewise a fallen angel as he looks fruitlessly to his developer for a sense of meaning.
With his final words, “Memories … ost like tears in the rain,” Roy is cast as a terrible hero, and permits Scott to illustrate that when there is no longer an environment to exploit, like worldwide in LA, 2019, those who have desirable qualities will be oppressed, this eventually leaving the world more inhumane. In our context, the empathy we feel for Batty, concerns our principles, asking what makes us human. Huxley skilfully satirises the social construct of the 1930’s using ‘Soma’ to reveal his concern for the conditioning of humankind against nature.
The World State in London is a strangely benevolent dictatorship through Mond, where all elements of a person’s life are identified and controlled by the state in the name of, “Neighborhood. Identity. Stability (BNW, pg. 1).” Another method to guarantee stability is the encouraged usage of the mind-numbing drug ‘Soma’. In the Malpais, Chapter 9, Lenina “embarked for lunar eternity(BNW, pg. 127)” on an eighteen hour soma holiday to leave the reality of nature and humanity. ‘Soma’ satirises the post WW1 programs of Totalitarianism throughout Europe.
The doctrine of Totalitarianism rejected people intellectual stimulation, flexibility of thought and a relationship with nature. Huxley introduces ‘Soma’ to reveal a future world where the denial of a relationship with nature can be self induced. In BR’s 1980’s context, serious industrial contamination and urbanisation resulted in the detachment of people from nature In 2004, though Totalitarianism is an infraction of fundamental human rights, many people pick to deny themselves’ a qualitative relationship with nature by choosing to reside in ecologically isolated, however grossly inhabited city locations.
The use of contextual irony in Bladerunner is contrasting to making use of satire in BNW as Scott’s paradox concerns the ethical behaviour of humanity regarding technology. In the 1980’s, robotics and computer systems were the outcome of technological advance, and robots were guaranteed to replace human beings in the labor force. In Bladerunner, Ridley Scott epitomises technology and humanity through the Nexus-6 Replicants, who are “more human than human” Humans in Bladerunner live as second class citizens in desolate, socially inefficient conditions as we see J.
F Sebastian and Deckard both residing in solitude. Humankind in 2019 has no sense of the value of interaction, and subsequently Ridley Scott put the capacity for these human qualities in the Replicants. Paradoxically however, when the Replicants begin to reveal human feeling and requirement, such as Batty’s requirement to ‘meet his maker,’ they are ‘retired’ by the human, by eventually inhuman character, Deckard. This paradox illustrates Scott’s concern for a clinically advanced world, with a disappointing gratitude of human qualities and worth.
The very same issue is expressed in the 1997 futuristic popular culture movie, “Gattaca,” where your personality is irrelevant as genetic composition ensures an you an occupation. Huxley and Scott have actually developed several concerns for our future. Oddly though, they have also alerted about issues that need preservation now. Once again, close your eyes and imagine the natural world that you want in the future. Consider our context year 12, and assist to produce a morally unified world for the future.