The sexual revolution Brave New World or hell repackaged?

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shutterstock_99693284November 2013 marked fifty years since the assassination of John F. Kennedy, but also the passing of Aldous Huxley and C. S. Lewis, each prophetic in his own way.

Huxley’s most famous work Brave New World (1932) predicted that people would be bred like animals and graded according to their pre-destined place in society. As we will see, the idea had already been canvassed in fiction, and the Eugenics Society was busy working on the scientific breeding of humans. But has Huxley’s ‘brave new world’ come to pass?

Reproductive technology, pioneered by advocates of eugenics and population control,1 has certainly revolutionised patterns of child-bearing, but the left-wing Huxley (like his brother, the eugenicist Julian Huxley, and eugenics opponent G. K. Chesterton)2 Huxley saying, with his own beautiful innocence and sincerity, that Eugenics would now only mean docility in the millions and mastery by the millionaire. Why, what in the world does he imagine that it was ever meant to mean?” (G. K. Chesterton, “End of Eugenics,” G. K.’s Weekly, March 5, 1936, 380-381).] was convinced that capitalism would seize on such techniques to breed a docile workforce. However, the reproductive revolution has come about in the private sphere of the family, admittedly in societies dominated by the capitalistic consumer ethic (‘the customer is always right’), but under democracies apparently obsessed with equality and human rights. The overarching cultural relativism of Postmodernism, however, has given post-Christian society moral permission to exercise a capitalistic ‘freedom of choice’ unrestrained by tradition or by religious ethics.

Postmodernism abolished objective right and wrong by substituting ‘appropriate’ and ‘inappropriate’, clearing the ground for its ugly offspring, post-Postmodernism. While Postmodernism established the orthodoxy that every view – including the most offensive and dangerous – was equally valid and must be heard, post-Postmodernism proceeded to silence views that offended the sensibilities of the Postmodernists – the far Left, ‘equality feminists’, atheists and diversity campaigners.

The official religion of post-Postmodernism is political correctness, but while ridding public discourse of (some) offensive terminology, PC has also ushered in a Nietzschean transvaluation of values. Expressions, views and topics that used to be debated in democracies have been ruled out of bounds, to be replaced by other expressions, views and topics formerly considered ‘inappropriate’ in polite society. Under PC, pornography must be tolerated, however offensive, since it counts as free expression, but the Bible cannot be tolerated because the new ruling classes of Western culture find it offensive. We must now be ‘open’ about sex, but maintain silence on its embarrassing or even tragic consequences. We must celebrate the birth of test tube babies while remaining silent on the millions of embryos destroyed or kept in frozen limbo. We must hail the latest pre-natal test for Down syndrome while failing to mention that the vast majority of such babies will be aborted. We must defend the ‘right to choose’ while remaining silent on the fate of those who never get the chance to choose. We may, however, deplore (for compassionate reasons, naturally) all the unplanned pregnancies, all the teen pregnancies, all the ‘welfare mothers’, and of course, ‘overpopulation’ in the world’s poorer nations.

Huxley predicted that ‘mother’ and ‘father’ would come to be regarded as “pornographic impropriety”,3 and in Spain, birth certificates now record details for ‘progenitor A’ and ‘progenitor B’. At the same time, our culture frowns on certain words, chief among them abortion – and the ‘a-word’ has been joined by ‘motherhood’, ‘wife’ and ‘marriage’. ‘Family’ is the new f-word, while the old f-word is no longer regarded as pornographic or improper, but inappropriate in certain circumstances.

Progressive-minded cultural elites have agreed among themselves (in the interests of equality) that poor people’s choice of language should reflect their own cultural norms rather than the values of bourgeois society; they must, therefore, be excused from the strictures of civilised discourse by virtue of their material poverty. In other words, the other words they use must be swear words. This has been a self-fulfilling prophecy, since poor people now swear a lot more than they used to, mainly because the working-class family has been broken by the progressive-minded cultural elites, its shattered remnants influenced by a liberalised media to believe that ‘strong language’ is natural and normal. In fact the vast majority of poor people never used to tolerate bad language in front of women and children.

