Power of The Few Over The Many”
The Eleventh Commandment portrayed the state church as being the supreme dictator. It is through the eleventh commandment that the church held it’s power and control over the masses. Without the church and it’s leaders to guide the masses, their society would have collapsed. However, compared to Brave New World, the whole society is conditioned to “work for everyone else”(Huxley 67) by the abuse and daily consumption of soma. Without the drug called soma, their society would have also collapsed due to withdrawal symptoms. The underlying reality between the two societies is that the masses are manipulated, controlled, and brainwashed, without resistance, to obey and follow their leaders through various methods of enforcement.
The Brave New World is controlled by a select few who call themselves Resident Controllers and Directors. These elite few are able to control the production and selection process of societies masses. Mustapha Mond, Resident Controller for Western Europe, and the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning, oversee the conditioning of embryos. Their powers and control over these particular jurisdictions gave them great power, and with that the ability to manipulate others. “‘You ass’… said the Director,… ‘Hasn’t it occurred to you that an Epsilon embryo must have an Epsilon environment as well as an Epsilon heredity’”(Huxley 23). Through a hierarchy of Alaphas and Betas down to the lower cast Epsilon, everyone was suited for their job. The Director however, through his position of authority, was able to “… condition the masses to hate the country,”(Huxley 30). In doing so, the Director succeeds in creating an obedient society, which obeys and bows to every whim of his commands. The Resident Controller and Director were two authoritative figures that were able to control whomever and whatever each person worked at, even before they were conceived. Each cast had pre-conceived morals preached to them through conditioning, and to this end effectively brainwashed to the point of utter obedience. The outcome of this brainwashing by conditioning sets forth a society that exists in two tiers, the guardians and the domesticated animals.
The church and it’s head archbishops are able to control and manipulate the masses in North America by preaching the eleventh commandment through strict laws and enforcement practices. The eleventh commandment ordained that every man and women must be fruitful and multiply. Because of this commandment and of the militant ruling religionist enforcement, North America alone had four billion people, and yet the church continued to preach the eleventh commandment and it’s practices. The competition between continents was the driving force behind the eleventh commandment. If it was not the competitiveness between ruling church states, the eleventh commandment would have been abolished. Through dictatorial control the repercussions of not being fruitful and multiplying, or of using contraceptive devices were most severe for any man or women, and quite often lead to punishment and extermination. Coupled to the acts of punishment, often drugs and other brainwashing techniques were used on those who did not obey the eleventh commandment. Through control and brainwashing of the masses the church was able to manipulate their society to the point of total utter starvation.
Manipulation and enforcement to the masses in the Brave New World was very easy for those who were in control. The techniques used by those in power were varied between the usage of subconscious persuasion, hypnopaedia, brainwashing, and chemical persuasion. Pavlovian conditioning was used on young children through constant manipulation and repetitive hypnopaedia. The use of chemical persuasion however could be seen to be more influent on the daily lives of the differentiating casts. It was part violence and part psychological manipulation for the people who lived in the Brave New World. For those individuals who did not conform to the standards set forth by their leaders, they were exiled to an island where they were left alone for the rest of their lives.
While chemical persuasion was prevalent in the Brave New World, the accessibility and usage of drugs, especially contraceptive drugs, was strictly forbidden by the church. While the church enforced their commandments through a strict military totalitarian enforcement agency, people continued to seek contraceptive drugs. While some people were killed for their digressions against the church, most people were brainwashed to conform to the church commandments. “…it left a blankness where there normally must have been thousands of mostly unnoticed messages coursing to his brain. This was brainwashing!”(Lester 168). While most people did conform to the church’s commandments, there were still however a select few who resisted the church and sought to move away from the ‘arms of power’ of the church’s Archbishops. Through manipulation however, the church was able to offer food to those who conformed to the church’s wishes.
As the Brave New World was set in an age of advanced technology, anyone’s ideas who went against the order of the state was considered to be an anarchist. As the world state’s motto suggested, “Community, Identity, Stability”(Huxley 15) the pillars of the social hierarchy where continuously being eroded by those who thought and acted differently. The states totalitarian controllers ability however to deal with this group of individuals through strong persuasion tactics saw that most people did keep in line with the states wishes and orders. For those who did not coincide with the states beliefs, they were exiled.
Although the church was able to preach it’s commandments and their other mystical religionist practices, there where still over one billion people who were seeking to flee to Australia, the supposedly safe haven for all Romish religion individuals. The church, through it’s methods of controlling their society, was still able to control a large percentage of the population. However, this dictatorial control over the masses was only accomplished through the punishment and extermination of those who did not conform to the church’s propaganda and practices. The successfulness of the church’s ability to control and manipulate, while at the same time brainwashing their followers allows them to rule their continent with an ‘iron fist’. If it were not for the techniques that the church used, their ability to control the masses would have been greatly diminished.
Through reinforcement of desirable behaviour and scientific manipulation, the effectiveness of the Director’s and Resident Controllers ability to control the masses was greater than those manipulation methods practiced by the church in The Eleventh Commandment. Even though the church had a military totalitarian enforcement agency, the leaders in the Brave New World were able to repress the masses through dictatorial control through punishment and extermination. While in both societies the underlying human interaction was the inability to communicate, both had the essence of being superficial worlds.