YDS: The Clare Spark Blog

July 13, 2018

Aldous Huxley’s affinity to conservative values

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 8:21 pm
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robot_mainReread Huxley’s famous dystopian novel Brave New World (1932) with a Forward (1946) describing himself as “an anarchist,” (i.e., a counter-cultural mystic) but I was surprised to see how many of this “humanist and pacifist” writer (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldous_Huxley) shared attitudes linking him to segments of conservative ideology: for instance, his opposition to “COMMUNITY,IDENTITY, STABILITY”* as well as to abortion, promiscuity, Marx and (strangely) Freud. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brave_New_World).

[Wikipedia is incorrect to represent Huxley as “anti-family” for he stresses throughout lifelong attachments benefitting children through the characters of the “Savage” and his monstrous mother Linda.]

*On this website, I have dissected the notions of “community” as hostile to individual differences, while challenging the notion of “multiculturalism” (and “identity politics” as promoting groupthink, but Huxley’s notion of “stability” needs teasing out: as an “anarchist” with more than a touch of romantic primitivism, Huxley would be opposed to conservative or to liberal notions of wildness or lack of balance (i.e., “instability.”) This is contradicted by his Indian tribe’s tight (stable) attachments, including their rejection of progressive industrial society. (On relativism/primitivism, see https://clarespark.com/2014/03/13/what-is-cultural-relativism/.)
<img BraveNewWorld_FirstEdition


December 16, 2015

The Depression Grand Challenge: UCLA style

Human brain, conceptual computer artwork. HuffPo

Human brain, conceptual computer artwork. HuffPo

The well-funded David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA has issued its monthly fund-raising magazine, this one titled “The Golden Age of Brain Science.” Removing the stigma from genetically transmitted “depression” is one of their major themes. Turns out that “depression” is entirely inherited, and their interdisciplinary team includes no historians or even anthropologists, but not to worry, psychiatrists are included.

Lest the reader think that social responsibility has been abandoned by the new neuroscientists, note that final paragraph in the featured article: it is a typical liberal double bind/mixed message. Has the Nature-Nurture controversy been resolved?https://clarespark.com/2016/02/09/is-the-nature-nurture-debate-over/

As the Golden Age progresses, neuroscience will transform society: Artificial limbs controlled by thought. Enhanced cognition. Drugs precisely targeted to individuals. Understanding of how external forces like poverty affect the brain.

And a looming new responsibility.

Our brain is not just a reflection of our genetics but is also very much a reflection of our environment,’ says [Kelsey] Martin [interim Dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine]. We have a social responsibility to make sure that the environment is one in which human beings flourish.’

Forget socially-induced trauma, forget [Freudians or Kleinians or socially irresponsible Republicans and Milton Friedman-esque advocates of free markets/upward mobility]. UCLA’s message of genetically engineered and psychotropic-drug-induced “hope” will usher us into the Brave New World.


As for myself, between the bread and circus atmosphere of political “debates” this election season, or the rise of ISIS and the general incompetence of the political class, I hold on to my environmentally-induced anxiety and depression like Captain Ahab’s red flag.

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