This transformation happened under a sexually liberated Utopia – not Brave New World‘s regimented eugenics Dystopia, but a free-market, free-for-all Sexual Revolution. Underpinned by the Welfare State, it has trashed the working-class family, and marginalised religion and the socially conservative worldview. Uncommitted sexual relationships, facilitated by free abortion, single parent benefits and the provision of social housing that officially recognises cohabitation, has become the new norm, spelling the death of marriage and family for the very poorest. And feather-bedded social breakdown is delivering eugenics, albeit by a more circuitous route. Progressives argue that poor people ‘cannot help themselves’; eugenicists agree, but their solution is much more drastic. For if the poor cannot control themselves they must be controlled – but in ways approved by progressives. And progressives approve of birth control and abortion, not as ways of repressing the poor, but as offering them a ladder out of poverty, a rosy view enhanced by their own self-interest, since they cannot envisage life without such aids to civilisation. But, as G. K. Chesterton noted of the eugenics philosophy, far from building a better civilisation, the removal of family safeguards, especially among the poorest, means that the strongest individual will always ‘win’. The sexual ‘freedom’ of the Sexual Revolution, therefore, actually represents “the survival of the fiercest.”4

Back in 1946, Aldous Huxley noted that the Marquis de Sade, re-packaged as a political revolutionary by left-wing eugenicists in the 1930s,5 advocated a unique form of revolution – the sexual revolution. Unlike other revolutions it would not be overthrown, for it would be the “final” revolution – the “really revolutionary revolution, beyond mere politics and economics”, because it would be accomplished “in the souls and flesh of human beings”. The bodies of “individual men, women and children”, Huxley said, would “become the common sexual property of all”, their minds “purged of all the natural decencies,” and all the “laboriously acquired inhibitions of traditional civilization.” The sexual revolution would not encourage autonomy, he predicted, but the “love of servitude”, which could not “be established except as the result of a deep, personal revolution in human minds and bodies.” This, he maintained, would require “a foolproof system of eugenics, designed to standardize the human product”; however, to “faciliate the task of the managers” this eugenics regime was to be accomplished in a climate of “sexual promiscuity”.6

But social prophets like Aldous Huxley, and in our own times, Mary Whitehouse, do not gaze into the future through a time-telescope and report on their findings; they see what is happening in their own day, and predict what will happen in the future if, as Ebenezer Scrooge says to the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, “things do not change”. Huxley wrote Brave New World after the Russian Revolution, whose leaders “attempted to destroy love and marriage”; to this end “[f]ree love was glorified” and the “legal distinction between marriage and casual sexual intercourse was dropped”; however, when the “hordes of wild, homeless children” that resulted from the experiment “became a real menace to the Soviet Union”, freely available abortion and divorce rocketed, and jealousy and rage jeopardized industrial output, the policy was abruptly reversed.7 As Whitehouse notes, this approach was not confined to left-wing regimes; even before they took over Poland, the Nazis “flooded the bookstalls of that country with pornography” in the belief that “if they could make individuals conscious only of the need for personal gratification, they would have neither desire nor energy to combine and work for the downfall of the enemy”; far from conferring freedom, these ‘sexual revolutions’ were actually a “means of social castration.”8

The Sexual Revolution is supported and even promoted by a vastly expanded welfare state. While welfare provision governed by religious ethics would encourage virtue and discourage vice, our Welfare State provides benefits as a right regardless of morality; despite its name, it ignores the welfare of those children deprived of a traditional family. Not so much neutral as amoral, it has removed the material obstacles to promiscuity, notably pregnancy, disease and lack of material support. While apparently offering autonomy to the poor, their much-vaunted autonomy has been handed over to the State. Individual morality is now entrusted to the population control priesthood which, working at a convenient distance from its paymaster, the State, promotes promiscuity through the provision of ‘non-judgemental’ sex education and birth control. Eventually, if Lord Falconer’s ‘assisted dying’ Bill is successful, we will be able to ‘access’ the ‘planned death’, another weapon in the State’s armoury of population control, which will coincidentally help to solve the problem of the hordes of unattached individuals bred under the Sexual Revolution.

