Communism and Brave New World
Communism and Brave New World Alana Stricker British Literature Mr. Groeninger 11/13/12 Throughout most of the twentieth century, communism was among the world’s dominant global political movements. People reacted to it in different ways– as a source of expect a glowing future or as the best risk on the face of the earth. When Karl Marx composed his Manifesto of the Communist Party of 1848, he had no idea how communism would take off in the twentieth century. Marx sincerely thought that under communism individuals would live more freely than ever previously. This belief turned out to be very ironic.
Those who took power in the twentieth century as communist totalitarians utilized Karl Marx’s concepts as justification for a callous, single-party dictatorship. A prime example was Mao Zedong, whose skilful management played a large part in the communists’ successful capture of power in mainland China in 1949. Communist China turned out to be a dystopian society, much like the bleak, synthetic society in the novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. In Huxley’s dystopia, he predicts possible problems of Communist beliefs, problems that became a reality in 20th century communist China.
Communism comes from the Latin word communis, implying typical or universal. It is described as an innovative socialist movement to develop a classless, moneyless, and stateless society structured upon typical ownership of property. This residential or commercial property includes the factories, makers, and tools used to produce wealth. Communism, in its Marxist– Leninist interpretations, substantially influenced the history of the 20th century, which saw intense rivalry between the communist world and the Western world (Kamenka, 19-23).
Common ownership of home is one of the most essential characteristics of communism. Plato in The Republic described it as a state where people shared all their property, better halves, and children. This is an exaggeration, but millions of people did share their land in communist China. In the procedure of agricultural collectivization, individual peasant farms were changed with cumulative ones. By 1956, in the Chinese economy as an entire, the standard transfer of the methods of production from private hands into state or collective property had been accomplished.
According to communist theory, the only way to abolish capitalist oppressions is to have the proletariat class, who jointly make up the primary producer of wealth in society and who are continuously made use of by the elitist bourgeois, topple the capitalist system in an enormous social revolution. The transformation usually includes an armed disobedience. One example was the Chinese Revolution, which included military combat in between the Chinese National Armies and the Chinese Red.
As soon as the bourgeoisie are overthrown, a totalitarian usually fills in the old federal government and develops laws that prefer the lower classes. Mao Zedong is a prime example of a communist dictator. Mao increased to power of the Communist Celebration by commanding the Long March, forming a united front with the Kuomintang during the 2nd Sino-Japanese War to drive away an Imperial Japanese invasion, and leading the CPC to victory versus Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang in the Chinese Civil War (Brown, 300).
After strengthening the reunification of China through his Project to Suppress Counterrevolutionaries, Mao enacted sweeping land reform, by utilizing violence to overthrow the feudal property managers prior to taking their estates and dividing the land into individuals’s communes. Both Mustapha Mond and Mao Zedong believed in the prioritization of society over the individual and the equivalent distribution of home. Huxley satirizes communism in his unique by using funny exaggerations. The communists, much like the World Controllers in Brave New World, think that nearly all types of property should be shared.
The results of this concept in China turned out to be dreadful. In a process of agricultural collectivization that started in 1953 during the Great Leap Forward, millions of rural farmers were merged into big People’s Communes. The treatment of these peasants was ruthless. They were forced to work naked in the middle of winter season; 80 percent of all the villagers in one area of a quarter of a million Chinese were prohibited from the labor force since they were too old or ill to be efficient employees, so were deliberately starved to death.
In between 1958 and 1962, a war raged in between the peasants and the state; it was a period when a 3rd of all homes in China were ruined to produce fertilizer and when the country descended into starvation and hunger (Lin, 1228-30). Matters were intensified by floods and droughts in 1959 and 1960. It is approximated that 30 million people died as a result of the economic turmoil developed by Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” in between 1958 and 1961, making him the greatest mass killer in world history (Brown, p. 314-316).
Huxley targets the concept of common home by creating a world in which sexual promiscuity is validated under the mantra, “Everyone comes from everyone else” (Huxley, 29). Everybody is motivated to have multiple enthusiasts at the same time; those who decline to practice promiscuity are considered disrupted or weird. Not just are people dealt with as sexual things, however they are viewed as a faceless labor force whose sole purpose is to produce items for the purpose of mass usage, which causes economic progress. Mustapha Mond had the ability to engender a holistic, materialistic generation by using conditioning and sleep-teaching.
This presents the subject of manipulation. Both Mao Zedong and the World Controllers were able to brainwash a whole generation by controling the youth of society. Mao used mass media to spread his innovative concepts; controlling media material permitted the Communist Celebration to share propaganda encouraging of federal government policies, censor questionable newspaper article, and have actually reports released criticizing political adversaries, including supporters of spiritual flexibility and democracy and representatives of the United States government (Rostow, 561-63).
He also benefited from the Chinese printing market and released countless copies of his, “Little Red Book”, a selection of quotations by chairman Mao himself. The distillation of Mao’s thoughts ended up being required reading for young students and diplomats alike. These diplomats from the Chinese embassy would walk in single file, in Mao-style uniforms, each of them checking out the Little Red Book (Brown, 327). The word “control” is a crucial element in both communist China and the World State. Since Mustapha is a World Controller, it makes sense that he personally embodies one of the essential instruments of control: his voice.
