Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Blog Post #1: Brave New World

In Brave New World, alphas are designed to be physically and mentally superior than other groups. Bernard Marx though does not posses physical prowess, a confident demeanor, or ability to strike up conversations as the other alphas do. This leads to him being relentlessly taunted by other alphas and eventually cast aside. Even in our non-fictional world, many individuals are ridiculed for deviating from a social standard. In as sense our current society is similar to the one in Brave New World. Deviants are treated as threats to social stability and freedom. They are dehumanized, and are not given equal treatment that they deserve. Those who try to challenge unrighteous laws or norms are subjected to bullying, insults, imprisonment, and even death.

Why is there retaliation against people who only want to be accepted? Fear of people who are different is especially prevalent today. In the U.S. immigrants and refugees are seen as a threat to American culture and will only serve as a burden. LGBT individuals are accused of trying to pervert America. The outrage against these groups may be attributed to the fear of losing power among majority groups. As minority groups increase in size, the majority's opinion holds less influence. There are two pathways from this point. Opinions and ideas from the different groups intermingle to produce a higher level of thought. This would be preferable as everyone benefits from this route, however it is not always the case. Often the majority will continue to cling on to their old ways, desiring the stability it produced in their lives.

Stability may be used as one excuse for retaliation against different people, however instability is another. When issues arise, someone or something needs to identified as the cause. Unfortunately this gives opportunity for false connections to be made. Deviants can be quickly made into scapegoats for one's struggles in life. When this happens, it becomes easy for struggling people to express hatred towards those who are different. This leads to movements that attempt to reclaim that stability by removing the deviants or discrediting them. Such actions will not "Make America Great Again".

Accepting change is not easy regardless of how liberal or conservative one's tendencies may be. Change presents a challenge where we have to reaccommodate ourselves to new scenarios and new people, it can be very tiresome. How do we overcome this challenge; through understanding. At first glance an individual from Russia and an individual from Brazil may look very different however they share similar desires. They both yearn to love and be loved, live healthy lives, and experience happiness. By understanding that we all share similar goals, it becomes easier to relate to someone who you initially saw as different.

In Brave New World there was only one thought and one opinion, and those who deviated from it were exiled. Our world doesn't have to be a brave new world. We should further promote diversity and foster an environment where groups can exchange their ideas, behaviors, and cultural practices. Doing so will create a constantly improving world where its best days are in the future.

1 comment:

  1. "Change presents a challenge where we have to reaccommodate ourselves to new scenarios and new people, it can be very tiresome. How do we overcome this challenge; through understanding." ANd how do we gain this understanding? That's the kicker: we have to want to understand, and we have to sit still long enough to hear from those we've dismissed as incomprehensibly different.

    I recently discussed "The Journey of Man" by Spencer Wells in my Human Migration course, followed by Kwame Anthony Appiah's "Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers." Both give me hope that the channels of communication and mutual understanding can be opened, and that when people discover the ties that bind us all together (DNA and a traceable migratory history in particular), we're far more likely to entertain a vision of ourselves as "citizens of the world." That's the path that leads away from Dystopia, if we'll take it.