Old vices have been introduced as new freedoms. Sade’s approval of cruelty, crime, incest, homosexuality, infanticide, brothels and rape, as well as his opposition to capital punishment, war, private property, the Church and the family, are now familiar to us as issues, even if not as joined-up issues. And it is a mistake to think that the list will end there. As one famous campaigner for sexual diversity, praised by America’s most progressive president, maintained, “If bestiality with consenting (sic) animals provides happiness to some people, let them pursue their happiness. That is Americanism in action.”9

Designating bestiality as just another ‘lifestyle choice’ in a rainbow of choices makes the transformation of abortion, a long-term eugenics goal also accomplished under the Sexual Revolution,10 from an appalling tragedy to a human right, appears less shocking. But it should come as no surprise that Postmodern feminist icon Simone de Beauvoir, an abortion advocate who claimed that pregnant women feared giving birth to ‘monsters’,11 was an admirer of the morally monstrous Alfred Kinsey and the Marquis de Sade.12

Long before Kinsey or Sade, Plato’s Republic envisaged a system of eugenics breeding as the basis of the perfect state, which was also the perfect war machine. In the nineteenth century, German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck forged the original totalitarian welfare state, which produced a healthy citizenry to form the human cogs of the new Germany’s fighting machine. The Bismarckian welfare state attracted the interest of left-wing eugenicists but also left-wing progressives, who between the Wars dreamed of creating a race of revolutionaries.13 Crucially, however, the aim was not to create human beings in a continual state of revolt, but to achieve the final socialist revolution. The answer to the problem of how to create a race of subservient revolutionaries was the Sexual Revolution, which created individuals primed to rebel not against evil but against good – the Luciferian revolution.

In 1903 George Bernard Shaw saw socialism as “the socialization of the selective breeding of Man” or “human evolution”; that society must “eliminate the Yahoo” whose vote threatened to “wreck the commonwealth”; that private companies should specialise in breeding “human live stock”.14 The idea was discredited by the Nazis,15 but Yahoos are on the increase – not as the result of deteriorating heredity but thanks to the decline of the traditional family, which used to transmit civic virtues. Meanwhile, assisted reproduction is big business, fuelled by economic pressures as women delay having children in order to get a foot on the careers ladder, pay the mortgage and find a suitable partner from among the proliferating Yahoos. Some companies are now offering female employees the opportunity to freeze their eggs in order to soothe fears about the relentless ticking of the biological clock, but also enabling employers to reap the benefit of women’s greater commitment to their work.16

This capitalistic outcome would dismay Shaw and other left-wing eugenicists, who yearned for “superstitious attitude[s] towards sex and reproduction” to be replaced by “a scientific and social attitude,” making it an “honor and a privilege, if not a duty, for a mother, married or unmarried…to have the best children possible” to promote the revolution.17 Instead of the political revolution, however, we have succeeded in creating a reproductive revolution, in which two social groupings have emerged – the ‘have-nots’, a growing ‘social problem group’ that produces unplanned, allegedly unwanted children (at enormous expense, we are told, to the taxpayer), and the ‘haves’, who aim to produce planned, wanted children, but who wait so long that the desired children fail to arrive on demand. Increasingly, the latter group is turning to reproductive technology – but what better exemplar of the ‘wanted child’ than the genetically purified baby costing thousands of pounds?