Voices tend to be brainwashing, controlling forces in Brave New World, beginning with the relaxing acoustic hypnopaedia of youth to the artificial music boxes to the disembodied voices that are utilized to control riots. By using his voice, Mao Zedong had the ability to create widespread admiration. He and Mustapha Mond shared lots of comparable concepts, consisting of the removal of history. In both Brave New World and communist China, nearly anything that was considered “old” was ruined in order to include its contemporary option.
When uniqueness and emotions were gotten rid of in Brave New World, the chain of dehumanization next entered into the field of art and individual expression. The World Controllers bought the destruction of all works of art including content that could perhaps stir forbidden feelings. “You all keep in mind, I expect, that lovely and inspired expression of Our Ford’s: History is bunk” (Huxley, 34). Old masterpieces in the World State are prohibited and nearly completely unidentified; these works include Shakespearian plays, old paintings and books, and anything else that preceded Ford’s death.
The purpose of this was to create a period of psychological stability; if tragedy was gotten rid of, happiness would be ensured. The outcome was a creative wasteland occupied by an uncultured, pleasure-seeking generation. The removal of “antiquated” things parallels the goal of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, which remained in practically all respects an anti-Cultural Transformation. He purchased the destruction of the “Four Olds’: Old Culture, Old Tradition, Old Concepts, and Old Behaviors. This was Mao’s attempt to secure his legacy; he wished to be followed by radicals, not by “revisionists”.
The Cultural Revolution involved the destruction by Red Guards of books, paintings, the contents of museums, graveyards or historical sites. Anything that looked like among the 4 Olds needed to be gotten rid of. It was the instructional system that suffered the worst impacts of the Cultural Transformation; countless teachers were expelled, and universities were shut down from 1966 to 1970 so that the students might become Red Guards and join the revolution. Most of the youths who took part started out as real believers in the “filtration” of the revolution that was taking place and with implicit faith in Mao Zedong’s knowledge.
Those who opposed Mao’s extreme ideas were completely eliminated. Whenever a radical celebration emerges, there is always opposition; the leaders of both communist China and the World State were clever adequate to find threats to their celebrations and damage them. In China, a minimum of half a million were purged under the Anti-Rightist campaign (1949-76), which efficiently silenced any opposition from within the Celebration (Brown, 315). This was an action to the Hundred Flowers Campaign (1956-7); Mao really desired celebration members to criticize whatever that had actually been accomplished because 1949.
He drew the line at criticism of himself or of the real communist system, however most of the criticisms aired were, ironically, of the communist system. People spoke out versus the communist celebration by putting up posters around campuses, rallying in the streets, holding meetings for CPC members, and publishing magazine articles. The extreme punishments that resulted hit the intellectuals hard. Over half a countless them were put under excellent psychological pressure, resulting in a number of suicides. Many of them were required to perform manual labor. It is clear that Mao Zedong did not take criticism well.
In Brave New World, Bernard Marx’s non-traditional behavior, including his monogamous relationship with Lenina, triggers him to be considered an enemy of the State. He is viewed as a hazard to the delicately balanced harmony and is sent to an island. The absence of hesitation when it pertains to purging opponents of the state highlights the most crucial element of both communism and the World State: the insignificance of the individual compared to society. As long as the wheels of society keep turning, absolutely nothing else actually matters; this is what a communist or a character in Brave New World would state.
In order to benefit society, oftentimes one need to sacrifice his or her individual ideas, practices, or perhaps one’s own life. Mao addresses this in among his speeches, in which he speaks about massive earthmoving irrigation projects and numerous huge commercial ones, all needing huge varieties of individuals. If the tasks, he said, are all carried out all at once “half of China’s population absolutely will pass away; and if it’s not half, it’ll be a 3rd or 10 percent, a death toll of 50 million individuals.” He saw the members of the rural farming neighborhoods merely as “digits”, or a faceless labor force.
There was likewise, obviously, the demolition of private wealth in favor of extensive economic equality. On The Planet State, individuals were required to sacrifice their uniqueness on a much higher scale. Millions of similar embryos were produced from a single egg by means of the Bokanovsky procedure, resulting in a wide range of individuals who looked precisely the very same. Checking out a phenomenon like this is really troubling, but it had a function: to produce stability. And stability was undoubtedly created. Whenever a problem occurred, a gram of soma was enough to calm anything. Was it worth compromising the individuality of millions of individuals?
How would it feel to reside in a world where one’s function in society is more important than his/her individual aspirations? Hopefully America will not need to find out the responses to these concerns, as did China. Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution and Great Leap Forward were personal disasters for countless individuals. The more educated they were, the more likely they were to be among its victims. The damage of cultural artifacts ravaged millions of Chinese people, and the collectivization of agriculture, although it was developed with excellent objectives, led to the death of 5% of individuals residing in the Chinese countryside (Brown, 317).
Sadly, lots of people were ignorant of the issues connected with communism and continued to support it in the early 50’s. The characters of Brave New World, with a few exceptions, experienced a similar fate. They had actually never been exposed to real culture and genuine emotions. How could they have understood what they were missing? The dystopian aspects of both communist China and the World State make them both easily equivalent and strangely troubling. It is nearly impossible for an outsider to understand the advantages of residing in such radical societies.