H. G. Wells and Aldous’s brother Julian Huxley, both leading left-wing humanists and proponents of eugenics population control, envisaged true ‘random mating’ back in 1931. Accidental incest might be encouraged, or even made compulsory, they maintained, if there was “no reason to suspect a grave recessive taint”. There would, they said, be “a prompt resort to the lethal chamber for any undesirable results” – doubtless a “grim Utopia”, but thus might “our race…be purged of its evil recessives for ever.”18 This scenario, ironically known as ‘positive eugenics’, was canvassed in 1924 in fiction by geneticist J. B. S. Haldane, a left-wing enthusiast for the Marquis de Sade. But the Eugenics Society’s system of ‘random mating’, aimed at achieving the final separation of the sexual act from procreation, still lacked an artificial womb.19

Now, however, the first womb transplant to lead to a successful birth has been carried out in Sweden, and a British gynaecologist with a waiting list of over 60 women hopes to follow suit next year.20 Women may be encouraged to donate the organs after sterilisation, ensuring a plentiful supply, and in due course, enabled by our anti-discrimination laws, a male transsexual may at some point mount a legal challenge to demand the right to a womb transplant. But in the meantime, male same-sex couples can hire a womb in some poor, faraway country.21 Modern reproductive technology has brought ‘random mating’, with the risk of accidental consanguinity, one step closer,22 consequently it is now argued that actual incest should be decriminalised, especially as abortion can eliminate any defective children before birth.23 The emotional fall-out on the surviving victims of the Sexual and Reproductive Revolutions will in time be met by voluntary euthanasia. Already in Belgium, it is permitted for depression and for sexual minorities who come to realise that ‘expressing their sexual diversity’ is not, after all, the answer to their feelings of alienation.24

Eugenics objectives have been achieved piecemeal in free democracies, often as the result of apparently discrete campaigns based on concerns about justice, health, compassion, or simply on the need to ‘tidy up anomalies’ – a far cry from Brave New World, and also from 1984, Orwell’s totalitarian dystopia of brutal repression. But under the prevailing progressive Utopia of political correctness, although places like registry offices have been purged of heterosexual and religious references and imagery, there will be no need, like Orwell’s hero Winston Smith, to physically re-write history, when positive references to religion, marriage and the family can be neutralised by caricaturing history as one long saga of inequality, bigotry, homophobia and xenophobia. In the coming progressive humanist heaven we may be lucky to know our own parents, but since the idea of the family will anyway be held in horror as a repressive patriarchal, capitalistic construct, we will likely see the planned death as a blessing.

Huxley’s dystopia was only partly realised in the Sexual Revolution of the Sixties, under which the break-up of the poor working-class family was subsidised by the Welfare State, driven by a cultural Marxism under the influence of the Frankfurt school. The Frankfurt approach undermined capitalism far more effectively than a discredited Communism ever could. Despairing of the socially conservative (and sometimes Conservative) working class’s potential for revolt, and mistrusting democracy – for did it not deliver fascism? – the Left no longer looked to a working-class revolution. Instead, it invested heavily in the Sexual Revolution, not in order to breed revolutionaries but with hopes of seizing power on behalf of the discontented, the disinherited and the diverse. No longer needing large numbers of workers to usher in the Marxist revolution, they no longer oppose Malthusianism but instead demand ‘equal access’ to fertility control for the poorest.25

Huxley, despite his prescience regarding the Sexual Revolution, continued to insist that “overpopulation” was a grave problem that would encourage totalitarianism; that birth control would have to be practiced by “countless individuals”, from whom it demanded “more intelligence and will power than most of the world’s teeming illiterates possess…”26 In contrast, C. S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters, the Collected Correspondence of a Senior to a Junior Devil, makes clear that there is no depth of human evil that has not already been plumbed – and prompted – by the chief devil, Lucifer.

For at the root of all evil is pride, the first sin. Having seized God’s prerogative to determine what is good, we no longer consider whether actions are right or wrong, but appropriate or inappropriate; we no longer consider whether ideas are true or false, but whether they are outworn or contemporary. Rebellion is encouraged in the name of self, even when it is against our true self-interests. We are required to love our neighbour enough to help him die but not enough to help him live. While an impure Puritanism regulates harmless pastimes for reasons of health ‘n’ safety, it encourages an increasing variety of vices in the name of freedom, for as the senior devil advises: “An ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula.”

Unlike Orwell, Lewis foresaw “the safest road to Hell” as “the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts”.27 If mankind is going to Hell, it will not be in a handcart. It will be a much smoother ride; but unlike Huxley, Lewis at least knew the identity of the driver.


Footnotes

  1. IVF pioneer Professor Robert Edwards, a prominent member of the Eugenics Society during the 1960s and 1970s, and its successor body the Galton Institute in the 1990s, gave the 11th Darwin Lecture in 1971 on ‘Human Conception’, in which “he suggested that our prime need is to understand more about the events involved in human conception in order that we can learn to control them better” (Eugenics Society Bulletin, Vols 1-3, 1969-71, p. 57, accessed here at January 9, 2014). Edwards emphasised parents’ moral responsibility not to have disabled children (R. Edwards, P. Steptoe, A Matter of Life: The Story of a Medical Breakthrough (London: Hutchinson, 1980), p. 143; see also R. Edwards, Life Before Birth: Reflections on the Embryo Debate (London: Hutchinson, 1989).
  2. Chesterton said that one eugenicist “came very near the nerve of the whole social truth” in admitting that eugenics meant breeding for capitalism: “There is something almost pathetic in Professor [Julian
  3. A. Huxley, Brave New World (London: Flamingo, 1932/1994), pp. 136-137.
  4. Reflecting Herbert Spencer’s “survival of the fittest” idea (G. K. Chesterton, “The Right to Rob,” G. K.’s Weekly, March 5, 1932).
  5. G. Gorer, The Revolutionary Ideas of the Marquis de Sade (London: Wishart & Co., 1934), accessed here at June 10, 2013; Cambridge-educated anthropologist Gorer applied psychoanalysis techniques to anthropology, portraying left-wing libertarianism as radical and fascism as puritanical; left-wing eugenicist Professor J. B. S. Haldane’s enthusiastic foreword to Gorer’s book about the mentally deranged Marquis de Sade is ironical, considering the eugenics obsession with eradicating the mentally unfit.
  6. A. Huxley, Foreword to Brave New World (1946) (London: Flamingo, 1932/1994).
  7. Professor Pitirim A. Sorokin, The American Sex Revolution (Boston: Porter Sargent, 1956), in M. Whitehouse, Whatever Happened to Sex? (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1978), pp. 229-230.
  8. M. Whitehouse, Whatever Happened to Sex? (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1978), p. 228.
  9. Franklin Kameny, Letter to Americans for Truth, in Peter LaBarbera, “‘Gay Rights’ Icon Frank Kameny Says Bestiality OK ‘as Long as the Animal Doesn’t Mind'”, Americans for Truth about Homosexuality website, accessed here August 2, 2013, quoted in Robert R. Reilly, Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2014), pp. 3-4).
  10. See: A. Farmer, By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (Washington D. C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2008).
  11. S. de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, tr. H. M. Parshley (London: Vintage Books, 1949/1997), p. 514.
  12. De Beauvoir greatly admired the Kinsey Report (D. Bair, Simone de Beauvoir: A Biography (New York: Touchstone, 1991), p. 393); her essay ‘Must We Burn Sade?’ (published with other essays as Privileges (1955)), describes Sade as a “fascinating man who for 20 years brutally loved and hated women and then spent the rest of his life in jail writing about what he couldn’t do any more” (D. Bair, Simone de Beauvoir: A Biography (New York: Touchstone, 1991), p. 432).
  13. Progressives approved of the Kulturkampf, Bismarck’s 19th-century campaign against the Catholic Church, “a liberal phenomenon” in which “German progressives declared war on backward Catholicism, believing that their blending of science and a form of nationalistic Social Gospel was the ideology of the future” – a “model the progressives adapted to American soil” (J. Goldberg, Liberal Fascism (London: Penguin Books), p. 218).
  14. G. B. Shaw, “The Revolutionist’s Handbook,” Man and Superman, The Bodley Head Bernard Shaw Collected Plays with Prefaces Vol. II (London: The Bodley Head, 1971), p. 776); S. Trombley, The Right to Reproduce: A History of Coercive Sterilization (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1988), pp. 32-33.
  15. The Nazi lebensborn programme ‘mated’ ‘racially pure’ German women with SS officers, handing over offspring to the SS (Accessed at here at May 17, 2005).
  16. Melanie Pritchard, ‘Facebook, Apple pay for female employees to freeze eggs: what does this say to women?’ LifeSiteNews, October 15, 2014, accessed here and October 16, 2014.
  17. Genetico Manifesto, in D. J. Kevles, In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity (Harvard University Press, 1985), p. 184.
  18. H. G. Wells, J. Huxley, G. P. Wells, The Science of Life (London: Cassell & Co. Ltd., 1931), p. 307.
  19. J. B. S. Haldane, Daedalus or Science and the Future (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd., 1924); Haldane wrote an enthusiastic foreword to Gorer’s book on the Marquis de Sade (see note 2). Brewer’s work on ‘eutelegenesis’ was supported by C. P. Blacker, Lord Horder and Clinton Chance (Eugenics Society Archive (SA/EUG/D7)).
  20. Daily Telegraph, October 4, 2014.
  21. House of Surrogates (BBC Four, October 1, 2013) investigated the Akanksha Infertility Clinic in rural India, worth £620 million per annum (‘The British babies made in India,’ Sunday Telegraph, September 22, 2013, p. 22).
  22. Comment on Reproductive Ethics found that rules limiting the number of families a sperm donor may create to ten, set by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, have been breached: one British donor fathered 17 families; another created 12, and three others 11; the HFEA “admitted it does not know how often its rules have been breached” (MailOnline, September 18, 2011, accessed here at July 15, 2013).
  23. Danish professor of criminal justice ethics Thomas Søbirk Petersen, of Roskilde University, “stated that he thinks consensual sex between adult siblings should be legal,” because of “the rise in the number of births resulting from donor sperm, which has the potential to create biological siblings who are born into different families”, leading to “a need to rethink the ‘old taboos’ against incest, telling MetroXpress: ‘In a society where more and more children are being conceived using donor sperm, the risk of falling in love with a stranger who turns out to be a biological sister or brother has increased'”; Petersen “believes that siblings who want to have children together can reduce the risk of having a handicapped child by themselves using donor sperm or eggs – and then there is always abortion as a backup” (‘Sibling incest should be legal,’ says Danish professor of criminal justice ethics’, LifeSiteNews, October 17, 2014, accessed here at October 18, 2014).
  24. A Belgian woman, deeply unhappy because as a little girl she felt rejected by her family, was so horrified with the results of sex-change surgery that she was granted euthanasia (‘I feel no sorrow, says mother of sex-change son who chose to die,’ Daily Telegraph, October 3, 2013).
  25. “The ‘Frankfurt School’, or Institute for Social Research, set up by a group of Marxist intellectuals in Germany in 1923”, was “affiliated to the University of Frankfurt and independently of the Communist Party, which has been influential in the development of Marxist theory ever since. The founding of the Institute marked the beginning of a current of ‘Marxism’ divorced from the organised working class and Communist Parties, which over the decades merged with bourgeois ideology in academia” (‘The Frankfurt School and Critical Theory,’ Marxists Internet Archive, accessed here at October 28, 2013). Their “Critical Theory” approach was aimed at the pillars of Western culture, especially Christianity and capitalism, questioning the authority of the family, traditional hierarchies, sexual morality, patriotism, and political and social conservatism. See: S. E. Bronner, Critical Theory: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), p. 2.
  26. A. Huxley, Foreword to Brave New World (1946) (London: Flamingo, 1932/1994).
  27. C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters: Letters from a Senior to a Junior Devil (Glasgow: Collins, 1942/1984) , p. 65.

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